PlayStation Network Outage

So for those of you who haven’t been following the news, don’t own a PS3, or simply haven’t cared enough to look until now, here is a quick summary of the problems Sony has had with its PlayStation Network. For the past 9 days Sony’s PS3 online network has been offline. The network went out in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday April 21, 2011. Over 70 million gamers were greeted with the infamous 80710A06 error code that day when they attempted to play their favorite game online. This was a huge disappointment for those of us (me) who bought Portal 2 on Tuesday, and those of us (me) with Call of Duty addictions. Oh and of course there was SOCOM 4 and Mortal Combat I think, but who cares about those game. Anyways, upon being graced with this error code, many users frantically checked their routers, reset their PS3’s, and attempted to tweak network settings, before finally going online with the problem. Initially Sony said that the servers were under maintenance and would be back up and running in a day or two, nothing to worry about right? Well after two days passed PlayStation owners began to worry. Sony reluctantly announced on day 3 that their servers not only were under maintenance, but that they had been hacked and the network was going under a complete rebuild with no completion date in sight. A few days passed and Sony was being pretty quiet about the situation without a single post on the United States PlayStation site or forums.  Finally on day 7 Sony had more bad news for us, apparently the hackers had attained all our personal information and our PlayStation Network accounts had been compromised, with a possibility of stolen credit card information. The situation quickly changed from bad to worse, as millions of gamers information was obtained, sold and violated . On day 8 the FBI got involved and the hunt for the hacker was on. In a recent post, Sony was projected to lose up to 24 billion dollars and the individual lawsuits followed suit. In other news Sony claimed that there was no evidence that any credit card information had been stolen, hopefully that news doesn’t change. Sony also announced that the network would be back up within a week and that users will be receiving some sort of compensation. Whoever this hacker(s) is they have a lot of talent, a gift from god and I applaud them for what they have accomplished, I also hope that he/she/they rot in prison for the billions of dollars of damage they caused and the overwhelming amount of grief they caused millions of gamers.



It’s Official!

Activision announced today that the rumours of a second DLC map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops are true. The map titles and release date remain the same, but we are given a new poster with the date in the correct (North American) order.

Activision also gave us a little more information on each of the new maps. “Zoo” will “takes you on a wild ride in an abandoned Soviet Russian Zoo, with danger at every turn”. On the map “Hotel” players will duke it out “on the roof of a Cuban luxury hotel and casino against the vivid backdrop of old Havana”. “Convoy” promises to “delivers intense, close-quarters combat at the scene of an ambushed US military convoy”. “Stockpile” will “pits players in a remote Russian farm town housing secret WMD facilities”. Finally perhaps the most exciting of the 5, “Call of the Dead” offers all new playable characters and promises to be a very special creation for all Zombie fans.

On top of this, there was also an announcement of a third double XP weekend to tie in with the new map pack release. It will be available cross platform and begin on Friday May 6th.


Escalate Your Black Ops Experience

As of yesterday (April 5, 2011), word of a second Call of Duty: Black Ops map pack was leaked by an Australian game company. The map pack is titled “Escalation”, and is due out on May 3, 2011, once again Xbox 360 owners will get this one first. I expect to see a PC and PS3 release a month later in June. According to the poster, the 4 new multiplayer maps are titled, “Zoo”, “Hotel”, “Stockpile”, “Convoy”, and a new zombie map titled, “Call of the Dead”. Whether this is a reliable source or not is up to you, but to me the poster looks very official. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for this one, and can’t wait to see what they do with the map “Zoo”, animal attacks perhaps?


Lotus Flowers Bloom

With spring just around the corner, Radiohead releases their 8th studio album a day early. Coincidentally enough a majority of the album is spring themed from its title “The Kings of Limbs”, to many spring themed instrumentals within the songs such as the sound of birds chirping. The band keeps things fresh by once again changing their sound. It’s not too much of a departure from their last album, nevertheless it does feature less electronic effects and distortions, and has more of a ‘natural’ sound to it.

Radiohead fans should not be intimidated by this however, for Thom Yorke still sings with that distinct, artistic whine we’ve all grown to know and love. The album’s first single, and one of my favorite tracks so far, “Lotus Flower” features a music video of  Thom Yorke showing us all who the King of Limbs is with his quirky convulsions.  One thing that disappointed me about this release was the number of tracks. The album features only 8, which is a little surprising seeing as there last album was released almost 4 years ago. To me the album seems more like a bunch of really good b-sides and not a full studio release. There are a few rumors circulating that this is only one half of a 2 part album. Some of the proposed hints of this start with the News Paper edition that is available for pre-order (Released in May). This edition features two 10′ vinyl records which each store 90 minutes, more than enough for the 8 tracks clocking in at 37:24. A second clue is the last track “Separator”, an obvious name for and album splitter. The track also features the lyrics “If you think this is over then you’re wrong”. Either way, the album still deserves the attention, and you guys should definitely check it out.Be sure to check out Radiohead’s website for all the latest news, and available content  to coincide with their latest release.

