Just over a week ago I finally bought a PS3 – there’s quite a few games on here I’ve been keen to play and Tales of Graces F was the pushing point, as well as my new Logitech G27 steering wheel that shamefully isn’t compatible with X360. I’ve been enjoying LittleBigPlanet so far; it’s a lot more fun than I expected. The physics aren’t horrible like I’ve read; it’s easy to adapt to, and the game has quite a bit of charm with some great music and pretty graphics.
It was all going fine until I foolishly plugged in my ethernet cable while the game was paused… THEN OPENED THE GATES OF HELL.
I was immediately KICKED out of my game session with no option to continue, as the game had to conduct an EMERGENCY UPDATE! Ok fine, update, I thought. It finished, but then it had to install; I suppose that’s fair, hurry up. Then.. a 2nd update started downloading? My eye caught the corner of the screen, “2/13”.
Sure enough, the updates kept rolling in, ONE BY ONE, each one around 100mb, totaling over a GB surely. I had to download ONE GIGABYTE of data just to un-pause the game.
Not only that, but I can’t stop it or turn off my system. I CAN’T GO ANYWHERE. 40 minutes later it’s finally finished, and the game RESETS back to the title screen. I suppose I should have expected this considering it’s a whole new game now. Finally, I can play! what new world awaits me?
WHAT THE FUCK, WE’RE STILL NOT DONE? Next up I have to agree to a lengthy terms and conditions statement that treats me like a criminal pedophile. Pages and pages about stalking, bullying, and unlawful behavior. There’s SO MUCH talk about inappropriate behavior that it feels like Sony is encouraging it. My first and only interaction in PlayStation HOME involved a young French girl (American middle-aged guy) offering me sex, then I walked off into a building that was a 40mb download in disguise.
Finally I arrived at the game menu. What’s new? With 1GB, I was expecting rainbows and fireworks and maybe some new music. Turns out the update gave me a new way to save the game. Now the save file can be moved to a different folder in the PS3. THANK GOD FOR THAT! I WOULDN’T WANT TO BE USING UP UNNECESSARY SPACE.
On the plus side, now that I’m online I can enjoy the best feature of the game: the user-created levels and community aspect. There’s an incredible 6 million levels here, and some are quite fun. However, Sony just will not stop pissing me off. Playing my first level I earned a “traveler” trophy for being on the internet. Sitting on my arse and plugging an ethernet cable into the PS3 does not make me a traveler. Then I played a cool go-kart level and rated it 5 stars (I feel it’s my duty to give things I like top marks, thanks to all the fuckheads who give things one star), and got another trophy; “opinionated”. YES SONY, I only JUST formed an opinion, thanks for acknowledging that. Then I got another trophy called “friendly” when another person joined my game. Now I’m furious – this shouldn’t be a TROPHY. If the game could hear me it would not be giving me an award for being friendly. Why do I hate this?
The “reward” is that a person joined, that’s it. That’s cool enough without having to make it a statistic. Playing levels, seeing new things – that’s where the reward sensors in my brain are triggered. Trophies and Achievements are taking all the fun and discovery away from videogames by making the actual experience feel like you’re just passing time until the next achievement comes in. It devalues the experience itself; the only reason we picked up the game; the only reason games exist. This trend has to be fucking neutered in order to save the upcoming generation from being completely braindead.
If I wasn’t already pissed off at this point, I probably wouldn’t care that much about a few popup trophies, it’s not a huge deal. Sony, however, are experts at creating a bad experience: they’ve mastered the fucking art. If Sony keeps going in this direction, I hope PS3 is their last console. It might be an impressive piece of hardware (it’s not), but the user experience so far has been terrible. I just want to play games, not take part in a fucking blowjob service. Accessibility is THE most important thing in a gaming system and always will be. Xbox 360 and Wii never gave me such grief for wanting to play a videogame. The biggest update I’ve downloaded for X360 was 20mb, but maybe I’ve been lucky.
Anyway, LittleBigPlanet is a great game and outside this documented mishap, I’m enjoying it a lot! However, I will now make sure to COMPLETELY DISCONNECT my PS3 next time I put an old game in, and since I just got my PS3, there’s going to be a lot of old games I need to catch up on. I shudder to think of the horror that awaits me if I put in a launch game from 2006. Six years of updates. For now, I’ll just enjoy LittleBigPlanet. There are some great levels here and I can’t wait to make some myself! Here’s a cool level I’d like to play…
“you have to buy more items in the shop before you can play this level”