Before I get started on Tiger ’12, I want to add my voice to the growing chorus that is (a) disappointed by the PSN outage and (b) utterly perplexed by Sony’s total lack of transparency and disclosure regarding the outage.
Not to keep bringing the console wars into this, but seriously: you get what you pay for. If Xbox Live is down even for an hour, Major Nelson and the rest of the Xbox crew are on top of it, tweeting and blogging and keeping the community as well-informed about what’s going on as possible. Sure, people are going to bitch and moan, but those people are going to bitch and moan about everything. The rest of us understand that shit happens; it’s just nice to know what’s going on. It is a service that a lot of us pay for, and as such it’s nice to know that Microsoft is at least appearing to be concerned on our behalf.
On the other hand, Sony’s been pretty much totally quiet. All they’ve said is that they suffered an “external intrusion,” which sounds downright naughty, but still it’s pretty goddamned vague. Then there are other theories involving Anonymous, or, Steam, or some sort of custom firmware hack, or maybe the hamster wheel powering the network went offline. There’s been some concern that PSN users’ credit card information may have been stolen; Sony hasn’t said a word about that. They haven’t really said anything, and it’s now been almost a week.
(I’ll tell you what – I was going to buy Portal 2 on the Xbox360 anyway, but I’m really glad I did because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to play online co-op with anybody. And if I’d bought Mortal Kombat, or SOCOM 4, I’d be totally screwed.)
I’m not quite ready to be outraged, but that’s probably because I do most of my gaming on the 360, which also has Netflix and all the other online stuff I’d be using. I’m not a Plus member, so I’m not missing out on whatever I’d be missing out on. Still, though: this is embarrassing.
OK, back to Tiger.
Looking over my previous Tiger Woods posts, it appears that ’09 was my favorite (at least in terms of the current generation – I’m still awfully fond of the original Xbox games in the ’03-’04 era, which were full of crazy courses and had a much more arcade-y sensibility). ’10 pissed me off right from the very start, and I can’t honestly remember if I played ’11.
In any event, ’12’s biggest change (aside from being slathered in MASTERS-ness, which is apparently a big deal to golf nerds) is the caddy feature, which more or less takes all the challenge out of setting up a shot. The caddy gives you several shot options to choose from, and then you either pick one of them or set up your own. I tend to like picking my own, and the problem I’m having is that for the most part, all I want to do is take one of the caddy’s suggestions and move it over a few feet, but if I even so much as gently nudge the thumbstick, I’m suddenly 20 yards away from where I want to be – the “custom” shot defaults to the max yardage for each club, which is a pain in the ass.
I will admit to liking the new caddy putting assist, which removes pretty much all of the challenge of reading the green – not that I don’t want some challenge when I putt, but it’s just that in previous Tiger games the putting game was dreadfully inconsistent in terms of sensitivity and control. I’ve still muffed a few putts even with this new assist, but I can’t blame the game – one of the putts was messed up because one of my dogs jumped on my stomach during my wind-up and I ended up overshooting a 6-foot gimme by about 20 yards.
Anyway – I’ve played the introductory 9-hole course and went -2, and I’m generally liking the feel of the game so far. I expect that this will tide me over for the next few weeks, right in time for L.A. Noire.