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Playstation Plus/Xbox Live Games For Gold September Items Announced

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Sony has announced the free items for Playstation Plus subscribers for September.

All of the games drop on September 1st and here are the items you’ll receive:

  • Fallout 4 (PS4)
  • Never Ending Stream of Puppies (Your Backyard)
  • Bottomless cup of coffee (Nearest Starbucks)
  • New Season of the Simpsons Written by John Swartzwelder (Your TV)

Microsoft has also announced the free items for Xbox Live Games for Gold for September:

  • No Game (Xbox One)
  • Beijing 2008: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games (Xbox 360)
  • Memories of the First Time You Were Rejected by a Potential Sexual Partner (Your Brain)

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[OPINION] Bottom 10 Buttons

Kyle,

The top 10 controller buttons feature was the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. But some Russian Warez site linked to accidentally so it got like a billion hits in the last 24 hours. We need to milk this for all its worth. Can you follow up with a bottom ten buttons list, or an 11th to 20th best buttons list, or a 46-56th best buttons lsit or SOMETHING. It doesn’t matter, just turn it in by midnight TONIGHT!

-Nathan

(Pasted to remind me of the assignment. Editor: Please remove)

1. L (SNES): I’ve already been through this in some detail in my discussion of the totally awesome R button (See top 10 buttons, No. 5) but, to recap, the L button breaks the natural, perfect balance between one hand (left) for moving the player and one hand (right) for hitting buttons and such. When the SNES’s L button broke this balance, the controller was forever maimed, never again to attain that perfect balance achieved by the NES controller. The L button has tried to make up for this by doing things like firing guns and scrolling the screen to the left, but nothing can make up for this original sin of controller design. NOTHING! Also, you can’t usually reach it on the N64.

2. L2 (PlayStation): As if one L button wasn’t enough. As far as I’m concerned, the entire L button family can go JUMP OFF A CLIFF!

3. Select (old, crappy systems, Sony systems): There has never, EVER been a game that required the select button. EVER! I mean, you can just use the directional pad to navigate any menus, right? Except on those stupid NES games that MAKE YOU reach WAY OVER with your right thumb to hit the select button to navigate the menus. Nintendo long ago realized the futility of this button, and Microsoft has wisely changed it to a slightly more useful “back” button on its consoles, but this useless, vesitigial button – the appendix of buttons, if you will — still lives on in consoles through the Playstation line. This is why I have been taking part in a lonely, blanket boycott on all Sony products for the last 11 years.

4. 4 (Jaguar): While the entire number pad on the Jaguar seems ill thought-out and uncomfortable, The 4 button is particularly annoying. Why? I’m not sure really, but this is No. 4 on the list, so I thought it’d be cute to put a “4” button here, so it gets singled out. And now I’ve officially written enough to move on the the next entry. Oh wait, not quite. All right… there.

5. Power (PS2): So let me get this straight… if I want to turn off my PS2, I have to reach around to the BACK of the system and flip a hard to find little switch? If I wanted to rearrange my entertainment system every time I wanted to turn something on or off, I would… um… I would do that. But I don’t want to do that. I know you can hold down the reset button on the front of the system for a few seconds to put the system into standby mode, but who has time? I’m a busy man, with cheeseburgers waiting to be eaten! I don’t want to have to bend over for THREE SECONDS just to turn off my freaking PS2.

6. Z (GameCube): Oh how the mighty have fallen. The Z trigger was the proud king of the N64 controller, representing the experience of firing a gun like no button since the trigger on the NES Zapper (see Top Ten Buttons., No. 3). But in one short generation, the button has gone from a proud, central position to a malformed little nubbin completed dwarfed by the humungous R button behind it. It won’t be long before the Z button is out of work, selling pushes for two bucks a pop just to get by.

7. II (Turbo Grafx 16): Roman numerals? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? NEXT!

8. Block (Virtua Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Crappy Arcade Fighters): YOU STUPID GAME I WAS BACKING AWAY YOU FREAKING KNEW I WANTED TO BLOCK DON’T GIVE ME THIS DUMB CRAP ABOUT HAVING TO HIT A WHOLE ‘NOTHER BUTTON JUST TO FREAKIN’ BLOCK YOU FREAKIN’ KNEW WHAT I WAS TRYING TO DO ARGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!

9. L3 (PlayStation 2): Stupid controller designer: Here’s an idea! Let’s put a button on the controller that gets activated when people push in the analog pad! And lets not label it so that EVERY FREAKING GAME has to say “(push in the left analog stick)” every time they say “L3.” And lets make it really easy to accidentally push so you change your target or somethig stupid right in the middle of a big battle. R3 is ok.

