Random Thoughts to Start the Week

It’s not Thursday, but I have time to blog today, so I thought I’d share just a few quick thoughts.

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1.) PSN.  Of course you knew this would be mentioned.  PSN is entering its fifth day out of commission, with no foreseeable end in sight.  I try to remain level-headed when I’m inconvenienced by something, so I’m not slamming Sony for the fact that the PSN is down.  After all, it’s a free service, and I don’t actually use it every single day.  Stuff like this can happen from time to time, and even the much more robust Xbox LIVE was down for almost 14 days near the end of 2007/beginning of 2008.  Nevertheless, Sony does deserve criticism for its terrible communication during this time.  The service was down for three days before Sony admitted that it was due to an “external intrusion,” but has since been unwilling to say what that intrusion entails.  Were customers accounts compromised?  Were credit card numbers stolen?  So far, Sony has been completely silent.  Even the nature of the downtime itself has been poorly conveyed, as no one is entirely sure what Sony is doing (other than rebuilding their network — one wonders if this could’ve been done in a way that wasn’t a massive inconvenience to customers worldwide).  So far, Sony’s only been giving three or four sentence updates once per day during the whole event, and most of them have been less than informative.  The majority of these updates have been for pleas of patience (Hey, Sony – I’d be a lot more patient if you’d let us know, in some detail, what’s going on).  Again, I’m not slamming Sony for the PSN being down (though it is beginning to get annoying), but, rather, for their lack of communication.  When services like Twitter allow you to communicate with your customers instantaneously, it’s pretty inexcusable to not say anything.

(EDIT: I should point out that I’m not necessarily excusing Sony for 5+ days of no PSN.  That’s a long time for a major part of the business to be down, and you’d think Sony would have more people/money invested in it (since just about every game encourages some kind of PSN connectivity).  That being said, the biggest problem I see with the whole scenario is not the lack of service itself, but Sony’s abysmal communication regarding this scenario)

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2.) 3DS.  This past weekend, I got the chance to play with a 3DS for the first time.  I was pretty skeptical, as it’s no secret that I’m not a fan of 3D.  If I don’t like 3D in my movies, why would I like it in my games?  Well, surprisingly enough, the 3D actually worked really well.  I was very impressed.  Part of the reason I hate 3D so much is because it’s obtrusive (those glasses are uncomfortable), inhibits good storytelling (too many have focused on the effect, rather than the content), and it serves mostly as a cash-grabbing gimmick.  The 3DS, however, avoids most of these pitfalls.  It’s glasses-free, so that’s a big plus, but it’s also very subtle.  It’s not the dramatic, “look at this thing jump out at you” effect you get at the movies.  Rather, it simply gives some depth of field that adds an extra layer to the game.  It feels more sophisticated.  That being said, the 3D isn’t necessary (you can adjust the 3D-ness of the image from “full” to “off”), and it doesn’t change the gameplay itself any. I still have some reservations, and I’m not going for a 3DS anytime soon (mostly because the current game library stinks), but I at least walked away feeling a little more impressed and a little less apprehensive about the new handheld.

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3.) Summer Movies. There are a lot of big-name, summer “blockbusters” coming out over the next few months, and, honestly, I’m hardly interested in any of them.  I used to love superhero movies, but, in the last few years, there’s been such an oversaturation of them that I don’t care anymore.  As if to prove my point, Marvel is releasing three superhero movies in the span of three months (and that’s not counting other flicks in the works).  I’m not even interested in Bryan Singer’s return to the X-Men franchise (albeit, as a producer) because the last two movies were so incredibly bad.  Has there even been a decent superhero flick since the first Iron Man (not counting Chris Nolan’s Batman films, as they are a class unto themselves)?  The number of franchise sequels is kind of disheartening, as well.  I loved the first Pirates of the Caribbean, and I thought the second and third movies were decent, but I really don’t need to watch a fourth one.  That being said, there are a few that intrigue me – though perhaps not enough to actually pay for a movie ticket.  Super 8 is intriguing if for nothing else than the fact that it’s J.J. Abrams (I’m a big fan of most of his work).  Cowboys and Aliens is an interesting idea for a mash-up but I’m not quite sold on it yet.  “Harry Potter” is a decent series, but I don’t like it enough to pay to see the movies (the books are better anyways).  And Cars is the one and only Pixar movie of which I’m not a big fan.  I’m sure the sequel will be quality (it’s Pixar), but I just don’t have that much interest in seeing it.  I could probably enjoy all these movies if I could turn off the critic in me, but that’s not something I’m willing to do (I could – and maybe should – write a whole blog post about that).

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4.) Doctor Who. No, I’m not writing about last night’s premier of Season Six of Doctor Who.  Believe it or not, I only just started watching the beloved British sci-fi.  Last week, I finished up the fourth season of the modern relaunch, meaning I have now experienced Chris Eccleston’s Doctor and David Tennant’s Doctor (but not Matt Smith, the newest Doctor).  I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this show.  Perhaps what I enjoy more than anything else is the sheer amount of creativity involved.  It feels like literally anything is possible for the writers (which it kind of is, since the main character travels through time and space).  This is definitely one of those shows that Americans should check out – especially the David Tennant stuff.  When I finished the first season, I thought Eccleston did a fantastic job (no pun intended) as The Doctor, but after seeing three seasons of Tennant, the 10th Doctor is easily my favorite.  Tennant is simply masterful in his portrayal of the wandering Time Lord.  I’ve become a big fan of the actor – as he is capable of playing a huge range of emotions (and he does it regularly).  True, Doctor Who is a bit campy, but once you come to accept that fact, it’s a fun ride.  If you enjoy sci-fi and creative television, you owe it to yourself to check out Doctor Who.

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~ by digitallysmitten on April 25, 2011.

One Response to “Random Thoughts to Start the Week”

  1. Yay for David Tennant! I started watching w/the Christopher Eccleston eps to, maybe 3-4 years ago? but it was after they showed on tv, and now I am a complete and utter addict. seriously, it’s the point where I’ve got Doctor Who stuff.

    It took a long time, but Matt Smith is ever so slowly beginning to grow on me.

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