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All about news and updates of the (MMO)RPG games I play and general news that I deem important enough

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Think I'll grab Watch Dogs
08 March 2015
Posted in PlayStation

I always thought Watch Dogs was a game like the GTA series is. An open world game with lots of fighting and a forced gameplay (which is not really my thing). I much rather play in an open-world and just do my thing, but well, Watch Dogs being pretty recently released and way too expensive for my taste, I never really took a good look at what the game is like...

That was until this week. Right now, the Digital Deluxe edition is on sale in the PlayStation Store with a massive 75% discount. 20 (for the PS3 version) is something I might pay for a ;game that might appeal to me. But still not knowing what the game is like, I decided to first look at some gameplay videos on YouTube...

When watching the above the one thing that really struck my eyes (or rather ears) was the developers comment on 2:35: "One thing that was really important to us when we designed Watch Dogs was to fully support different player styles. Every situation in the game can be tackle the way the player seems fit.". The moment I heard this I was like "OMG I gota have this game!". I mean, an open-world game allowing me to play the game I want? Though it's not a real RPG game, it surely gives me that feeling

There is only one problem witgh purchasing this game. As I've already mentioned before, I have way too many games I still have to play for the PS3, and adding a game like this would only add to this problem...

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FF13 no longer about skills or fun
27 February 2015
Posted in PlayStation
I've has quite a fun ride with Final Fantasy XIII. That was until chapter 9 and I encountered the fal'Cie Barthandelus. He totally dropped out the fun of the game. The problem with this boss is something I already found with other (smaller) bosses earlier in the game - one-hit kills.

Got Barthandelus things get a bit worse than the other bosses though. I'm fighting this dude for about 10 minutes (okay, perhaps I should use buff potions when I encounter him ) and have his 4 faces down. Then he's on to get a lot of damage, but the problem is that I can't do him enough damage in a short time - he does more damage to me than I can heal without synergist (tank).

Okay, I survive and then he gets to his dooms-day skill (I still have over 75% to go ) and here things go wrong. Each and every time - NO MATTER WHAT I DO DURING THIS SKILL - I'm instantly killed I have tried this boss by now for a dozen times with different parties, but it all ends up in the same result - instant kill.

This makes me wonder what happened to the old bosses from earlier Final Fantasy games. Those took quite a time to take down, but at least you had a chance and there was no thing as an instant kill skill they have. Those were the fun Final Fantasy games, but this one (FF13) is just no fun with instant-kill skills.

By now I have googled how to get past this one and I think I might have an idea on how to do it. But when I look a bit further, there's more of these kind of bosses peeking around the corner that give a hard time and can instantly kill you. I am even wondering if I should continue to play this game or just move on to the next one (and I don't mean Final Fantasy XIII-2...)

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Wishlist growing - too little time to play
24 February 2015
Posted in PlayStation
I think buying that 2nd hand PlayStation 3 last month was about the best thing I could have done for my gaming experience. It really fills my 'playing needs' for jRPGs and I've bought a couple of them as well already. With the start of my PlayStation 3 times, I also brought live back to my PSP, bought a PSVita and a 2nd hand PlayStation 2 as well (though the latter I can't play in my PC room and I'm using a PS2 emulator instead).

It's that jRPG 'addiction' that's playing up right now. I have almost the complete series of Final Fantasy boxed here, and am only missing Final Fantasy III and IX. Though I'm still busy on the 1st part of Final Fantasy XIII, I want to play through the whole series from the 1st one.

I've also found the 'Tales' series. I have already started with Tales of Xillia, but I also have Tales of Xillia 2 and Tales of Graces ? lying here to play. And that's only 3 of the series and I really do want the other parts for the PlayStation consoles as well. Sadly though, the first one (Tales of Phantasia) has never been released in Europe, but I'm glad to have a (pirated and translated) version for the PSP which I'm playing already. And I gotta say, this one feels a lot better than the first editions of the Final Fantasy series...

Then there are a couple of other series that have peeked my interest as well. One of them is the 'Atelier series'. Though I have not yet bought any of them (I did download the 3 Atelier Iris games of the PS2 though), I think they are very good after having watched some gameplay videos on YouTube.

Last but not least a couple of games I used to have on my old PlayStation 2 which I want to buy again as well. These are the Phantasy Star series and the Star Ocean series. Sadly the Phantasy Star series don't have any PS3 releases (yet?), but they have a couple of PSP and PS2 releases.
The Star Ocean series has only 4 releases (2 for the PSP, 1 for PS2 and one for PS3) and I really want to play that one as well. I have already downloaded the ones for PSP and PS2 and they look awesome for the short period of time I've played them so far.

