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Have Sports Games Lost Their Accessibility?

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Old 01-08-2014, 10:56 AM   #1
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Have Sports Games Lost Their Accessibility?


The holidays have ended. So too have the days when families and relatives could sit down and enjoy a sports video game together.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years have, in the Young family, seen sports games like RBI Baseball, NBA Jam and Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey bring just as much excitement to the living room as plates full of turkey, mashed potatoes and dinner rolls.

The current menu of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sports games, disappointingly, contains no title capable of carrying on this tradition. Even in a room full of sports-loving, tech-savvy people, these $400 and $500 entertainment systems currently function best as a Netflix or Blu-Ray player.

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Old 01-08-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
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all i can say is, there were a lot less glitches than there are today.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:12 PM   #3
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Besides FPS games, aren't most other games pretty complicated these days as well? Most games have a different button layout, so even for me, switching between games takes me a while as I figure out the controls again.

With sports games, there might be a lot of OPTIONAL buttons, but most of them can be played using a few buttons if that's what the user wants. I think the new training sessions in this year's football games have been super helpful learning some of the core (and advanced) moves.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:25 PM   #4
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Cool, fun article JYoung. Typically, non gamers can enjoy a 15 minute episode of any basketball or hockey game by directing them to the 'pass' and 'shoot' buttons. Forget football since a playbook is foreign to many of them and baseball requires more than 2 buttons to complete just one inning.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:14 PM   #5
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That is like saying

"My parents play Super Nintendo with me? They were used to 1 button with Atari...now there are 6!)

With technology comes complexity which the fans/gamers love...if they did not have these complex gaming controls people would be complaining the controls are too simple.

I agree an option to "dumb" down controls should be there...as an option...not like what Madden 11 did where it just dumbed down everything.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:27 PM   #6
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We don't need to dumb it down for the spoiled kids that want things easy and now. They can play all the old 8 bit games if they want easy. There are simple games for phones and Backyard Baseball type games still being made.

The problem is games are not deep enough and are not realistic enough. THIS is the only thing that needs to be focused on.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #7
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good article. complicated to answer!!!
The simple solution is to
1. produce more arcade/casula style games
2. games should ship with multiple modes and tie them into a controller configuration so that users dont have to go into menu's to change controller settings, etc

example. an arcade mode in NBA2k, or an arcade mode in Madden should automatically set the user controls to a simpler 2/3 button configuration. that would solve alot of the complexity issues.

IMO, the complexity is in the control scheme not the game. especially on the lower levels.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:33 PM   #8
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The question that should be asked is whether or not the complexity is a good thing or a bad thing. There is no question that control schemes for sports games have become more complex. Play a ten year old sports and you'll be able to learn the controls after looking at them once. Now look at a game like 2k14 and you would be able to play the game a year straight and probably still not have the controls 100% perfected.

Imo opinion the control complexity results in 2 conflicting arguments. On one hand sports games a more realistics than ever and offer more control than ever. Ill use basketball games as an example. Play nba live 03 or nba 2k3 and the controls allow you to shoot, pass, post up, cross over, spin, etc..essential its the basketball basics and in theory its enough for a basketball game, especially for casual fans. Now look at the controls of 2k14 and you'll notice how much deeper the controls are. Just take dribbling for example. Where in the past a simple crossovee button was fine we now have a dribbling/shooting stick that allows us to dribble between the legs, cross over, step back, step back jumper, hesitate dribble, hesitate cross over, in and out dribble, eurostep, hop step, spin shot/layup, shimmy shot, half spin, up and under..and the list goes on and on. It really is overwhelming especially to a beginner...which brings me to the other side of the argument, the acessability of the games.

Its almost impossible to simply look once at the controls of a sports game and be able to play it or play it well whereas 10+ years ago it was fairly easy to pickup a sports game and be able to play it. I can remember playing nba live 05 with my younger sister (who never plays videogames) and she could get the hang of it. She was no expert but she could atleast enjoy the game. I don't see that happening with 2k14. Even if I tried to keep the controls simple (press this shoot, this to pass, this to dribble) I think she would give up before half time. The learning curve for sports games are high unless you are someone who plays the games regularly or on a year to year basis. Hell I consider myself a gamer and for years I could never play the nhl games because I would give up before grasping and understanding the controls. Its only within the past yearthat I got good at the game 1 because I playes it more than ever and 2 I had friends that were able to give me some tips.

I think at the very least there should be a "simple", "basic", or "easy" control scheme so that younger kids or beginners can pick up and enjoy these games without having to take the time to learn the controls and learn the game. Sure most gamers don't mind the controls but casual gamers, beginners, or young gamers, likely don't want to have to take the time to master the controls.
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