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Woah-oh-oh, Sweet Childhood Of Mine (Paradise Lost)

I’d like to start off by apologising for the lack of bloggage since December.  Now that’s out of the way…

Over the festive period, I started to think about how things were when I was growing up and how things have changed so much.

What hammered the nail home was Santa now, compared to back then.  We took Seren to Santa’s Grotto over Ebbw Vale.  There was a big ‘hoo-ha’ regarding his arrival which was as magical as Harry Potter being anally violated by Dumbledore. Seeing her face light up, however, made it worthwhile.

We queued for over an hour and when we got inside it was a case of Seren hiding her face from a man in a false beard who then handed her a Cadbury’s chocolate selection bag just like the kids that had already entered this sanctum and exactly the same thing the kids to follow will receive.

When I was a kid you could jump up on Santa’s lap, tell him what you wanted and have a gift that was actually WRAPPED and more than likely different to the kid who was in before you and the one that will follow afterwards.  The presents wouldn’t have been so unique no other kid had the same thing but the fact that SOMEONE had taken the time to wrap the gifts and mix them up a bit makes a difference that you may not notice as a kid, but as an adult you appreciate.

Like a thread on a sweater, I continued to pull and soon it began to unravel further…

I had never heard of a paedophile until I was in my teens; childhood back then seems magical compared to today’s stark reality.    What breaks my heart is the fact that Seren and the new arrival will never experience a childhood remotely like what I and many others had.

As a society, we cannot go back.  We can try to let our kids experience childhood by emulating what we had – regaining the spark deep inside that we wish we could relive our childhood.  But it’s not the same.

I look around now and I see dregs of society bringing up their spawn to live like they did/do.  People who blame their surroundings, upbringing, friends or anything else they can use for a scapegoat for a life they take no personal responsibility for.  A cess pool of illiterate, uneducated scum that inject more and more nimrods into our society.

I didn’t have a perfect upbringing – a broken home and a deep hate for a father I had to legally visit each weekend until I was old enough to put an end to it.  I have never blamed my background for the way I am.  I never would have pictured myself where I am in life when I was younger.  But, if given a chance, I wouldn’t change it.  I chose many paths that gave the least resistance.  But I still hang on to humanity.

Nowadays, it seems not many people know what that is any more.  I swear.  A LOT.  But I try to curb it based on my surroundings as best I can but I still have a vocabulary outside of that that these dregs seem to replace with more cussing or neanderthal-like grunts.

To think that my children have to grow up in a world that has moved on and has no chance of ever going back to how it was pains me so much.

I often wonder how things got to the stage they are now…where did things go wrong?  I come to the conclusion it started with something as simple as manners (or lack thereof) and the other behaviours/attitudes etc followed suit.  People just a couple of years younger than me probably set the trend and then we got de-railed as a society.  Their sense of socialising is via BBM or some digital replacement for actual conversation/interaction.  They lack work ethic, etiquette, an understanding of human nature and such an introverted point of view that even a sledgehammer wouldn’t be able to stir them from the comatose and docile state.

The riots last year are a clear reflection of the type of degenerates I am talking about.  No one can think for themselves, they succumb to peer pressure too much and follow like sheep to fit in.  They have little or no knowledge as to how the world works and therefore can’t see the impacts of their daily actions ahead of them.

Every marvel of human nature is being defied and defiled by these cretins that have caused life to change for the worse.  I will be damned if I let the world, as it is today, consume my children.  They will be brought up better, in the hope that youth can regain at least some of what made it special.

PS3 Beta Trials

[Updated as of 23/12/10 @ 22:30]

Here, I intend to keep a record of any Beta testing I’ve participated in and what I think of them for those that haven’t been lucky enough to get into them or for those generally pondering.

Regular Betas

Playstation Home (Closed Beta): Most people will probably have heard of this by now – basically you create an avatar (similar to The Sims) and venture through various ‘spaces’ such as the Home Square or the Mall and you can interact with other users, dance and purchase items or take part in mini games.  The Beta had a lot to offer but a lot has changed since then as Home has just had its 2nd birthday and is jam packed full of features as well as limited time features such as Winter Wonderland where you do quests for Santa and earn rewards such as clothing or items for your apartment(s) in Home.

MAG: Again, MAG has been out for a while now and was amazing during Beta.  For those not in the know, it offers online matches with up to 256 players at one time.  There are match types with dramatically less players but I always opted for the 256 player ones as I figured there was more chance of finding bugs and glitches with more carnage going on – plus I wanted to have immense fun.  Didn’t encounter any glitches and the game was phenomenal.   No game felt as good as popping headshots at enemies parachuting into the field.

Planet Minigolf: This was OK but a bit boring and took a while to load so I didn’t play this one much.  Graphically it looked lush but sadly didn’t give it much time which I reckon it deserved.