Sadly though, even with me being at home not so much, I lack time and money. Time to play them all. Since last month I've played Final Fantasy XIII for around 25 hours already and am only at chapter 8 (how many chapters are there in the game anyway?). Tales of Xillia I have only played for a couple of hours but I really want to continue on that one (after having finished FF13 most likely). Ni-No Kune (which I started to play first) is a different story I do like the game, but I think both FF13 and Tales of XIllia are better at most points. I have put that one back on the shelf to pickup later on when I'm done with the Tales games that I already own.

I'm talking about pirated games here. Where possible I will buy them on their original media when I really start to play them (meaning I like them and keep playing them). Sadly (as sad before) Tales of Phantasia is not available for Europe at all (not even in the PSN Store ) and I will see if I can grab an US PS1 copy to compensate for the breach of copyright. Same goes for other games which I might find and like but have never been released for Europe.

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PSP 6.61 firmware update
18 February 2015
Posted in PlayStation
It's been over 2 years since SONY has done anything for the PlayStation Porteble. The last firmware update (6.60) they released fixed nothing for my 2000 system, but I figured to get it anyway. Good thing though, because I learned that I could jailbreak the PSP from there with the 6.60Pro-C fix3 exploit.

Half January SONY announced that they had released the 6.61 firmware for the PSP. Though there's not said what this update does, rumors on the net are that it fixes some SSL issues (I also learned that the PS3 had it quite late as well) and people are hoping that the PSP will be made PS4 compatible as well (yeah right, as if! ). On facebook, MemoryPSP has tested the 6.61 firmware and it now allows PSP users to download videos to it (sadly that service is not supported in The Netherlands ).

Of course, a new jailbreak that uses the exploit is already available. It's version 6.61Pro-C fix3 (I'm not gonna link that one here because of copyright issues, but Google is your friend ). I have already installed this new jailbreak, on my PSP and it's working perfectly. All EBOOTs and ISOs I have work as they did before.

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Final Fantasy VIII
11 February 2015
Posted in PlayStation

Yesterday a couple old Final Fantasy games arrived. I bought Final Fantasy Anthology (European version, being IV and V), Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy VIII from the Dutch trading site.

Final Fantasy IV, V and VI played without a problem on my PS3, but Final Fantasy VIII didn't start up at all (aside from showing the PlayStation logo), not even disc 2, 3 and 4 showed their movie sequence. So I decided to download a PSOne emulator (downloaded all 5 that are available) and the game didn't run at all. Odd though since discs 2, 3 and 4 did show their movie sequence.

At this point I felt I've been had and had bought a defective Final Fantasy VIII. But to be sure I decided to take out the old PS2 and connected it with the HDMI converter to the monitor. Once again no life at all from the game. Or rather a full gray screen has been outputed along with the "HDMI Out of Range" OSD message for all discs...

This morning I had time to test the PS2 with FF8 on the TV. There it ran normally and I was quite relieved that the game indeed is working normally.

Now I'm in doubt if I should install that old ASUS TV card again to play Final Fantasy VIII through the PC, but with a real sucky resolution, or that I should buy the PS One Classic from the PlaySyation store (allowing me to play it on my PSP, PSVita and PS3) or just play the Steam version which I have already bought a while ago. But this all is a 'problem' for a later date. I'll continue with the first Final Fantasy on the PSP and go through the series completely...

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Returned the Roxio device
09 February 2015
Posted in PlayStation

There will be no streaming for the PlayStation 3 games I play for now. Reason is that I've returned the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro device to the store because it's not really working for me.

The most important reason it's not working for me is that whenever I play a game that's in the 720p resolution, the device won't lower the resolution from 1080p automatically. For the device to automatically lower the resolution from 1080p to 702p, the PC has to be running so that (I think) the drivers can lower the resolution. This is not in line with what the device should to - just pass the signal through. With most PlayStation 3 games still being rendered in 720p and me not willing to stream every game I play I'm kinda forced to keep the PC running when I play on the PS3.

And speaking about passing the signal through... Once again this is not the case. The Roxia device does handle the signal a bit one way or the other. I have noticed that the PS3 has 3 'shadows' cast on the menu items from the XMB. Though thse 'shadows' are not overly visible with the naked eye for most people I see it and it annoys the hell out of me (an eye doctor told me once that the average human sees only 90% and my vision is close to 150% of the average human). This clearly means that the digital signal is loosing power when passing through the Roxio device.

