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Old 05-17-2010, 01:45 AM #1
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Default Should we compare console games to text sims?

Should we compare console games to text sims?
Submitted on: 05/13/2010 by Adam Czech

Two months ago I wrote a piece titled "Does MLB 10: The Show Belong in the Text-Sim Hall of Fame?" There were 33 reader comments about the piece and only one was somewhat positive. The other 32 commenters wondered why Operation Sports would bother publishing something so silly.

I stand behind the content of the piece, but I would like a mulligan on the headline. Obviously, The Show does not belong in the text-sim hall of fame. My main goal was to compare The Show to other text sims and see how it stacked up. Instead of giving the piece a generic title like "How Does the Show Compare to a Text Sim?" I wanted to make it a little a more interesting. I put text-sim hall of fame in the headline thinking it would get a reaction. It did.

After going through the many disparaging comments, I came away asking myself another question: Should we compare console sports games to text sims?

Commenter jbaldwin311 said the following about The Show and Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP): "The two games are completely different play styles and are good in their own rights but should not be compared or put into the same type of game. (outside of both being a baseball game)."

I could not disagree more with this comment. Developers of both console games and text sims attempt to capture the realism of the sport that they are attempting to re-create. They obviously go about it different ways but that does not mean we should not compare the two.

A good console game delivers incredible graphics, realistic sounds and a feeling that you are actually on the field controlling the action. A good text sim delivers statistical depth, customization options and a feeling that the research you put into scouting and management determines your success rate.

Console titles have million-dollar budgets, entire teams of people working on specific aspects of the game and the backing of major corporations. Text sims are usually developed by one or two-person teams in their spare time and promoted exclusively on the Web.

Nevertheless, I think we are doing a disservice to gamers everywhere if we do not hold console titles to some of the same standards we hold text sims to. By doing some of the things that text sims get right, console developers would give customers much more complete and immersive games.

Now, I am not a game developer, but is it really that difficult to incorporate aspects of great text sims into console titles? Why canít Maddenís sim engine produce realistic statistics? Why canít an expansion option be added to the The Show or MLB 2K? Am I wrong to assume that console gamers, even if they have no idea what a text sim is, would rejoice if certain text sim aspects were incorporated into console games?

jbaldwin311 thinks we should not compare The Show to OOTP. Obviously, I understand that they are two completely different games. But I do not think they are trying to capture different audiences.

In my opinion, modern console gamers want complete games. This does not necessarily mean they want everything to be as deep as a text sim. However, they would appreciate realistic results, smart AI, a full array of realistic statistics and real-world roster rules. While users are controlling the action on the field, they want to know that the simulated world around them is realistic, challenging and meaningful.

If we do not compare console titles to text sims, we are telling developers that it is all right to overlook certain aspects of a game. We are telling Madden developers that it is OK to have players getting 35 sacks in one season. We are telling The Show developers that we are fine with minimal customization options. We are essentially saying that if the game looks and sounds great, do not bother polishing it a little to make it a truly memorable game.

When I plop down $60 for console title, I want it to be the best game it could possibly be. I want it to feel real both on the field and behind the scenes. The only way we are going to achieve that balance is if we compare console titles with text sims.

My responses...... (POETICDRINK2U)yes, they should be compared because fans want gameplay depth, options, and everything else that a text-sim has to offer. Many of sport gamers are huge fans of a sport that a gaming company is trying to portray in a game.

Originally Posted by blackscorpion11

Console gamers don't want sim style play..Sim play is more difficult, console gamers want over the top, cartoon sports..

Is it possible to blend the two? YES, I just think most gamers don't want it.
(POETICDRINK2U)Oh, they want it...they want it big time. I did a survey a couple of months ago and it seems like many gamers want this. Even if it's an option fans will be into it. !0 and 13 year olds don't make up the sports gaming demographic.
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