FyFYI Episode 175 – Micro

martin-luther-king

 

 

This week crazy pete rattles on about the different directions games are headed in, about how the 3ds and especially Fire Emblem are great, the Castlevania demo, monster hunter demo, free to play UC3 and other things before he MLK’s you with a dream he had about people being mean to him.

 

Here is where you can stream it.

You can also grab it off of iTunes.

Apple iTunes

Reach me at:  petedodd@gmail.com

Double K.O.

Player One Podcast

Check Platform Nation

There is a little forum on The Fanboys Site!

Dodd Scientifics

Pete’s Twitter

 

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FyFYI Episode 174 – Noise

IF

 

A somewhat somber Pete looks at how the ‘information age’ has just turned into noise, some quick thoughts on the ps4 unveiling and some bigtime love for the 3DSXL and Fire Emblem.

Here is where you can stream it.

You can also grab it off of iTunes.

Apple iTunes

Reach me at:  petedodd@gmail.com

Double K.O.

Player One Podcast

Check Platform Nation

There is a little forum on The Fanboys Site!

Dodd Scientifics

Pete’s Twitter

 

Online play behind a paywall? Say it ain’t so, Sony

Yesterday news broke on Kotaku that Playstation Plus would be rolled into a new service called ‘Playstation World’ (or World of Playstation, depending on who you talk to) which would like include new services like the not-so-mysterious Playstation Cloud. The bombshell in this news, of course, was conjecture that online play – something that Sony has stridently kept free for two generations – would go behind this paywall. At first I didn’t believe it.  I mean could Sony be this dumb? It’s a quick and easy buck, sure, and we all know that Sony needs as many bucks as it can get… but surely they have to understand that there is a growing number of people who flat out refuse to pay for online play.  And with the advent of phone, tablet and possibly a Steambox, all with free online play (not to mention the Wii U) that people may just turn away from console gaming entirely as it’s become far too expensive.

So bummed as I was I reached out to just about everyone I know in and around the industry, which isn’t very many people – of course – I’m just a fat dude ‘enthusiast’ from the east coast… but I have made friends over the years.  They all came back with the same answer.  “It’s happening.”

The thing is that this doesn’t affect me personally. Like 94 of the 100 people on my friends list, I already have PS+.  I have no plans on dropping it. So online play being wrapped into it won’t affect me or any of the people I play online with. And I presume it’s this thinking that Sony is banking on from keeping this from turning into a PR disaster. But what they seemed to overlook is that even though it doesn’t affect me *personally* it still pisses me off. I have a hunch I’m not alone.

There are many things about the videogame industry that are infantile and that includes its fans  – and with that, me.  I don’t like Microsoft. This doesn’t have as much to do with the Xbox as it does the way they stronghanded and stole their way into OS dominance. But I hate them. I just do. And I have a podcast where I spout off at the mouth like a petulant child. And one of the things that makes me foam at the mouth the most is the fact that Microsoft charges for online play.  I MEAN HOW IN THE WORLD CAN YOU CHARGE FOR ONLINE PLAY THAT IS MOSTLY HOSTED ON YOUR OWN INTERNET CONNECTION! We aren’t idiots, we know the vast, vast majority of these games are peer-to-peer and they ones that aren’t, like Battlefield 3, have servers provided by EA and not MS or Sony.  Sure, Sony and MS do have infrastructure in place to handle things like friends lists, matchmaking, etc and that costs money. But they are also making money by having those things, so adding a charge on top of it seemed greedy.  It made me rage at Microsoft.

So now, come this fall when I get home with my PS4 after getting shot at in a Walmart parking lot I’m going to pay to play online with my tail between my legs. My stupid fanboy defense of Sony’s shoddy online infrastructure at the start of this generation will now be statements I’m *EMBARRASSED* to have said. Most rationale people will tell me, rightly, that I’m an idiot for having said that stuff in the first place and you can’t put faith in a corporation to follow your ideals.  And they are right, I was an idiot and there’s no reason for me to feel like Sony was my ‘friend.’  But, Sony Corporate – is this how you want your most valuable fans to feel?  Embarrassed?  Is our reward for spending 6 years saying “Yeah but the PS3 has free online play, like it should be!” eating a giant pile of crow?

It’s insane that I even feel this way. I’m a 35 year old man embarrassed about what I said about a videogame. And I have a feeling that even putting this out there is just opening myself up to “U MAD BRO?” and other lame trolling attempts.  But I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way. Like I said before, I understand that Sony needs to make money… but please, for sake of the infantile internet and the grown infants like myself that take part in it, don’t do it at our expense.

This is probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever written.

Urban Trial Freestyle (Vita + PS3) Review

I wanted to avoid mentioning Trials HD and/or Trials Evolution at all in this review of Urban Trial Freestyle, because I felt like it’s a bit unfair that UTF is seen as a ‘copycat’ game.  Trials are actually a thing that people do, much like racing or trick events.  Is Jeremy McGrath Offroad a copycat of MX vs ATV?  Was NFL 2K a copy of Madden? Well, you can see my point, I’m sure, but it would be a disservice to potential buyers not to compare it to the best in show – so, alas, let’s just get that out of the way.

