2OpGaming

Konami ID Site Woes and Workaround

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Playstation 3 gamers this weekend hoping to quickly jump online and begin the Metal Gear Online beta quickly found themselves frustrated by the process that is required to sign up. Gamers who pre-ordered the MGS4 limited edition were given a code which was supposed to give them access to the beta. To their surprise, some of the codes distributed to those who pre-ordered were 3 alphanumeric characters short of an acceptable code to download the beta.

Once that issue was remedied with new codes from Konami, a few websites on the net were given an allotment for giveaway. The only catch being, you needed a Konami ID to play the game. Enter what can only be described as an utter folly of a website that is supposed to be the gateway to the biggest beta for the most anticipated exclusive title in the PS3’s library, https://id.konami.net/login.do. It seems the web team behind the website have the site set to time out as rapidly as you can hit refresh.

Fear not however, there is a workaround. Once you are able to actually get the site to load QUICKLY enter your birthday and agree to the terms of the ID (which is the usual legal mumbo jumbo, just let me get a damn ID to play the beta). Once at a longer page where you will be asked to fill in your information do the following cumbersome task. Enter one field at a time beginning with choosing an ID, immediately check if the ID is available. Then go back to the prior page fill out the next field and check to see if the ID is available again. Do this for every field. While a pain in the ass, it stops the site from timing out for inactivity because only spam bots programmed to enter in data in the range of a few milliseconds could possibly make it through the site without issue.

You may also download an autoform plugin for Firefox which has been noted to work. Best of luck to everyone and catch you guys online.

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue - Online Impressions

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Nothing makes or breaks a game more these days than its online component. As an ongoing theme with prologue, the online is present and adequate. While some hardcore GT and racing fans may complain the online is shallow and the races are too short, GT5P online gets it done as it should for a Prologue. You first have to download the currently available update to hop online for GT5 which will take a while but once you’re there it is worth it.

Hoping into a match online is pretty simple and most people at this early stage in the game are using the Honda Integra Type R. Simply choose online and you’re good to go. GT5P auto matches you with up to 12 opponents which is surprisingly quick. Thus far it seems the only race track I have been able to race is the High Speed ring. Some of the other cars you will see people using online is a tuned version of the Capuccino and a few people driving around in a BMW Z04. It appears to me where you start in a match is pretty random. One issue that may bother some drivers is based on this randomness and the rolling start to each race that are only two laps long, some may feel this is inadequate time to really make a race the test of true skill. In my experience, I’ve started at every portion of the pack from first to last and each time when the race is said and done I’ve placed top 5 every time. The races in GT5P are more about skill than where you start. A good driver should be able to draft the person ahead of him from the start and already get a nice little speed boost. This has caused me to prefer starting away from the front of a pack at the start of a race.

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GT5P online uses a nice little innovative mechanic in which once a person goes out of control their car becomes clipped so they can’t ruin other people’s lines. While a great concept, it can use some tuning as it seems to be pretty random when a car goes in and comes out from these moments. Sometimes cars will almost completely spin out and still not be entered into no clip mode causing other cars to crash. Also, when you run into a barrier especially on the first sharp turn at the High Speed ring there does not really seem to be a penalty at all for wrecklessly crashing into the wall there. Sometimes, if you get enough of the wall you receive a few second penalty but it appears random. This causes a lot of now experienced racers to just wist through that turn without any penalty. One major issue I hope is addressed for the next GT game is the fact that there is no lobby and customizability of a race is non-existent. The two lap races are a lot of fun, but the time between races really break up the action since you must find new opponents each time. I wish I was able to set up a race with friends for more than just 2 laps and not have to find them again.

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Visually the online does not lose any steps from its offline counterpart. Everything seems just as impressive visually online as it does off. Out of about the 10 or so races I participated in the network performance on the PSN was extremely good. Only once or twice did a notice other cars around me seriously bounce from one location to the next. For those players who have can master the ring the online portion of GT5P is by and far the fastest way to make cash in the game. I went from 50,000 CR from events in the single player to over $200,000 in about 40 minutes. Prize money starts at 12,000 CR for a first place finish in a full race and so on. Overall, there is a great basis for a full online in the full version of GT5 when it hits next year. Again, for 40 dollars the Prologue has proven to be a lot of bang for the buck and is a ton of fun. I am very hopeful for the PSN in light of what I’ve seen with GT5P that PSN can attain Xbox Live level organization and ease of use in the near future.

Gran Turismo 5 Impressions - The Real Deal

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At the tail end of 2007 we prophesized 2008 to be the year of the PS3. Starting with MLB 08 The Show it was easy to see the exclusives were finally making their way onto the Playstation 3. It had become time to consider the machine more than a Blu Ray player. This week, one of the most anticipated franchises of the Playstation brand hit retail shelves. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue sets the visual standard for realism in a driving game. The attention to detail in GT5P sets it clearly apart and above its competition.

When you first pop in GT5P there is a lengthy (no joke, it timed about 15 minutes on my PS3) installation process, but it’s worth the wait. You’ll be greeted by the opening menu to buy your first car. You only begin with 35,000 CR so choose wisely. I decided to go with the Mazda RX8. The best and worst part about this opening sequence is that once you visit the dealership you are shown every manufacturer you can think of and all those hot rides you want to get on the track seem so far away.

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Immediately after this, GT5P bats its beautiful eyes at you. This game is visual eye candy. I do not ever remember seeing a more visually appealing racer from the cars themselves, to the environments, heck even the menus are slick looking. I admittedly am more a single player at heart and I wanted to build up some credits before going online and tearing into the game on PSN.

