POD: Parasite Eve

Parasite Eve logo
Parasite Eve logo

Making a few changes to the picture of the day and focusing on games that are a little bit more classic. Today we bring you pictures, screenshots, wallpapers and artwork from one of my favorite games, Parasite Eve. It was developed and published in 1998 by Square Enix and follows the story of Aya Brea a New York cop that witnesses an entire opera house spontaneously combust. It is up to her to find out not only why it happened, but why she wasn’t affected.

And as a bonus here is the trailer for Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday

Why am I still paying for Xbox Live?

Pool Balls XBL – PSN
Pool Balls XBL – PSN

So, as everyone knows by now, Xbox Live got that wonderful price hike of $10. It’s not too big of a deal I guess, although nobody likes a price hike. It is just $10, but it’s brought up two interesting points for me. People keep saying that Playstation Plus isn’t worth it, and Xbox Live is. This interests me because I am attracted to things that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. For this segment, I will refer to the whole of PSN (as opposed to specific PS+ things) and the whole of XBL. Now with that in mind, the two points I have are, essentially, 1) Why do people think Xbox Live is better than PSN? and 2) Why in God’s name am I still paying for Xbox Live?

I’m not saying Xbox Live isn’t bad, it’s great, if you only have an Xbox. If you have both, ultimately it should come down to where your friends are (most of mine are on PSN, just as a disclaimer) but even for the actual services, what you get is mostly different. So lets look at the new breakdown:

Playstation Plus Logo
Okay, I will admit this peggle-looking ad is a bit much…

PSN(+):

  • $50 a Year or $20 for 3 months
  • Timed 60 min game trials, (option to purchase after)
  • Qore
  • Free PS1 games every 2 weeks (as long as you have it)
  • Free PS Minis every 2 weeks (as long as you have it)
  • Discounts on DLC, Downloadable games, essentially everything but full games
  • Access to Betas that they keep out of the hands of the free customers
  • (Free already) Online multiplayer
  • (Free already) Video Chat

I didn’t make any of that up, it’s everything i’ve gotten so far being a PSN+ member. Maybe because popular opinion is so far in Xbox Live Gold’s direction that they feel that they have to practically spoil PSN+ customers in order to get them to pay (and given the opinion of most so far, it’s probably true) but that is a lot of stuff for $50 a year. With Xbox Live Gold, I get:

Xbox Live
Xbox Live

XBL Gold

  • $60 a year, $10 a month or $25 for 3 months
  • Online Multiplayer
  • Facebook & Twitter
  • Parties/Cross game Chat
  • Last FM
  • ESPN
  • Video Kinect
  • Demos that they keep out of the hands of the free customers

I didn’t bother putting anything about video or Netflix, because they both can do them, and besides anything the Wii can do technologically isn’t up for discussion here. Thats all I can find for both PSN+ and XBL. This list speaks for itself. Essentially it’s more money for less features. If we take the “it’s where my friends are” out of the equation (because it’s circumstantial) the better service is the one with the better features, and honestly, that’s Playstation Plus. There just aren’t many (if there are any at all) discounts of games on XBL, and there’s absolutely nothing free ever unless there’s a large cutoff of Xbox Live, and even then you get a free game like “Diner Dash” that nobody plays anyway.

Be honest, how many times do you use this?

I don’t see this as a rant against XBL so much as I see it a rant against the people who say that Playstation Plus is “not worth it.” Be honest, didn’t you just use Facebook & Twitter that one time just to see if it worked, then never use it again? Of course you did, because you use Facebook and Twitter on your computer and phone, because that’s where it’s easiest to use. And even Facebook on Xbox Live doesn’t work as well as Facebook on PSN. On XBL, you can edit your status and see your friends status updates and all that fun stuff you can already do on your computer, only now with the added frustration of using analog sticks or a keyboard the size of a pack of gum to type it. The Playstation 3 has a web browser if that’s what you’re really into. (Or you could, you know, just use a f**ing computer) So when we see things like the Playstation 3 posting your trophy accomplishments and things you’ve purchased to Facebook in order for your friends to comment on them, that’s what I want to see out Facebook. Give me a reason to use Facebook on my PS3 specifically, not just a game console port of it.

Speaking of that sentiment, there is XBL’s ESPN service, which is exactly what I was just talking about. Now there’s a reason to watch ESPN specifically on your Xbox. Ratings, Video on Demand, all those wonderful things will probably make it a blast to use on XBL, and that’s the point.  It’s better than the service we have now, so it compels users to use the console version rather than the everywhere else on the damn planet version.

Now the last part of this is simple: it’s why I wont be using Xbox Live Gold anymore, because it’s a waste of money for me personally, for several reasons:

First off, my Xbox 360 is not currently connected to the internet. It can be, I just have to run my 100ft ethernet cable from my room all the way to the living room where my computer’s internet connection is, literally on the other side of my house. it barely makes it. Seeing as that’s absolutely ridiculous, I really don’t want to do that every time I turn on my Xbox. It’s obvious that my 20 gig system doesn’t have wifi, otherwise this wouldn’t be a problem. But it is. It’s a huge problem. Honestly, it matters most because I need a bigger hard drive, and since Microsoft only uses proprietary hard drives that are practically Netbook expensive, I figure I might as well combine the two and just get a whole new system. Maybe with that ugly grey controller with the better D-Pad. Another $300 to replace a working system I already have? Sure Microsoft, got that right here for you.

