What’s all the hype about with sports video games?
With the release of FIFA 17 coming tomorrow, this starts yet another wave of brand new sports video games. Whether you’re a gamer or not, you’ve heard of games like Madden and you know about the hype and anticipation surrounding sports games. These are not like your normal video games that are one-and-done or are part of a series. Sports games will always be around(we’ll get into specific sports later) and they will always come out with “new” editions every year. So the question is, why do people play sports games?
There are many different reasons as to why one would play a sports game. First thing’s first, they love that specific sport. For soccer enthusiasts, it’s the FIFA games; for football fans, it’s Madden; for baseball fanatics, it’s MLB The Show(sorry Xbox gamers), and so on and so forth. Playing these games brings you closer to the action, and being able to control your favorite teams makes you a die-hard fan.
The next reason gamers play sports games are to play with others. There’s nothing like hooking up another controller and sitting beside your opponent, or teammate, playing sports games. From NBA Jam to Wii Sports, these games are always a blast when you have friends over. As video games have advanced however, a new multiplayer option has been created. Ever since online gaming became popular in the 2000’s, gamers have loved the option of playing any and every video game with or against their friends and strangers around the world. First-person shooter video games have taken the world by storm and many companies are producing them, but online sports games are an entirely different experience. Whether it’s beating your friend in a 1 vs 1 game, trying your hand against random opponents, or teaming up with others to take on another team(FIFA Pro Clubs is my go to), the feeling is very rewarding. That is if your internet connection is strong enough…
Another reason sports games are popular is giving gamers a controlling feeling. I mentioned this earlier with controlling your favorite teams, but in the past few years, video game developers have really focused on game modes such as career mode, be a player mode, and franchise mode. In these modes, you can become a general manager, a coach, or a single player on your journey to the top. Decide where your organization’s money is spent, what players join and leave the team, and specify tactics and strategies on game day. With games coming out every year, the team rosters and player ratings are updated, giving gamers a present day feel to their games. As a player, you start from the bottom, whether that is in high school(RIP NCAA games), college(an awesome feature in the 2K games), draft day, or as a young budding star. You completely customize your character(except Alex Hunter *cough* *cough*) from the body features to the clothes he wears to the tattoos he has. You train to enhance your skills, prove yourself to the coach to earn a starting spot and larger contracts, and some games even have conversations that your character must chose a response that can affect his career. Be a player mode is rapidly growing in the industry, with developers creating story modes to experience an athlete’s life on and off the field, court, rink, or diamond. Gamers are drooling over the possibilities career mode has moving forward and I can’t wait to see what happens next(*cough* online career mode in FIFA *cough*).
The last reason gamers play sports video games is the challenge and the success that follows. This is the reason sports video games have different difficulty levels; so that the gamer has the option to make his or her experience the best it can be. Whether you want to play on the highest difficulty or on baby mode, it’s entirely up to you. Sports games have many challenges that are there to concur, so gamers take it upon them selves to do so. Winning the Super Bowl with the Cleveland Browns, defeating “Iron” Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out(which cost me a controller as a kid), or leading a lower league team like Scunthorpe United F.C. to Champions League glory(you betcha that’s on my resume), that winning feeling is the best.
If you’re already an avid sports gamer, I applaud you. If you’re not, then I recommend giving them a try, there’s a sports game out there for everyone. At the end of the day, no matter how many games you have, what your team record is, or how many things you break(you know who you are), sports video games are a blast.
Until next time, au revoir, and remember:
“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben