Monday, August 31, 2009

Article: Both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 Are Prone to Hardware Failure

Will this article ever banish the myth that PS3 is more reliable than the Xbox 360? I seriously doubt it, considering how rabid [and pointlessly defensive] the Internet fanboys can be about the console brands that they love.

That said, whatever console you own, for this gaming generation, be ready to face the inevitable!

(For the entire article, click the link below)

System Failure: Why PS3 and 360 drop dead for the same reasons
August 29th, 2009

Page 1 of 3. Page 2

In a week where Xbox 360 production boss Aaron Greenberg stated that Microsoft's hardware issues were "well behind us", I found myself finally facing up to the notorious unreliability of the older 360 consoles, and attempting to do something about it.

In many ways, this feature is an off-shoot of a personal story. Readers of the Digital Foundry Twitter feed will know that both of my retail Xbox 360s died of RROD in quick succession. While Microsoft was nice enough to send me a new PAL "Jasper" model, swapping out my prized NTSC 360 Elite, originally purchased for a Eurogamer hardware test would be much more difficult. Over and above the luxuries of having the ability to play region-locked games, the concept of binning off two consoles that cost me the best part of £600 was basically wasteful and unacceptable. Something had to be done.

Looking for a more permanent resurrection for my unit, I'd heard that the best fix involved the rather manly-sounding process of "reballing" the GPU - resoldering the joints from the motherboard to the graphics chip. That being the case, I found myself at my nearest independent console workshop, Colchester Computers, staring at their impressive BGA rework/reflow station. Working from an industrial unit just off the Essex town's bizarre Magic Roundabout, this was an interesting opportunity to find out from the experts first-hand why the average games console ceases to function, and how they are fixed. Upon arrival at the workshop, the vast stack of dead consoles up against one wall ("spare parts") was somewhat eye-opening.

Talking to the company's engineer, Darren Thickbroom, it instantly became apparent that many of the Internet truths surrounding the console failures were anything but, and that the heat dissipation issues that plagued every revision of the Xbox 360 up until the most recent Jasper version were hardly exclusive to the Microsoft console. Slowly but surely, just like its competitor, the issue of PlayStation 3 reliability is being brought into question.

While the scale of the so-called YLOD issue is difficult to judge in context of the all-pervasiveness of RROD, the fact is that what I learned on my visit was pretty shocking: whether you own a Microsoft or Sony console, it seems that the act of simply using our consoles for the job they were designed can cause cumulative damage, with the very real danger that our games machines may go "pop" after the manufacturer's warranty expires.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Treasure Trove of BLAZBLUE Artwork on!

I found this only very recently, apparently has a really good treasure trove of Blazblue images! It's in their review for the game. Honestly, the review sucks. But the images they put in there are pretty good, including some artwork that was from the GALLERY of the game. Some samples below (the link to the review is below the pics).

Off-Topic: Philippine Politics: Noynoy Aquino says 'Paint the Town Yellow' If You Want Him To Run for President!

Just an off-topic post because this concerns saving my country from all the corrupt politicians running for office....for the Filipinos reading this, do the right thing and help convince this guy Noynoy Aquino to run for President!

Wear yellow, Sen Aquino tells supporters

By Maila Ager
First Posted 11:15:00 08/28/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Politics, Cory Aquino

MANILA, Philippines -- Paint the town yellow if you want Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to run for a higher post in 2010.

Aquino, son of the late President Corazon Aquino and martyred Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr, made this call in his continued search for an answer to the increasing clamor for him to either run for president or vice president next year.

“Wear something yellow on your person, notes, with your ID, panglagay sa bahay, sa sasakyan para mapakita na marami tayo ditong umaasa at magcko-commit na babaguhin natin itong ating bayan [something that you can put in your house, in your car so that we can show that there are a lot of you who are committed to change the country],” he told reporters.

“The signature campaign is good but wearing that yellow, pwedeng yellow ribbon para mas klaro baka naman sabihing nagkataon lang na naka yellow, talagang nagko-commit ka [it could be a yellow ribbon to show your commmitment because some might say that their wearing yellow was just a coincidence], a public statement, the people around you that I’m committed to doing something about my country,” he said.

