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Thursday, November 12, 2009

6.10 PSPgo firmware

This is really annoying. Ever since I updated my PSPgo to 6.10 firmware, it doesn't charge via USB anymore.

Considering that the USB port is the only way to charge the device, that's a big problem. It seems to charge fine using the USB cable connected to the AC adapter. But when I hook it up to my PC, the orange light comes on for a second, then goes green. It's clearly not charging, and I *know* my USB ports are powered because I've charged my other PSPs and my PSPgo prior to 6.10 with them just fine.

Sony got a bit sloppy with update 6.10. This USB charging problem is pretty common, and while some claim that it can be fixed by going into SYSTEM SETTINGS and turning off USB CHARGE then back on.... I've tried that and it doesn't seem to work. Not to mention the fact that there's no BATTERY INFORMATION listing in SYSTEM SETTINGS like there is on regular PSPs; so you can't tell how much power is left in the PSPgo battery. That's a serious oversight and needs to be fixed right away. These two problems alone should warrant Sony putting out a 6.11 or another firmware update for PSPgo sooner than later.

What pisses me off is that I was relying on charging my PSPgo using my NB205 netbook for my trip, but if it can't charge via USB, so much for that idea.

Sony, why are you such jerks? No seriously, why??? Can't you NOT screw us over every time you force us to update our firmware????? How about that for an idea?

UPDATE: Ok... sometimes it DOES recharge via USB mode! But sometimes it doesn't. I'm not sure why that is.... I'm guessing that when I have my CF card in my card reader, the PSPgo won't charge (I use a CF card to tape my tv shows onto, and then transfer them via PC to my PSP) but if I don't have it connected... it charges?? Hmmm. Sony still needs to work on this problem for their next firmware update.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

DSi XL is big

I just have to say this. When I see the DSi XL in pics like this:

I can't help but think of pics like this:

It just makes me think of things that are WAY TOO BIG than what they should be, y'know?


odd PSPgo music thing

I don't know if it's because of update 6.10 or what, but when my PSPgo is playing music sometimes, the screen will turn back on if it's dimmed or off when a new song starts up. I know I'm not touching it or activating the screen in any way, it does it by itself. I'm not sure why.

I've only had 6.10 on my PSP-2000 for a couple days, but I don't think it does that. But 6.10 for the PSPgo is a *different* firmware than for the other PSPs. They're different downloads-- the PSP 6.10 is larger for some reason. It's annoying that Sony doesn't really mention this and it could be very easy to mistakenly download the wrong one if updating via PC as I do. I'm not sure if it matters if one chooses the wrong one, but seeing as how they're actually different file sizes I wouldn't risk it.


Star Wars Battlefront Elite Squadron PSP

I waited-- not so patiently-- for this game to finally show up on the PSN Store... it's strange how low-key the buzz has been for Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron... game sites don't want to talk about it at all. That's been the case for all the SWBF games, they don't get a lot of respect even though they get 7-8 out of 10 ratings. Despite all that, the games sell very well; there's a lot of interest in them from the public.

I think that the PS Store updates late afternoon Thursdays.... I was on there through Media Go at like 4:30PM & there was nothing, then about an hour later it was up.

I was initially underwhelmed by the demo, but I have to admit I played it a lot, and it has grown on me. The full game is basically more of the same, though oddly enough I think there's a slight bit *less* polish if that even makes any sense: specifically when you choose ALTERNATE controls the onscreen button instructions are still for the DEFAULT. Renegade Squadron knew which control scheme you were using & adjust the onscreen button instructions accordingly.... I think the Elite Squadron demo did too but I deleted it to make space so I can't be sure.

I haven't finished trying out all the game modes like Galactic Conquest, but I was struck by how the campaign mode didn't feel like a Star Wars Battlefront game; if you die the game stops & you start over at a checkpoint (luckily they're quite frequent) but that's not Battlefront at all. Battlefront is about dying, respawning & getting back in there.

