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Pedro 04-05-2012 06:12 PM

Sports Games
 
What's the general consensus on sports games? Do you see them as a waste of time - meaningless iterations on the same basic idea, with roster updates, or something more?

This was prompted by reading the first installment of a series that's on the quartertothree website, about the road to the show mode in The Show 12. It looks interesting, check it out!

As a lot of games have the 'develop your player' feature now, we're seeing the dreaded 'RPG elements' come into play a lot more. Added to that is the fact that these games take a lot of skill, and plenty of strategy to master, and offer an almost unlimited learning curve against online players, and I think you have an extremely strong genre which is unfairly maligned.

Personally, I'm a Madden fan, and enjoy Tiger Woods, though regrettably EA indulge in some shocking price gouging there and I probably won't buy it again. I also play PES very rarely, and The Show (though only as a pitcher in RTTS mode) when I can get it. Looking forward to picking up the latest version when I visit the US next week.

What about you? NHL2K? Football Manager? Blood Bowl? :)

Pedro 04-05-2012 06:21 PM

Re: Sports Games
 
Sample extract :p

Quote:

I raise hairlines, shrink ears, and inflate lips until what I’m seeing on the screen successfully communicates “me” back to me, then model my skills proportionally after my own. Middling power, average speed, good glove. Eventually my counterpart is bound to soar beyond these initial concessions to reality, because if you search for your new Road to the Show player’s ratings card, amid the ‘D’s and ‘F’s shines an ‘A’ for potential. You are always destined for greatness in Road to the Show, but at least they make you work a bit for it. The standard RPG trope would be a brief tutorial set in the minor leagues, when suddenly fire falls from the sky, the field is torn asunder, and a stately elf appears to inform you that you are the Chosen One before whisking you off to the major leagues. Instead I will spend at least a couple seasons building my character in Bumblefuck, Missouri, playing low-capacity stadiums with amusement parks just beyond the outfield fence. It can be hard to judge an off-speed pitch with the Roll-O-Plane spinning behind the pitcher’s head.

JLB1987 04-05-2012 07:21 PM

Re: Sports Games
 
I used to love wrestling games, but they've been getting worse and worse since Day of Reckoning 2 (I think it was called) on the Gamecube. That one was a particular highlight for me.

These days, its just Everybody's Golf- I love those games so much, that Everybody's Golf 6 was the sole reason I picked up a Vita! I've been tempted to dabble with the Tiger Woods games, but as you suggest, EA's contempt for their target audience, in the form of with-held content that you have to pay for to unlock, prevents me from doing so.

Pedro 04-06-2012 06:06 AM

Re: Sports Games
 
Ah, Everybody's Golf! How is the online part - can you talk to others as you play them? I am now registering a flicker of interest in the Vita.

I really can't recommend Tiger Woods. I'm an older gamer, and am usually fairly laid back about these things, but EA have even managed to piss me off with their downloadable courses.

The other strange thing about golf games is that they really haven't progressed over the years like other sports games. I know they are limited to a narrow stretch of fairway and the green, and adjustments to the mechanics etc, but we're still seeing a flyover, a swing, a putt and some cardboard cutouts clapping. I don't know what they could do - make the course open world so you could go off hunting your ball under some gorse maybe :p - but it's a lot duller than it should be.

JLB1987 04-06-2012 04:15 PM

Re: Sports Games
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedro (Post 200772)
Ah, Everybody's Golf! How is the online part - can you talk to others as you play them? I am now registering a flicker of interest in the Vita.


There are two online modes with Everybody's Golf Vita. There are three daily tournaments that anyone with a copy of the game and online connectivity can enter. There is no interaction with anybody else, except seeing how your score compares to everyone else's at the end of the round, and an overall online leaderboard.

The second are many various tournaments that take place at fifteen minute intervals, that can be accessed from the various lobbies, where you can wander around and talk to others via a (pretty cheap feeling) avatar system. Once the tournament starts, you can talk to the other players you are participating against in between different holes. It's fun, and gives you a higher chance of coming out in first place than just going into the daily tournaments and trying to beat everyone in the world, but it's frustrating having to wait around until you can go to the next hole. Difficult to explain. It's fun, but the ratio of waiting around to actually playing golf (probably 1:1) makes it something I do rarely.

The whole online aspect is still great, and gives you incentive to play every day (I'm currently in the top 12% of Everybody's Golf players), but I do wish the options for direct play against other players was more plentiful.

I wouldn't recommend getting a Vita *just* for EG, as I have. I'd wait for more games to come out, as current release lists for the console look unbelievably bare, but I definitely don't regret my purchase.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedro (Post 200772)
I really can't recommend Tiger Woods. I'm an older gamer, and am usually fairly laid back about these things, but EA have even managed to piss me off with their downloadable courses.

