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Most Innovative Feature of 2011: Champion Mode

This past year wasn't a year of revolution for many sports games but rather evolution. While there were some interesting new features introduced to our favorite games, from the Coaching Carousel in NCAA Football 12 to the Impact Physics Engine of FIFA -- it seemed to always be a two horse race between NBA's Greatest Mode in NBA 2K12 and Champion Mode from Fight Night Champion for the OS Staff Writers.

The voting in this category was closer than any other category for the staff here at OS, but Champion Mode ended up taking the win in this category.

Champion Mode was the collision of Hollywood style storytelling with classic sports gaming, and it was quite a unique treat. For the first time in what seemed like forever, you could actually 'beat' a sports game as you worked your way through a story that was so gritty it resulted in EA Sports giving their first ever game an 'M' rating for Mature Audiences only. The execution of the mode, while not completely perfect, was still good enough to make it quite interesting.

Personally, one of my favorite aspects of the 2011 Sports Gaming Season was Champion Mode, as it really did stand out amongst the pack as a unique and innovative idea that I hope makes it way into other sports games, especially individual based ones. Admittedly, the idea of working through a scenario or story has some appeal in terms of a franchise mode spin-off or something like it as well in team-based games.

Champion mode was overlooked by many, but the writers at OS seemed to really dig it. For that reason (and for all the above stated reasons) we gave it our 'Most Innovative Feature of 2011' award.

Other Staff Opinions

Jayson Young - Accurate collisions and believable player interactions are the next big step for making sports gaming more realistic.

It's ironic that a "non-contact" sport like soccer made the most strides in improving its player physics this year, but the FIFA franchise continues to make its claim for having the most realistic animations and player movement in a major sports franchise.

The "Impact Engine's" debut was far from perfect, but with developers like EA Tiburon choosing to ignore Madden's and NCAA's outdated collisions systems, you have to reward EA Canada's first try at realistic physics, despite its many imperfections.

Readers Choice

Winner: NBA's Greatest Mode (33.75%)

Others:  FIFA 12's Impact Physics Engine (19.85%), NCAA 12's Coaching Carousel (19.60%), WWE 12's New Universe Mode (12.16%)
 


Fight Night Champion Videos
Member Comments
# 1 mestevo @ 12/27/11 04:39 PM
Interesting, I actually passed on FNC because I had read that it was a kind of canned 'beat this fight x way, then this fight y way'. It being static and predeterined rather than a more dynamic feel of adversity left me to not even give the game a shot.

The WWE Universe mode getting mentioned here will probably get me to pick up that title, haven't played the Smackdown vs RAW series in a couple years and enjoyed the man-RPG.
 
# 2 Jukeman @ 12/27/11 04:42 PM
I honestly dont see the difference between Champion mode and WWE 12's RTWM which wasnt nominted. Overall they both sucked IMHO
 
# 3 Dazraz @ 12/28/11 03:03 AM
Champion Mode. Innovative? Not really. Merely a career mode with a background story designed to add a little shock & surprise to an ailing game. For something to be innovative I'd think it would need to be a feature that would inspire other developers. WWE 12's Universe Mode is something that most sport games could benefit from & therefore, even though I don't play the game due to my lack of interest in wrestling & my inability to even grasp the basics of the control system, I believe this mode wins hands down.
I also question the inclusion of NBA 2K12's Greatest Mode in this vote as this was merely an expansion
on the feature incorporated in 2K11.
 
# 4 Jukeman @ 12/28/11 09:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazraz
Champion Mode. Innovative? Not really. Merely a career mode with a background story designed to add a little shock & surprise to an ailing game. For something to be innovative I'd think it would need to be a feature that would inspire other developers. WWE 12's Universe Mode is something that most sport games could benefit from & therefore, even though I don't play the game due to my lack of interest in wrestling & my inability to even grasp the basics of the control system, I believe this mode wins hands down.
I also question the inclusion of NBA 2K12's Greatest Mode in this vote as this was merely an expansion
on the feature incorporated in 2K11.
Universe Mode was an expansion from last year's WWE game as well.


Sent from my HumancentiPad using Tapatalk
 
# 5 SHAKYR @ 12/28/11 10:25 AM
Champion Mode had no place in the Fight Night series because this game is said to be a sim, which it isn't/wasn't. The most innovative feature to the Fight Night series to me was trying to give the boxer tendencies with sliders going in the NBA 2K direction.

Casual fans of the boxing is hurting this series because it will never capture the sport or our imagination if they accept anything. The Champion Mode isn't a realistic representive of the sport. The game had an actor(Bishop's voice) who's sport of choice is soccer.

Fight Night could have used a deep Universe mode like WWE 12. EA needs to do more for the career and offline modes.



*Fight Night Community Leader and contributing fan since the first Knockout Kings.
 
# 6 Retropyro @ 12/28/11 11:47 AM
I think WWE 12's Universe mode was pretty innovative. But my personal choice for favourite mode would be NHL 12's be a player. Being able to play through an entire Junior career before getting to the NHL? It's outstanding. That's like NBA 2K12 having you play through an NCAA career before getting drafted.
 
# 7 UniversalNoob @ 01/01/12 02:24 PM
Readers Choice: NBA Greatest Mode?!

Sry, but "NBA Greates" is not a mode in my opinion...just some old teams, with different presentation. nothing more. cant understand how people praise it so much.
 

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