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I’m pretty sure at this point the only people in the world not familiar with Farmville are my aunt Vicky and my 7th grade art teacher that hardly knew the difference between a computer keyboard and a bingo card. In fact, a recent Kansas City Star article claims that the game commands 73 million dedicated ‘farmers’ worldwide! That’s every single person living in Texas, New York, Florida, and North Carolina combined!  To further put that astronomic number into perspective, Blizzard, the company that manufactures World of Warcraft, announced a year ago that their incredibly popular game only reached 11.5 million users worldwide.

As far as the game itself, it’s easy to see how people that otherwise have no idea what a cotton seed even looks like initially become addicted to the game. The graphics are cute enough, and players are handsomely rewarded with 4-H county fair ribbons. Soon enough though, anyone with any semblance of a life away from their computer realizes that the game is more tedious than shaving your body with fingernail clippers. Small, manageable, plots soon turn into gigantic plantations or feed lots that command 30 minutes or more of attention at a time. Frustratingly, harvesting crops/animals isn’t a simple click and you’re done process. Zynga, the evil masterminds behind the Farmville scam, require you to individually click on each plot/animal and navigate a little menu to harvest! Even more frustrating, though, is that expiration dates on the crops require even the most casual farmer to check their farm on a regular basis. Sadly, people let this monotonous chore dictate their daily schedules.

I can understand how someone could enjoy the small pleasures of Farmville at first, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s downright shameful to continue playing the game after a couple weeks. This phrase is a bit cliche, but I can’t think of a better application for it; Friends shouldn’t let friends play Farmville.


MLB 09 The Show

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I’m sure at this point you’ve seen the commercials. Sony has heralded MLB 09 The Show as “the most realistic baseball game ever,” though I wish they would’ve just call it “the most realistic and addicting baseball game ever that will eat up all your free time and keep you from doing things you probably should be doing instead.” Admittedly, I love sports games, and am a huge baseball fan, but I think I can unbiasedly say that this is the best sports game I’ve ever played on any platform.

The graphics and animations are mindblowingly accurate (down to Shin-Soo Choo’s batting stance and Zack Greinke’s 68 different release points and arm angles), the multiplayer and rivalry options make it a competitive blast for a group of friends to play,  but this game really shines when it comes the franchise and Road to the Show modes. I wish the game kept track of the total amount of time invested in a Road to the Show player, or maybe I don’t. I’ve definitely clocked in enough hours Dustin Pedroia himself would be impressed.

As great as the game is, leave it to me (and my roommates) to find a couple of things to bitch about.

  1. It’s effing impossible to hit a Tim Wakefield knuckleball.
  2. Relief pitchers SUCK. It’s pretty much a guaranteed blown hold if you sit your starting pitcher.
  3. Running controls take a long time to get used to, and I still can’t figure out how to steal individual runners.
  4. Lag makes it impossible to play online.

These problems are pretty minor, I wouldn’t let them affect my decision to buy this game. Seriously, I’d recommend this game to my grandma – and she hardly knows the difference between a TV and a microwave.