The other strange thing about golf games is that they really haven't progressed over the years like other sports games. I know they are limited to a narrow stretch of fairway and the green, and adjustments to the mechanics etc, but we're still seeing a flyover, a swing, a putt and some cardboard cutouts clapping. I don't know what they could do - make the course open world so you could go off hunting your ball under some gorse maybe :p - but it's a lot duller than it should be.

Driving around in a little golf cart? A "Happy Gilmore" game, where you could do cool stuff like beat up your opponents and wrestle alligators? I'd DEFINITELY play that!

The new Tiger Woods sounds interesting, in that it has a new control system using the analogue sticks. metro.co.uk indicate it's a huge step forward for golf games, and it makes me want to try it. But still, EA's shitty DLC-selling tactics makes it a definite pass.

Li-Ion 04-08-2012 05:02 AM

Re: Sports Games
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedro (Post 200766)
What about you? NHL2K? Football Manager? Blood Bowl? :)

I played my share of FIFA, NHL and oddly enough tennis games (even though I generally dislike tennis IRL). The most fun I had with sports games was with games that were not exactly simulations of the sport, but simply took an easy to grasp concept of a given sport and didn't care about physics all that much. Hence most of my favourite sports games are from a time when physics in games was generally rubbish. Like Nintendo World Cup:


Obviously the best football game of all time ever. The main reason it's such a brilliant game is that it has been made by some Japanese who apparently didn't really grasp the concept of football. They probably got the games rules explained via telephone from halfway across the world. It has an ice-stage! If Fifa 12 would have an ice stage and no cards I'd buy 2 copies and make sure in every game that Materrazi is the first one to fall.
http://cdn.worldcupblog.org/www.worl...e_headbutt.jpg

NES Tennis I played a lot...
http://timenerdworld.files.wordpress...ng?w=300&h=281

...and Sensible Soccer.


The last FIFA I bought was 98, the last NHL must have been around 2000. After that the games got more sim-like and I lost interest. If I want to have a realistic depiction of football I watch a game ;)

Albeit not technically 'sports' games, I always had a soft spot for sim racing (albeit being terrible at it). Which I find weird myself, seeing as I dislike sim-like 'regular' sports but give me a gearbox ratio to tinker with and I'm happy. I love games like GT5 and the first pc game I ever bought was F1GP by Microprose, which I played to death. I spent quite some time to replace all the made up names with the real names for teams and drivers.


Pedro 04-08-2012 09:01 AM

Re: Sports Games
 
A golf game in which you wrestle alligators? A football game with an ice level? Obviously we're on to something here!

Sensible soccer looks really high-octane and looks brilliant for it. This is the soccer game I cut my teeth on:



That's an interesting point about the fun factor being lost as we've moved towards more sim-like experiences. You'd think there'd be a gap here for the Indies if they ever got over their obsession with boring platform games.

I'd also classify GT5 as a sports game, to be honest, and have spent a good few hours at it. I've pretty much hit a wall with the fourth difficulty tier - I just can't handle the more powerful cars.

It's funny about some of the complexity involved in the big titles - in our Madden franchise we all enjoyed playing the games, but for some of us there was the meta game of managing salaries etc from year to year, which involved the keeping of spreadsheets. It's always a good game if you need to keep a spreadsheet for it, I find. :p

Li-Ion 04-08-2012 10:00 AM

Re: Sports Games
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedro (Post 200795)
A golf game in which you wrestle alligators?

That would be amazing! Take the old Bayou Billy
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._Billy_box.jpg
give him a golfclub and let him loose on golf courses located in jungles and such. Might be finally a game worth buying the PS move for.

btw. anyone complaining about Dark/Demon's Souls being 'too hard' have obviously never tried Bayou Billy and if they for sure never saw more than the first 2 screens of the first level :D

Konami Soccer looks a bit... slow...

Quote:

That's an interesting point about the fun factor being lost as we've moved towards more sim-like experiences.
What a sim usually contains is a higher barrier to entry. I guess that has a lot to do with it. Last Fifa I tried was Fifa 11 at a friends house, but I just didn't get into it. I didn't get used to the controls and the game didn't really help me understand what I did wrong. While with Sensible Soccer I could just pick up a joystick with 2 buttons (rather than a dual-analogue gamepad with more buttons than I have fingers) and have immediate, high octane games. Also, Fifa 11 doesn't have ice levels.

