Five oh, no, nos…

Following on from my colleague Mr Neil (here below), I feel rather moved to brain-spurt this very night…

I’m afraid to say I have gradually become rather anti-police. That might sound shocking to the likes of ya’ll, but I think there are a few things that have contributed to my feelings of anger and frustration toward their, sadly essential, profession.

I wonder if they're retractable...
I wonder if they're retractable...

For starters there’s the increasing armaments they carry, we seemed to go from truncheon and whistle to asp and taser in the blink of an eye. One moment I see a bobby on the corner with his new pepper spray, then next me and Neil see two coppers in Matlock town with semi-automatic side arms. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for giving them stab-proof vests and something to subdue an over enthusiastic larcenist with but I’m of the opinion that if it’s something I, as a law abiding citizen of reasonable years, can’t posses then neither should it be something carried routinely by those keeping the peace.

Next, it’s the new powers they constantly ask for. Example; When they wanted to lock people up for 90 days without charge (never mind actually convicted you of something, they don’t even tell you what they think you’ve done) the Government were all like “Well they say they need it so that’s good enough for us”, seeming not to realise that they were are supposed to be the check in this whole balancing equation. Otherwise we’d just hand-out the tasers and tell them to “protect us from everything, even ourselves, in anyway you feel necessary”. Lines must be drawn and the people who enforce the law shouldn’t be the ones asking for or making the law.

Thirdly, the way they use powers given to them. Neil, below, briefly covered a couple of the more notable efforts. The shooting of a Brazilian electrician 7 times in the head, the unprovoked battering of citizens at a (or infact, anywhere near) a generally peaceful protest against the G20 and the kind of things that have landed us in this “financial crisis”. Another recent example would be the dispersing “The Climate Camp” by use of anti-terror laws to arrest more than 100 people who, before the police showed up, it appears were having a peaceful protest/hippy type anti-pollution camp out. I’m sure you can all think of at least one more of these yourselves.

The final reason of my quadrilogy of reasons is that I don’t think anyone who seeks such power should ever be granted it. Ok, so then you have the problem of exactly who do you get to be the bigger lad that’s on our side against the bullies in society. I’m not saying I have the solution, but something I have thought in life generally, those who want power over us want it for a reason and only very rarely is the reason a selfless one.

Those of you out there wanting a conclusion here are about to be sadly disappointed, please draw your own and post in the receptacle provided below.


Sports Iterated

The phenomenon of sports games and their complete abuse of and by a numbering system has become something of a pet-peeve of mine. By early October last year I could play FIFA, Madden, NBA, NHL and Tiger Woods ’09.

The Original and Best
The Original and Best

Other than being in the wrong year and having the latest stats, these games always include one new “feature” to utilise during the simulation of your chosen sport. However, this much vaunted ability usually turns out to be both useless and unnecessary. Being a loyal sports fan and playing each franchise annually, I’ve now come to the conclusion that every sports game developer feels the requirement to release one game a year simply due to the numbering system they adopted in the 90s.

How crazy is that??

Our unstoppable rotation around The Sun has lead to useless such additions as “Game Face”, which allows you to put your very face onto a simulated competitor, and ones that essentially break the game such as “Tiger Vision”, which does not fill the screen with honey and bears but tells you exactly where to aim to get any putt in (apart from when it tells you wrong and you throw your controller at the wall in disgust).

The stand out difference from these WAS Pro-Evolution Soccer, which usually went through one normal version (Super Star Soccer X) then its Pro-Evo sequel (basically the same game but with another year’s polish) which would then be followed by a real sequel with N proceeding it (where N=X+1). This was fine, as there was no game without a significant update of the play system. However, this is sadly no longer the case, as Konami have begun to licence player names from individual teams and will soon be using real player names and stats as they acquire the rights.

I can understand a complete update being done for a new system, such as the move from X-Box to 360. Yes, a entirely new engine is needed to make the players look their best for my next thrashing of Arsenal, so I don’t mind paying out £45 for the pleasure of seeing Ledley King’s shiny head in lovely high res. textures for my HDTV. I do mind paying the same amount for the same game but with updated data and the ability control two players simultaneously, so I can make runs, bolted on… honestly, did anyone ever use that??

…apart from my good friend Dave “12 fingers” Chameleon of course…

Finally, all the features I want in a sports game

I’m hoping this situation will end in the near future as developers realise that they can update the stats (which is the only thing customers really want) by use of the internet and micro payments. EA seem to have started down the road this year with their Live Season player update system (you even get one division updated free for a year with FIFA (just like a crack dealer…)) but I still expect FIFA 2010 to arrive in my local independent games retailer by the end of September.

I can understand that they do this so they can make more money out of us all, as we will buy these games simply for the new data sets, irrespective of new game play elements, but why hide behind this feature smoke screen?

It’s so annoying having to learn the slightly altered game mechanics every single time, plus having the yearly brain spurt from the work experience kid thrown in. Surely coming up with a new feature, implementing it and making other arbitrary changes to the game is less economically beneficial than updating the player information throughout a two or three year period and charging us a reasonable fee for this service…