|FIFA 14, the intros get better every year!|
Video games make more money than ever, they have budgets that would put some Hollywood blockbusters to shame, and between the three main regions there seems to be games that can cater to every taste. Nowadays you have KickStarter and can put some of your money behind any game you like the look of and would want to play. It gives power to the consumer like never before. But a quick search of the KickStarter video game section will show you that there are little or no sports games on the site? So perhaps head over to Steam, one of the internet’s biggest game distribution services, with over 3,000 games available, and see what sports games they offer. A quick search of ‘sports’ will give you a choice of only 75 games, a miniscule amount. Plus, if you take out all the racing games from that list, you are left with only 43 games. If there are over three thousand Steam games, this adds up to a little over 1% Sports games, and a big chunk of those are made-up future sports, Blood Bowl, Beast Boxing, Steel Storm etc.
|PES 14, the screenshots get better every year!|
|NBA Live is back on Next Gen|
|NBA Ballers: Chosen One: Only One|
|Professional Baseball Spirits|
The two main names in Tennis are TopSpin by 2K Sports and the Virtua Tennis games by SEGA. Although EA Sports have been trying to muscle in with their Grand Slam Tennis games of late. So if you are a tennis nut, there are some great choices there, as well as some of the usual wacky tennis games, like Mario Tennis, SEGA SuperStar Tennis, and the like. It seems to me that tennis games offer the best choice if you are a fan of the sport. But in saying that, have tennis games changed a hell of a lot in the last twenty years? You still play up and down the court, so that seems to be the default camera angle. But that is pretty much how you watch it on TV. It would take something radical to make a predominantly side-on or top-down viewed tennis game now wouldn’t it?
What if you’re not into these team games, and prefer a more
solitary pursuit, like golf, or tennis even? Heading out onto the virtual links
your best option are the Tiger Woods games from EA Sports. Nintendo has its
Mario Golf and Sony releases Everybody’s Golf every now and then, but these are
obviously more cartoony representations of the sport. Serious golf games seemed
to have petered out after Microsoft finished with the Links series of games in
2004 on the original Xbox. Since then Tiger Woods has pretty much had his way
|I remember when the Golden Bear had his own game|
|Ice Hockey at that angle! Are you insane Brett Hull?|
|Is FIFA 95 the best FIFA?|
For me the Dreamcast was the last system that offered a choice of Football games. And this was a system that didn’t have the two big hitters from Konami or EA being released on it. SEGA had two games from their WorldWide Soccer series by Silicon Dreams, who also did 2 UEFA games for Infogrames in Europe. SEGA brought out the arcade conversion of Virtua Striker on the system. Smilebit and UEP Systems released football games in Japan. 90 Minutes was a Smilebit game released in Europe by SEGA. It even had a football management game, Giant Killers! It also had those Let’s Make a Football Team games, which was only converted to English when released on PS2 (much later in 2006), and it tied in with the Virtua Pro Football game from SEGA. Smilebit who made those games, and are now known as SEGA Sports Japan, only seem to make Mario and Sonic at the Olympics games these days.
Go back a little futher, to the generation of the MegaDrive.
That system had more football games than you could shake a stick at! It had the
best of the console and computer football games. It was perhaps the last
generation where huge differences could be seen in the games. Compare Italia’90
with FIFA’98? Or Sensible Soccer with International SuperStar Soccer? If you
put a screen shot of FIFA up beside PES these days, you can barely tell the
|There can only be one!|
It is harder to get excited by a new iteration of the same
game year after year. I honestly prefer a game of Tecmo Bowl or Joe Montana
than the latest Madden game. Companies trot out developers to make videos every
year explaining how this year is such an improvement, the ball physics have
been altered, blah blah blah. It’s the same game to me! Show me some real
improvements. Fix the game. Make it a better representation of the sport (are
you listening FIFA? PES?), and not just a better representation, of the
representation of the sport.
|Italia'90, and the crowd goes wild!|
|Konami Hyper Soccer on the NES|