The young Aquino said running for a higher post would be a difficult decision if he could not get the support of the people.

“If this is only my ambition, pointless. If a lot of people will share the ambition of where we want to go, then that's a certainty. But if I will be the obstacle that will prevent this certainty, I will not (in the way. If I am alone, then this nothing. It's like asking for the moon," he said in Filipino.

Calls for the senator to seek a higher post have been mounting since the death of his mom.

But the young Aquino has been reluctant to accept the challenge, citing the emotional state of his four siblings -- Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, and Kris.

“I am the most sensitive. When my mom and my sisters cry. What if all four cry on me? It's like three-fourths of our lives have been devoted to this and we are no longer young …” he said.

But he is confident that his family will heed the call of the people once they see the genuine clamor for him to continue the legacy of his parents.

“I think if they see that there is really a clamor, then we have an obligation that we have to fulfill and my sisters will not back down. What I am hoping for is that their decision will be something that will come from their hearts," he said.

At this point, Senator Aquino said, he and his family were praying and consulting many people to help them make the right decision.

And this process of consultation will formally begin from within the senator’s political group, the Liberal Party.

Senator Aquino disclosed that he would meet this weekend with their party president, Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas, who has been endorsed by some party leaders to be their standard-bearer in 2010.

“Mag uusap kami[We will talk]…At the very least, maumpisahan yung buong proseso [we can start the whole process],” he said.

He said more people who were asking a meeting with him granted his request to wait until after September 9, the 40th day of Mrs. Aquino’s death.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blazblue: My Ranked Match Stats (All stats posts go here)

UPDATE: I've been on a huge winning streak lately! Still going :D I just it online lag that's causing me to win so much recently, or have I been extremely lucky, or am I getting better at this game??? I have no idea, to be honest.

I am enjoying playing this game online, though! Great netcode! :D

Saving for posterity :D


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why No Updates?

It's a very SLOW time in console gaming these days. No major announcements, and not many interesting things to write about....

Sure, there's the PS3 Slim news leaks that we keep hearing about in the gaming press but to be honest, how is that news? And how is it interesting? It's a Playstation 3 in a new form factor.....regardless of whatever shape or form it may arrive, it's a PS3, we've already seen and played it, and I think it's only really news to the ones who haven't bought one yet. I don't really consider it a type of new or interesting technology. Yeah I've posted about that leaked PS3 Slim here in the Philippines, definitely that's interesting for what it unsupported country getting first dibs on unreleased technology, sure....but that news was last week's news. Lately I've been visiting NEOGAF and there isn't anything really huge to write about. (just the usual fanboy wars and sales armchair-analysis threads....)

The PS3 Slim will probably make headlines if it gets the [inevitable] price drop. But what makes me more excited is real gaming news --- news on new titles coming for consoles, and news on games that many gamers are anticipating that finally get announced. With regard to new games, I don't write about every single new game----I just write about those games that catch my fancy. And another thing I write about is anything related to console gaming here in the Philippines, which [sadly] continues to be unsupported by the major players in the console business.

All the big games are coming out some time in late September and October, onwards. You've got Tekken, Forza, Halo, Call of Duty and the rest....those are going to be huge games which will get great sales and I'm sure everyone's looking forward to them. But for now, we're in the drought season for console gaming; and this time, it's best to make the most of the triple-A class games that we already own right now.

Back to a few more rounds of Score Attack in Blazblue....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tips for Finishing Score Attack Mode (Sorry...Jin Kisaragi players only...)

Tips for Score Attack (Jin only....I haven't spent a lot of time with the other characters, though I am considering learning Bang or Litchi)

Useful block string for all the 'hard' characters:

2A (x3 max), 5B, 5C, 5D (somehow this baits them to try attacking, thus turning 5D into a counter). After 5D, use the combo / follow-up of your choice (in my case it's 6A->dash cancel->5C->super jump cancel->air combo) In a normal match 5D is a bit slow so this only works on Score Attack AI.

