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Are Sports Games Worth Reviewing Any More?

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Old 09-05-2011, 01:02 PM   #1
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Are Sports Games Worth Reviewing Any More?


There were a couple of very interesting stories out of Kotaku this weekend, and one of them was a column asking the question "Are Sports Games Worth Reviewing Any More?"

Quote:
"Earlier this week I got several versions of a small talk question I always field this time of year: "I haven't played Madden in X years. Should I buy it this year?"

To me, that's no longer even a relevant question for this or for any sports video game. The real question, and its answer, make me wonder if they are worth reviewing any more."

My answer is yes to this question. There are a variety of reasons why we should keep reviewing sports video games, but you have to keep a very specific criteria for these 'simulation' games. What is coming out of these same questions here at OS is a type of criteria we are developing to determine what a perfect sports game looks like, then scoring from 10 based off of those attributes.

First and foremost is realism and then also how the game plays. A game which plays with few or no flaws while also being 85-90% realistic is a game with perfect gameplay in our genre. A game with a presentation that looks and sounds like a real TV Broadcast (or like an actual game as if you were there) would be close to a perfect presentation. A game with modes which don't contain numerous experience killing bugs would be close to a perfectly designed game.

In a shorter form: Yes, sports games are still worth reviewing -- but you can't review them like any other genre of games.

Quote:
"I've written before that Madden probably suffers in these subjective appraisals more because there's nothing to compare it against. A lack of a better competitor may mean it gets an 80 instead of a 75. It also means the game really has no shot at a 90 unless it reinvents itself. And after what happened with NBA Elite I doubt anyone at EA Sports has much stomach for trying to reinvent another title, much less one of Madden's importance.

But the issue isn't really peculiar to Madden either. As I said above, NHL, MLB: The Show and FIFA's most recent editions were all very well regarded. NHL is also the only licensed simulation in its sport. MLB: The Show, is a de facto exclusive product on the PS3 thanks to MLB 2K's repeated disappointments. FIFA likewise towers over Pro Evolution Soccer. In the few instances where there are direct competitors, the gulf is so wide that the reviews of the dominant product make no comparisons to the runner-up."

Owen has a great point here in the sense of what do you compare these games to? Even in the criteria above -- we don't exactly have something concrete to compare reviewed games to. But that's largely the result of market forces coming to bear moreso than evil companies stealing everyone else's opportunities to develop licensed sports games.

What do you think?

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Old 09-05-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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honestly i read previews & reviews just to get an idea or gauge the temperature of how people are feeling about the game. But for me the demo is way more important than any reviews. Even though demos aren't a final build of the game, it leaves more of an impression on me than reading the opinion of someone i don't know.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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Depending on the site... so yes, if different sites says the same thing about a game, it can't be false can it?... also there are things that I learn about a game that's in the review that is NOT on the back of the box and in this day in age where sports games are released every year to the tune of $60+ dollars not everyone is willing to pony up that kind of cash for a few minor improvements and a roster update..... So again my answer is YES!!! and definitively needed from Operationsports, keep up the great work guys.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:41 PM   #4
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Are sports games worth reviewing anymore? Yes. The real question is are sports games worth reviewing on their initial realease knowing that a patch or tuner update can drastically change gameplay sometimes for the good and sometimes for the worse. I think an initial review is good but after that patch or tuner update drops a short article about what it corrected or broke just as an update is fine. In a sense you would be judging the game against itself and not last years version or another sports game of a different genre.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:16 PM   #5
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sports games are definitely worth reviewing...the question should be is the actually game worthy enough for a review. Im sure no one would care if the game that was being reviewed was trash, but in most cases they're not. the reviews are vital for pre promotion and marketing puropses. When the game is actually worth playing the reviews build the hype. Maybe the reason that the question about reviews are coming up because the games are not as exciting as they once were (nba 2k and FIFA excluded of course). Reviews only are praised when the product thats being reviewed are worth it. When the product is trash no one cares. Just to change topic for a moment, I personally believe madden needs to change the gameplay camera angle to a horizontal left to right tv broadcast view. The horizontal view is how we watch football at home and at games 90 percent of the time. i believe the vertical view which is probably best right this moment because it is better view from the quarteback position takes away from the overal natural feeling of watching an actual NFL game. when they finally get that right the game will feel more natural and fresh
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
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probably worth two reviews. the first one at release, then a follow up once a patch(s) comes out.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:32 PM   #7
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You guys are right about patch reviews. I definitely think we're going to do them in some form or fashion. They won't be full reviews -- but I can't imagine us not doing them at this point.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:21 AM   #8
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I dont think there is going to be a need for reviews anymore!
Here's why; The amount of marketing companies are willing to spend on a game sometimes tells you the whole story of a game. ie. Remember watching trailers for a summer blockbuster movie, and the basically showed you the whole movie in a 1:30 clip; well that's how games (big or small releases) are doing it up now. The amount of "hype" and info thrown out in social media nowadays is ridiculous, ie. Twitter, YouTube ... To have a designated gaming site thrown out some numbers on a game, doesnt matter to the masses anymore, because there is soo much disparity amongst the sites as it is. Too many classes to decide on how to break down the game(s), and way too many different formats for judging. ie. All sites should at least have a format of Presentation; Gameplay, Graphics. as it goes you will come across sites adding: Replay Value and other things to there voting format. While this is happening, the casted numbers all become different, and in my opinion become obsolete; and now the War beginnings with different sites and their numbers. Who do you TRUST or Believe?
The Hardcore gamers will want to try the game out first, and make their own decision; the young kids, will trust the site(s) that their friends swear on has the best ratings. Once again there is a rift in the casted votes. who's site is more reliabile, credible?
The ultimate choice is you the consumer.
IMO, Demos dont do games justice anymore, as we know companies try to dumb down their product(s) and hit you with the WOW, the final product is way better than the Demo gimmick; and it's working on the youth of our civilization. Reviews hold no Clot anymore unless its a die hard site you truly believe in.
Ask yourself this: when have you ever heard or seen a parent surfing the net for Review scores on a game that there child wants? Me...NEVER; all they want to know is if it is rated "M", "A", or "E".
This world we live in still operates on word of mouth; or better yet; some handheld device!
Twit away my people.

cheers
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