Archive for General


Game List Updated

Posted in General at 9:44 pm by jw

Updated my game list again with the PS3, Wii and Steam games I’ve picked up recently:


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AC2 DRM means Playstation wins

Posted in General at 4:06 pm by jw

The combination of the obnoxious DRM placed on the PC version of Assasin’s Creed 2 and the release of Final Fantasy XIII finally made me break down and get a Playstation 3.  Interestingly, I’m still of the opinion that the Xbox 360 is a better value machine in a purely hardware head to head comparison, but I’ve got my reasons for getting the PS3 instead:

  1. PlayTV : I don’t have a DVR, or any sort of working video recorder at the moment and PlayTV looked like just what I’d want.  Full HDTV compliance and a guide I can record from.  The only downside is a little bit of messing around if I want to copy stuff to watch later on another device, but that’s because of the stupid “FreeView” restrictions (note that FreeView doesn’t actually give the consumers anything, it restricts what they can do with the TV signal they receive).
  2. Final Fantasy XIII : This game was designed with the PS3 (and its Blu-Ray drive) in mind, with the X360 coming in later, causing textures to have to be cut down for the X360 version.  I’d rather see it in full original quality.
  3. Less region restrictions : Imported PS3 games can be played without any issues on an Aussie PS3.  The X360 is restricted.
  4. Little Big Planet
  5. Most of the games I would want on the X360 are also available for the PC, and with my XBox Controllers for Windows, are easily as enjoyable.  Steam allows me to purchase these games quite cheaply (if I wait for the specials) so there’s just not as much value in the X360 for me right now.
  6. User replaceable parts (like upgrading the HDD).

Of course, I picked up Assassin’s Creed 2 for the Playstation.  No PC sale for me with that DRM – they forced me to move to a console so their idea that their DRM is saving the PC gaming industry is just wrong.


Assassin’s Creed 2 Unplayable

Posted in General at 12:06 am by jw

Ubisoft got what it deserved – the day after Assassin’s Creed 2 went live their DRM servers went down and no paying customer was able to actually play the game.  I’m really hoping the fallout from this is so huge that they realize the whole idea was so incredibly stupid to begin with that it never should have seen the light of day.


(No, I haven’t bought it myself)


Assassin’s Creed 2 DRM

Posted in General at 9:55 pm by jw

I’ve been rather upset by the DRM in Assassin’s Creed 2.  Essentially it’s a single player game but Ubisoft in their effort to become even more draconian with DRM has decided that the game will constantly check with their online servers so if your internet drops out while playing then the game stops.

That’s right – a single player game that requires a full-time internet connection ONLY for making sure you’re not a criminal.  That’s what Ubi thinks of its customers and frankly this really has the capability of hurting them.  The pirates (and make no mistake, the game will be “cracked” and available for download within a day of release) have a significantly better product that can be enjoyed by anyone at anytime, so the only real result I see for Ubi is much more piracy.

I have no intention of purchasing the game with that sort of restriction.  My internet is not too bad, but I don’t want to be held to something out of my control while enjoying a single player experience.  I can imagine how this would work for someone on satellite internet, dial-up or worse (like in the armed forces).  It’s fundamentally a really dumb decision.

In any case, I find the whole thing extremely deceptive and have lodged an inquiry to their behaviour with the ACCC:

I am concerned by the evolution of the Digital Rights Management (DRM) used in the games shortly to be released by Ubisoft, in particular “Assassin’s Creed 2” and “Splinter Cell Conviction” but reportedly included in all future titles. Details can be found at Ars Technica ( but to summarize: Despite being a single player experience the game will not permit the user to play without being continuously connected to Ubisoft’s license verification servers. Disconnection or interruption of that connection results in the game terminating and Ubisoft maintains the ability to remotely terminate the end user’s ability to use their licensed product without significant recourse from the consumer.

Games are marketed as boxed products, which give the impression and feel of a standalone product and while it may be recognized that many current games require some form of “activation”, these do not mandate a continuous connection and there is no consumer expectation that this should exist. Without significant warning labels it is likely that a large section of the consumer market (which either do not have internet, do not have continuous connections or have interrupted connections) will be impacted by this decision and potentially find themselves with a product that may not work at all in the way expected. Similarly, with internet bandwidth being metered in Australia users may find themselves liable for additional costs.


Assassin’s Creed 2 on PC – Don’t buy it

Posted in General, Opinion at 12:13 pm by jw

This is a damned shame because I’ve been waiting a while for AC2, but now Ubisoft has gone way over the top on their DRM schemes.  Their new idea of an “acceptable” solution is to require you to be online the entire game and if you go offline then it boots you from the game (losing your play from the last checkpoint).  Frankly that’s just stupid and broken compared to the console versions.

Ubi’s response to the concerns raised by gamers is typically dismissive and frankly reeks of an expectation that people should throw money at them regardless of the crap they shovel out.  I’m not playing that way – it’s my money and I can choose to not spend it.

Yes, piracy is a significant concern and this dumb move just made the pirate’s product a lot more attractive.  Good job at alienating your customers, Ubi.


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