Suffice to say, there is a single player mode. It may not be as deep as people would like in comparison to prior GT games but it is a prologue and as a newer player to the GT series I liked the straight forward approach. There are 30 events in all spread across 3 classes and you must pass all the events in one class to move on to the next. Various single player events include straight races and timed lap events where you are given a set amount of time to run a course in underneath a certain time. The one that really got me going however was the 16 car race in Daytona where you start in the back and have 1 lap to catch the first place car. In this race, it was all about drafting which seems to be a real focus point in GT5P. You absolutely must draft nearly every car in the field or you won’t reach the speed required to pass the challenge and this even becomes a necessity in beating some lap times which on its own some cars like the Capuccino simply cannot do.

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As you pass events you are given credits for your efforts which you can use to buy more cars. The nice thing about the events is that you can replay them for credits if you really want a superior car. Other racing games only award you credits once for completing a race, in GT5P you are rewarded for every race you run if you come top 3 or complete a challenge.

Gameplay wise GT5P ingeniously accommodates players of all skill levels. I love cars but when it comes to racing I’m fairly clueless as to how much break and gas to apply and when. GT5P takes the guess work out of all that by not only offering you a suggested line, but when you reach those sharp turns the required MPH to make a successful turn are displayed. For example, there’s a nasty U turn on the back stretch of the High Speed Ring as you approach the turn the suggested line turns red and displayed 55 MPH. You instantly start to tap the breaks and once you hit 55 MPH hit the gas and power out of the turn.

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The views from within the car are also incredible and detailed. You can switch between a first person view, a hood view, a cockpit view complete with hands on the steering wheel, and a third person view of your entire car. Just noticing the little thing GT5P does that set it apart from other racers are so much when switching in views. For example, in the cockpit view not only do you see the steering wheel and your driver’s hands but say you want to look in your rear view mirror? No problem! Just like in real life you can see the back seats and tinting in your car rather than just what is behind you. Not only does the game visually please, but audibly as you change views the change in the engine’s pitch is incredibly accurate. If you really want to hear your engine work go into cock pit view as it sounds distinctly different from 3rd person and so on. Did I mention yet the visual detail is nuts?

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I completed the C class challenges last night and am onto B class and as a tip buy the RX8 and the Integra Type R early, it makes things a lot easier. I haven’t had a chance to jump online yet but I will do that soon for the full review this weekend. GT5P is worth every penny of the 40 dollars whether or not you believe the game is complete. It’s a ton of fun, the cars look fantastic and sound great, and environments are a knock out, and it’s online. After 3 hours last night, I didn’t even scratch the surface of all the game has to offer.

Midway goes 1 on 1 with 2Op For NBA Ballers Chosen One

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NBA Ballers is set to hit shelves next week on April 21st as the real NBA season is about to begin (Don’t look for any objectivity on 2Op about that either, hence the title photo and gamerpic). In time for it’s release and because we are here at 2Op are really hyped for Ballers, we go 1 on 1 with Lead Designer John Vignocchi. All sorts of great info from this interview about ballers. Find out about the online modes, the tweaks to the gameplay since the last videos, and John includes almost an entire design doc on the gameplay mechanic when pulling off offensive and defensive moves. Plus, find out how NBA Ballers: Chosen One inspired a dunk for Dwight Howard at this year’s dunk contest.

2Op: How is the story mode going to differ in Chose One from the previous NBA Ballers?

John Vignocchi: This time around we’ve used all live action footage of various people/players to tell the story. You’ll regularly check in with Chuck D who is coming live from the set of NBA All Access, and with other NBA stars that make guest appearances. It actually goes a long way to making the gamer feel that he really is a part of the story.

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Sony Unveils 2.2 Update

No in game XMB yet PS3 owners….a few nice bells and whistles though

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today announced that system software update v.2.20, for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™), planned for release in late March, will add Blu-ray Disc™ (BD) Profile 2.0 (known as BD-LIVE). With the ability to take full advantage of interactive features, such as downloadable video content, ringtones, games, and more, BD-LIVE promises to offer PS3 users the ultimate interactive film experience. In addition to BD-LIVE, the system software update will enable photo and music playlists on a PS3 to be copied to a PSP™(PlayStation®Portable), as well as other new features.

To access Blu-ray Profile 2.0, users require an Internet connection and at least 1GB of local storage. Movies with BD-LIVE are scheduled for release next month.

The following features have been demonstrated to be possible with BD-LIVE and will vary depending on the title:

· A variety of downloadable content, including bonus scenes, shorts, trailers, subtitles, ringtones that can be sent to mobile phones, images, and more.

· Interactive movie-based games can pit players who are sitting in the same room, or are across the world and online, against each other.

In addition to BD-LIVE, system software update v.2.20 enhances PS3’s relationship with PSP, enabling users to copy their favourite music and photo playlists to their PSP and experience them on-the-go. This new functionality makes it easer than ever to share media content between the two systems.

The following new features will also be included in the system software update:

· “Resume play” will enable PS3 to start playing a BD and DVD video at the point it was stopped, even if the disc had been removed.*1

· “Audio Output Device” will be a new Remote Play setting, enabling PSP to serve as a remote control for music played through PS3.

· PS3’s Internet browser will be enhanced: Video files directly linked from a Web page will be able to be streamed, and the browser’s view speed will be improved.

· DivX and WMV format videos that are larger than 2GB will be playable.

· “Mosquito Noise Reduction” will be added as an AV setting in the control panel of the DVD/BD player for improved movie playback.*2

*1 BD-J format disc is not supported.

*2 BD discs recorded with BDMV format are not supported.

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