Faldo’s Seve trophy stupidity

So is Nick Faldo showing his infamous stubborness in this week’s Seve Trophy? The Seve Trophy is a golf competition between teams representing the UK and Ireland versus Europe. It is being held this week in Killenard, Ireland. Nick Faldo, English golfer and winner of six masters is the captain of the UK and Ireland side – a role he will be taking up for Europe in the 2008 Ryder Cup.

Given the tournament is in Ireland you would think that Faldo would find it sensible to include one or two Irish players in his wildcard picks. Afterall, there’s a few of them around. To be fair Padraig Harrington, winner of this year’s Open was in but had to withdraw. However Faldo decided to leave out Paul McGinley, one of his named Ryder Cup vice-captains, who has now pulled out of that role as well.

The Irish media (and the players) have been complaining about the poor attendance at the event yesterday and today, well I’m sure crowds would have been swelled a bit if there was a bit of home interest out on the course. The fear is that Faldo has too much ego to do the right thing, and it already appears to be affecting the Ryder Cup preparations.

Of course, the other reason for low crowds, which the UK media have gleefully picked up on, is the fact that the Irish National Ploughing Championships are taking place at the same time just up the road from the Seve Trophy. Now I’d never heard of these championships until they were mentioned in conversation earlier in the week. Apparantly they really are a big thing, and are pulling in 50,000+ crowds! To be fair, it is much more than the name suggests and is Irelands largest agricultural fair.

Too many games to play

I’m amazed by the sheer volume and quality of games coming out recently, or due in the run-up to Christmas. Having owned an XBox 360 from day one I don’t remember any period in which so many quality titles have been published or are due soon. After effectively ignoring the 360 for about four months whilst we moved over to Dublin and then had a wedding to organise, I’ve been firing it up over the past week or so and began to start reading the likes of Eurogamer to catch up with what’s going on.

Some of the motivation to switch the ‘Box on came from a couple of my work colleagues discovering Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2. This culminated in a session last Friday where we plugged in two guitar controllers for a bit of a rock-duel. I started to play GH2 before we moved over, but finally got around to completing it on medium level in preparation. Another game which has been gathering dust was Forza 2. I’ve just not got into this as much as I was expecting though, mainly because there’s just too much else to play.

The weekend saw me buy Bioshock (10/10 on Eurogamer) and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008 (8/10) So far I’ve played about 2 hours of Bioshock which is thoroughly awesome in terms of graphics, sound, atmosphere and just about everything else. It carries the mark of any good game in that it gets terribly hard to put down. I’ve dabbled with golf games before, but the fact that I’ve started to play the game for real has caused me to get more into Tiger this time around. The way the gameplay is structured means you no longer arbitrarily allocate points to particular skills but rather your golfer improves in an organic fashion the more you play. This makes it seem more realistic and means you can’t just go in and quickly build up a player capable of winning the majors. Another simply awesome thing about the game is the “game face” functionality, but I’ll blog about that in more detail later.

Of course, midnight tonight sees the arrival of Halo 3 (another 10/10 Eurogamer review, put that into the context that they rather controversially gave the original Halo 8/10) I’ll probably hold off of getting it until I have Bioshock out of the way. I’ve never got into multiplayer FPS games so have only really played Halo for the single player campaign.

Then there’s the list of other stuff either out and attracting my attention or on the way:

  • Skate – a 9/10 review and finally a Tony Hawk beater? I’m a big fan of THPS games, so am seriously tempted by this
  • Project Gotham Racing 4 – Again, huge fan of the series and this one will be a no-brainer purchase
  • FIFA 2008 and Pro Evo 2008 – I’ve never really got into console footy games, but they are still both major releases
  • Guitar Hero 3 – The leaked tracklist looks awesome. Knights of Cydonia anyone?
  • Mass Effect – If it is anywhere near as good as Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic then I’m sold

Then on top of this there are the games which don’t particularly tickle my fancy but which will still be important and popular releases, such as Sega Rally, Half Life 2: Episode 2, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty 4 and probably more that I’m not aware of.

Have gamers ever had it so good? Even those foolhardy PS3 owners will be able to play some of these 😉