Urban Trial Freestyle is a better and more varied game than Trials HD, but falls short of the lofty perch that Trials Evolution sits on with its level editor and online multiplayer.  The handling is slightly different, but neither goes far enough in any direction to call one “sim” or “arcade.”  They are merely different.  In fact there are handling differences that exist between the PS3 and Vita versions, as the Vita does not have analog triggers.  But it’s safe to say that if you are a fan of Trials HD and Evolution, you will be right at home with Urban Trial Freestyle. It’s a worthy contender.

Urban Trial Freestyle allows you to customize the way your bike and rider look and how powerful your bike is with money that is hidden throughout the levels. The money hunt can get tricky at times and is yet another fun addition to game.

Urban Trial Freestyle allows you to customize the way your bike and rider look and how powerful your bike is with money that is hidden throughout the levels. The money hunt can get tricky at times and is yet another fun addition to game.

UTF does take some chances that for the most part add to the experience.  The tracks, especially on the ps3, are very interactive in that things happening in the background will become part of the track right before your eyes.  You see that cop car out of control heading towards the camera? Yeah, you’re gonna have to navigate over that after it crashes about 10 feet in front of you.  The tracks always play out the same way, so once you’ve seen it you can predict what’s going to happen (which is very important for leaderboard jockeying), but it does create a feeling of randomness on your first playthrough – something this genre isn’t entirely known for.  Like I said earlier, this happens far more on the PS3 than the Vita, which is a bummer to be sure, but is understandable considering that while the Vita is powerful, it isn’t quite the same beast the PS3 is.  The Vita tracks are a bit more static than the PS3 version, like you are seeing the aftermath of the PS3 tracks. This may sound disappointing but once you’ve seen the aforementioned police car crash once, it doesn’t really add much on repeated playthroughs.

Another place where Urban Trial Freestyle breaks from the pack is in taking the normal tracks (wherein getting from point A to point B the fastest is the *only* goal) and adding a bit of, well, freestyle to them.  There are jumps designated to track how high you jump, how far you jump and how many flips you can do.  On the PS3, before you get to each it will show the leader (which you can set to global or friends) by their PS3 avatar.  On the Vita you can take a picture of yourself (or of your cat) and that will be shown to everyone. This is a very cool feature as there was one guy in particular with his big dumb face who had almost all the records. I couldn’t beat them and I hated his stupid face!  I also, possibly, look like a serial killer in my picture for the few records I hold.  Once this game gets out in the wild I expect to see some funny stuff.

This crazy famousmortimer fella owns this event.

This crazy famousmortimer fella owns this event.

Otherwise, UTF is exactly what you would expect from a Trials style game. The physics are solid, the sense of speed can be intense, the track design goes from tame to HOLY CRAP HOW AM I NOT DYING? The music and dialogue are predictably lame, but easily dealt with.  There is a decent amount of content.  It took me a week of playing it nonstop to make it through all the tracks and I’m probably looking at double that time to 5 star every event.  I do hope that DLC in the form of more tracks is in the works, because this is honestly a game type that I’ll drop $5 a month on for the rest of time if they keep pumping out tracks.

In the end it comes down to which version makes more sense for you. If you want the best version – that’s easy, go with the PS3.  I do assume at some point that someone will make a YouTube video showing the ps3 version and vita version side by side with some EXTREME GAMER OUTRAGE about how the Vita version got shafted, but I honestly don’t see it that way.  I feel the benefits of the platform make up for where the game comes up a bit short of the PS3 version.  The fact that the Vita version is $10 (compared to $15 on the PS3) also helps.

There are five Challenges to go along with the main game.  These are weird activities like getting as far as you can with a finite amount of gas or, as pictured above, a sort of platformer/stunt bike crossover.

There are five Challenges to go along with the main game. These are weird activities like getting as far as you can with a finite amount of gas or, as pictured above, a sort of platformer/stunt bike crossover.

Both games are a ton of fun and will give you dozens of hours of enjoyment and competition amongst your friends list or the world at large.  The PS3 version is superior with its more interactive (though it should be said that does happen on the vita as well, just not as often), it runs at 60fps (though there is screen tearing) and has triggers for the gas and brakes.  These are all great.  But the Vita version, while slimmed down, runs at a solid 30fps, the image quality is very, very clean and you can fudge the analog gas with a good deal of tapping.

The question is; do you want to take the game with you everywhere or not?  Either way you should end up happy with your purchase.  Games this fun don’t come along all that often. Personally, I would buy the Vita version now and then see it all blown out on the PS3 if/when it hits a sale.

4stars

Lawyer chat!

Not that I think this is going to become a ‘thing’ because for that to happen people would need to give a shit about this – and that seems unlikely.  But I do just want to say that I built this game on my own and while the P1P guys seemed flattered by the gesture they didn’t request that I do it nor did they suggest what the game be about (or have any editorial control over any of it).  In the game I take swipes at many people, well let’s be honest – i take swipes at every person, including myself.  And those ‘jokes’ (I use the term loosely) come from me.  The only P1P feedback that made it into the game was Sewart suggesting that I make Phil talk for longer.

I’ve noticed that some people are pleased to see themselves in a satirical manner and others aren’t so thrilled.  Either way you should aim that at me, not the P1P guys.

Thanks,

Pete Dodd

Dodd Scientifics