What with the news at E3 of Game Genie making a return, I started seeing if there were any competitors also jumping to make a return and actually found that a PS3 version of xploder (the UK version of the Action Replay) already exists. Tried it out and it works.

Basically what it does is not RAM hacking like the old gameshark, game genie, xploder, action replay, and code breaker used to do. What the Xploder does is all game-save based. The xploder guys will typically hex edit a game save to add things like cash, unlocks, etc to the save, then allow you to download the save (or user submitted saves) and actually convert the save from their live or psn profiles to make it your own, overwriting the ID codes that typically prevent this from working.

What that means -
A person can download a 100% clearsave, and depending on how the game is coded, it will also unlock all the acheivements or trophies as well. (Some games will only trigger an achievement/trophy unlock when you actually meet the criteria when playing). It also means that, for save games you can at least backup to a USB stick, that you can copy over your own progress to another LIVE/PSN profile. Want to make a stealth account so you don't get bugged with messages while you play - just copy over your save. Of course the obvious drawback is people cheating the achievement/trophy system. Unfortunately people running custom firmware on their consoles can still copy out those copy-restricted game saves and still spoof the system. So it has its ups and downs. For folks that don't give a rats ass about achievements/trophies this can be a much welcome backup method though.

Before anybody goes running off to grab xploder, note that the official forums are rife with customer complaints about not getting their serial key in their emails and never getting responses to inquiry. I believe the upcoming game genie will be able to do the exact same thing, though from my experience with xploder I got my key in the 24 hours they promised (used google checkout - xploder is a UK product and payment is in their currency) - but then had to look up a tutorial from a user just to figure out how to use the damned thing. I successfully cloned my Dragon's Dogma character data over to an alt and it loaded up and works fine. Only 2 trophies carried over (imo, that's a plus). Personally I won't have many uses for the device outside of helping my brothers get up to speed in their games. The achievement/trophy thing does piss me off though. I know there are a ton of people who play only for trophies, and while I don't like the trophy system at all, any worth the system would have to trophy hunters gets shafted.

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Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Spec Ops DLC mission 1.

Scene -
Your team of spec ops soldiers sets foot in Raccoon City to sort out rumors of illegal bio terror activity, blah blah blah. The script dictactes you find a person acting strangely who turns out to be a zombie. Zombie attacks you and hell breaks loose. Sounds good on paper, akin to Leon S. Kennedy's first run-in with the flesh eaters in Resident Evil 2.

Epic fail?

How the scene plays out in-game. Your team starts the mission standing in the middle a street, of which the entire block has been ravaged by what can only be assumed as riots or a successful Black Friday. Battered and damaged cars with doors flung open, shattered police barricades, fires blazing in the distance, and yeah, a disembowled and headless dead body RIGHT THERE AT YOUR FEET, but no, your characters will only comment on the strange acting lady standing at the end of the alley ahead.


It's a throw away example of how scenario planning and execution falls apart due to the segregated developer teams/units at various dev studios and it doesn't end there. Sound engineering and scoring can be equally messy and haphazardly placed.

I think we can all agree that the core factor behind the success of any game not played by the casual gamers that are destroying the gaming industry right now ( >:O ) is immersion. The immersion factor kicks in when the right amount of elements are executed flawlessly and pull you into the scenarios depicted on your screen and (where applicable) blasting through your stereo systems. Immersion can work regardless of a particular drawback, such as over simplistic graphics/effects when those low key designs are used as a feature itself to improve immersion. The subconscious element. It works. Silent freakin' Hill 2. The stilted controls, the imagery, the sound design, the not-always-so-good voice acting that added that Twilight Zone feel to every character scene. Akira freakin' Yamaoka. And then you have Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
Yeah, i'll show you reckoning.
And, ha ha, the Mass Effect 3 ending, proving once again that... well... immersion works both ways. Simply pushing a product for a quick buck without having the required heart and soul is going to have repurcussions.

...and those repurcussions come in multi-colored cupcake form too, apparently.

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Raijin 1999

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