An Open Letter to Microsoft
Now there I was. Had just customized a Dell I bought for two months rent, and I was so happy when it arrived. It came in three boxes with my name all over it. The crooked E on the logo was like a far up lunar wink, congratulating me on my thriftiness to include a monitor and everything for only seven hundred bucks. Yeah, I had to cut some corners. I told myself that I could live without an LCD. Convinced the gamer in me that 512 of ram was okay. I could put a gig in later. Could add a card. Internal graphics chipset? Yeah I'll definitely add that card. At least I could burn movies on this sucker. Photoshop 5 would render halfway decent, right? Wait. I thought back. Which games had I wanted to play but couldn't all that time clacking away on my parents' cow print Gateway? Maybe I could actually run Freelancer on this budget box. Yeah but this damn thing is not for eye candy, I thought. I had a new apartment to pay for. Quicksilvers don't finance themselves. Still, how exciting that Age of Mythology would run with only minor stutters at its lowest settings. Yeah, I knew what that meant. But it ran. And even though it was a long (long, long) shot, my desire was so strong for Supreme Commander that I downloaded the demo zip from GR.
Now please note that I’ve played so much Total Annihilation on my folks' computer as a kid that that I ended up getting my dad hooked. To this day he’ll play a quick game with every morning coffee. He has two copies, paranoid that one might break. Dad doesn’t really know his way around a computer, either. I see a lost look on his mustachioed face when I try to explain the online Spring Project. But he loves TA like he used to love chess. And he rocks the **** out of it.
With good reason. Warcraft was the first big one, but to me, Total Annihilation was Command and Conquer for grown ups. Something about those 3D turrets on 3D terrain made me want to crunch metal on bread and sop it in engine grease while I nuked the other corner of my high school. Mechs. SAMs. My grades took a shelling.
My mouth was open at the lips when I read my first Supreme Commander preview.
Microsoft, trying to play Supcom on the 360 is pathetic. If I don't save constantly in campaign, I constantly backpedal as the game constantly locks up. Even after the update. Sometimes even before I finish saving.
Here's a common scenario. I save, but then the screen immediately freezes again. It goes black. A slight improvement graphically. The horribly leveled sound effects get much louder. It sounds like a mediocrity factory in surround. I press every button. I hold down the Xbox guide button, but nothing. You walk by my couch and lift your leg to it. Thanks Mike. I get up and walk over to the console and reset, because I have to. I feel like I should be blowing on the disc with all my might. It's even happened during multiplayer. And I'm far from the only one.
Listen Mikey. Long story short is that this oft- delayed product should never have been slapped on the ass, and I want my money back. Oh, you better believe that I’ll continue to play the hell out of this broken game, on the rare occasion that the two racists or math teacher that ever even play it are online. But you sold me a leaded commodity. A Marlon Brawndo. Like price gouging whale oil consumers after an EMP drop, you are taking advantage of a hopelessly dire situation: my PC's processing power.
Funny though. I know that you've seen what good programming looks like. As expected, the Supcom demo wouldn't even go to a title screen on my poor rig. Freelancer, on the other hand, has made my long time dreams come true.
Quantis Never Crashed Like This Game,
+ Only other choice for impossible PC's
- No choice at all