Chip Tunes Tuesday: Funky Stars

I’m questioning the name of the song as it isn’t inherently funky but, it definitely sounds old school. More from McKlain here.

Advertisements

Five games you need to play from this generation

This list is in no particular order and is purely based upon my own experiences. The majority of my choices were picked for their storytelling. This generation of gaming has been more interactive than ever before, letting the player delve into worlds we could only dream of as well as making hard and taxing moral choices.

Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar surprised gamers in many ways. Red Dead Redemption took the open world sandbox gameplay from Grand Theft Auto and dropped it into the Wild West. Combined with a polished gaming experience, we were introduced to a main character that not only had purpose but, a likable relation that’s hard to pull off. Multiplayer was also included in RDR and it definitely doesn’t feel shoehorned. And let’s not forget its awesome DLC: Undead Nightmare.

Portal

Rarely do puzzle games catch my eye but, anything from Valve is worth a look. Blending innovative first person puzzle solving with the unique portal gun and “in the moment” storytelling, there is no way to ignore this game as one of the best of its generation. At the start, things seem normal however, from the lack of human employees, the writings on the wall, GLaDOS’s glitchy voice and progressively dilapidating rooms, it’s easy to see that not everything is right within the Aperture Science facility.

Mass Effect 2

Born from RPG mechanics and taking a more action oriented approach for the sequel, this is the best game out of the Mass Effect trilogy. Starring your “Shepard” from the first game, you must guide him or her through even tougher choices with even higher stakes. The characters are deep, the scenarios are bigger and weapons and powers really make a boom here. It’s a memorable experience and the things you accomplish (or don’t) really have a lasting impact. You tell the story in Mass Effect and the second entry makes sure you won’t forget your actions.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Once again, the sequel is the strongest. Nathan Drake blasts away countless bad guys while trying to hunt for the ultimate treasure. It sounds mindless but, UC2 is not to be missed. Naughty Dog programmed solid shooting and multiplayer making for an impressive improvement over the first installment. But what about the story? Oh yeah … there’s that! It feels like an Indiana Jones movie of epic proportions laced with adrenaline pumping set pieces. Not only that, great characters are introduced and developed through spot on voice acting. In UC2, it’s truly about what the game puts you through.

 

Journey

As you’ve probably already seen, this PSN exclusive has topped several lists already. Though it is short, the title lives up to its name. You will indeed be taking a journey through several landscapes, experiencing numerous graphical wonders and scenarios unlike any other game you will play. It includes an incognito cooperative experience, meaning that you will be joined randomly with another player who bears no name! You won’t find out who the passengers are on your quest until the end making yet another aspect of Journey something you need to experience rather than just read about.

What’s going to happen to my games?

Digital media is a constantly changing thing and its environment is regularly expanding. From software to apps to games, consumption of such programming can only increase. As time and the advancement of digital systems progress, it is only natural for that environment to adapt.

For a while now Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been a big issue for gamers and finding a fair way to utilize it for gamers has stemmed from it. Many have tried CD keys, “always on” and account based digital distribution services like Steam. All methods of control have ups and downs, though the less intrusive methods seem to be the most popular.

Physical media has been a mainstay since games were on floppy disks and even when there was barely a hint of DRM. So what happens to your games when a digital service is shut down or when the digital media you’re looking for is no longer available? Here are few scenarios I can think of right off the bat.

  1. Hopefully the service in which you downloaded the product from is DRM free so you are welcome to make a backup copy to store on another medium.
  2. The service provider has given you a way to preserve the content or an alternative to using it in the future
  3. If you’re willing to shell out some extra cash, there just might be a box copy somewhere out there …

The thought of losing a product you purchased or multiple because a digital distributor is no longer around is quite frightening and thankfully it has rarely come to that. Fearing that notion is not absurd. During this generation of gaming, consumers have poured a lot of money into buying digital goods.

For example, Sony recently announced the next iteration of the PlayStation. As the details slowly came out about the system, gamers found out none of the games they downloaded for the PS3 would be compatible with the PS4; making the PS3 the only console you could play that game on. This is not just a backwards compatibility problem, it’s a hardware problem.

playstationlifestyle.net

System failure is a completely different worry in itself but, when and if the servers go offline for your product, that’s it. You’re out of luck. Sony might change their stance on this, eventually allowing you to play your old games with their new hardware or even Gaikai. While streaming services aren’t out of the question, they just haven’t been proven.

For this generation emulation has been wonderful as well as a relief. Being able to download old classics to your Wii or even recent favorites to your PS3 is always a great option but those purchases are still tied to an account and one cannot guarantee that they will always be playable. Besides, nothing beats the feeling of a physical product in your hands, instruction manual and box included.

The future of our data does seem uncertain and partly because the waters haven’t been charted yet. Having a fully backwards compatible future would be ideal and for the time being it doesn’t seem like we are going to get that. So for now create backups, don’t count on ports or remakes and take good care of your hardware!