Quote:

You'd think there'd be a gap here for the Indies if they ever got over their obsession with boring platform games.
Amen! I get it that many indies just make the games they want to play themselves and that everyone seems to love to play yet another mario game. But would be really nice if someone would make some fun indie football game. Or how about tennis played with grenades on top of an active vulcano, riding grizzly bears? American football with cars and bikes taken straight from Mad Max as players?

Quote:

I'd also classify GT5 as a sports game, to be honest, and have spent a good few hours at it. I've pretty much hit a wall with the fourth difficulty tier - I just can't handle the more powerful cars.
Last races I played were GT500 and Nascar. They made me actually sweat, trying to get those ridiculously powerful cars around corners in one piece round after round after round. To relax I drive races with my green Mini.

Quote:

It's always a good game if you need to keep a spreadsheet for it, I find. :p
Thus EVE Online is the best game ever? :D

RandomRob 04-08-2012 03:53 PM

Re: Sports Games
 
I would like to see an amateur league bowling game that would incorporate rpg elements including, but not limited to: drunkenness, people hitting on your g/f or b/f, and social situations that would affect your skill and power. Plus, you could include old arcade cabinet games as minigames and have a jukebox... Bowling alley intrigue!

http://www.michaellegg.com/images/ca...g%20alley2.jpg

I would like to see a powerboat racing game with ridiculous and fun crash physics like the Burnout series.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/...90_634x389.jpg

Seriously. Powerboats actually HAVE insane crash physics, and no-one's touched it.

I would like to see a reboot of the SNES game Wicked 18, only with crazy golf enhancements like Portal guns or anti-gravity or time reversal, etc. I liked the idea of a golf game with crazy-ass locations... it's just Wicked 18 didn't give you any help.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...8_Coverart.png

I would like to see a proper reboot of Ballblazers.


Pedro 04-09-2012 07:59 PM

Re: Sports Games
 
I love the Bowling RPG idea but I can't help thinking this thread's been derailed a little. :D

Played my brother in a round of Tiger this evening and he thought the alligator wrestling thing was excellent too. He thought it would be quite difficult for an indie, but then we remembered that Yakuza 3 (and possibly the rest of them) had a full eighteen hole course included as a mini game. That was quite an achievement for a mini game.

RandomRob 04-09-2012 08:44 PM

Re: Sports Games
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedro (Post 200814)
I love the Bowling RPG idea but I can't help thinking this thread's been derailed a little. :D

I'm good at that :o

Pedro 05-07-2012 10:54 AM

Re: Sports Games
 
Really interesting article about Madden (yeah, I know!) here.

I also found out on Operation Sports that over 50% of the courses for Tiger 13 are paid DLC now (or you can grind for some of them). I can honestly say I'll never buy another Tiger title.

That's a decent article on DLC in sports games, btw.

abfackeln 05-08-2012 09:25 PM

Re: Sports Games
 
Sports games are meant for sports fans not game fans. You can't compare it to other types of games. They want to keep track of their favorite players and so on.

I played a lot more FIFA once I started following Football/ Soccer.

Pedro 05-09-2012 01:56 PM

Re: Sports Games
 
What a startling statement! I've kind of hinted above that I think sports games are the evolutionary pinnacle of gaming (the yearly cycle allows them to iterate towards perfection, the game 'rules' are often more complex than any normal game, and the AI is incredible in a lot of cases) so I am stunned! :p

It's true that a lot of gamers eat up the yearly roster updates, but all those people are playing the game too. It's possible that they can serve as a 'gateway drug' to traditional gaming as well, though I'm reminded of a friend of mine who has a PS3 and precisely one game - Fifa 10 - on his games list. :D

That's how I got into gaming again - a Wii, then Tiger Woods (to this day, the only worthwhile application of motion controls), then moving on to an Xbox and Oblivion and GTAIV.

frogofdeath 05-09-2012 07:16 PM

Re: Sports Games
 
NES sports games are still some of my favorites. Blades of Steel still sees action and Super Spike V-Ball is great multiplayer as well. The latter can also be found on the same cart as NES World Cup, so that's a bonus.

Wrestling games were mentioned. While there have been a couple decent entries on recent consoles, for my money the best are still the N64 games developed by AKI (WCW/nWo: World Tour through WWF No Mercy). These games are also still played in my household, though we don't waste time creating our own wrestlers anymore.

Modern and realistic sports games are okay, but personally I tend to head more towards the arcade and outlandish games more than the true-to-life simulations.
Quote:

Originally Posted by JLB1987 (Post 200774)
Driving around in a little golf cart? A "Happy Gilmore" game, where you could do cool stuff like beat up your opponents and wrestle alligators? I'd DEFINITELY play that!



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