Random Babblings: Quality Control Pt.2


posted 3/17/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
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Speaking of recommended hardware, has anyone tried Unreal II? After you fell asleep from playing it did you try to turn on the EAX function? I mean, you just spent $200 on that brand new Sound Blaster Audigy 2, you’d love to give those Logitech Z-680s the workout of their lives right? What happens when you get into the game? It randomly crashes at will. Doh. What’s the recommendation? Don’t use hardware that’s not supported by the game? Oh wait, it says “Sound Blaster Audigy 2 recommended” right on the box.

Come on, if you’re going to recommend something at least have the decency to test it out beforehand. Not only are you wasting our time by forcing us to download patch after patch, but you’re also misleading the general public who may not have such a firm grasp on PC and PC hardware.

What if you’re that father who buys Unreal II for his kid on his birthday? What if you decide to throw in another surprise? What if you read the box and says to yourself “Hey, little Timmy will really have a great time if I get the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 that it recommends on the box!” Suffice to say, Timmy will not be having a great birthday this year.

Did anyone remember the release week of Command & Conquer Generals? Before the game hit retail there were already two patches available with one more to come near the tail end of the week. Just this week another patch was released, upping the number to four in a span of three weeks. I’m not sure what’s going on here but I’m sure it has the Guinness Book of World Records people in a frenzy.

It’s funny because this is your proverbial catch-22. On one hand if you want the game released on time, you’ll be forced to sit through download after tumultuous download. Sure developers will disguise this as “extra bonus content” but you and I really know that they’re adding and finishing the features that were omitted from the supposed complete product. Anyone remember the supposed online aspect of Simcity 4? It’s been nearly two months and the promised functionality is nowhere in sight.

Then again, if you want the game to be perfect you’ll have to wait weeks, maybe even months, so that the QA guys can test and retest every possible combination. So what’s the lesser evil? Downloading patch after patch or waiting a few more months so that you can get your hands on Daikatana 2? Then again, if it works for Blizzard…

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