Question Of The Month Reader Responses: Issue #248
A few months ago we asked sports fans what next-gen improvements they'd like to see to their favorite series. Our armchair athletes pointed to a variety of improvements they'd like to see, some of which are outlined here.
Looking The Part:
- I am looking forward to next-gen graphics, but not just on the field; I want to see crowds that reflect what I see when I visit Cowboys Stadium. I’m also looking forward to advanced AI that makes logical decisions based on the down, distance, and time left on the clock.
- I would like to see better pre-game shows and game of the week highlights at halftime and the end of the game. Also, more crowd noise when the visiting offense is on the field, and more action on the sidelines, like players riding stationary bikes, moving around, and stretching. And bring back Sam Spence's NFL music!!!
- It may seem odd, but as a huge FIFA fan, I really want to see refereeing AI improve. Small things like judging who pushed who, who got the ball first, whether that second foot came in late – they all make a huge difference to the overall realism and simulation. I’m also super excited about the Ignite engine's “living worlds,” so we will see if that lives up to expectations.
- I would love to see technical fouls and ejections called in basketball games. That would make basketball games more awesome than they are now.
Who's In Control?:
- I just want lots of control over sports games. From trades to conference/division layouts.
A Little Advice, Please:
- I have tried to play games based on most of the popular sports: football, basketball, baseball, soccer, etc. I stink at all of them. I want a good AI coach mode in the games, where the AI calls the plays and I just have to control one of the players on the field/court/pitch/etc. Maybe then I could play them. The closest thing I can remember to this was the “Ask Madden” button, which would give you advice. You still had to switch between coaching and playing, though.
- I have never been a sports video game fan, but based on the very few titles I've played, the innovation i'd like to see is more personality expressed by players. Like in Arena Football, the players would talk smack to each other after every play, and would be full of attitude after very successful or degrading plays.
Mad About Madden:
- There are so many things I would love to see, but since I am a football junkie, I will focus my energy on Madden.
First off, it's been 25 years, how hard is it to get a menu system right? I know they are shooting for some new-wave, naturally flowing iPad feel, but they are a game company, not an OS company. Find something that works, and build on it – don't try to reinvent it every year. I couldn't be more frustrated with getting the new version of Madden, only to spend the first fifteen minutes figuring out where everything is. I want to play football.
Secondly, I am a stats nerd, and am always disappointed in either the lack of statistical data I can crunch after a game, or the obvious calculation errors often found in menus or in-game pop ups. There are scores of websites that track stats for a living; get a programmer to scan one of them for an hour, and then put it in the game. More in-depth should mean more in-depth everything, not just how many different ways I can tackle a guy. I mean, Tecmo Super Bowl keeps better stats than most of the recent versions of Madden, and that was over 20 years ago.
Living In A Fantasy World:
- I play Madden Football, and I would like to see an in-game fantasy league that runs alongside my season and uses the video game stats of me and my friends. I think this would add a level of competition to the game.
Get Up And Move:
- I'd like to see the Kinect and other motion-sensing hardware take "body English" into account in sports games. Not only would you give input through the controller but the motion sensor would see you leaning/twisting/turning your body to give the input just a little more "oomph." Cars handle just a little better, your receiver stretches for that last 1/4", your striker puts a little more flick in his kick. Something like that.
What do you want from a next-gen sports game? Share your ideas in the comments below!