Thursday, June 26, 2008

Long nights, baseball, politics, apple pie..and I'm tired

Storms kill me.

If you happen to see national radar and notice that there are storms over central Ohio -- please think of me...especially if it's at night.

My dogs really, really, really, really hate thunder. My old dog, she's 14, trembles uncontrollably when thunderstorms strike. I have tried meds -- but to no avail. Well, our "new" dog picked up this habit and tends to act like an idiot when it storms as well. So at night -- if it's nasty out -- Bill is awake. Most likely on the couch downstairs watching an infomercial at 3AM (Go H2o Mop!) while the dogs shake rattle and roll.

Last night was such a night. Storms lingered over central Ohio from 10 PM until about 4 AM. I did not sleep.

So today I'm kinda tired.

A few notes before I pass out:

OOTP 9 is fun -- no doubt. Is it $40 of fun? Well that depends. I thought OOTP 7 was the high point for the series, and while I believe OOTP 9 is technically a better game -- faster sim speed, better scouting mechanic, and better AI -- from a review standpoint I really have no idea how to grade it.

I don't think it's essential if you own and like OOTP 7, but I'd clearly prefer to play OOTP 9 due to the enhancements even if those enhancements are a bit on the "this could have been patched" side.

The new ball animation is a total gimmick. Basically the ball is put into play and you see it travel along its path but you have no idea what happens unless you read the text. So, um, what's the point?

Until a "text" game adopts something like the 20+ year old MicroLeague Baseball graphic UI -- just stop. Keep it text with sound effects (which are back for OOTP 9 btw). You need to see the ball in FLIGHT and you need to see the players MOVE -- even if it looks like crap (sorta like MicroLeague). If all that you see if the ball animation it's a wasted feature.

So anyway -- better game and if you are in a league that is upgrading to V9 then go for it. Solo players that are happy with OOTP 2007...that's a tougher call.

The Political Machine is another oddity. I dunno what it is but I think making games based off political campaigns is trickier than it seems. I didn't like the 1960 Boardgame and PM, while full of strategic options and a superb feeling that you never have enough time to do everything you want -- it still comes off somewhat hollow to me. More on this later as I finish up my review. I just don't like the fact that I can lose to Ron Paul because he took New York.

Oh, yeah, zombies. I got the Last Night on Earth expansion (Growing Hunger) and it's a riot.