With the digital visual signal loosing power, I can only wonder about how bad the audio signal has lost it's power. I did notice a change in the audio when using my headphones (BeyerDynamic DT 990) I thought it was just my imagination. Now having ditched the Roxio device I can listen to the full audio quality again (and Final Fantasy XIII really has an awesome soundtrack to enjoy )

I will see if I can find an other streaming device for the PS3, but I fear that one of the few options remaining will be one of those expensive HD TV capture cards, something which I will not buy...

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Streaming up & running
05 February 2015
Posted in PlayStation
This Monday I decided to give the streaming a try. I did asked upfront in the store if I could return it all, because I had read some reports that the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro would not work on certain (LG) monitors. Having two LG monitors myself with HDMI input, I had to be sure I would not have any financial risk.

The hardware install of the Roxio Game Capture device was easy. Just connect the A/V composite cable from the PlayStation 3 (one that I had to buy as well) on the IN part of it and use an HDMI cable on the other side and plug it in the monitor. To get the PS3 to output through the composite cable was a bit more tricky. I had to use the other LG monitor for that on HDMI and from there on set the PS3 to output through the composite cable. From there on the resolution settings, and oddly enough, the composite cable wouldn't output on 1080p, while the HDMI would

Then the software install. Drop the DVD in the PC and run it. During the install it asked me if I wanted to check for the latest version and I said not to. Upon start up of the software I had a popup that there were new versions available for download. Both 1.1 and SP2 were available, and I picked S2 immediately.

From there on things went from bad to worst and I was about to bring the whole thing back to the store... The output to the monitor was still in 1080i and I saw that the quality was less than it was before I attached it and used 1080p. But that wasn't all. The real bad thing was that after logging on to twitch through the software and starting to stream, twitch kept black and kept me offline An other thing that bugged the hell out of me (and my PC) was that when the Roxio device was attached, the PC would crash upon boot

So that's that then. I uninstalled it all, repackaged it and was ready to return it on Tuesday. A good thing though was that Tuesday I was very busy and didn't make it to return it all to the store. That evening I tried it again and kept on the initial install of the software (no updates installed), and all went well. Though the monitor still was on 1080i, but I was able to stream to twitch.
The next test was to use the 1.1 update and that worked perfectly as well. After that test, an other 1.1 patch was available, and this one proofed stable as well. But I still had 1080i on the monitor and still was in doubt if I should keep the device or return it.

Yesterday I tried to update the 2nd 1.1 patch to SP2 - the one that gave me so many problems. Though I was sure this would make me go nuts (again), I tried it anyway. To my surprise, I didn't have to reboot the PC after SP2 was installed. I also tried 1080p since SP2 was made for PS4/XBOX ONE compatibility, and the PS3 passed the 1080p test *YAY* Next up was a reboot and that went without problems as well *YAY again*

Then streaming quality. I'm having a 30Mpbs/3Mbps VDSL here. Luckily I'm 500 meters away from the DLS station in the street, so there's a 100% VDSL signal here. Because of the 3Mpbs upload speed, I am able to stream at 720p, but that'll come at a price. I have an 'average' quality of the video and I push out my son and wife from the internet. Or rather, when they use the internet, my output might pause for a couple of seconds. So I decided to use 480p on maximum video quality and honestly I think it looks good enough...

While writing this, I wondered how much an upgrade would cost me for my VDSL. For a 50Mpbs maximum down (I'll get around 37Mpbs here) and 5Mbps up, I'll pay only 4 a month more. It might be something for me to consider to upgrade if I'll stick to streaming. Then I can use 720p for some better quality

The PlayStation 2 is a different thing when it comes to streaming though. I've bought a HDMI output device for it on eBay, and it works as it's intended. It converts the analogue signal into a digital one. What it doesn't do though is correct the output after the conversion. The HDMI signal put to my monitor is 15.2Khz @ 50Hz. This is not the HDMI standard, and gives me an extremely annoying "HDMI Out of Range" OSD message that I can't ditch
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This same message also appears when I ise the PS3 composite cable. That means that my LG monitor is totally NOT qualified for this usage Sadly my main monitor (iiyama) is too old to have a HDMI port, so I can't test it on that one.

This means that I can't stream PS2 games from my console. Instead I'll be streaming the PS2 games from the PCSX2 emulator (having a PS2 allows me to use a copy of it's BIOS to run the emulater). Though this also would allow me to play (and stream) pirated games, I will not do this. I will only stream those games of which I have the discs as well (this doesn't mean I will play pirated games when not streaming though but I'll do that only if I really can't get the original discs).

