Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sports Game Malaise?

Do you have it?

I have it.

We're working on a feature where all staff members talk about their top 5 games for 2009. I read Todd's and he said, "MLB '09: This is the only sports franchise left in gaming with which I'm not utterly bored."

I thought about that for a bit. Then thought some more. I can still recognize great games and bad ones, but as far as really wanting to dig deep into a sports game -- yeah MLB 09 is about it. NHL is a great franchise but I dunno...after reviewing it I sorta shelved it. I loved NFL Head Coach (mostly)but I REALLY doubt we see a new version of that.

I'm tired of NCAA promises. I'm tired of Madden, MLB 2K, the NBA 2K, NBA Live, right down the line. It took a long time but I'm there. Sports game burnout.

Even OOTP -- a game I adore, I didn't play the latest version nearly as much as the previous ones. I just feel I have been there and done that. I think I could be reignited into sports gaming if the games warranted that. But I don't g=think they do. At least not yet. There is not 1 spiorts game on my top 5 2009 list. I thought about adding MLB 09 but Dragon Age, Empire Total War, Dawn of War II? It's not even close. NCAA 2010 or Empire TW? Uh...

So we'll see. Maybe it's just a phase. or maybe I have finally grown a bit tired of basically playing the same games for the past 7 or 8 years.

And with that I sit here looking at the 2K Front Office Manager box...and I'd rather play the Dawn of War II multiplayer Beta...


todd brakke said...

Yeah, 100% agreed. I was very purposeful about how I phrased that. When I started to write that statement I started to say MLB was the last franchise worth playing and that's really not true. These other games aren't bad (at least, not all of them), I'm just bored to tears with them. (I suppose NHL '09 could be excepted too.)

In addition to just being great, MLB also has an advantage (for me) due to the fact that I only played it for the first time last year.

Jayhawker said...


We've been playing a APFB 2K8 league over at GWJ. We're in a our fourth season, with a few tourneys mixed in.

I'm already getting that angst for MLB 2K9. I know there is a lot of hate on 2K8, but after the patches, and some slider work, I really came to love the solo game.

I'm kind of bummed that 2K dropped College Hoops, but I'm about ready to just gut it out and pick up EA's game.

I've also decided to pick up version 10 of DMB and try to get back into the text replay groove.

I think the problem you guys are having is spending too much time reviewing them, and not enough time enjoying the games for what they are.

If you want to get a really excited about a game, check out the youtube videos of Pro Baseball Spirits 5. They make me wantot pick upa PS3 more than The Show.

Erik said...

You need to check out the Pro Evo series on the Wii. Last years debut was a real eye-opener, and with changes/additions reportedly appearing in 09 (better defense in particular), I expect it to be the best soccer game on the market. Out in March, I believe.

Steve said...

I'm not sure it's that they spend too much time reviewing, since I don't review games and after reading this post I was surprised to realize I feel the same way.

I don't know the reasons for everyone else, but I think for me the reason most of these sports game franchises have fallen off the map for me is two-fold. First, the gameplay is distractingly buggy. Madden seems to have fumble/interception abundance in alternating years, and the AI coverage in NCAA was unbearable. It was far too easy to pass. Little things I can get over, but it's been downright egregious. But, at the heart of it for me, sports games really are repetitive, and the only way to really overcome that is to somehow identify with the team you're playing with. College Hoops 2k8, Head Coach and The Show all capture that for me. A little attention to detail and I'd jump right back on the Madden bandwagon, but it seems they're more concerned with adding flashy features than fixing fundamentals. (Alliteration not really intended there.)

Jonah Falcon said...

MLB Front Officer Manager is frustrating. It's compelling at times, but then one of your players is on the payroll but you can't see him anywhere...