The Dead Time

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This is the part of the year I hate the most. Once E3 is over the flow of new releases slow down to a crawl. From what I've seen so far there has only been one post E3 title that I have been interested in (Star Wars Galaxies) but aside from that it has been nothing but ports of titles played on other systems and a certain box office to DVD-ROM flop called Enter the Matrix.

Outside of the gaming world, as a sports fan it is twice as slow for me. Every summer I go through this, and with the exception of a NASCAR race every Saturday and Pirates baseball (thank god for Directv), there is nothing left for me except for tennis (wow, another victory for the Williams sisters"AGAIN!), golf (wake me up when its over), and replays on ESPN Classic (who thinks the only teams that exist are the New York Yankees, the Atlanta Braves, the Cryami Hurribabies, oops I mean the Miami Hurricanes, and the Detroit Red Wings). As I said I hate this time the most.

This just makes me want the upcoming week to come sooner than ever. Since EA Sports will be releasing NCAA 2004 on the 17th (this upcoming Thursday), it will be the only hope I have until football season starts. As everyone may know, the release of NCAA is treated like a holiday to me, as it truly signals the start of the EA Sports 2004 season, but for this season I will be able to take my career online.

That is, I can take it online on the PS2 only.

For some reason, EA Sports is only committed to online play on the PlayStation 2. Why they will not come to their senses and allow play via Xbox Live is beyond me, but in the meantime I will be playing online on the PS2, inviting any challengers who decide to jump on the Cryami bandwagon (which they started after whining about not getting to the National title game in 2001), unless they fear another surprise victory by Ohio State (thank you so much, Buckeyes!)

I only hope that with the new online feature, EA Sports will also allow users to import their own rosters. Since the NCAA cannot allow player names on their games, we are stuck with the same type of player designation: position and number. Forget QB #16, I want Chris Rix, darn it! (I don't give a rat's you know what if he sucks, I'm only stating an example here.)

Typing the names for every player (even with a PS2 keyboard) can take upwards of an hour per team, and when you consider that EA is adding over 150 teams to the 144 that are already in the game, we're talking over 300 hours on name typing alone. I've done data entry in the past as a temp job, and I'll be darned if I have to do it again!

PS2 developers should take a cue from PC gamers. After playing the NHL series for the past few years, obtaining the latest rosters is now a simple process of downloading a "rosterpack" and overwriting the current roster; no longer do I have to reenter names over and over again. I would love to see the same thing done on the console market. Granted Sega and ESPN offered periodic downloads for NFL and NBA 2K3, but I would love to see EA do the same thing.

I'll just have to see if EA Sports takes my recommendation in mind, but in the meantime, I do have a USB keyboard as a backup measure. I'll just need to put aside time to enter every single name. Talk about tedium!

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