‘MLB The Show’ On Xbox One And 9 Other Things We Wish Existed In The Sports Video Games Universe – Forbes
MLB The Show is an excellent baseball simulation and it has been for some time, but it is a Sony exclusive. That leaves Xbox One owners unable to enjoy the series’ greatness.
This wasn’t quite as bitter of a pill to swallow when the now defunct MLB 2K series was still in existence. Don’t get me wrong, MLB 2K was never as good as The Show, but it was at least a playable version of the sport and accessible to Xbox fans.
MLB 2K13 was the final version released from the series before it was canceled and no developer has emerged to fill the gap on Xbox. Super Mega Baseball is a solid game, but it’s not a pure simulation. The sequel will arrive later this year, but it may not scratch the itch for hardcore baseball fans on the XB1.
Fans fantasize about a return of the MVP Baseball series from EA Sports, but nothing has materialized. Were it to return, The Show would have a legitimate threat to its crown on both consoles.
As it stands, PlayStation baseball fans are almost universally content and XB1 fans are like…
The lack of a simulation baseball game on the XB1 isn’t all that ails the current sports gaming universe. Here are nine other fantasies we wish were a reality.
Create-A-Ballpark in MLB The Show
Since we’re talking about baseball and The Show, I may as well take the time to reiterate my desire for the series to add a create-a-ballpark feature. The Show has ascended to a level of quality with its core gameplay that there’s not a lot of room for improvement in that area.
It’s not perfect, but we’re talking tweaks more than overhauls. The visuals are really solid, though the player models are still slightly behind the curve–but it’s not enough to hold the game back in that area. One of the final additions The Show can add to push their game to the next level while also delivering to the community another tool to use its creativity is create-a-ballpark.
Its impact could spread across multiple modes and versions of the game.
How often do you talk to a friend or acquaintance about gaming and the conversation goes something like this…If gamers truly want to test their skills in games like
“You play Madden?” “Yeah.” What system do you play on?” “XB1.” “Aww man, I play on PS4.” The conversation is usually over at that point, right?
If gamers truly want to test their skills in games like Madden, NBA 2K, FIFA and others, we need to be able to compete against players on different consoles. This functionality would do wonders for online competitive play and esports.
Carry-Over Saves And Rosters For Every Game
We’re talking a lot about The Show today, but Sony’s baseball series is at the epicenter of this fantasy too. The Show is the only sports video game that allows you to carry over your franchise mode and single-player saves from one version to the next.
It’s an ingenious and logical feature, so why won’t the other major sports video game franchises follow suit? You become even more invested in the series because you’ve accumulated your own history within the game.
With an annual product, what developer wouldn’t want to establish that deeper connection.
A Boxing Game
I’ve been beating this drum from every angle for more than three years. In my Ice Cube voice: “either they don’t know, don’t show, or just don’t care about what goes on in the hearts and minds of virtual boxing fans.”
At this point, I think the only way we see another boxing video game is if it comes from an independent developer. If a guy like Anthony Joshua can continue to ascend to a level of global superstardom, perhaps EA or another company will see fit to make him the centerpiece of another boxing title.
A College Basketball Game
At some point, I believe 2K will take this step again. Their NBA product is so successful that it legitimizes the return of their College Hoops 2K series. When it was scrapped in 2007, the NBA 2K brand wasn’t nearly as iconic as it is today, thus the sales weren’t what Take-Two needed.
If a college hoops title is packaged and linked to NBA 2K properly, it would be an enormous success. I believe wholeheartedly that it will happen sometime in the future–or perhaps that’s just me speaking my wishes into existence.
Either way, don’t dismiss this as covefefe.
A College Football Game
The NCAA Football series is probably missed even more than the College Hoops 2K franchise. Remember, NCAA Football wasn’t stopped because of low sales. Former EA CEO Peter Moore speaks specifically about some of the legal issues that halted the series in the video above.
Once EA Sports figures out what’s in bounds and where its profits will come from, it will return. There’s too much Ultimate Team money to be made from the product to keep it on the shelf.
Export/Import Draft Classes
As much as I loved the gameplay in College Hoops 2K and NCAA Football, my favorite thing to do with both games was to export the draft classes and import them into NBA 2K and Madden. It felt as though I had my own sports universe and that was great.
NBA 2K has patched this experience well with the ability to create draft classes, but it’s still not quite the same. Up to this point, Madden doesn’t give you much control over the draft classes in their Connected Franchise modes.
Thus most of the college prospect and draft experience I loved is gone.
A Good NASCAR Game
I’m not the biggest NASCAR fan, but I know enough to know that it’s been a while since there was one that satiated gamers who know the sport well. NASCAR Heat was the most recent one and it wasn’t very good.
The sequel is due out in September, but I can forgive fans for not being overly excited. NASCAR is too big in the United States for there not to be a decent representation of the sport in the video game world.
Arcade, Hybrid And Ultra-Sim Modes
We all play sports games differently. Some people like wide-open, unrealistic games. Some like ultra-realistic modes that can be discouraging for a novice to try. Others like their sports gaming experience somewhere in between.
Developers have tried to give fans this experience with sliders, but that isn’t really enough. Some don’t know what parts of the game should be tweaked and others don’t want to waste time trying to figure it out.
Madden 18 is introducing built-in play styles this year and it’s something all franchises should implement.
In fact, all sports gaming devs should listen closely to every word I say. We’d all be better for it. #laughingbutserious