Now about times I'll stream stream... Sadly the Roxio software can't connect to twitter (think it needs yet an other update), so it won't drop the announcement on twitter automatically. Instead I will try to remember to drop a manual tweet that I'm streaming and what game I'd be playing. You can also check the side bar of the blog just above my twitter feed- I have placed a small twitch feed there as well...

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Considering streaming
02 February 2015
Posted in PlayStation
Having bought my PS3 last month, I'm really amazed how much I'm playing games on it right now. I think it has to so with the fact that I'm seeing the PC more as a working environment now because of my programming endeavours and not so much as a gaming machine. This results me in being pretty active on the PS3, playing games like Ni No Kuni and Final Fantasy XIII (and thinking to start on Tales of Xillia) at the moment.

There is only one problem with consoles like the PS3. I can't share my gaming videos with you on YouTube in an easy way. I used to upload quite a lot of gaming videos to my YouTube channel in the past and I want to do this for the PS3 as well. Sadly though, the PS3 has no build in streaming option (yet), unlike it's predecessor the PS4.

Luckily there's the Roxio Game Capture device. This device allows me to stream almost ANY console to twitch as well as capture the game feed on the PC for editing later on. There is only one problem with this thing: it's price tag. I mean paying around 150 (PS3 composite cable not included and I do need that one as well) to allow me streaming of my game feed while my console costed around the same price seems a bit odd for me. With that, I've heard that a lot of people have problems connecting it using HDMI on LG monitors (I have 2) regarding the HDMI signal being out of sync.

Last but not least, I'm wondering if using this Roxio device will ever pay itself back with advertisement income. I thikn I should drop a lot of game feeds on YouTube and have over 10.000 viewers for each game feed to make this thing even break even in a year or so.

On the other hand, dropping the game feed on my blog might give the blog a new heading. With me no longer playing games (and MMORPGs!)  on the PC as active as I used to, the blog is starting to be less updated than it used to be in the past...

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Final Fantasy VII
25 January 2015
Posted in PlayStation
Early this week I bought Final Fantasy VII for the PSOne for only 20 I know it's a real bargain for a classic like this, and even more when I say that the Final Fantasy VIII preview disc is also there. While I already have bought this game on Steam, I've decided to play this PSOne game on my PS3 (thank God that that compatibility is still there )

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I hear you wonder why I'd rather play the original PSOne game than the 'refurbished' one I have on my PC. It's quite simple actually. The 'refurbished' PC version just sucks. All they did was add a compatibility for the current PCs (graphics and 32bit Windows). This means that the textures used in the PC game are still the original ones, and honestly I think they suck balls. Also the 3D models used have been 'polished' a bit, but they are still the same square puppets as they were in the PSOne version, even the textures used (as far as they're there - they mainly use single color on the models) look bad.

With the PC version of Final Fantasy VII looking that bad, I figured I'd better play the PSOne version. Though the resolution in general is a bit worse, I have no reason to complain about it. Afterall I'm playing a game that's nearly 2 decades old (1997 release) and something that old just can't look overly good

It's also a good thing that I haven't played overly much on the PC version of FF7 yet. Where in the past on the PSOne I used to own I was quite far in the game (3rd disc), on the PC the annoyance of the graphics brought me only a bit after the destruction of the 2nd mako reactor and the kidnapping of Tifa (which is about 1 hour playing). That's not a real loss on played time I think.

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PlayStation 3
24 January 2015
Posted in PlayStation
I finally have a PlayStation 3. Though the PS3 console is already pretty old, this one is brand new (sort of). The PlayStation 3 I bought is the super slim model with the 12Gb SSD drive, which I bought at the local pawnshop for only 110.

I know, paying 110 is still a lot for a console type that's almost 10 years old now, but it'll pay itself back over time. Reason for this is that I can buy used games for about half the new-price. And me wanting to play jRPGs from now on, that means it's a win-win. Not to mention, this PS3 is the latest released mode (june 2014).

Sadly though, that 12Gb is already too little storage. I downloaded Dust 514 (the EVE online shooter), and with that one installed, I wasn't able to install Ni no Kuni anymore. This means that I'm already in need of an HDD upgrade and it's a good thing that 500Gb including the bracket I need comes down to around 45.

With a total of 155 I basically have a 'new' PS3 (still have around 18 months of warranty on it) while the 500Gb model costs 100 more.

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