Handheld Addict

PS VitaPSPPSPgoWii3DSDS LiteXboxGame Boy Micromp3 playersMobileGadgetsgeneral

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Unit 13 and the Online Pass

Unit 13 is a flawed but fun military shooter from SOCOM dev Zipper Interactive. I've been playing the demo since I downloaded it for my PS Vita... Even though the demo only has 1 map, there are 2 modes for it: the regular mission, and a "dynamic" mode which mixes up the variables like enemies, location of objectives and the like. So I've been playing that mode like crazy. Because it's random, sometimes it's insane hard, and even sorta broken-- which is where the "flawed" aspect of the game comes in-- but I kinda like playing into the broken bits of the game, similar to the flawed gameplay of Star Wars Battlefront.

Anyway, I purchased and downloaded Unit 13 from the PS Store.... Then I discovered the Online Pass glitch. If you tried to access co-op online, it would ask for an Online Pass code-- which didn't come with the download, because it's supposed to be automatically included... we did download it from the Sony PS Store after all, right?

It was a glitch that a Zipper rep acknowledged and he stated they were working on a fix. The next morning, I went into the PS Store on my Vita and checked my "Services" section (the "..." in the lower right corner of the screen) which said I have an Online Pass for Unit 13. Once I did that the game seems to have online access now.I haven't tried it yet, but before it was only giving me a "enter Online Pass code" screen, so I think it works now....

Having no online multiplayer for day 1 is not the worst thing ever, but it is annoying how Sony is so glitchy when it comes to things like this. Online Pass is a controversial DRM tool in general, and problems like this only make it worse. We buy this digital content--pay REAL money for it, and Sony is saying "Thanks for giving us money, now we're not sure that you're honest so either pay us for an online pass or you don't have online access. Yes, this is probably an error on our part but we'd rather err on the side of YOU being in the wrong rather than US".

That is my real problem with Sony Computer Entertainment. This kind of attitude.

As to the gameplay of Unit 13, I'm having a lot of fun with it so far. It's sorta similar to the Syphon Fiiter PSP games; you use a cover mechanic though sometimes it sticks in the wrong places and gets in the way.... sure there is no overall storyline; it's just a set of missions. But like Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D, it is very fun to just jump in & blast away. The biggest problem with the game so far is the run-and-gun game levels: some of the missions are run-and-gun and the game is COMPLETELY NOT SUITED for that kind of gameplay. The 2nd analogue stick doesn't do targeting as anywhere near as precisely as it needs to for run-and-gun, at least not in this game. Because of the clunkiness of the aiming system, it's like forcing a square peg into a round hole. Sure, you can drive a car off a cliff, but that doesn't mean cars can fly. The time limits to complete these missions are just too brutally short. I've written about how much I hate time limits in games, and how it's a lazy game mechanic that needs to go away. Almost 1/3 of the missions comprise this broken game mode-- which means about 1/3 of the game is practically unplayable.

Which brings me to a major point about the PS Vita: Yes, for YEARS people begged Sony to put a 2nd analogue nub in the PSP. We got so desperate for it, all we cared was that they put it in. As long as it's simply THERE, the games will come.... that was the belief. But now that it's actually here, it's not proving to be as good as it should be. It's hard to describe but because of the placement of it as well as it being small... it definitely *doesn't* feel like the right analogue stick on a home console system like PS3/Xbox360. It's *very* difficult to do precise aiming or camera control with the right analogue stick in Unit 13. Now I don't know if this is a fault of the hardware or the software. Did Zipper Interactive ACTUALLY PLAY the game on a PS Vita, or simply develop it using Dualshock 3 controllers? I am actually a bit worried now about how tuned the 2nd stick will be for shooters, especially fast-paced ones like Star Wars Battlefront.

Another very strange issue has popped up: when playing Unit 13 and MotorStorm RC, the PS button blue light will turn off then on every few seconds. I have NO IDEA what this is about, I'm pretty sure it didn't happen before. The only thing close to it is when the PS Vita battery is low, the light will turn off. At first that's what I thought it was. But my battery is still strong when it's happening. It's very odd. I wonder if Unit 13 was a bit too glitchy & rushed.

The biggest glitch is sometimes the game crashes the PS Vita. The sound will go out, then if you try to exit the game the PS Vita will freeze. Trying to shut it down, the circles will keep swirling, the blue PS button will keep flashing....until the battery dies? I hold the power button for like 10 seconds until the recovery menu comes up.

Vita-crashing glitches like this are really inexcusable... Even the demo has this bug. How did this get past the Quality Assurance (QA) testers?


No comments:

Blog Archive