Video game timelines are funny things. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got the annual release titles — the familiars of our hobby, such as Call of Duty, Madden, Assassin’s Creed, Mario and the like — and on the other side of the spectrum you have the folks that release games when they’re good and ready — the Valves and Square Enixes of the world. Today’s post concerns the first group.
With the recent quality dip of franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, the underwhelming “next gen” (but still the same old) gameplay of Call of Duty: Ghosts and the staleness of other titles like Mario or Madden, it seems like there are quite a few annual releases in need of a good old fashioned sabbatical. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike these franchises. Far from it. I just think that perhaps an extended break might give developers a chance to come back to the table with fresh eyes and maybe a few gameplay or art tweaks that might reinvigorate things again.
Take Madden, for instance. I’m a dude that loves watching just about any random NFL game I can find on TV, but you almost couldn’t pay me to play a Madden game. Here’s the game of football — a rough-hitting, edge-of-your-seat, strategy-on-the-fly sport played by athletic gods — and EA manages to make a game that feels boring. Contrast that with something as historic as Mario or Zelda, two imaginative franchises that don’t quite excite the way they used to (unless they go retro or reboot one of the older, better games in some way), and it starts to feel like maybe it’s time for these guys to rest just a little while.
So without further ado, here’s today’s Pixel Count. Get your votes on and tell us what you think in the comments! It doesn’t even have to be a yearly release — just a franchise that you think might benefit with some rethinking.
Welcome to Pixel Count Tuesday!
Here in America we are busy preparing for the Super Bowl on Sunday. It’s an unofficial holiday in these parts with plenty of food, football and commercials. Even people who don’t watch football tune in for the spectacle. There is a tradition where EA simulates the Super Bowl using Madden NFL and that got me to thinking about what sports are best when played on a video game.
Without a doubt, Madden is the most popular, but is it the best? Hockey, free from the constant breaks in gameplay and offering a flowing experience has always been my favorite sport to experience through video games. Soccer and basketball are largely similar to hockey and are a blast to play for the same reasons. Even racing games seem like they would translate better than football, yet Madden outsells them all, much to the annoyance of some who feel that it is the same experience every year.
So that leads to the poll question: what is the best video game sport to play? Vote below and leave a comment stating your reasons for your vote. Play ball!
For those of you who don’t know, the billionaire owners of the NFL are engaged in a life or death struggle with the millionaire players of the NFL which will likely result in a lockout starting in March, which could cancel or delay the NFL season this fall. All of the various parasites who suckle at the NFL’s teat are pretty much out of luck, but EA is getting a break that few others will receive.
SportsBusinessDaily is reporting that the NFL has restructured its deal with EA, allowing EA to escape some of its obligations this year due to the pending lockout, but also adds another year of NFL exclusivity, much to the chagrin of gamers who want to see innovation and competition in the NFL video game market. While exact details of the deal are not being disclosed, we do know that NFL makes 30 to 40 million dollars a year from their Madden license, so it likely will reduce the amount that EA has to pay.
Should EA receive such a deal or should they tough it out like all the rest of the NFL’s partners? Do you think interest in Madden will be higher or lower next year? If there is no football to be played, I would think more people would buy Madden, if only to get SOMETHING that resembles the NFL on their TV. Ready? Set? Hike!
We have all turned on our respective consoles for a nice relaxing game of Call of Duty, Halo or Madden and suddenly been bombarded by little redneck 12 year old wannabe gangsters telling us how gay we are for not being better at a video game. Never mind that these kids are still waiting for the testicles to finally drop and have never seen a boobie up close, not counting their mom. It can ruin a night of gaming because no amount of pwnage shuts them up.
1Up.com was nice enough to compile a list of things they learned through their 360 headset. I found this to be a pretty funny and insightful list, especially the part about babies crying in the background. I was very excited to get online but once I met the online community of racist, homophobic douchebags, I recoiled.
What do you guys think of this list and have you had similar experiences online?
In a story that could only have originated from EA, Bloomberg is reporting that Peter Moore, the president of EA Sports (it’s in the game) may auction off the rights to appear on Madden to the highest bidder.
“I bet you can find 50 players that would say, `I’d pay good money,”’ Moore said. “The league does a lot of work with them to make them realize how lucky they are and a lot of them have come out of poor circumstances and they give back.”
Moore also acknowledges that there is something to aforementioned “Curse”, noting it is odd how bad things happen to the cover athletes. Did Pacman Jones ever appear on it?
What do you think, would athletes, notoriously greedy as they are, ever pay big money to be on the cover of a game that might end up placing a curse on them and possibly ending their career?
Mike Vick can tell you about it. So can Marshall Faulk, Donovan McNabb and countless others. For years, talk has spread of a curse that haunts any athlete that graces the cover of the latest edition of Madden. Well, kids, I’m here to tell you that the curse you think is real is not the curse you should be worried about.
Continue reading The Real Madden Curse
All this talk about the Wii being the bastion of casual gamers is really starting to stick in my craw. And I didn’t even know I had a craw or that such a thing could get stuck in it, but whatever. What bothers me is that casual gaming has been around FOREVER and it has nothing to do with the Wii.
Continue reading Casualties of Gaming