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PSP Themes, Round 2


With the popularity of my first PSP Themes post (thanks Google) I have decided to go at it again picking 5 more themes I have recently found for the PSP. Again, these themes have been made to a high standard and do look really good on your PSP if you do happen to get tired of the simplicity of the default XMB theme.

The first theme in my collection is on from the newly released triple A title, God of War. This is a great theme and a must have for any GoW fans. The iApple theme is similar to the iPhone themes with the rounded square buttons. The only difference is the icons, which are cunstomised to better represent the menu. With any release of a new operating system, a PSP theme of it is bount to come, in this case, one from the new version of OS X, Leopard. The theme consists of the Leopard style folders with little icons as well as drive icons and the nifty Leopard default wallpaper. On the theme of operating system themes, I have found a better Windows XP theme. This theme, although similar to the other XP theme, is much cleaner than the first one as well as having a few extra icons and icon changes.

Now, for the new theme that I use, the Ubuntu theme. There can never be enough computer operating system themes but out of the many, there are few brilliant ones. This theme is extremely slick with wonderful icons. The orange background is also very warm and inviting and looks great along side the Ubuntu XMB theme. Out of all the themes in my new collection, this is a my must have theme!

Note: Themes posted here are not mine. I take no credit for them. All rights belong to their original owners.

God of War: Chains of Olympus [PSP]


When I heard the first rumors about the possibility of a God of War title coming to the PlayStation Portable, I was pretty excited and would love to see it come over to Sony’s little game machine. As well as being excited, I was a bit worried, thinking that a random company would either make a port or do a really bad job doing a prequel or something of it, spoiling the God of War franchise. When it was announced that Ready At Dawn was doing the game, all my worries were gone because I knew they would do another brilliant game, just like they did with Daxter.

There wasn’t a well defined storyline of the game, you help the Gods by going where the path leads. You start off doing one thing and then you go off on another arc that is unrelated from the first one and then there is another arc that is unrelated from the first and second arcs. The only similarities are you, the main character, and that each story has something to do with the Gods of Olympus. Basically, there is no main storyline.

As in the other games in the series, you are equipped with the blades. At the start, you are limited with what attacks you can do but as you level up the blades and acquire new weapons and skills, there is quite a bit you can do. The attacks do get quite repetitive but using different combination on different enemies, makes it a bit more enjoyable. You tend to use the strongest attacks most which makes them get old quite quickly. There is some magic but I only tended to use it when fighting a boss, when I really needed it.

There are a few unique enemies, all that look really good. They could have put a few more enemies in the game to give you more things to attack and new styles of killing your opponents.  There are also many unique environments that look amazing. They have really done a lot to make this game look stunning. The very few cut-scenes were very interesting to watch and gave you a sense of where the game is going. The mini-games which consist of pushing certain buttons at the right time give the game some unique killing sequences which turn away from the regular button bashing hack and slashing of enemies.

I do have to say, the end of the game was the best part. The last two bosses were so much fun to battle and did take time and strategy. I do have to say, the game difficulty does decrease towards the end as you get the Gauntlet of  Zeus which does a slower but more powerful move that can take out an enemy in a couple of attacks instead of the usual dozen or so with the blades. The end of the game is enough reason to play this game.

One problem I had is if I went into battle with low health, and got killed, I resume at the last checkpoint with the same low health. This made boss battles ten times harder because I would have to attack him but make sure I didn’t get attacked myself. One stage in particular is when you have to push a cart through fog and you get attacked by unreachable archers. It ws really hard to do without getting hit, unless you took ages to get past this part. Then after the archer have taken some of your health, you are put into a battle with a big difficult creature. Its very hard to do with little health and took many many attempts.

Another small problem with the game is the inconsistent save points. You might find 2 save point within 5 minutes of each other and at other times, they are miles apart. I never have liked it how many games only let you save at certain points in the game, generally before going out to battle or after a big boss or before going into new area. I like to be able to save the game so I can quit out of it. The problem is less of a problem because before going into battle with enemies, there was always a checkpoint so if you died you can easily return to just before the battle. Also with the PSP, you can power the system off in a sleep mode and return to where you were when you turn it back on. This is not really a big issue in the game but it could have been nice to ditch the save point and let us save anywhere. I can see they have done it to be consistent with the console games.

If you loved the other God of War titles, you are going to love this one too. It is considerably short, I was able to go through the game in about 6 hours on normal difficulty. In saying that, it does have a lot of replay value allowing you to go through the game again with a higher difficulty. As well as lacking in length, it also lacks in the amount of puzzles. If you enjoyed the puzzles in the console games, you might be a little disappointed that there aren’t many in this title.

