Something happens when you play a game with a child, as I've done playing Minecraft together with my 9-year-old daughter. You lose years of gaming experiences, dexterity with controls, and expectations that a game will have limitations you just need to learn to work around. You also gain a greater appreciation for innovations that are fun. Lastly you also get a stark, cold-slap-in-the-face reminder of things that just aren't good enough and need to be fixed. Multiplayer Minecraft has two such problems.
If you've paid any attention to Minecraft you know about its retro, blocky 3D world simulation and how people have a penchant for making tons and tons of YouTube videos about it. Unofficial trailers abound, as do tutorials about the game that many have sunk hours upon hours into. Every world can be very different, and survival mode -- long the bread and butter of the game -- leads players to create their own stories around their exploration of the surface and digging into the earth and stone beneath.
Terraria, on the other hand, sports a 2D sprite-style appearance and has a smaller audience. Also an indie title, but for Windows only as opposed to the multiple-OS friendly Java-based game from Mojang, it is often compared to Minecraft mostly for its open-endedness, but the two are quite different. How different? Let's, ah, dig in.
The PlayStation Portable ID launched in 2008 and it hasn't changed significantly since then. The passive nature of it, requiring you to log into the PSN website and click a button to update it, along with the complete lack of customization options makes it far less useful than it should be. As a read-only form of user information, a means of bragging about what you're playing and how much you've accomplished in a given game, there really is no threat to the PlayStation Network by opening up access to that information and adding customization options. It should really follow the impressive example of user data sharing in secure ways that has been set by EVE Online.
EVE recently did an impressive revamp to their API key system, going from a two-step system where you could create either a limited or full API key per character and share either some or all information, to a diverse set of options where you generate not only a key with specific limited information in it, but you can also set a verification code, or password, required to access that key. Up to 10 keys can exist at once, and you can revoke any one of them from being used simply by keeping the key's settings and changing its verification code. The picture above gives you a small sample of what can be shared in an API key, just 9 of the 28 different choices available. The full set is available here.
Sony will be rolling out the very first downloadable PS2 titles for PS3 this month as part of their Only On PlayStation Network campaign. These will, of course, not sport Trophies or other staples of PS3 games, but should be playable on every current PS3 model out there. The games up for sale at $9.99 apiece will be:
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory
Ring of Red
Of these five I've only played Maximo: Ghosts to Glory and Odin Sphere. While the style of Odin Sphere was interesting to me I found the controls and game rules to be a little too hardcore for my taste. However I'm a fan of the Maximo spinoff, which stars the main character from Ghosts N' Goblins, and with luck we'll see the even better sequel Maximo vs. The Army of Zin.
Of course this could mean these classics are hints of new chapters coming in one or more of these franchises. Time will tell.