Pitfalls of PS4 DLC Region-Locks

I should have seen this coming, but alas one is sometimes blind.

As you have seen, I’ve got a region 3 copy of Senran Kagura: Estival Versus that is the Asian English release (the game ID seems to be the Hong Kong english release). While the PS Store displayed content from the Australian version of the network, I assumed the DLC would be region-free. There was some stuff in the store that was free, like the “Free DLC Set” and some other goodies. I was like “Sure, I’ll download that and customize my ninjas with the new outfits”… but when they downloaded they got stuck at “Waiting to install”.

Thinking I need to boot my copy of the game to make it install the goods. I booted it up, played a little and then paused the game – checking the PS Menu’s Downloads section. They were still stuck “Waiting to install”.

So, thinking my PS4 console was glitching, I rang Sony’s PSN Helpdesk. I got a very helpful lady that answered my call, and I explained what was going on. After some verification questions and such, I basically gave her a short run-down on the issue. She knew it affected some others, and asked me for the game ID. Since my copy started with ‘P’, she had to look it up and confirm it was an overseas copy. Unfortunately, she couldn’t help me out by telling my system to force the DLC install (or switch it to the correct region) because “We would have to check the console to ensure that the DLC was indeed stuck installing, and people weren’t doing shady moves”.

I’m not going to bash Sony for that, that is a completely legitimate point. It stops people downloading DLC in which they then say “Oh it didn’t install” and getting refunds, etc. I should have realized the DLC locks to the game’s ID and unfortunately, Australian DLC for Senran Kagura: Estival Versus doesn’t work with Region 3 (Asian) releases of the said game. So I either have to buy the Australian release of the game via the online store or just let the DLC collect digital dust.

After a few more questions regarding another game and a bug in the screen that appears after inserting a game (the one that says “Related Items/Activities”) that allows me to buy the game again even when I have the physical copy), and the support call was wrapped up.

So, gamer beware – play an import game and you want DLC? You’ll have to buy it in it’s region for it to install. Wrong region DLC for games will download, but not install… unless you’ve got the disc for the correct region.

As Battlefield Bad Company 2 says when you mess up – “EPIC FAIL”. I’m somewhat bitter about it, but I understand Sony’s point of view.

Howto: Rescue Windows 10 from a Hibernation Loop in 7 Steps

I had to rescue a Windows 10 laptop that somehow got stuck into a hibernation loop, where it would hibernate and instead of it resuming normally from disk, it would resume and then go back into hibernation mode. Windows 7 or 8.1 doesn’t suffer from this, so it’s a Windows 10 quirk.

The Windows 10 version the client’s laptop was Build 10240, so it’s not the “10.1 November 2015” update which is 10584 or something. Anyway, onto the fix. This may corrupt your NTFS partition, so check the disk partition for errors after you do this method!

  1. Grab a copy of SysRescueCD, which is a rescue environment based on one of my favourite distros, Gentoo. I used the 64bit version. It doesn’t really matter.
  2. Boot from the USB. This laptop was using UEFI and had Secure Boot enabled, so I had to boot into the BIOS and disable Secure Boot. Secure Boot is fine for the average user but for IT technicians like me who work in the field it’s a massive pain in the arse. If you do it right, the SysRescueCD boot menu will appear, either in 640×480 VGA mode or UEFI Framebuffer (using GRUB2 EFI).

    Choose your poison, I went with the “cache all in ram” since this laptop had 8GB of RAM.

  3. Once the distro boots, let it configure the keyboard and related things then drop you to a shell as root. Now you’ll need to find out where the Windows partition is. I’ll give you a hint; if your target computer uses UEFI, usually it’s /dev/sda3 since there’s a EFI System Partition and a Recovery Partition before the Windows partition. Otherwise you’ll either want /dev/sda2 if you have a “System Reserved” partition and you’re NOT using UEFI (ie. UEFI-CSM BIOS Emulation or a older laptop/desktop that doesn’t have UEFI firmware) or /dev/sda1 for some installations of Windows 7 and onwards.
  4. Attempt to mount the partition using the mount tool. For example:
    mkdir /mnt/winwoes
    mount /dev/sda3 /mnt/winwoes

    Where /dev/sda3 in this example is the Windows partition. The laptop I was working on had Windows on partition 3.

  5. It should fail and say “Metadata is present, will not mount without ‘ro’ parameter”. If you get this error, then that’s OK. We’re going in. Now, we’ll need to use ntfsfix to flush the caches. This resets the log file and also checks the NTFS headers and whatnot are OK. Run it like so:
    ntfsfix /dev/sda3

    You will get a “FAILED” as it attempts to mount it before hand. Ignore the error. You should get some disk I/O activity and lines followed by “OK”. Then, run it again to make sure it sticks. You should get all “OK” or “PASS”.

  6. The moment of truth.
    sync && reboot

    The sync is important in case the HDD hasn’t flushed the changes to disk, and the reboot command will reboot the machine once SysRescueCD gracefully packs up its things and leaves the building.

