What I've Been Up To (Besides Not Posting)

So it’s obviously been a while since I posted anything to this blog, despite my intentions to try (once again) to get into making some kind of regular writing effort. I can’t say I’m surprised, as this is what happens every time I have the idea of writing a blog. Perhaps I need to find some way to force me to write on a regular basis, maybe something for work. I’ll have to keep that in mind and explore options if the opportunity presents itself.

What I Have been doing

In the numerous weeks since I last wrote something, what I’ve actually been filling my time with is much of the same old stuff. Work fills most of my time, and when I’m not at work there are RSS feeds, articles and manga to read, the occasional casual game to play on my iPad, and the odd TV or anime show to watch here and there. This weekend I’ve spent several hours playing a couple of new games that I scored for free due to the Sony PS3 hacking debacle. I got WipEout HD and inFamous, and I’ve found them both to be fairly entertaining so far. Neither is a game I would have bought on my own, but having now had a chance to experience them I can say that I’d recommend giving them a go if someone ever asked me about them. Slight mini reviews of both will be below, but since I’ve touched on the Sony hacking incident, I might try to put my ideas down in text.

The Hacking of Sony

As the result of a hacking incident the Sony Playstation Network (PSN) was taken offline by Sony for basically a full month (actually a little more than a month if memory serves). This is a pretty significant event, and I believe it’s the first time something with such a significant impact on the users of a console system has occurred since we entered the real of the modern console era, a time where the consoles are online and many games involve multiplayer aspects, with participants in a game often spread around the world. The PR of such significant downtime is obviously bad, but I think the real damage was probably done by the fact that various branches of Sony were hacked several times after the initial incident that resulted in the Sony deciding to take down the PSN until they could secure it. All these hacking events have no doubt greatly shaken faith in Sony, at least for those who care about such things. It has also shown that Sony apparently may not have put any where near enough effort and resource into securing their infrastructure. If these recent events haven’t shown them the error of their ways, then I don’t think anything is likely to do so. At least Sony have provided fairly decent compensation to the users, providing free games, free trials of their Plus membership (or extensions if you are already a member). It’s this compensation that allowed me to get WipEout HD and inFamous for free.

So now that the PSN is back up and running, hopefully it will continue to do so. I don’t tend to play games that require and online connection (to be honest, I don’t play console games much full stop) so the downtime didn’t really affect me all that much, and I’ve benefited by getting some free games. I imagine that Sony and beefed up their security systems and procedures, and will continue to do so, but given the large number of hacks in such a short period of time, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there are more hacks announced at some point.

WipEout HD

WipEout HD is a futuristic racing game, where you fly a hovering ship around a track at high speed. It looks quite nice, and I’ve really liked the soundtrack so far. It really seems to fit the style of the game well. The tracks come in a variety of interesting and challenging designs, and I expect them to get even more exotic, as I’m still early in the game at this stage. I can see this game being one that I will return to off and on, even if my actual play time peters out (as it tends to do with nearly all games I play).


inFamous is a game that I’d heard of a some time ago, so I think it’s been out for a while now. I think I’m perhaps still too early in the game to make a call on it’s longevity for me at this stage, but I’ve found it enjoyable so far. It puts you in charge of a character who has developed electricity based super powers, and you get to run and jump around a city, scaling building and taking out bad guys are you try to unravel the back story about some shadowy group that seems to be related to how you got your powers. The graphics look good, and the control mechanism is simple enough. I still haven’t mastered aiming when I shoot my lightning bolts, but I’m not the most dexterous of people when it comes to these things (I found I had such trouble controlling the character in Resident Evil 5 that I took the game back. The difficulty I had in doing even the most basic things totally killed what ever enthusiasm I had for the game).

That’s it for now

Well, this is the most I’ve written in a long while. Maybe there is hope for my being able to produce more written pieces after all. I probably just need to try and sit down and put bits of my life into writing, just for the hell of it. Maybe I could try to do a weekly recap of my life. It probably wouldn’t be too interesting most of the time, but I’m guessing that the more I write the easier I’ll find it to come up with things to write about.

Craig Reynolds @wyldphyre