Friday, December 30, 2011

What I want to see in a video game

I don’t think I play video games right.

Which is not to say that I’m bad at them. At this point in my life, I’m pretty natural at most games, and can hold my own with most casual gamers in most games.

It’s just that I don’t think I play them the way they are meant to be played.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bobby Orr, Nick Lidstrom, and Greatness

The other day, I was having an argument with a person from Detroit. It was not about Justin Verlander, which is somewhat surprising. Rather, it was about Nick Lidstrom, who I would contend is one of the top five defensemen of all time—in fact, I think that at this point, there couldn’t really be contention about that. But he wanted to say that Lidstrom was number one, that he wasn’t just better than Coffey and Bourque and Harvey but, also, better than Bobby Orr. Frankly, that’s just heresy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Base on Bonds will be going away for awhile. This is partly because the Red Sox are awful at the moment, partly because basketball is non-existent, but mostly because I am back at college writing a thesis and trying to find a job for next year. Hopefully there will still be occasional updates with "interesting" thoughts about sports and video games, and I will eventually write Part 3 (and 4?) of Barry Bonds and the Hall of Fame, but none of that will be coming quickly. Which is too bad.

-- Corey

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Verlander and the MVP

Justin Verlander has been exceptional this year. He’s probably the AL Cy Young, and while I’ve expressed earlier why I do not think he’s the MVP this year, he’s (rightly) in the conversation, and that’s something, considering that pitchers don’t get into the conversation much.[1] In any case, most of the people who have dismissed other cases dismiss WAR as not being able to account for all the intricacies of the game (which it, of course, does not), and say that those intricacies are why Verlander (or Granderson, or someone else not names Jose Bautista) should win. I’ve also previously mocked said intricacies, but I think it might be worth some time to point out—in light of the little things—why Verlander might not be the MVP this year.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Positions and Patterns

It has occurred to me, in the recent discussions of the weakness of this year’s group of third basemen, that we actually have three of the top ten third basemen ever playing right now, even if they are all in decline (I’m counting A-Rod, assuming that he will soon have more games a 3B than SS). Which seems a little odd. So I made a list, as I am want to do. After long amounts of consideration, I chose years based on peak and service time, since I feel that those are more indicative than my feeling out when we “knew” that they were one of the greatest ever. As always, numbers are from Fangraphs and list is organized by WAR.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

2011 MVP

It’s the time of year when we start talking about the baseball MVPs. In the last week, approximately everyone and their mother has written an article debating whether Verlander should win the AL MVP. All this follows on the heal of whether Adrian Gonzalez should win it, and then Pedroia had the monster July, and then there was talk of Granderson/Ellsbury… long story short, everyone suspects that Bautista is doping and / or cheating and is really wary of giving it to him. That, or they think that MVP candidates should win based on whether their team does. Also, no one has been inspired by the NL.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Deus Ex and the illusion of choice

Deus Ex: Human Revolutions is a great game.

Stealth and straight-forward violence are both viable options throughout the vast majority of the game, with good tradeoffs for both strategies; the levels are well-designed, at times intuitive and occasionally very difficult. Patience and planning are rewarded, the inventory and skill systems work well, with none of the skills feeling overpowered or—except perhaps for hacking—totally necessary. The atmosphere is good, the characters both realistic and consistent, and the environments can be quite beautiful. The only thing anyone seems to have a problem with are the boss fights.