PlayStation Home

A Message From Home, Part I by Allison James

As many may know I am the owner, and enjoyer, of a PlayStation 3. I am also a big fan of its Second Life-esque free program, PlayStation Home.For starters, if you also play Home or PS3, feel free to add my PSN accounts - NAL-Games (for pretty much all games), and NAL-USA (which I use for Home because the American Home is better and the people I know go on this version too). If you don't go on Home though there's really no need to add the latter.So, today, I spent a while having a bit of fun doing the usual - exploration, free gift whoring etc. I also decided to get the camera out and take some pictures detailing this, so here it is, a little "story" kind of thing, featuring 19 pictures taken from Home. Click pictures to see them in high resolution.-----My miniature adventure began in the most recent of two Irem locations, Seaside of Memories, a pretty little oasis-like area featuring a beach, a bit of greenery you can't really explore, some ocean and a bunch of huts on piers containing mini-PS Stores with some inexpensive clothing for purchase. Yesterday I'd had a slight explore, but today I decided to go a little further around. I noticed no boundaries leading out to the sea, so I assumed some kind of invisible wall would cut me off. Wrong. You can actually go fully underwater, bringing up a breath meter and allowing you to go not too shabby a distance before some kind of fish netting halts you. There's actually an item underwater, marked with a sort of shining effect. And I promise I didn't pee underwater.-----I didn't see much throughout the rest of the exploration. As mentioned I'd already had a gander at the shop area - nothing much, just a few beds and sun loungers to sit on and a few things trying to wrangle 99 cents out of me in exchange for a tacky virtual hat. Though one other thing I did see, as illustrated (quite small), was a group of four friends, all dressed very oddly. It was disappointing that the cut off was so quick to come, the grassy, foresty part of the level looks both pretty and very explorable. Alas, no. There's one seemingly open gap, but it's just a bus stop to provide you with a quick route to Irem Square.-----So, with the bus providing a nice, easy route to the Square, a place which from prior experience has always been chock-full of free goodies, I took off. Irem Square is a very pretty-looking place. Set in a Japan-ish area, and packed with lights and a rather nice background track, it immediately sets a very pleasant atmosphere. I couldn't bring myself to run around. I had to walk. The picture shows what it's like from the ground level (click it to see what the caption is on about). But, yeah. Having a wander around showcases all the freebies available. If, when entering the level, you head left and move clockwise around the area, you see these.-----Firstly, there's a guy that gives out masks. Different mask each day. I've collected three, six different ones are on display though so I presume I still need three. They're annoying to wear because you can't have them on your face (they rest on the side). Then there's a food vendor - just for decoration of rooms. A shooting minigame is next, in which you can shoot off prizes to win. Easy peasy. Prizes are all decorative, though the L block acts as a seat. There's then a row with nothing but a money shop, then a stall in which you can win four decorative fish, including one I actually have two of myself - the ranchu. Was easy enough to win all four, though I couldn't play the game particularly competently because the stupid net thing kept breaking on me. After that it's mostly just decorative stuff for homes. You can also go up onto the bridge, which has a shady dealer which gives away shirts every day, and a really pleasant view of the village you irritatingly can't get to.-----The next stop was relatively short - a trip to the socialite paradise Singstar room. I'd not been here much before purely because it's so small and eventless - a few seats, a lot of lights, and a TV with music video extracts on (along with a thingy that lets you vote for which extract you want to see next. Sickeningly includes Amy Winehouse). But it is a pretty place. Infact, the entire neon aesthetic's beautifulness is second only to the Proclaimers - the Scottish singing duo whose song I Wanna Be (500 Miles) can be played (well, a short extract of it), on one of the walls. Try as I might I couldn't get a picture of them. Seems the camera dislikes video feeds.-----Next was the MotorStorm room, a place I'd yet to see. Shame really, as it's actually one of the bigger places. It's also probably the most varied. As I entered I was immediately greeted with none other than a dancefloor. It was fairly populated, with a plethora of people doing a total of about four dances. There was also a nice little eavesdropping opportunity - a girl giving a guy a lecture on why "hi, wanna cam?" is a pickup line second only to a death threat on the success scale. I didn't stay in this part of the Motorstorm area long, and presumed that it had little else to offer. I was proved wrong.-----After a nice trek over an odd path made out of wreckages of cars, pieces of sheet metal and all stereotypical junkyard stuff, I came across (innuendo block) a really rather stunning view - helicopters were flying past, a distant volcano was spewing smoke (topical!), a number of spotlights were shining into the air, and ships were sitting in the ocean. For such a mechanical site it was really quite compelling and had me staring for quite a few minutes, just trying to pick out each little detail featured in the landscape. When I broke away from the view I also went on to find a hidden area with a set of bright blue arcade cabinets containing a Motorstorm minigame I was entirely useless at.-----For my final destination I went to an old favourite, the Resident Evil Studio Lot. It's not a massive place but there's a lot of room for exploration and it's well made. Highlights include a little meat shop perfect for hide and seek (if only your nametag got the fucking hint and went dark), a crappy minigame, and some really good-looking puddles (I'm not joking). Lowlights include this man, who appeared to be an OAP BDSM angel. Complete with a sparkler. And a bald customer. Yeah.-----So that completes my Home story for today. Don't know when I'll be making another one but I'm sure I will one day. To see a complete collection of all the photos I've taken from it, including several from today I couldn't fit into this entry, please see the Flickr set here.Until next time. See y'all!