Saturday, May 22, 2010

Big Decisions = Big Risks...

I'm thinking of buying a PlayStation 3. Again.

What happened to my last one? Well, for those who weren't that for that drama filled episode, I "gave" it to my brother and his girlfriend when they moved out. Nice, huh? I don't regret helping them out. But I despise purchasing something more then once (note that I tend to feel differently about repairing something I have invested in.) I paid over $1,000 in system, accessories and games. What do I have from that currently? Two games -- Disgaea 3 and Folklore -- which are both currently unplayable due to my lacking the proper console for them. But is it logical spending $300 to make these games work rather then getting $30 or so for trading the pair of them in?

If only it were that simple. There are other titles that are enticing, such as those in Sony's "Play, Create, Share" line of games. These are currently Little Big Planet, the soon-to-be-released ModNation Racers, and the recently announced Little Big Planet 2. There is something that I find very enticing about being able to make and share content with other games. And the systems for doing these are very slick indeed. I owned Little Big Planet but gave that away with my system.

But the PlayStation is also a rather solitary experience, at least from how my experience with the system went. In a fashion very different from that I have had via my Xbox 360, the PlayStation, while offering "free" online, seems to do absolutely nothing to actually encourage its users to communicate using it. Along with the games that I bought when I got my last PlayStation I also bought a second controller and a headset. Being brutally honest I am still uncertain whether or not the headset ever worked properly (it was BlueTooth and labeled as an "official" product) as I never had a single legitimate conversation with any other gamer via the PlayStation in the entire time that I had it in my possession. Clearly there are reasons that the Xbox 360 is my multiplayer console of choice!

ModNation Racers looks like an incredibly social game as well as an incredibly creative one. But without friends to share the experience with it is just as likely that my creations will get lost in the flood of content that will be produced by hundreds of thousands of other Mod Designers. There is no way to be certain that there will actually be a truly diverse amount of options until the game launches either. The game does also support play and guest online and offline four player splitscreen modes, but I am really the only one here who is interested in a "cartoony" kart racer. Shawn is trying to sell me on Blur, but I simply cannot muster any real enthusiasm for it because despite all of these intellectually sound reasons against it, the artist and the kid in me are both extremely eager to play ModNation Racers. If I am going to play a realistic racer its going to be something like Forza 3 or TestDrive Unlimited 2. I like my kart racers "cartoony". (Speaking of this... Where the hell is Joy Ride, Microsoft?!)

And its not like the 360 front -- or my writing, for that matter -- is barren on the shopping front either. Alpha Protocol, which is made be Obsidian (Knights of the Old Republic II) has captured my attention as well. And I am very tempted to take GameStop up on the deal that they are offering if I pre-order the game from them. I am also curious about playing Bully. Having enjoyed my time with Red Dead Redemption this far I see no reason to skip investing the $15 or so it would cost me to grab a copy of that game. Jay and I also want to mess around with Crackdown which has an asking price of $9.99. Oh, and we are back on Final Fantasy XI, too. Which means that upgrading to a 60 -- or even 120 -- gb hard drive would save me a lot of headaches.

I have some decisions to make and they are not easy. Which purchases are going to benefit me more? Will the PS3 be used this time or will it persist in being a big black paper weight? Will the 360 hard drive really make a difference for me? Will ModNation Racers open the door to an amazing experience I would regret missing, or am I far too over-eager to jump into the game since it is bringing back fond childhood memories of Diddy Kong Racing? Everybody keeps telling me that only I can decide the answers to these things. That's obvious. What is yet to be seen is whether I can reach a solution that I am truly satisfied with.

I will wonder about ModNation Racers until I am able to try it. BUT I will likely get bored with this since no one I am close to has a PS3, can afford this, or is interested in it. (Everyone that matters fills one of these three categories.)

I will continue to be annoyed by the lack of space on my 360 until I upgrade it. BUT this is becoming too large a problem to ignorel. I absolutely must upgrade this either via the purchase of a new 360 while trading my old one in, or by buying a larger hard drive for my current system. With my install for FFXI I am down to less then one gig of free space -- this is becoming too serious to ignore.

I will miss out on some awesome extras for Alpha Protocol if I do not pre-order it. BUT I can get the game whether or not I do this. This would be really, really nice but its not 100% necessary. BUT I do need to decide whether or not I am going to do this by the end of the week and determine how this will effect my other plans. It is a pre-order bonus.

I will miss out on owning Record of Agarest War all-together if I do not purchase it soon. BUT I am not sure how good this game will actually be. It could be a total gem or it could be a total piece of shit. On one hand I know I will regret it if I do not try it. On the other hand I know that I will feel frustrated if I buy a toilet bowl game.

Making big decisions can be really annoying. But then, I guess that having decisions to make is better then having no choices in life at all. As one of my favorite authors, Sarah Ban Breathnach, states in one of her books, (Paraphasing here) " If we all made just one tiny choice every day for one year imagine how different our lives could be then from where they are now. Perfect? No. But certainly better then if we sleep our way through making coma choices. Just letting life do what it may rather then actually making a decision for fear that we will make the wrong one. There are good choices and bad choices. But coma choices are definitely a far worse alternative. "

So that is it in short. I have to make a choice what I am going to do. There does not seem to be a perfect answer. So I guess I will just have to pick something.

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