Off and on, over
the last couple of weeks, XBox Live has been having some problems
and Microsoft wants to correct this via the easiest way possible;
a free Arcade game. That's all well and good except for the fact
that this problem is deeper than just online...at least to this
Yes, paying for
online and seeing it go to shit is not a good thing. In fact, if I
pay for something, I would rather see a refund of my money than to
get a game that I WOULD NOT normally have purchased. Considering
that it would probably be something like how Carcassonne was free
right around Thanksgiving, I don't like the idea of a set game being
given for free when Microsoft makes good on their attempt at
forgiveness. They lucked out when the free Thanksgiving game was one
I'd actually consider fun, but I don't see them satisfying all Live
members who got shafted with one set game.
I don't think a lawsuit is the right answer, I do see the point
of view of the people bringing about such a lawsuit. Microsoft
should take it upon themselves to show the Live community why we pay
for online capabilities while other consoles are giving users free
online. Afterall, one of the key reasons that Live should be a pay
service is that it should be more planned out (how could Microsoft
not see server flooding after the busiest console purchasing time of
the year?) and far more stable.
What gets me the
most is that a failure of Live goes deeper than just for people
playing online. For example, do you know what happens when Live is
disconnected during an offline game of Rock Band? I do...the game
freezes for a few seconds...in the middle of a song...looking like a
console freeze. If online and offline are going to be so damned
integrated, then the online better freakin' work. It's like how
Internet Explorer is so integrated in to Windows. If IE hits a buggy
web site, then you may find all instances of similar applications
(including network drive access, file transfers, My Computer
(Computer in Vista), and so forth all failing at the same time.
So, what do I
think Microsoft should do? First of all, don't give a set game. You
cannot please everyone with such an offering. Instead, offer either
a refund of service prices for that time period that faced outages,
and also offer some sort of more universal peace offering to show
that you still want our business. A good example would be offering
the amount of Microsoft Points equal to the price of a free Arcade
game. This would be a good offering to show that Microsoft gives a
damn while still not alienating anyone who may not like the free
game idea...afterall, I sure as hell know that whatever they offer
will probably be another game I never touch...and I bet I'm not
alone in this feeling.
On to better
things (unless you like in DC)...
It was a bit of
touch and go for a while, but the Seahawks are once again
progressing to the second round of the playoffs. While the game did
show everything that could go wrong while still showing the good
outcome, I am at least happy to see that the Seahawks can pull out
some good maneuvers.
In particular, the
defense was looking pretty good when the shit hit the fan. There
were some damned nice interceptions when it mattered, and some nice
scoring and setting up for scoring while on the D.
The one thing that
needs to change during this week is that the Seahawks need to get
their total package together before they face a truly powerful
opponent in the Packers. The offense looked good at times, but there
was too much not going right. Only one side of the offense could
seem to work at a time. Either Hasselbeck would get some protection
at the line or the receivers would be ready to make a catch, or
Hasselbeck would be able to pick a worthy place to throw the ball.
Not once did it seem like all three of these elements were flowing
in tandem...maybe two would be working together, but never did all
three parts of this package.
You'll notice that
I said nothing about the rushing game. There's a good reason. The
rushing game forgot to show up on Saturday. Actually, I think that's
not 100% true. It's more that the rushing game was relied upon at
all the wrong times. Holmgren would call for the rush when it was
the most obvious call...setting up Washington's defense to tear
Alexander (or rarely Morris) into shreds. The other problem is that
Alexander was still given too much playing time and too many
attempts. He made 15 attempts and only moved the ball 46 yards. That
is not the numbers, especially in the post-season, that a starter
should be showing. Meanwhile Morris only got a couple of attempts.
It is now, or never, for Holmgren to put Morris in the starting
position and let Alexander think about what he needs to do (get into
game shape or get the hell out).
Most of all, it's
time for Holmgren to live up to something he started to plan for a
few months ago. Frye was brought in as the third string QB so that
Seneca Wallace (who, last I saw of him, could run like the mother
f#$%ing wind) could be used more in real game situations. Why not
let Wallace have a few runs to remind Alexander of how it's done,
and to throw the Packer's defense into some confusion. It's already
safe to say that Green Bay is waiting for Alexander to step onto the
field and already have a good plan in mind to stop him; just let
Alexander run into a defensive player in his usual stupor.
differences that need to be done before Saturday are too damned
simple. Holmgren needs to make some calls that are not obvious (at
least they were obvious to three guys sitting on a couch stuffing
their faces with chips, as my friends and I predicted each play, in
anger, before they came to life) and can actually throw the defense
into confusion. Alexander needs to be the second string back to make
way for Morris...or better yet, third string so that Wallace can get
something accomplished on the ground. Also, Seattle needs to stop
needing to rely on luck to get the job done (like with the two
minutes that came between Washington recovering their own kick off
and then flubbing one hell of an easy and short field goal attempt).
Seattle can win
this game. It will not be easy, but it's possible. Unfortunately,
the biggest factor in this game will be which QBs show up. Both
Hasselbeck and Favre have their evil twins who like to play goofy
and confusingly. As long as the logical and calm Hasselbeck shows
up, Seattle has a chance...of course if both QBs show up in their
sillier mind sets, it would make for one fun to watch game (at least
it would be fun until half time).
Plus, if Seattle
can pull out the win, then another home game can be in their works.
I mean it's not like Dallas has been all that impressive in the
post-season as of late. I could easily see the final round being
either Seattle or Green Bay taking on the road plagued Giants...with
the final AFC championship game being New England versus the Colts,
in a rematch of the Colts loss from earlier this season.
Also, on the
Rock Band front...tomorrow will see some Iron Maiden, a little
bit of The Hives, and most importantly...Interstate Love Song!