Thursday, May 06, 2010

NHL 2K10 for the Wii - Piece o' crap...

My youngest son, who has shown an interest in hockey, recently had his 7th birthday. My oldest son bought him a couple of games for the Wii - including NHL 2K10. I am not a huge fan of sports games, but this one is so convoluted and poorly designed, it makes me amazed that people seem to like it.

I am a software developer/designer for a living and I know a thing or two about the importance of usability, but the menu system is anything but usable. For instance, even though you can play the game without the nunchuck control, you actually need it to traverse the menu correctly - though at no point in the game itself (it knows whether or not you have a nunchuck attached) nor in the manual does it state this - failure #1.

Failure #2 takes the form of entirely non-intuitive menus. Frankly, I don't need fancy and flashy menus - I just need a freaking menu. Hell, spend less time with retarded menus and more time on gameplay. That's what people bought the game for, not flashy menus.

Failure #3 is the pain in the ass "connecting to server" bug that even people giving this game a relatively high rating complain about - my son just wanted to play a Quick Game and tried to choose the Eastern Conference AllStars as his team. The system then looped while attempting to connect to Take2's servers and I had to reset the freaking Wii. Apparently, this is a known bug - one that should be a show stopper - but for some reason people are willing to accept it.

Failure #4 - the gameplay itself. Horrible beyond measure. I could go on, but will focus on something that is out of the player's direct control. When you play the game, you control one player at-at-time. The AI controls your other players (not very well at all - I don't know how many times the other team - also controlled by the AI - got breakaways because the AI controlled defencemen just stood there). At one point, the AI controlling the characters caused penalty after penalty. My son was playing on the penalty kill, 5 on 3, for more than 12 minutes of in-game time. The other team NEVER got a penalty. So, the AI controls every player on the other team, and THEY never get a penalty, but the 4 players on my son's team did constantly.

Horrible, horrible, horrible.

Stay away from it if you value your sanity.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Celebrity culture as news

Do you really care that Tiger Woods was unfaithful? How about David Boreanaz from Bones? I know I don't care, but the entertainment that still masquerades as news fills the airwaves with this crap.

The whole Tiger Woods fiasco was just that. At what point did sports channels start covering tabloid fodder? What does his dicking around and the subsequent fallout have to do with his golfing, except to serve as a distraction for him? I don't idolize athletes, or actors, or politicians. In what kind of sad reality must someone live to idolize someone they have never met?

I think the word "idolize" should be replaced by "idealize" - because that is what is actually happening. JFK was, for all intents and purposes, a man whore who had affairs in the freaking White House - but for all that he was "idolized" and still is. Why? He could be a jerk in real life had you met him without the press around. So, it wasn't JFK, or Tiger Woods, that people "idolized" it was their image they portrayed in the media.

This phenomenon also explains reality TV and the WWF. People allow themselves to believe in a reality that doesn't exist. Whether it is an individual or a concept. Marketing trumps intelligence and perception each and every time. Pathetic, ain't it?