Musical Glitch

I’ve followed a group called “The Glitch Mob” for some time now, and they’ve recently been putting out a lot of good stuff. If you’re any sort of electronic music fan you will love their latest remix of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes (be sure to blast it at 2:20). Some other great remixes include “Monday” by Nalepa, and one of my all time favorites “West Coast Rocks” by Matty G. The Glitch Mob has also recently released their first album called “Drink The Sea”, which is a little different from their remixes. The album is almost entirely instrumental but with the same distorted, skipping sound of their remixes. If you give this stuff a listen and decide you like the “Glitch Hop” genre, then there is another more underground album you should check out. The album is titled “Crying Over Pros For No Reason” by one of the three Glitch Mob members, Ed Ma (or his stage name edIT). This album strays a little farther from the mainstream sound of “Drink the Sea” and features more distortion, bit rate reduction, and hardware noise layered over calm, though provoking instrumentals.


XP Whores Unite

For all of you who love leveling up in Call of Duty: Black Ops more than playing the actual game, this weekend is for you. Starting today until Monday night players can sign on to the games multiplayer and earn double the experience points. This is the first weekend event Treyarch has announced for Black Ops to coincide with the new map pack release. If you don’t own an Xbox 360, don’t worry Treyarch took Microsoft’s dick out of its mouth for this one and made it available cross platform. So whether you prefer to flail you arms around on the Wii, play online for free on the PS3, or use the precision and accuracy of the keyboard & mouse on the PC you’ll all be able to take part in this event. I’ll be expecting a lot of players online, hopefully Treyarch’s servers can handle it.

See you bitches on the battlefield,


+5 for Call of Duty: Black Ops

One of the most popular first person shooters of all time has just raised the stakes once again. On February 1st, Treyarch released 4 all new competitive multiplayer maps and 1 new Nazi Zombies map for the already thriving game. After being out for almost 3 months now, the game reclaimed the top of the charts around the world for most popular video game with the release of these new maps.

Being a PS3 gamer, I have yet to get my hands on the temporarily exclusive Xbox 360 maps. However I anxiously await their release, and will post a more in-depth overview and strategy of each map after I get the chance to play them. The maps include “Kowloon”,  “Discovery”, “Berlin Wall”, “Stadium”, and the zombie map “Ascension”.

“Kowloon”, which is loosely based on the single player campaign level, is set in Kowloon City, China. The map resembles past Call of Duty multiplayer maps were it’s dark and raining. The only major difference this time is your up atop run down apartments and building roofs high in the sky. This map reminds me a lot of the Modern Warfare 2 map “Favela” where you have the ability to jump from one roof top to the next. This time the jumping is not optionally, which really breaks up primary player paths and causes a major reconstruction of your strategy. Lastly Kowloon features a zip line which allows you to go from the map center to the map perimeter very quickly. the considerable downfall to the zip line is while in use it leaves you vulnerable to enemy fire, it really comes down to risk vs. reward. This type of interactivity, along with the pushable button on the map “Radiation”, is something the map developers are doing that I really enjoy.

“Discovery” is set in an abandoned World War II research facility left by the German Nazi’s. This map, at first glance, looks huge which I think will be fantastic for game types such as headquarters and demolition. This map focus around four bridges over the center of the map that span across a wide chasm. Three of these bridges are made entirely out of snow and ice, and yes you can blow them up! Yet again more interactivity from Treyarch :).

“Berlin Wall” is a sniper haven and possibly one of the biggest Call of Duty maps I’ve ever seen. To point out the obvious, this map is set in Berlin, Germany and has the very iconic Berlin Wall. The art style of this map looks unbelievable, that attention to detail that the map developers have put in reminds me why I love gaming. West Berlin is clearly defined with commercial areas and shops, and East Berlin being industrial and somewhat rundown. In the middle of the map we have the wall of course, with several direct routes through.  In between the walls is “no mans land” which seems to work something like a cow in a slaughter-house. Going through here will definitely save you time however I’m a bit skeptical about it. If you’re not rocking Lightweight and Marathon perks I don’t think there is a hope in hell in getting through it. Feel free to prove me wrong.

“Stadium” is set in the North Eastern United States and you are fighting in and around this hockey area. It is yet another small map size installment; I love this type of map, small, tight close quarter battles, and lots of action. These types of maps are also great for 1 on 1 “Cage Matches” with your friends (or enemies). Among my favorite small maps are “Shipment”, “Rust”, “Summit”, and “Nuke Town”, and I’m sure “Stadium” will not be disappointing. However, I hope this map doesn’t have the same problems I’ve been experiencing with “Nuke Town” in which the enemy spawns are right behind your within a few seconds.

“Ascension”, this map is a bit of a mystery to me and Treyarch has kinda been keeping it on the down low. From what I’ve gathered it ties in with the single player campaign mission video of the same name. In this map you play as the four scientists in charge of the Soviet Ascension program which takes place in what appears to be some type of missile silo, possibly a launch pad. Like I said I don’t know much about it so maybe you Xbox 360 enthusiastic can let me know?

Any way that’s all for now, be sure to check back in for my complete overview and strategy of the new maps in the near future.

Peace out bitches,