I didn’t want to talk about it in the actual fact based part because it’s so circumstantial, but now that i’m talking about myself I can say I really have no friends on Xbox Live. All but one of my friends are on PSN, and frankly, he’s not worth it. If he was reading this right now, I’d tell him that unless he wants to split the cost of XBL with me, i’m not paying $50 a year to be able to play Modern Warfare 2 with him. Left 4 Dead 2 was the game I played most on online multiplayer, and that came in a whopping 5 times. Why am I still paying for this?

I do of course, buy XBLA-exclusive games, because every so often someone releases a puzzle game that will scare the ever loving hell out of everyone that lives here, and probably some of my neighbors and me in a past life. But I can do that on Silver, which isn’t $60, it’s free. I’ve heard that certain demos or games come out a week later on Silver, but okay I can wait a week for that much money.

Here’s a huge difference. With PSN+, I get a lot of “free” stuff. Yes I know it’s not free, i’m paying $50 a year for it, but as we’ve seen with XBL, they don’t have to give it to me. But they do. And I’ve had a lot of fun with it. Mortal Kombat II was half off, some of the Minis are fantastic (Age of Zombies mostly) and the other discounts make it so that for that $50, I’m getting actual games. It’s allowed me to play things I’d never even consider looking at before, just because my subscription brings them to the forefront.

XBL is $60, and PSN+ is $50. In my opinion, PSN+ does a lot more to warrant my money than XBL does. But tell me, when looking at all the things both services offer, regardless of which console your friends are on, which service would you go for?

Defeat the Boss or Drop a Duece?

Final Fantasy IX characters
Now with more characters!

Defeat the Boss or Drop a Duece?

Once upon a time, a boy named Umar was playing Final Fantasy 9 and was about to beat the game. Before embarking on his journey to vanquish Kuja, Umar decided it would be a wise idea to eat lunch. The idea was sound at the time and surely nothing would hinder the ending experience Umar had vanquished so many Tonberries for. It wasn’t until sitting down and unpausing the game to begin the final scenes against Kuja that Umar realized he had orchestrated his own folly. You see, Umar was like a human duck. If he ate, it was only mere moments later that shit will be begging for sweet cataclysmic release. A dire time bomb situation ignited in front of the boy. Should he defeat Kuja or take a shit? Who would purposely prairie dog themselves when there is a toilet twenty feet away? After serious deliberation, the decision was set in stone. Kuja was going to die.

As if his ass began its own Final Fantasy random encounter, his turd became a Tonberry that slowly progressed forward toward the light. Umar knew he had to end Kuja and quick or it was “game over” for his Mom’s carpet. The battle began. Casting his protection and haste spells, war was waged. Sweat began to drip from his brow as he quickly realized Kuja was no pushover. The encounter was going to take longer than 2 minutes and the Tonberry situation grew more grim. Biting down on his lower lip, he unleashed all hell upon the transexual foe of the story. Bubbles were erupting and crying out from within his body, lashing like molten lava waiting to cover the land of Pompeii. His choice began to become a blur and regret began to sink in.

In some situations, it would be wise to ease out a fart at this time. Believing this to be true for this instance, the action was clear. He knew it was a double edged sword but he couldn’t just pause the game and run to the toilet. No, that would be illogical! Slowly, the gas which composes part of Venus’s atmosphere slid out. It was subtle and safe for the most part until an unrelenting quake erupted. “Oh no”, Umar exclaimed as he realized that this big burst could’ve produced a bacon strip on his underwear or far worse. Tightening up, he decided not to check his drawers and proceed to vanquishing Kuja.

Numerous Ultima’s were being cast as this angry reimagining of David Bowie from Labyrinth attempted to wipe out the boy’s party. Zidane entered a Trance which spelled hope not only for Vivi and Dagger but for Umar’s ass as well. Kuja was slain and the ending CGI sequence would begin. “Yes!”, an exasperated Umar managed to mutter as the screen began to fade to black. His toes were now curling up and he had entered a dance that somehow lessened the need to let it all go. As Kuja laid slain, Umar knew he could finally enjoy the climax of the adventure. Then, the unthinkable happened…

Kuja was the penultimate boss. Rather deceitful isn’t it? There was no mention of this Necron individual and now he stood in front of Umar, mocking him and his anus. History was rewritten for this moment. There was no Necron in Final Fantasy 9 at all. Not until now, at least. No one remembers that Kuja was the true enemy at the end of the game because the malevolent Gods of gaming decided to toy with this mortal boy who dared defy them and not run to the toilet while he had a chance. He had come this far and that shit had to wait. It was only Umar and Necron. Only one would walk out alive.

The Gods knew how the tale would end though. The boy was not ready mentally and physically for this obstacle and Necron dispatched him. His party fell in combat like lemmings running toward a cliff. The sound of metal stretching and pulling echoed through Umar’s body as the game over music played. Tears streamed his cheeks. Not the cheeks of his face but his ass for it was sweating holding back the apocalyptic spill it was suppressing. Finally running to the toilet, Umar opened the portal to the mouth of hell as fecal demons erupted forth. The Moon began to bleed and horrors raped the Earth. His failure was the doom of us all. Sitting on his throne of shame, he realized that he had lost.

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Have you ever had to make such a dire and overwhelming decision while playing a video game? Tell us about your adventure so that your legend can be echoed in the Halls of Valhalla.

Obsolete Intros: Parasite Eve

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Obsolete Intros: Parasite Eve

Aya Brea - Parasite Eve

Parasite Eve is one of my favorite RPG/Action games. It was developed and published in 1998 by Square Enix and follows the story of Aya Brea a New York cop that witnesses an entire opera house spontaneously combust. It is up to her to find out not only why it happened, but why she wasn’t affected.