All posts by managard

Gripes of old games

Final Fantasy X-2 will for me always go down as the worst sequel in video game history, but for many adoring Final Fantasy fans found it refreshing and remarkable. Today I am here to stomp on all of those people’s hopes and dreams.

FFX.jpg

 

Gamespot reviewed this game and gave it 4 out of 5 stars. They begin the article with some very confusing statements. “…it’s(Final Fantasy X-2) a sequel to a sequel “. Now this statement is maybe three quarters of the way true. This game is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X is the 10th game in a run of Final Fantasy games but as Gamespot points out previously in their review “every game in the series stands alone as a self-contained story with a unique setting, plot, and cast of characters” So Final Fantasy X is as much of a sequel to Final Fantasy IX as Deadpool is to Spiderman.

Next the author talks about the tone shift from the “subtle and a little melancholy story that focused on love and loss as much as saving the world” to X-2’s upbeat and overly cheerful game. This is atrocious, to give you perspective there has only been 1 time that I have cried in my life and it was at the end of Final Fantasy X. And everyone that played that game was hoping for a continuation of that story instead we were given a glimpse of what we wanted only to have it flushed down the toilet with pop song concerts and dress up parties.

As for the actual battle mechanics I had no problems with them. They fit the theme that the developers chose for this game. In the end though you will find the difficulty pretty low. As far as minigames go  I only really enjoyed one of these which is the run and gun mini game and part of me wishes they would have made the entire game with that style.

Final Fantasy X-2’s best features are its settings and characters all which were already established by the original what players were looking for was closure and FFX-2 provided none making the entire game almost completely unrelated to the original when it was supposed to be a sequel it felt more like a spin off.

References:

https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/final-fantasy-x-2-review/1900-6083743/

Was a security release funded by it’s competitor?

Computer.jpgBack in March of 2018 CTS-Labs disclosed a vulnerability that they found inside of AMD’s chipset line up. Now this is a normal thing that companies do in order to make sure that we are safe they try and break into electronics to find their vulnerabilities so that they can be updated. But what was odd about this disclosure was that they only gave AMD 24 hours of notice before they made the vulnerability public. To put this into perspective when Google release their security disclosure for Spectre and Meltdown they notified Intel 6 months before releasing it to the public. Now CTS-Labs reports “It doesn’t have any investment (long or short) in Intel or AMD.”, but it seemed a little fishy to me so I did some digging. While one site reports that they have a legal disclaimer stating “you are advised that we may have , either directly or indirectly, an economic interest in the performance of the securities of the companies whose products are the subject of our reports.” Which to most people just sounds like a red flag but I can give them the benefit of the doubt on that one Lawyers need to make sure to cover all bases whether it is currently happening or not.

Next I wanted to look into the actual company. The company of CTS-Labs was created in 2017 and is based in Israel.  They are a security company that focuses on hardware security so their report could be that they needed to get their name out to garner business and that is why the report was rushed but it could also be that Intel would have received the briefing about Spectre and Meltdown security flaws just around the time that CTS-Labs was created and Intel would have seen on the report that AMD was not affected by either of these issues. They would have know that when this gets out that is going to cause their stock to drop and AMD’s stock to jump up. So the logical thing to do is to find a security flaw in AMD’s chipset, but if they reported it that would look childish but if someone else reports it than it is fine. Supporting new business is something that many companies do and so they found a new business that couldn’t be traced to them offered them support and asked them to focus their efforts on finding security flaws in AMD’s chips hoping that they will find one by the time the public finds out about the security issues within their own chips.

Now all of this of course is conjecture as CTS-Labs has absolutely refused to give up any information about its funding for their investigation into the security flaws but this event has definitely created tension between security groups and manufacturers.

Resources:

https://www.anandtech.com/show/12536/our-interesting-call-with-cts-labs

http://cts-labs.com/

https://www.cnet.com/news/amd-has-a-spectre-meltdown-like-security-flaw-of-its-own/

$100,000 to not use your smartphone

Vitaminwater is offering people $100,000 dollars to not use their smartphone for a year.

It was just this year when my smart phone broke and so I switched over to a flip phone and I admit that I did not last very long. After about a month of having to go to my desktop every couple of minutes to see what emails had come through I finally had enough and found a cheap smartphone on craigslist, but my time spent outside the screen made me realize how much time we do spend on our phones. I can’t count how many times I would sit down with my family and watch on as everyone else scrolled through some app on their phones, so if you think you can make it I encourage you to make a shout out to #NoPhoneForAYear and let them know how it is going to improve your life.