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Which One to Buy?!

Dive into the depths of infinite sports games

By Troy Roberts     April 11, 2003


MADDEN NFL 2003
© 2002 EA Sports

Do you ever wonder why there are so many sports titles available on consoles? I'm not talking just about how many, I'm talking about how many there are for each different sport. There are tons and it is beginning to seem like every company that develops video games feels like they have to have their own sports title, as weird as they may be.


Every year we see about the same titles released before the start of each sport's season. For basketball (which the season is winding down now) we have the choices between NBA LIVE, NBA 2K, NBA STREET, NBA 2NIGHT, NBA INSIDE DRIVE, NBA SHOOTOUT, NBA STARTING FIVE, and of course, we have a new NBA JAM coming out. And that is just the NBA! That is eight games that are all covering the exact same sport. And we won't even get into the college hoops games (although there aren't as many, there are still too many).


What about football? Oh yeah, you've got the NFL 2K and MADDEN series which normally top the sales charts every year, but what about the NFL FEVER, NFL BLITZ, NFL GAMEDAY, and NFL PRIMETIME? While the games normally don't sell as well as the proven games, they are still on the market and still get their fair share of purchases. Once again, that is only the NFL games, not counting the relatively few NCAA games.


And then you've got the baseball games, the tennis games, the hockey games, even the golf games. While the only one in that group that honestly has a ton of games related to it is baseball, there are still plenty to choose from in the other categories.


Developers make it so hard on gamers (especially young gamers) to choose which title to buy. I've got a young cousin who recently bought NFL PRIMETIME after seeing me play MADDEN, because he thought they were close to the same game. Wrong! PRIMETIME has poor gameplay and the graphics are comparable to the PS1 when compared to the newest edition of MADDEN. So basically he wasted 40 bucks on a game that isn't any good.


The whole point of the video game industry used to be to make good games, not put out as many titles as you can and sucker kids into buying them. Obviously, there are a lot of different genres out there that have a plethora of games based on that genre (the fighter genre is one of them), but I think the sports one is about the most widespread. And while I think the genre should be cut down to only a few games, I doubt it'll happen. But, that's just my opinion as always.


TIDBITS



TROPICO 2: PIRATE COVE has been shipped to stores...FINAL FANTASY ORIGINS for the Playstation has also shipped to stores...Vivendi Universal has announced that Henry Rollins, best known as the front-man for Black Flag, will voice the title character in MACE GRIFFIN: BOUNTY HUNTER...LucasArts has announced the third game in the JEDI KNIGHT series, JEDI ACADEMY...


IKARUGA


ON SHELVES



At first I had planned on giving the nod to GOLDEN SUN: THE LOST AGE because I really enjoyed the previous game. But the more and more I've looked at the shooter IKARUGA, the better it looks. So, just by a hair, it gets the nod over GOLDEN SUN.


Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.

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