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Tycho / on Fri, Apr 5 2013 at 12:01 am

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Perennial

Because their shit tends not to work at launch, and because by the time it does work I’m typically enamored of some kind of free to play browser strategy nonsense, I stopped picking up most EA titles new.  Gabriel won’t be without golf titles though, his allegiance to the courses of his youth demands it, and he has rededicated himself to the sport.  So.

Almost immediately upon execution, the game played an extended video detailing all of the new stuff it had, presumably because if it had not done so you wouldn’t be able to tell.  The standout feature this time around is the ability to travel through time and golf against the dead, which isn’t anywhere near as cool as that might imply.  We have said it before, but it bears repeating: they are essentially operating a Golf RPG franchise here, and I don’t know how well the annualized model serves the thesis.  Especially when your hard-earned progress and precision face-making is obliterated every time you, as the true enthusiast, decide to re-up.  That repeat customer is the customer they want; here’s hoping the next round of hardware might allow for something a little more organic than the all-or-nothing model.  If any franchise ever wanted to be F2P, it’s this one.

Everybody who reads a site like Penny Arcade probably knows about the Microsoft dude showing his “Twitter ass” re: Always On Consoles.  His butt and the surrounding environs were no doubt hurt by this ambiguously sourced Kotaku piece, one which contradicts its entire thrust within the body of the article itself, and he decided to start peeing in consumer’s mouths when the actual solution was to stop reading Kotaku.

I don’t actually know what “always on” means.  The first Xbox was “always on,” because it offered a perpetual connection and the creature comforts that come from a unified service.  I’ve asked about what it means this time around, of course, and gotten “responses” moated deep in quotation marks.  But you talk to me the way this Adam Orth character did at your fucking peril.  He’s been muzzled now, of course; brought to heel.  When others told me what he tried to say, they emphasized just how connected everything is now.  They aren’t wrong, certainly: World of Warcraft is typically the object lesson for things like this, but that’s a single game.  Steam is much more apt, as a container service which is more or less my computer’s primary operating system.  Google Docs, as a kind of Cloud Elemental, is also a solid point of comparison.  Both of those feature offline modes that let you “own” your stuff to a large extent independent of the silver cord.

I could nod gravely in the direction of Electronic Arts and Ubisoft’s attempts to corral piracy to the detriment of legitimate customers, but those grisly tales need no reference.  What’s being suggested slash pilloried - a console which must constantly speak to the Internet or be rendered inert - could not possibly work as a global entertainment appliance.  That’s why I don’t actually believe it’s the case.  But we saw this with the PS3, also: a glutted victor gesturing with a ham hock, making a host of slurred decrees.  And that’s where the worry begins to creep in at the edges.

(CW)TB out.

six hours as the raven flies


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