The campaign feels like a mediocre shooter. The graphics & level design don't really compare to something like the Syphon Filter or Resistance PSP games. It's more clunky & slower.

But the instant action mode is very much Battlefront. It's strange because all modes use the same game assets obviously, but instant action is much faster paced & more interesting from a gameplay standpoint.

So overall, I am a bit sad to see that Elite Squadron seems rushed & not quite as solid as Renegade Squadron. But the core game concept of fighting on the ground, air & space is a really cool one. Yes, there are cutscenes between each battlefront, and it is a bit annoying to fly to/from a hanger & suddenly a cutscene pops up showing you landing or entering atmosphere rather than you actually doing it yourself. It sort of reminds me of Me & My Katamari, which would have loading to enter the second half of a level... and that was more annoying because you just basically waited. So at least the cutscenes here are kinda cool.

I updated my main PSP-2001 to firmware 6.10 & downloaded Elite Squadron to that as well as my PSPgo, and until I did, I didn't realize that on the regular PSP the game doesn't look as good as Renegade Squadron. It looks good on the PSPgo, but the bigger screen of the PSP unfortunately shows the blandness of a lot of the map details.

Another odd thing is that it seems like it's easier on the PSPgo. I've got the same difficulty settings for both games, but the regular PSP game seems a lot harder-- and not because of the controls. If anything, the regular PSP should be a bit easier because there's a cheap way to play as a jedi: use the side of your index finger to constantly hold down the UP key on the D-pad while using your thumb to move the analogue nub-- the jedi will automatically block laser fire & you can still attack. Because of the control placement on the PSPgo it's nearly impossible to hold down UP on the d-pad while using the analogue nub. Despite that I found the boss fights to be easier for some reason. So I don't know if it's just me or what.

I don't know why but I'm finding myself using the side of my index finger to press the D-pad (usually up) while my thumb is working the analogue nub while playing PSP, like for Resistance: Retribution.

The game concept is very cool & maybe just a bit too ambitious... but even though it's not perfect there's still plenty of fun to be had here. Once I get more used to where everything is I think it will be really fun.... hell, just being able to go onboard the Death Star (and fly away from it to board the enemy flaghip) is immensly cool!

The good thing about Star Wars Battlefront Elite Squadron is that there's a demo. If you don't like the demo, you probably shouldn't bother with the full game.

Today I went out & bought the DS version, even though it's a different game & more stripped down, I think it will be fun in its own way. Unfortunately I won't have a lot of time to play it, don't know why I even bought it before I went away, shoulda' just waited till I came back....


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

my most embarrassing games?

I read an IGN editorial about the controversial Modern Warfare 2 content... it got me thinking about games that try to push the boundaries in good and bad ways.... but then I started drifting off on a tangent and wondered, "what are the most embarrassing games for me to be caught playing?"

I wouldn't exactly call myself a proud gamer in general-- it's not something I like to flaunt. But I have some games in my library that I really don't like to be seen playing. Some of them are for obvious reasons, but many might not be.

Star Wars Battlefront - Maybe I play Star Wars: Battlefront: Renegade Squadron the most over SWBF I & II on Xbox because with Renegade Squadron I can play on my PSP away from everybody & with headphones on. Why are these games embarrassing? Mostly for all the repetitive voiceover like, "we've lost a command post! Get it back! We're losing reinforcements!", etc.... it may not seem that bad, but actually it gets repeated so much that it would be very annoying to a casual spectator. I think I've just learned to block it out. Star Trek: Conquest is also embarrassing for the same reasons; the dialogue is even MORE cheesy that the Battlefront games....

Almost every Wii game - Let's face it-- watching someone play Wii is like watching someone performing for a stage hypnotist: they think they look cool, but they so DO NOT. I get pretty self-conscious when people see me flail around like a 12-year-old girl swatting at butterflies-- even though I'm having fun.

