It can be tough for video game developers to come out with a new sports title year-after-year. While fans demand that each annual entry brings something new to the table, developers also need to beware of tinkering a game to the point that it ruins the original formula that made it successful in the first place.
While we genuinely sympathize with game developers, it's hard to ignore the times that fruitless, sometimes game breaking, features are added to a game that was otherwise excellent. Here are six times that developers added a feature that drew the ire of sports game fans.
Breakaway Cam - NHL 2002
This may be a bit of an unpopular pick, as we've definitely heard a number of fans of the EA NHL franchise look back on memories of the Breakaway Cam fondly. But to us, it was just distracting. Sure, it added to the intense feel of the game the first few times you saw it, but seeing it for the 1000th time during the course of an 82 game season? No thanks, we'll pass. No one needs to have the flow of a game disrupted to see their miss on a breakaway in three separate cutaway shots of a save.
Create-A-Fan - Madden 2005
The ability to create a team in a sports game is one of the coolest features there is. It allows you to put your own squad into a game, while also giving you the option to insert fictional teams from television and film. But when EA added the ability to create-a-fan in Madden 2005, most gamers had one question. Why? We guess there's no problem with added features, but it just wasn't all that useful.
Total Control Pitching - MLB 2K Series
Baseball video games have needed an overhaul to the repetitive pitching mechanics systems that have plagued the genre for quite some time now. 2K was close to doing that, but they just missed the mark. While the Total Control Pitching switched things up from the tedious three click system used by most baseball titles at the time, it created a number of new issues that baseball gamers hadn't been faced with before.
Due to the sensitive analog system, it became quite easy to throw the wrong pitch unintentionally. Pitchers can definitely throw poor pitches, but rarely will someone hurl a two seam fastball when they meant to throw a slider. This wasn't technically taken out of the game, but 2K hasn't made a baseball game since 2013, soooo the feature didn't exactly help save the franchise either.
Vision Cone - Madden 06
The Vision Cone introduced in Madden 06 seemed like a good idea in theory, but in practice it was an absolute headache. Having to flick from receiver to receiver was clumsy and kind made no sense. People can definitely move their eyes a whole lot quicker than they can push a thumb stick to cycle through receivers. It was a good way of nerfing the running abilities of Michael Vick, but it also allowed players like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to render the feature all but useless since their cones covered the entire field.
Rewind Feature - Madden 09
No, no, no, no, no. You make a mistake in a game, just deal with it. Sure, it can be turned off, but we all know that friends are anything but honest while duking it out in a game of Madden. There's nothing more gut wrenching than scoring a huge interception, only to have the play called back because your friend just can't deal with it. No, no, no, no, no.
Fight for the Fumble - Madden 10
We're of the mindset that button mashing should rarely be rewarded in a video game. So when EA introduced their new Fight for the Fumble recovery system, we weren't all that pumped. While it could be fun against your friends, it was nothing but frustrating versus a computer.