ModNation Racers: Had a quick go on this but didn’t get a good go due to work and various other things and then when I had a chance to settle down and dedicate some serious time to it…the trial had closed!

PS+ Betas

Assassins Creed: Brotherhood: Had doubts about this but it turned out to be amazing – best moment: I ended up being some kinda monk-looking fella and my screen flashed up with my target so I headed towards where the HUD was directing me and up flashed an indicator to say my assassin was hot on my heels so without breaking cover, I calmly ambled over to a circle of monks and joined them.  My attacker took out the guy next to me (an AI character which resulted in him losing points) and I quickly turned and took him out scoring a bonus.  Nothing can really compare to that feeling of pressure, tension but all out coolness at the same time.

Killzone 3: One of the best Betas I’ve taken part in, not just the game but other features.  On Killzone.com you can check your stats and monitor unlockables gained as well as any medals/ribbons achieved.  As for the gameplay, only way I can describe it is that it’s slicker than Killzone 2. The character feels weighty without feeling sluggish.  Weapons have oomph and kills are satisfyingly awesome.  The select few levels were very detailed and posed different challenges such as vantage points for snipers to take you out or tight corners where turrets can be placed to perforate any unwitting chap getting pinned down there.

Little Big Planet 2: At this point I haven’t played the Beta yet so no verdict or feedback yet.

DC Universe Online: Levelled up to around level 8/9 and done quite a few missions – check out Flickr for my uploaded pics.  Was loving the Beta until the pricing was announced – check out my “DC Universe Offline” post.

I will update this post with any new Betas I’ve taken part in.

E3 2010

So, E3 finishes today and lots of big announcements.

Naturally, I only care about what Sony had to say and offer…and thankfully, they’ve not been resting on their laurels.

One of the main things I’m pleased and excited about is PSN+.

The greatest thing about it is the fact that it’s not mandatory unlike XBox.  With this you can carry on as it stands paying nowt.  But you get demos in advance as well as access to betas, discounts on the store and also free content such as games and premium themes.

And, as a bonus, if you pay up for the year between 29 June and 3 August, you get a free downloadable copy of LBP.

As for the rest of E3, a lot of content is headed for Home and the E3 space is up and running (with rewards for watching all 7 trailers on the ground floor and VIP access upstairs).

I have also downloaded all the available videos from the PSN Store and am currently uploading them all to Youtube.

There is an abundance of gaming goodness on it’s way.  Just need to win the lottery to afford it all!

E3 2010

E3 starts tomorrow until June 17th.  What an awesome birthday present it’d be to actually attend it!  But sadly I won’t.

On a more positive note, I can’t wait to see what comes out from Sony’s camp and of course the other cross-platform developers.

What I’m hoping for is some big news regarding Home and the PSN as well as what new treats could soon be on the shelves to spend any free time on!

A lot of people have blogged or posted on forums about their top 10 wants from E3 in regards to PS3 and I suppose I wanna jump on the bandwagon and share what I really wanna see happen at E3.

  1. More lush videos and shots of Fallout: New Vegas
  2. News on PSN+
  3. PS Home updates
  4. Metal Gear Solid Rising and details on a trophy patch for MGS4
  5. Final Fantasy XIV info
  6. Modern Warfare 3 (a longshot but I really hope this will happen some time!)
  7. Elder Scrolls V (for PS3…)
  8. GTA V
  9. Resistance 3
  10. Significant firmware update with Sky Player, Skype and any other apps…perhaps even an app section on the Store – and cross-game chat.

Home Sweet Home

I fired up Home for the first time in months tonight to find a new patch and shockingly it was a mere 5000 something KB rather than the typical 100+ MB of most patches for games etc.

Having read articles in OPM about random jaunts into Home for social experiments i.e. changing your avatar to a female and observing how the masses swarm towards you as well as 24 hour stints keeping busy in a place that has a lot of promise but seems rather disjointed at the moment.

Home, in many ways, emulates real life.  The characters and aesthetic design lacks the realism (although it isn’t trying to graphically replicate real life) but what goes on in Home is something we come across on a day-to-day basis.

Whilst not in work, we find there is not a lot to do; Home recreates this.

On a similar note, there’s not a lot we can do that doesn’t involve money; again, Home recreates this too, with the shops for clothing, Home Spaces, furniture, accessories etc.

However, this may seem like a post dedicated to the burning of Home but it’s not.

Home, with all it’s quirks has so much appeal – an indescribable feeling that compels you to keep going back to see what’s changed or what weird stuff is going on.

A lot of the activities are planned events from Sony but some of the things that occur are purely spontaneity or are organised by small groups of users such as these:

As for my current Home usage, I may venture back regularly in between bouts of Final Fantasy XIII to catch up on some of the rewards I’ve missed (bar the limited time stuff such as Heavy Rain).

If anyone wants to hook up in Home or play online Co-Op/challenges in any games, feel free to add me (PSN is same as my username here).

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