Are Cut-scenes Needed in Video Games?

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Old 03-11-2009, 10:05 AM   #1
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Are Cut-scenes Needed in Video Games?

With the days getting longer and baseball on the minds of gamers who own video-game consoles, what better time to discuss something that is in most sports video games? I am hinting at the classic cut-scene that is in most sports games today.

Cut-scenes are nothing new in games; they have been around for a long time. And, if you have spent any time playing sports games over the past decade, you have probably played some games that are better at capturing the essence of a live broadcast better than others when it comes to the cut-scene. Because these non-interactive scenes are probably not going away any time soon, we should try and figure out what works best in the future, and also decide if the cut-scene truly is the way to go.

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Old 03-11-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
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Nice write up.

The challenge these games have is to keep things fresh, but because the game is programmed, with only a select amount of visuals and audio cuts, the scenes become dated and begin to lack the originality they once had. So, what happens is we end up buttoning through them.

Probably a game we could look at that does one side right and the other wrong is Madden 09 with Collinsowrth and Hammond. I really enjoy his cutscenes where he breaks down a play and show you where you went wrong. Meanwhile, anything involving Hammond is oddly dull and computerized.

And then there's the ESPN style presentation that NFL 2K5 brought to the table. To this day, from the halftime show to weekly sportscenter broadcasts, nothing (in my opinion) has touched it. It wasn't perfect, but they took the overlays from what was ESPN Sunday Night Football and put it in that game with great success.

I'm big on presentation. I enjoy the depth it can offer, by focusing on relevant information and putting it in the game with a special style. It belongs in video games but it goes beyond putting big names in there. It has to be believable and worth not hitting the button to skip it.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:22 PM   #3
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Yes, Cutscenes are a MUST in sports games, they add so much to the atmosphere and emotion of the game, without them the game feels dead. Madden really needs to take a look at NFL 2K5 and MLB:The Show and do what they did with presentation. i don't care how good the gameplay is, without a great presentation the game gets old FAST.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
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Re: Are Cut-scenes Needed in Video Games?

I think that cut-scenes are definitely a plus in sports games. They really add to the atmosphere and bring you into the world of the game you're playing. Sure there are a lot of gamers who think they're superficial and button through them...which is fine for them...but many of us enjoy the TV style presentation feel that they add when done right (like MLB '09: The Show). It's the eye candy of cut-scenes that is the icing on the presentation cake.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:03 AM   #5
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Cutscenes are definitely a plus. Its helps keeping you engaged, and appreciate what you are doing.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:33 AM   #6
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I don't think sports gaming would be the same without cutscenes. I'm very glad they exist. I do see your point about presentation getting old in sports gaming, YES, even in MLB 09. Generally, presentation sucks in sports gaming. If it doesn't suck, it's usually only fresh for a limited time before it gets stale. Having cutscenes helps keep things fresh, as long as there are a great variety in the types and amounts of cutscenes in the game.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:25 AM   #7
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It's almost impossible to keep it fresh unless they dedicate a full year cycle just to cut scenes haha. The thing is most games give you like 8 hour gameplay and sport games have such more playtime that imo The Show does the job damn fine.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:58 AM   #8
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The cut scenes that need to go are the the ones that give-away the result. For example- the HR cut scene. Too predictable in every title.
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