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The Great White Whale of Sports Gaming: Realism

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Old 06-21-2014, 01:53 PM   #1
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The Great White Whale of Sports Gaming: Realism

Realism in sports gaming is kind of like the white whale and sports gamers are Captain Ahab.

While realism sounds great, and while many demand it ó Iím not sure most sports gamers actually want true and total realism.

It is very likely the realism many want isn't possible (or at least tenable from a business perspective) to begin with.

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Old 06-21-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
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How about working sliders that actually tune the game from arcade to pure sim and everything in-between.
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:19 PM   #3
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No just no. Realism is needed for simulation. If you dont like simulation sports then play the sports games for the wii. I'm tired of these companies half-a$$ing their games and then blaming it on the FUN factor or the learning curve. I love hockey and the EA game is way too arcade like and theres a lot of fans out there that would like simulation versus the over the top arcade hockey that EA is giving us. Same with the Madden series.
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:45 PM   #4
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Indirectly, this site has created thousands of negative and pessimistic gamers that will never be satisfied. No matter what is released they will find flaws.

I hate the general attitude of people here in the forums. It has turned from a place I used to come to years ago for tips, to now just endless threads in how games are 'broken.'

The main example I use on how people are not ready for true realism is Lebron James. Imagine playing 8 full seasons of NBA2k, all 82 games at 12 minute quarters, and STILL not winning a championship. That is real life. Nobody could ever deal with that. Because, of course, the game has comeback code and cheats you out of games.

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Old 06-21-2014, 03:59 PM   #5
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I have to respectfully downright disagree with this article. Realism is essential. I believe you're going to extremes when you bring up examples of actually having to hit a 95 mph pitch. Simulation and realism aren't the same thing in my opinion. However, simulation needs realism. For example, the difference between a changeup and 99mph fastball in the show is definitely felt. Obviously, it's not real, and I'm not really truely experiencing what it's like to crush a fastball from Aroldis Chapman. Also, we should not just settle for incremental improvements unless the game has reached a point where it requires new hardware to make a big leap in improvement. The standard example still holds true today, NFL 2k5 vs Madden. Madden should not be incrementally yet does not have the base NFL 2k5 had presentation wise and gameplay wise...and it's a decade removed! One has to wonder why EA didn't simply just copy the advancements 2k had made with NFL 2k5, a game that was ahead of its time. The point of simulation gaming I believe is to be as realistic as possible presentation wise and gameplay wise in terms of feel and physics of the IN-GAME action. "Mimicking" is a good word you brought up. If anything, developers should just announce sliders they recommend for simulation and arcade styles of play. I prefer they make a separate game for arcade players like The Bigs and Blitz, but that probably won't happen again. I feel like this article is asking us to settle, and I believe we shouldn't. I enjoy MLB The Show and NBA 2k because I feel their the most accurate simulation of their respective sport. Of course there are areas to improve, but they probably have the right to do incremental improvements being that they're on great foundations. Still, I'm wondering where's The Show's version of MVP's Owner Mode, and was happy when 2k introduced international teams. Madden, however, no. There are just obvious aspects and features that should be in sports games right now that it does not have for reasons unknown and Madden deserves no slack. It's a huge franchise despite it's lack to improve greatly and be true to simulation aspects (despite them calling it a football simulation) so it makes me wonder where that $ goes and whether it's properly being invested for next year's title.
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:44 PM   #6
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Re: The Great White Whale of Sports Gaming: Realism

I think sometimes people forget that video games - sports games, shooters, etc. - are entertainment products first designed to be accessible to the widest consumer base possible for a given genre.

To that end, with respect to the design of features in sports video games, features with accessibility and entertainment value are going to trump simulation features most of the time, unless said simulation elements can be made accessible and entertaining.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:27 PM   #7
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How about just having an option to choose between playing the game. Realistic and arcade that way the people who truly want a realistic sports game will be able to have it and for the casual fans they have the other option.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:43 PM   #8
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Great article. I remember when the passing cone came out and people bitterly complained about that on Madden. Then I remember Donovan McNabb at the time playing it and said he even has less time than that, and has to deal with getting hit.

However, I do believe the right developer could find a way to balance it so that you have realism - ultra realism - and the reward of accomplishment. I think Madden is not really a football simulation. Ask any NFL quarterback, safety and DB - one of the biggest parts of the game is the quarterback looking off coverage - this is absent from Madden. Plays have multiple components and a lot depends on how the defense lines up and you have to make adjustments - on both sides of the ball; Madden has an accelerated clock. These are but two examples as to why Madden, IMHO, is not truly a football simulation.

Again, the right type of developer will find a way to heighten the realism in games and still retain the fun factor. I think I know of one ;-)

Again, great article.
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