Saturday, December 04, 2004

The xbox and me: work in progress

I bought an xbox.

What's an xbox? Er, for those of you who just landed on this planet, it's the Microsoft video game system. It's like a Sony Playstation 2, but better. This according to the technician at the hospital's hyperbaric facility who has Playstation, xbox, and Nintendo. She obviously knows whereof she speaks.

The xbox package came with two games: an NCAA football game (yecch, I hate football, though who knows--maybe it'll grow on me) and Top Spin, a tennis game. I also ordered MVP 2004 (a baseball game) and NBA Live 2005 (guess).

The thing took three minutes to hook up. Being an electronics whiz tends to give one a false sense of hope.

I started with the tennis game. It has all the famous tennis players. I decided to be a male player, for obvious reasons. My opponent would also be male, I decided. Don't want to take advantage of the weaker sex, you know.

I checked the manual to see how to serve the ball and how to swing at it. Well, the serving came fast, the swinging not so fast. Except that I kept serving so hard that the ball was constantly out of bounds. I lost game after game.

Top Spin allows the player to express various emotions of his choice, including exasperated and pissed off. Seeing as how my opponent seemed fairly confident and self-assured, I chose pissed off. Nothing like realism.

On to baseball. Giants vs. Mets at Shea Stadium. Where the hell is Barry Bonds? Did they not pay his licensing fee?

It took me a couple of hours to figure out that when you play by yourself, you're one of the two teams: you pitch while the computer hits; you hit while the computer pitches. Totally ingenious, really.

Four innings: Mets (computer) 34, Giants (me) 2. I got the two runs on a HR, I think by pressing the "swing" button accidentally when I fell off my chair.

The NBA game was Da Bomb (that means "good" in the game-playing world). I played games like the 1950's All-Stars against today's Knicks, meaning I had guys like Bob Cousy and George Mikan on the one side, and lots of guys I never heard of on the other side. I was the Knicks, and I did O.K., losing 65-31. That's with five-minute quarters, not the regulation 12. (You can set the length of the quarters.)

The announcer is Marv Albert. Some guy I never heard of (Marv keeps referring to him as The Czar, but I don't think it's Nicholas II) does the color commentary, which generally consists of things like, "The Knicks need to rethink their defensive strategy--the zone defense doesn't seem to be working for them." No shit, Sherlock.

All told, I'm having a massive amount of fun. However, the fun will soon wear off if the losing doesn't stop. Maybe if I had my guys shoot up some "clear"...



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