    Windows may complain if you’re using 7 or 8.1 about it needing a check disk, let it do so as this is kinda a brute force hack. In Windows 10, I just got a “System disk needs checking for errors” notification. Pop open (once you’re in) a Command Prompt and enter “chkdsk /scan” to get Windows to fix itself up if it finds any corruption or damage done.

  7. If all is well, you should no longer get a “Hibernating…” with a circle with dots going around in a circle. Go forth and do what you need to do on that machine, and make sure it shuts down correctly this time!

Super Mario Maker Levels designed by me

This is a list of Super Mario Maker (a WiiU application that allows people to create and play fan Mario levels) levels that I’ve designed and published.

Some may have been removed from the server due to no one liking/playing them, so I cannot promise if all of them will still be available or not.

TODO: Add some level UIDs from the Wii U!

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus gets banished into R18+ category

Note that R18+ at the top right corner.
Note that R18+ at the top right corner. Australian Rating Boards, please explain?

Queue the artist’s favourite phrase “Boobs are life, ass is hometown” as Europe (and the other places of the world, I think) got their release today (18th March 2016) of Senran Kagura: Estival Versus while the US got theirs on the 15th of March. I’ve ordered the Asian Non-Region locked edition, which is in English and it’s on it’s way to me from Play-Asia. They shipped it last night (my time) and I’m hyped like a little kid in a candy store. But enough of that – on to the main beef of this piece.

I personally think the R18+ rating is too harsh for a game like this. You play as a female ninja from the roster, and you’re fighting (and stripping!) enemies on your way to victory. There’s the sexually suggestive one-liners that the girls say, Haruka is a complete tease and HAPPY BOOBS.

As for the rating, I can understand why SK: EV would fall into the MA15+ (Mature Audiences 15 Plus) category straight away since you’ve got almost-naked female bodies without genitals or nipples – confirmed as there was a bug that unintentionally made some outfits fail to load in the Japanese release that was fixed in a Japanese bugfix update – so I can also understand that this game is NOT for kids to play. “Mummy, what’s those big things that jiggle?”. Heck, the 3DS Senran Kagura games got M and MA15+ respectively (correct me if I’m wrong).

But for an R18+ rating on a game like this? I haven’t seen game play footage apart from the trailer because I don’t want to spoil it for myself but the game doesn’t have any sex scenes nor is it a hentai (porn) game. Those types of games get an X18+ rating. Yes, X-Rated games are a thing now after that classification came back from the graveyard.

Sure, SK:EV might have funny sexually suggestive dialogue and some characters that are a tease – I’m looking at you, Haruka – but I’d love an better explanation from the Ratings board why SK: EV deserves a R18+ rating. “High impact sexualised gameplay, online interactivity” doesn’t really explain much – why is it high impact? There’s no drugs. There’s no gore or gibs. At the very least, a R18+ rating is better than having characters get censored and/or clothed up because reasons. (Ahem, I’m looking at you, Nintendo of America).

Anyway, until I have my hands on a copy I can only sit on the fence. I hope to get it next week so I can jump back in and look at the new game in the series. I’ve included additional stuff that I’ve wrote since publishing this and a few more images below.
Continue reading “Senran Kagura: Estival Versus gets banished into R18+ category”

Mini Review: Senran Kagura Burst, Nintendo 3DS (NSFW…ish)

Press Start for Ninja Boobs!
Press Start for Ninja Boobs!

Reviews aren’t my forte but here goes. Today, I’ll do a mini review with the first western-released game of the Senran Kagura games on the 3DS. Screenshots were taken from my own hardware, and the use of them falls under “Fair Use”. Due to the questionable nature of the screenshots, viewer discretion is advised.

WARNING: The following review contains screenshots that may contain boobs, panties and/or other body parts that may trigger or offend other people. If you get triggered or offended easily, then this review is not for you.

Senran Kagura Burst is actually a remake/improved version of the first Japanese title, “Senran Kagura: Shoujotachi no Shinei” which is developed by Tamsoft Corporation and published by Marvelous! (yes, their company name includes the exclamation mark). That said game had some minor flaws, but overall got a decent recognition.

Burst was released in 2013 with English language dialogue by Marvelous! USA (formally XSEED Games, although they still use the XSEED Games brand, I think…). It contained a second story-line from the other schools’ point of view, bug fixes and other miscellaneous additions, changes, etc.

XSEED Games/Marvelous! USA have done a good job translating it and keeping it as faithful to the original as possible, unlike how all that “Fire Emblem Fates” crap is going down in the USA – I’ll say no more about that.

Originally, I thought the game was just be 2D sprites and static backgrounds, kinda in the sense like retro beat-em-ups. I was wrong. And I’ll explain why – keep reading below!

Continue reading “Mini Review: Senran Kagura Burst, Nintendo 3DS (NSFW…ish)”

New blog and stuff…

Well, when you have your own personal domain just sitting around doing nothing I guess it’s not a bad idea to turn it into a personal blog of sorts.

As you can possibly tell, I’m not exactly super thrilled to be writing the first post with “eh, welcome to another blog”, so well yeah. There you go. Welcome to my new blog.

Now I better set up some spam protection or else I’ll have the spam bots crawling all over this place…