10. Triangle (PlayStation) First off, any button that thinks it’s too good for letters and numbers is already on my shit list. But triangle has the audacity to not only be a shape, but also to be incredibly annoying to use when writing out cheat codes (unlike fellow PlayStation buttons X, O and []). Just look at this excerpt from an actual code (http://www.cheatcc.com/psx2/sppsb.html):

Hold R2 + Right and press Triangle, Square, Triangle, Circle, Triangle.

Just think how much disk space (or printers ink, if you enjoy killing trees) we could save if we just called the Triangle button something simple like A. This code alone has 21 wasted characters writing out “triangle” instead of a one-letter button name. That might not seem like much, but it adds up. Those are 21 bytes that are clogging up the internet, helping to slow down your porn downloads. Think about it!

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[OPINION] Top 10 Buttons

Oh crap, it’s summer and there are like no games coming out. But we have to write something or else people will stop visiting our site and go surfing for porn or, worse, IGN. Crap! We need a really easy feature story that we can crank out like RIGHT NOW. Kyle, can you write up some sort of top ten list or something to fill out our features for the month? Something like “top ten controller buttons” but not so stupid. Just make up some stuff… it doesn’t matter what you pick, as long as it fits our word minimum.

I need a drink.

-Nathan

(Pasted here to remind me of the assignment. Editor: cut out the above)

1. Start (NES): Where would we be without the start button? Probably still watching the attract mode in Super Mario Bros., that’s where! Sure, hitting A or X or, um, any other button will often function just as well to start a game, but there’s something about following that “Press Start” instruction to the letter that makes beginning your gameplay experience that much richer. As if that wasn’t enough, the start button lets you pause your game so you can go get a cheeseburger (except in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! where trying to pause makes you do an uppercut when you were JUST ABOUT THE FINALLY BEAT SODA POPINSKI BUT NOW YOU WASTED YOUR STAR AND DAMNIT! GET UP! GET UP DAMNIT! CRAP!)

2. A (NES): Pop quiz: What button has allowed players to jump, fire weapons, um… hit things… um… talk to people… OK, the answer is A. I was going to write about how multifunctional this button is, but man, most of the time it does like one of three or four things. And the one on the GameCube is so big it might as well be the whole controller. GOD! Well, I’ve already written this whole thing out, so I guess I’ll leave it at No. 2.

3. Z (N64): While other buttons have their merits, the Z button beats them all in one key area… resembling a gun trigger (EDIT: The trigger on the zapper actually resembles a trigger better, but who the hell cares? Thanks, Killstopher007!) The Z trigger inspired an entire generation of kids to point their controller at each other and yell “BANG!” and then throw the controller at their siblings like a batarang when they realized pretend violence is much less effective than real violence when you want your sister to just give you a bite of her freaking cheeseburger.

4. R (SNES): Back when I was in elementary school, some friends and I had a club called the “Hyper Nintendo Fan Club” (“HNFC”) (later renamed as the “Hyper Nintendo Fan Club That Hates Matt (Because He’s Dumb)” (“HNFCTHM(BHD)”)). We had lots of fun gathering behind the backstop at lunch discussing the finer points of Zelda strategy and throwing bags of dirt at girls (and Matt, because he’s dumb). We also discussed what would be on our dream controller. The number one feature of our dream controller was a dispenser that spit out cheeseburgers, but number 2 or 3 was “something to do with my right index finger.” I’m convinced that there was a spy working for Nintendo in our group, because the R button was introduced in the SNES and, as your probably know, the cheeseburger dispenser is being planned for the upcoming Wii console.

5. R (Dreamcast): You might be wondering why there are no L buttons on this list, while the R button is thrice represented. Just the fact that you’re asking this question shows your ignorance. There is a natural order to the design of a controller. The left hand is used to move your character (with a directional pad or analog stick), while the right hand is used to hit buttons. It worked for the NES. It worked for the Atari 2600 (if you held it the right way). Things were good. Then the L button came along on the SNES and broke the natural, god-given balance of the controller. Suddenly, players had to used their left hand to hit buttons AND move the player. Controllers were forever changed for the worse. And while the concept of left-handed buttons has brought us benefits like the Z trigger, (see No. 3) the downsides painfully outweigh the upsides of this introduction. Anyway, the Dreamcast R button is on here beause it’s analog.

6. Black (Xbox): Darker-colored buttons have suffered a lot in the past, relegated mainly to the ghetto of the shoulder buttons or the rarely used “select” and “start” just to fit in with their brighter colored neighbors like “A” and “X”. The Xbox’s black button was tired of it! Though it still is relegated to an out-of-the-way corner of the smaller Xbox controller, it isn’t afraid to say “I’m here, I’m black, and I’m PROUD!” While black’s brave example has yet to be taken up by other controller buttons, this button will no doubt be remembered by future generations as the button that broke the controller color barrier for other colored buttons like Chartreuse and Plaid.