1. Unlimited Rachel

- if you start the match with an ice car, use the B version since it's slightly faster.

- if you don't start the match with an ice car, jump back, block the first lightning strike, and then use instant air dash to get in close.

- if rachel calls down a frog, try to get to the side AWAY from the frog, either by jumping + dashing or ice car C.

- when your meter hits 50, use the C distortion drive attack.

- if you get in close, use the block string specified above.

2. Hakumen - I found this character a bit easier, it's easy to catch him with 5D then proceed with the combo, and when he does his distortion drive it's easy to go for the barrier block.

3. V-13 - when the round starts, jump over v-13's head (just the regular jump) and press D to freeze her while you're floating directly on top of her. There's a 75% chance you will freeze her. When you land, do ice car B or C. You can repeat this 'pattern' but after a few times she may dash away, in which case you have to chase her down with ice car.

Fight V-13 the same way you would Unlimited Rachel, always get in close and do the block string I posted. The hard part would be if you end up on the opposite end of the screen, in which case the only option, really, is to be patient and block everything (use standing block more often). When she says 'Opening rift...', which summons a shorter circular blade on the bottom of the screen, use ice car. The ice car will fly over the circular blade, thus getting you in-close.

Again, use the block string I specified to keep the pressure.

4. Unlimited Ragna - Now this is where none of the above tips work. The only tip I can give is start the match with the dragon punch (F,D,DF) + C move, which is an upwards slash with invincible frames. There is a 50/50 chance that Ragna's first strike is a slash where he hops forward; if you do the DP+C move, you'll nail him and have him flying. Follow up with an instant air dash + B + C....and then from that point on, just give it your best shot.

Unlimited Ragna is very very hard, because every time he does get matter how defensive you've been for an entire round, all he needs is one carnage scissors to get back all the life that he's lost. He heals himself with certain kinds of strikes, and carnage scissors is what gives him the most health back. I guess the best tip here is, while fighting, watch Ragna's meter. If he is at 50, start running away or playing more defensively. Don't get in close when U.Ragna's meter is 50. If there's no way to avoid that and you're right up in Ragna's face, be ready to barrier block if you see the Carnage Scissors coming.

Unlimited Ragna has the very nasty habit of canceling your strike into his carnage scissors. For example, with Jin if you use 5D and he has meter, he will definitely use carnage scissors and you will have no way of blocking it. It's even worse if he uses that other attack which does 70 damage (I forgot what it's called). That one cannot be blocked if you're close since I think the game considers it a throw. The only instance I was able to stop it is when I luckily was pressing 2A during the startup animation of the 70 hit combo. Somehow 2A can stop that.

Another thing that U.Ragna does is confuse you with aerial dashing; if he is in the air he will dash forward and back very, very fast, much like taokaka or bang, and it becomes hard to react.

The block string I've posted also works on Ragna, but again, watch his meter. Once it is on 50, do NOT use the block string, and try to go for safer attacks (hit him when he's recovering from infernal divider or his flying forward punch "I'll never forgive you!" move).

When you do have meter, use it, don't wait for it to go beyond 50, start finding a spot to safely execute the move. Sometimes the AI won't block the distortion drive. With a human opponent, this strategy won't work, but with the AI, it does....The safest distortion to use is the C one since it has a very fast startup and you can do it from practically everywhere (just don't do it when you're both in the does less damage for some reason...)

I've only been able to beat Score Attack exactly once. I tried again today and it was still quite hard to get through U.Ragna. It is good practice for refining one's combos, and I like the fact that I don't have to deal with online lag.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Blazblue Score Attack Mode - Finished!

This achievement was really hard to get and took me a very, very long time:

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Finally! Someone uploaded the real, full, uncut, absolute true version of the Bang Shishigami Theme Song!

I've been looking for this forever, finally found one thanks to the dustloop forums:

The Real, Seems-to-not-be-ripped-from-the-game, full, uncut, epic version of the Bang Shishigami song!