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09-13-2011, 05:54 PM
Sidney the Kidney
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Originally Posted by Jill Sandwich View Post
I always laugh when people complain that sports games aren't different enough year to year. The problem is is that hockey and football are always going to be hockey and football every single year. Every other game variety can add new twists on the gameplay to make it more fun, whereas sports games have to keep being recreations of sports. It's not like next year they're going to add an open-world sandbox and a branching narrative. You can't have Peyton Manning root through his spellbook and cast Blizzaga to slow the pass rush down.
They can do minor stuff, however, to make the actual gameplay more realistic, or closer to what you'd find in an NHL game.

For instance, I'm playing as the Pens. When I let the computer handle my defense (I usually just control the center until my team gets the puck back), guys like Michalek and Martin are no better positionally than my bottom pairing of Niskanen and Engelland. They don't block any more shots, don't break up any more passes, and get beat or leave a man alone just as much, as the bottom pairing guys, despite their ratings.

This is an area where EA can improve the gameplay from one version to the next. Make a guy like Paul Martin programmed to be really good as defensive positioning, and a lot harder to beat than a guy like Deryk Engelland.

This also applies to the various designations for forwards. Whether they're grinders, snipers, or playmakers, they all act the same way when they're on the attack. I don't notice playmakers going out of their way to pass, pass, pass, even when shots are available. I don't see snipers getting consistently into scoring areas with a frequency that the other two designations can't match, and I don't see grinders forechecking like beasts any more than the other two types of forwards.

Minor tweaks, where if the computer AI is handling these players (as opposed to the player's control over them), there's an obvious distinction between good and bad players, and types of players.

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