Title screens. Nearly every console and PC game has one. Back in the arcades, the title screen was the tollbooth of the highway of gaming bliss. But with a game that you’ve already purchased, what is the title screen really doing for us these days? And a better question, why do a lot of games delay loading content until after the title screen?
In the last article, I talked about how the realistic use of animations in MLB 2K12 makes the game take way too long to play. While the animations are pretty, after you see them once or twice it’s easy to realize that they don’t offer the player any lasting benefit. This time, I’m here to tell you that in another case, the lack of animation causes a serious usability problem in MLB 2K12.
When creating a player, there are all kinds of things you can customize – the equipment they use, what color socks they wear, and all manner of things about your pro-to-be’s body shape. As I was building the San Diego Padres’ next superstar closer, I was excited to see the detailed controls for customizing the player’s face – there are two two-dimensional sliders that you control with both of your controller’s thumbsticks. That’s a serious control for some seriously detailed customization. But take a look at what happens when you’re adjusting these sliders: Continue reading
Among the major sports, baseball is unique in that it isn’t governed by a time clock. Football (both American football and soccer), basketball, hockey, all of those games are done when the referee sees the clock tick down to zero. In baseball, you get 27 outs, and sometimes more. Depending on your point of view, that can be a good or bad thing. Regardless though, it’s part of the reason baseball is often called a “slow” game, with real life games clocking in at an average of nearly 3 hours.
MLB 2K12, another iteration of 2K Sports’ annual baseball sim, does a pretty great job at capturing the “essence” of major league baseball. That also means it can take forever to play a game. Mostly, I blame this on the annoyingly realistic way the batter and pitcher take their sweet time between pitches. Continue reading
Here’s an interesting problem I’ve had with NHL 12 – while playing the Be a GM mode, primarily I like to play as the NHL team. I’d say, probably a fair guess that most other people do too. But occasionally I do like to drop into an OHL team game for various reasons. Sometimes I want to see how well a prospect does, sometimes I just want to try and help out the team when playing a tough opponent.
However, finding out who are tough opponents isn’t always as easy as you might think. Continue reading
NHL 12, by and large, is an amazing game. It’s both accessible and deep, and while I’m generally a single-player sort of guy when it comes to sports games, a 12-person online match is quite an experience.
So, while in general I give big ups to this game, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. One of the things that I find super irritating is in the Be a GM mode. Making trades is a key part of being a successful GM, and it’s way harder than it should be to make this happen. Here’s why: it’s pretty much impossible to find a player that you want, much less make the deal happen. Continue reading