We may all live in a great big global community, but in my Blog, it's my world.
Here's a few gripes and comments (sort of like George Carlin's Complaints and Grievances) on some of the Xbox Live Arcade games -- specifically the cards and board games.

As alternatives to Uno, I snagged both the Hardwood Hearts and Hardwood Spade games. I love Hearts as it's quite fun to play, and I'm learning Spades and having an ok time playing that too.

What I'm not happy with on those games though is that the graphics in the games, especially cards that are on the table, are darn near undecipherable. Spades look like Clubs and vice versa, and Diamonds almost look like Hearts. Ugh. It doesn't happen when the cards are in your hands, only when cards are on the table. I'm told, by a regular playing partner, that it's just as bad on a 50"+ set as it is on my 26" widescreen HDTV box. I can't imagine how bad it looks on an SD set. Very frustrating.

Secondly, something that is absolutely right (or close to it) in Uno but isn't even close in the Hardwood games is table management. The host in Uno is able to rearrange the table to their hearts (no pun intended) content, while in the Hardwood games there doesn't seem to be any way at all to set up partners and move seats around to get the table layout the way you want. I say Uno is close to perfect (rather than is perfect) because there's no way to drop a jerk while actually playing through a round, but at least once a round is finished the host can make judicious use of the "drop player" option to make things right at the table.

Texas Hold 'em suffers a similar problem, especially in tournament mode where some players join tournaments and then walk away from the table -- or worse, sit and consciously play this way -- letting the game automatically fold them until they eventually get through to the final 3 or final 2 in the game. I've seen at least 3 or 4 idiots take that approach, some that were obviously sitting and playing that way -- but taking the full 30 seconds each time -- folding on every hand. I know that the tournaments only pay out to the top 3 players, but if you aren't going to actively play and bet when you have a decent hand, then screw you, drop from the game and go elsewhere.

I can see where giving the host the power to drop a player from the game could be abused in Tournament Hold'em, but it would be nice if the host could force a vote at the table to remove a player from the game for abusing the system in the way I've described here. At least then the other people in the game could drop the moron from the game and leave just the active players behind.

Anyway, I hope all of these games get improved over time. Most definitely the graphics in the Hardwood games. I suppose I could toss in a request for improvements to the Bankshot Billiards game as well, as that game can also be frustrating for the inability to distinguish the balls on the table well enough.
Comments
on Sep 25, 2006

I'm sure if I sat and thought about it a little while I could come up with a few more things to gripe about, but over all I've had good experiences playing within Xbox Live.  There are some people that are jerks and will ruin the experience the best they can as they go, but generally the majority of people I've run into are nice and friendly and they offer up competitive games while not being poor sports about winning or losing.

I hope to run into more people like that as I go, and avoid the jerks (like the aforementioned Texas Hold'em lamers).

on Sep 25, 2006
So tell me why are you making posts about Xbox 360/Xbox Live on a site for a game on the PC?
on Sep 26, 2006
Very simple Azrune! These forums are equiped with different sections, the one he is posting in is labled "Console Games: XBox" The recent posts doohickey puts up posts from all the forums, not just the ones relating specifically to GalCiv2. It bugged me at first too, you'll get used to it, now I kinda enjoy the random samplings the doohickey offers!
on Sep 26, 2006
The gaming section of JoeUser.com is cross-posted to GalCiv2.com.
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