As for the thread topic itself, I don’t hate EA. There are a few EA titles I have liked through the years. I liked Bard’s Tale way back in the 1980s, I liked SimCity 4, and I generally enjoyed the MVP Baseball series, the NCAA football series, and the Madden football series. Yet while I enjoy those series, I have fundamental problems with all three of them (the MVP series no longer has an MLB license so I haven’t played it in years.)
MVP, NCAA, and Madden were three solid games and had/have been three solid games for awhile. The problem is in the particulars. MVP offers great baseball play and even introduced a really awesome franchise mode, that had three layers of minor leagues and all kinds of cool management options.
But, as much fun as MVP is, one iteration of the game you realize that there are two game-breaking bugs. What sucks about these game breaking bugs is they’re not really easy to notice until you play the game a lot so they escaped reviewers and the game got great reviews across the board.
The two bugs were:
–For some unknown reason, left handed hitters had drastically reduced home run hitting ability in games you played (simulated games in a season behaved normally.) Somehow, the mechanics of the game, the physics of the game and et cetera, made it so lefties couldn’t hit home runs except with extreme rarity, and even then with only the very best home run hitters in the game. You could unlock Babe Ruth and he’d literally have more difficulty hitting a home run than say, Derek Jeter–not a player known for home run hitting ability.
The second bug was, you had a 120 year dynasty/franchise mode. After about 10-15 years most of the “real” players that you started the game with have retired and what you are left with is computer generated prospects. You have to move your prospects through your farm system and develop them into stars. The problem is, EA messed this up somehow and the prospects lost the ability to develop after the first season. So your prospects would develop for the first season of a 120 season dynasty, but for the last 119 seasons they would hardly develop at all. Meaning every team in the majors would, after a decade be plagued by players with ~40-60 ratings (with a player’s overall rating going up to 99 in that game, with virtually all every day players being 80+, and really good players being 90+.) It was ludicrous that 15 years into your dynasty a 45 year old version of Albert Pujols would be winning the MVP/batting crown/home run titles et cetera because despite the fact players DID drop off as they aged, no other player would develop. So even a 45 year old Albert Pujols was drastically better than the best computer generated prospected in the game.
This is the biggest problem with the EA sports titles. They get very very close to getting everything right, MVP was great fun if you could look past those two flaws. The reason I keep buying new versions of NCAA is because I like the new rosters and because it seems like every year reviews report that several of the problems with previous versions have been “fixed.” Of course, no other game exists for playing college football, so the EA game is all that there is. So you buy each iteration because the game is really fun at its core, but slightly flawed, and like some fool you keep expecting the developers to get rid of these flaws. What’s frustrating is it is obvious they do get rid of some of the flaws, as the games do get better over time. One of the earliest iterations of NCAA, you could just throw the ball up and run up the score 100+ on your opponent. Aside from that (aside from that) the game played pretty well, meaning as long as you didn’t air the ball out you’d get a pretty good approximation of a real college football game. If you did air the ball out, you’d put up an unrealistic score every single time.
That is something that has been a persistent problem, there is still way too much of a problem with people being able to consistently get too much of a positive return from just “throwing the ball up” meaning throwing the ball into double or triple coverage and getting 70+ yard completions. This just isn’t realistically something that happens 30 times a game in real football. They’ve continually tried to tweak this every year, and it has gotten better in that regard every year. But they still aren’t “quite there” in representing the concept that you pretty much don’t throw into coverage most of the time. While the chance of success has gone down dramatically over the years, it hasn’t been represented in a realistic manner in my opinion.