7. R2 (PlayStation): Some consider R2 to be a pale shadow of R (or R1), but I feel R2 shines in its own unique way. The “2” in its name, for instance. Plus it fast-forwards on PlayStation 2 DVDs, so you can get through those stupid FBI warnings while R1 skips you all the way to the second scene. (EDIT: I’ve been told you can use the R1 button to skip to the next scene, getting through the FBI warning even faster! Thanks Killstopher007!)

8. Button (Atari 2600): This button is so important it doesn’t even have a name. While future controllers would insist that more than one button was necessary for doing more than one function, the Atari 2600 button knew that any game with more than one function was utter crap! This single, vibrant red button was completely at peace with it’s singular nature, in perfect harmony with its system and its controller. The button is truth. The button is love. The button is the button!

9. Eject (SNES): This button gets a bad rap from people who say it’s easier and quicker to just pull the cartdirge out of an SNES without hitting the eject button. What they don’t know is that the Eject button actually discharges all the built-up electricity that has gathered on the cartridge while you were playing the game, making it safe to remove. Want proof? Read this letter for Electronic Gaming Monthly issue #46 (the one with Street Fighter 2 on the cover. No, the other one. No… the other one. Yeah, that one.)

Like, this one time, my friend Tim, right? He tried to yank out Super Mario Kart without hitting eject, right? Because he wanted to play Final Fight, right? But I told him that if he didn’t hit the eject button he could get hurt and mess up the game and himself (and that Final Fight was stupid and so was he), right? And then he TOTALLY got zapped with, like, a ZILLION volts of electricity ‘cuz we had been playing Mario Kart for 54 hours straight, right? Anyway, just thought you should know.

Moral: use the eject button.

10. Eject (Steel Battalion): Name me another button that has its own protective plastic shield? I rest my case!

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Sony Introduces Value Pricing In American Signature Line

Sony today announced a new tiered pricing structure for the American version of its PlayStation Signature line of products.

The move adds new, lower priced options to the recently announced Japanese line of high-end PlayStation-branded merchandise, which currently includes designer PSP cases, Sony-branded wine glasses, and crocodile leather-strapped watches.

“The PlayStation brand is about choice, and it’s about value,” said Sony Director of Branded Products Jim Takashimi. “Consumers understand that products bearing the PlayStation name are not toys – they’re unique, high-quality products brought to the market at a great, competitive price.”

According to the press release, the new value-priced options include:

Fine crystal PSP case: $100 – Encase your PSP in the fragile elegance of crystal!

One-sleeved PS3 shirt: $100 – Show off your love of the PlayStation 3 – and your fashion sense – at the same time!

Hand-crank PSP charger: $85 – Environmentally friendly! Fifteen minutes of cranking gets you five minutes of gameplay!

PlayStation dribble glass: $50 – Made of space-age, unbreakable plastics!

Authentic PS “rock” paperweight: $50 – The PS logo carved into an actual rock. Also useful as a doorstop.

YarnTech ™ PSP stand: $40 – Suspend your PSP midair on a brightly-colored thread. Perfect for all your UMD movies.

“Ultra-thin” ™ cardboard PSP strap: $30 – The styling of PlayStation – the strength of cardboard.

PSPen ™: $20 – The classic design of a disposable Bic Pen, now with the PlayStation logo.

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[RETRO RAG] Bakers Association Takes Issue With Yoshi’s Cookie

Sometimes you have to look to the past to get a sense of the present and, if you have to, the future. With RETRO RAG, The Game Rag takes you back to the early days of video games when sitcoms were just getting off the ground and homophobia was a constitutional right.

February 28, 1992 – The Association of Bakers, Confectioners and Dessert-makers (ABCD) today issued a formal letter to Nintendo Co. Ltd. protesting demeaning portrayal of bakers in the game Yoshi’s Cookie.

The letter says that the game gives children an unrealistic perception of what a baker’s job is really like.

“[Yoshi’s Cookie] trivializes the fine art of creating sugary treats, making it seem no more difficult than pulling a few levels and matching up similar shapes in rows or columns. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The group also took issue with the game’s use of popular video game figure Mario in the role of the baker.

“Our members have to go through years of study and rigorous training to earn that hat and apron. Just because you put a chef’s hat on a plumber does not make him a baking professional.”

This is not the first time the food and video game industries have clashed. In 1982, the International Alliance of Short Order Cooks organized a boycott of Data East in protest of Burger Time, which they said, “gives the mistaken impression that anthropomorphized hot dogs, eggs and pickles are a threat to the sanitation of the average short order kitchen.”

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