This April has been a busy week for video games, and a very weird one, too. And the news has varied from good, to bad, to ugly, and everything in between. Here's some of the stuff that caught my attention:

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Thursday, April 14, 2011 02:12 PM

Replacing a PS3 - a horror story rant

in Video Gaming by MegaBearsFan

PS3 restore prompt

I recently had the misfortune of needing to send my PS3 into Sony for servicing. Something was wrong with the graphics card and was creating very unpleasant graphical artifacts and texture issues on most of my games. EA Sports games such as Madden and NCAA were very badly affected. Fallout New Vegas would sometimes go completely black on me. Metal Gear Solid 4 saw some very irritating texture pop-ins and coloration issues. Even the Back to the Future downloadable game from the PSN was suffering from similar problems...

Sony's customer service is horrible. Not the service. Just the policies, the way that the hardware is configured, and the lack of respect that the whole process has for the consumer. I don't understand how they are still in business when repairing a $600 piece of hardware goes something like this:

"Thank you for calling Sony Customer Support. Oh, you're PS3 broke. Well that's too bad. Go ahead and back up your hard drive even though none of it can be restored onto a replacement system anyway. Pay us $130. And then send the system in. If we feel like fixing it, we will. But we probably won't, cuz that would require, like, you know, work. So we'll send you a replacement and inconvenience you even more by making it impossible for you to restore your save files and downloadable content. Thank you and have a nice day. Or a shitty day. Whatever."

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Yesterday, 2K Greg (community manager for the 2K Civilization V forums) posted a topic previewing the changes being made in the next patch (supposedly due out by the end of April). In addition to a large list of changes, 2K Greg teased the Civ V community with this quote from Dennis Shirk (the producer of the game):

"The patch notes below are the first part of a large two-part update. We wanted to focus this part of the update on stability and bugs, and as you’ll see in the notes below, we’re progressing nicely. There is also continued work going into the AI, the modding framework, and WorldBuilder, and we expect to have this in your hands shortly.

The second part we have begun working on will be released in the coming months, and will include our next balance pass (for those areas of the game that were not included in the March 1 update), as well as continued work on AI, diplomacy, and a much-requested addition to the game that we’ll be discussing in more detail very soon.

You guys have all been instrumental in helping us to continue to make Civilization V better with each update, and there’s more to come!"

So what might this "much-requested addition" actually be?

There are 3 main possibilities:

  • Addition of the previously-promised pit-boss, hotseat, and pbem multiplayer modes
  • Addition of the previously-promised mod support for multiplayer games (currently, multiplayer games do not allow mods)
  • Addition of source C++ and AI code access to the modding SDK (hopefully along with some better documentation
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Silent Hill Revelation 3D Amusement Park photo

More photos have been released from the set of the new Silent Hill Revelation 3D movie. These images were captured by professional photographer Sara Collaton using a long-exposure technique in order to avoid the use of a flash and maintain the dark tone. The pictures are all of an amusement park set. Lakeside Amusement Park was an important location in both the first and third Silent Hill games.

Silent Hill 3 Lakeside Amusement Park entryway

The photos themselves are quite neat, because the long-exposure method gives a sort of blurry flatness to all of the objects in the photograph, giving them an almost video game-like quality. Wait a minute... Did I just compliment somebody for making a photograph of real life look more like a video game? I think I just did!

But, what if you compare the above images with some screen captures from the third game:

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Today marks the anniversary of quite a few historical events of significance.

Firing on Ft. Sumter

Today, the American Civil War turns 150 years old, as we observe the anniversary of the April 12, 1861 attack by Confederate troops of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina. Although a grim occasion on its own right, this attack does have some silver lining, as it began the conflict that would eventually set in motion this nation's steps towards racial equality.

50 years ago today, on April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to travel into space and orbit the Earth.

NASA logo

Today is also the 30th anniversary of the 1981 maiden voyage of the space shuttle Columbia, the world's first reusable spacecraft. It was a momentous and cheerful day for space exploration. The shuttle itself met a tragic end, when it disintegrated on re-entry during a mission, killing its seven crew and passengers over 20 years later. I'd like to take this moment to thank the brave men and women of NASA for the heroic work they do expanding the horizons of human knowledge and experience, and to offer my sincerest condolences to the friends and family of all such heroes who did not return.

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Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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