Ready at Dawn did an amazing job at this game, just like they did with Daxter. This is definitely the PSP game of 2008, possibly of all time. This is a must have title for the PSP and I can easily see it becoming the best selling PSP title and possibly even surpassing the huge success of Daxter. If you have a PSP and want a great game for it, God of War will not let you down.

Damn Dead Pixel


As you should know, a couple of months ago, my laptop went to the repair center to get fixed. Well the story is that I didn’t get the computer back in its full glory. Other than the missing ExpressCard blank, a hole that now fills with dust, I was also left with one dead pixel. You probably think I am crazy for getting annoyed and complaining about one little pixel on my monitor, but it is a big deal. I am getting one less pixel than I should be getting. Not only is it the fact that it’s dead, but its that it died when it was at the repair centers hands. Call me crazy but I blame them for it. I think they were careless and that’s why that poor pixel died.

I do know my poor laptop, the one I treated like a million dollar diamond, perfect, clean and mark less. When it returns to me, it has scratches, it has a giant dust collecting hole in the side, one of the grips on the bottom is gone and one pixel is dead. Just so you know how big of a deal this is, the pixel in question is located just a bit up from the bottom about half a finger on the left. Its well hidden by Vistas black taskbar but I know it is there, a millimeter under the iTunes quick launch icon. It annoys me. I want a perfect screen with every single pixel in working order. Call me crazy but I should be getting all the pixels I paid for, not one less.

This is not the only thing in my possession with problematic pixels. My PSP happens to have a stuck pixel, a damn red one. It is about 2.5 cm from the top and left. You would think it wouldn’t be a problem but it is really irritating when watching a movie or doing something other than pushing buttons in a game. When playing a game, you are so into the game that the pixel becomes invisible, but when doing other things, that red dot is irritating and very noticeable, so much that it is distracting.

When a small dot on a screen with many more pixels dies, its not really a problem if it is out of the way, but a pixel on a small screen close to the middle, now that is just irritating. When will the day come that pixels don’t have problems. One day I would like to now worry about the little guys inside my screens dying or getting stuck, its something that I shouldn’t even think about, but since they are annoying me, I am worried. I am crazy for getting agitated about something so small and insignificant. Maybe I have some kind of disorder, or maybe I just want things perfect!

So I herd you liek Mudkipz


The past week, without a laptop, I have been playing Pokemon on my PSP. You are probably wondering how it is possible to do so, but it is simple. Just like for the PC, there is a GameBoy Advance emulator for the PSP and it works very well for the popular GBA titles. I have been using it to play Pokemon Emerald.

I really like PSP homebrew because it allows me to do this, and many more things. gpSP is an amazing emulator, even though it is still in beta. It plays the game perfectly fine, but the only issues will be with trying to use cheats because the system isn’t quite done yet. But that is not an issue anyway, who cheats in GBA games, especially pokemon. Not me.

Pokemon Emerald is too easy. My starting Pokemon is at  level 60 whereas my opponents Pokemon are generally around level 30, half my Pokemon’s level. What this means is that generally, I can take down an opponents Pokemon using only one attack. It is silly they have done that for it allows me to zoom fast through the game without training, or even capturing other Pokemon.

Anyway I still enjoy playing Pokemon on the PSP and reminds me of when I was seven playing Pokemon Yellow on my GameBoy Colour. Weren’t those the days.

Bye Bye Lappy


As I ranted about two days ago, my wireless in my notebook isn’t working.  yesterday I rang Compaq and they told me to do useless crap that I had already tried. I told them I had done it but they insisted that I tried it again. Anyway, without luck, I was told that I would have to restore my system. I backed up my files and waited for the call center to open up the next day.

They walked me through restoring it with their recovery software and I had no luck with that. The software stalled at the par where it re-installs the operating system. I tried restoring from the recovery disc but no luck, same error.  Now I had no way of restoring my computer. The hard drive had been reformatted so there was nothing on the disc. I then had to drop my laptop at the HP certified repair center for them to put Windows Vista back on it and test the wireless adapter and replace if need be.

I have no laptop now and I won’t be getting it back for at up to seven days. That is a long time to wait for her :( I miss her already. Now I am resorted to a slow, crappy Windows XP desktop. I hate this machine! It will do though, better this than nothing at all. I’m going to have to convert my TV Shows to watch on my PSP because this stupid computer doesn’t play well with Divx. Poor Me! :(

PSP Themes


In 3.71, Sony added theme support. Initially you could only use themes Sony had created but they shortly released a kit for people to make their own themes. I tried out some of the themes and some are pretty good, but most suck. If I want a theme on my PSP, it would have to be slick and nice. Most of the themes have jaggered icons, some even have icons that aren’t transparent so you can see white, very lame and unprofessional.