Playboy: The Mansion - Honestly, I haven't even really played much of this game at all. It's for Xbox, and it's mostly a stats management sim game: You run the Playboy magazine, so you have to do a bunch of stuff to keep it going. It seems more tedious that titillating... but I sure as hell don't want people to know I own it. Oops......... *our little secret*


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Using the PSP's PLAYLIST feature without Media Go

How to use the PLAYLIST feature in PSP update 6.10 without Media Go.

I used the m3u Wiki page to read up on how m3u playlists work. Then I looked at my playlists that were created through Media Go on my PSPgo.

Sample of one of my Media Go created playlists:

#EXTINF:209,Alive Again

\MUSIC\music 01\Champion - Alive Again.mp3

#EXTINF:190,Getting Away With Murder

\MUSIC\Papa Roach\Unknown Album\Papa Roach - Getting Away with Murder.mp3

#EXTINF:162,This Old Town

\MUSIC\Skydiggers, The\Restless\This Old Town.mp3

#EXTINF:239,Layla (last four minutes)

\MUSIC\Eric Clapton\Cream of Clapton\Eric Clapton - Layla (last four minutes).mp3

#EXTINF:214,The Ship

\MUSIC\Song to Fly\Song to Fly\09 The Ship.mp3

#EXTINF:156,Lounge Act

\MUSIC\Nirvana\Nevermind\Nirvana-Nevermind-09-Lounge Act.mp3

#EXTINF:195,Emerald Street

\MUSIC\Alexisonfire\Old Crows_Young Cardinals\Alexisonfire-Old Crows-Young Cardinals-08-Emerald Street.mp3

#EXTINF:235,Glass Ceiling

\MUSIC\Metric\Live It Out\Metric - Live It Out - 02 - Glass Ceiling.mp3

So I created a test playlist, using tracks that were in different folders. Be sure to get the correct path file location, basically it will be \MUSIC\ then whatever folders your music is in. If you have ALBUM folders inside of ARTIST folder (as the example above does) make sure that's in the text file.

I tried making the m3u8 file without using the #EXINF, the playlist would show up but no files were in it. The number after #EXTINF: is the song length. I only put in song titles, but it worked!

My non-Media Go created playlist:

#EXTINF:Gold Guns Girls

\MUSIC\Metric\Fantasies\Metric-Fantasies-05-Gold Guns Girls.mp3
#EXTINF:Poster of a Girl
\MUSIC\Metric\Live It Out\Metric - Live It Out - 05 - Poster of a Girl.mp3
\MUSIC\music 01\Placebo - Lazarus.mp3

I created the playlist using Notepad, then saved it as an .m3u8 file. Be sure to save the .m3u8 file in PSP>PLAYLIST>MUSIC *not* to be confused with the MUSIC folder at the root of the memory stick (or system storage of PSPgo) where you put your actual music files.If you don't have a PLAYLIST folder inside of your PSP folder, make one, and make a MUSIC folder inside the PLAYLIST folder.


*playlist text file must be saved as .m3u8 (I couldn't get it to work saved as simply .m3u)

*#EXTINF: must have at least the song title in it. (it doesn't have to be the exact title, whatever you put in there will be read as the title in the playlist)

*it has to be the EXACT file path. if you move a music file, it will stop showing up in the playlist.

Seems like a bit of a bother to to go through to make playlists, but there are some advantages to creating your own playlists this way-- the best one is that you can make a playlist of songs that are in different folders. Also, the playlist doesn't have to be in the folder it organizes, so you're not limited to only playing EXACTLY that playlist as was the case for previous firmwares. I find Media Go to be a cumbersome inadequate media management software. It doesn't recognize all my files even though they do play on my PSP. And the playlist feature on it seems to be limited to creating a SensMe® playlist-- which is a random song list generated by the software. I could be mistaken but I don't think we can decide every song that goes in a Media Go created playlist?

I tried to use Windows Media Player to make an .m3u playlist for me... I changed the file extension to .m3u8... but for some reason it didn't list the complete file path, leaving out some folder names only listing them as ..\.. I don't know why. So I'm thinking I might try a playlist creator program, see if I can automate some of the tedious file path name stuff.