I have found a handful of decent themes. I’m sure everyone can predict the types of themes people will be creating, and yes, you are right. The good thing is most of these cliche themes are pretty decent, its the other stuff that is amature. Windows theme is a theme using the basic Windows icons and such to help you identify features on the PSP, for example the Internet Browser is the IE logo. The Mac theme is pretty similar but the icons are replaced with their OS X counterparts, lie the file specific folders and the music and photos menu icons. Vista theme features all the slick icons from the new Windows operating system. This is the best theme I have seen so far (in terms of looks, nothing to do with the actual computer operating system.) Last but not least, iPhone. There had to definitely be an iPhone theme. It has the iPhone icons associated with PSP features, Music, Pictures, Internet ect. ect.

The themes I have mentioned were all made at a high standard and anyone with the PSP with 3.71 (or 3.71 M33 custom firmware,) should definitely check these themes out. I have attached the themes I have mentioned plus a few extra one so now you have no excuse not to check them out. If you find any good ones, please lead me onto them, also tell me what you think of the ones I have attached.

Note: Themes posted here are not mine. I take no credit for them. All rights belong to their original owners.

Updating PSP to M33


Today Team M33 released their 3.71 Custom Firmware for PSP. The major thing that this adds is support for 3.71. It had been a while since the last release and the day before they released a statement saying that the firmware was ready but they were delaying it for various reasons. The release also came with another surprise, M33 is Dark_Alex, the king of Homebrew and Custom Firmware.

I hadn’t updated since 3.10 OE-A and I though now would be a good time to update. There were various reasons why I had held off for this long, one being that I was happy with the firmware I was on and everything we working perfectly and there was no compelling reason to update when there was the possibility of breaking all the stuff I was using. There was also a small chance of bricking my PSP but I like to feel I have the hang of it, for I have downgraded and upgraded 3 other PSPs other than my own.

Then when Dark_Alex announced his retirement of the scene, I was a bit worried about who would take over and release custom firmware. Was someone going to take over or was I doomed to 3.40 OE and the eventual death of custom firmware and go back to the official, most likely 4.XX. A new group rushed in and took the spot, Team M33. They said they reversed-engineered the OE firmware to create their own M33 firmware. When they released it, there were mixed opinions about this group. Some disliked them and wanted Dark_Alex back, other accepted them and decided to worship this new group that has entered the scene.

I was unsure. I didn’t want to go out and update the M33. I waited for the outcomes of other people. I also had a worse fear of everything breaking if I update to this M33 firmware. I quietly hoped to myself, that one day he would return, the king, Dark_Alex. I stopped participating in PSP homebrew but I did keep one eye on it. As time passed, Sony released more official homebrew updates, Team M33 were closely behind them releasing their custom firmware and a thin layer of dust covered the plastic enclosure of my PlayStation Portable.

Eventually I decided that it was time to wipe down my PSP, give in and update my PSP, for better or worse. 3.70 arrived from Sony so I waited for M33 to release their custom firmware of it. This was my entry back in, to bring life back into my PSP, hopefully. I waited and waited until today, it was released! The news was also that Dark_Alex is M33, which gave me comfort and made it definite I was taking the plunge, again. I eagerly downloaded all the files needed for me to make the big jump, from 3.10 OE to 3.71 M33. I did it. The process was a lot smoother than previous updates, it even used the official Sony updater instead of the black and white text screen. It was nice.

After the update was complete, I went to snoop around. My PSP crashed as I entered the setting menu, but this is nothing new. I then had a play with all of the new features. Themes is the biggest update from what I had, other than that, it was little updates that were either bug fixes or something I couldn’t/didn’t use. I had a play with the themes I downloaded and it looks nice and different but I went back to the original default look. Themes are just a fad and the one Sony has released are a little ugly. I can’t wait for people to make their own theme, those are going to be leet!

I also tested playing some ISO’s that I had on my memory stick. These ran amazingly, with no problems. I didn’t even have to modify the clock speed in the recovery menu and even online worked for Ratchet and Clank, it didn’t in my previous custom firmware. Also my favourite homebrew application, PSPTube, still worked in the firmware. I was extremely happy with the update and would recommend everyone update to 3.71 M33 now! Custom Firmware is AMAZING!

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