The Final Decision Regarding Sports Games on PSX/DC Mania

Part of this layoff of streaming has been me thinking about what has been working and what hasn’t been working for PSX Mania and Dreamcast Mania (and the other being in a funk). For the most part, I feel that they each have their own feeling and vivid identity that separates them in regards to how they are streamed. One aspect I’ve struggled to really come to grips with is dealing with sports games. Initially I had it set where one exhibition game won meant I completed the title. With the overbearing number of sports titles on the console, and with how playing a week 3 game and playing a championship game was basically the same experience (unlike a fighting game, or an RPG, where there’s tiered setups with vastly different fighters and an end boss as well as the final battle in an RPG being a vastly different approach most times), I wanted to get them out of the way ASAP. After a bit of a discussion, I changed that mentality to doing a playoff run and championship win (any difficulty/quarter length/series length) and was going to swing back around to the three PS1 sports games I’ve played already, and get them done in that kind of way.

After some more though, and in keeping the Sega Dreamcast in mind for sports as well, I’ve decided to completely change up how sports games are done in these projects.

First let’s talk about PSX Mania – I am not, and have not, been enamored with the idea of doing 200+ sports games. In fact, games within the same companies releases change so little that it’s basically replaying the same game multiple times, for the bulk of it. So I have made the decision to completely omit major sports simulation games. This includes EA Sports titles, 989 Sports titles, as well as others that have appeared on the console.

I say most because I am only aiming to mostly remove the simulated sports titles (a few other sports games as well that may not be considered simulation). I want to play the Hot Shot Golf‘s and the NBA Jam‘s, so the arcade versions of many sports games being removed are staying in. Games with sports-like elements or feels to them but are not traditional sports games (like Grid Runner), are staying on the list. Miscellaneous stuff that’s staying that can be considered a sport:

  • pool
  • Olympics
  • MMA
  • fishing
  • tennis
  • bowling
  • ATV racing
  • Motocross
  • BMX
  • non EA Sports boxing
  • snowboarding
  • wrestling (lol)

More or less, anything with a year at the end and is a simulation sports game is getting the axe. What gets the axe will be non-arcade baseball, hockey, basketball, football, soccer, all F1 and all NASCAR.

A quick and dirty partial list of what is being kept (franchise wise, not per game):

Tony Hawk
ESPN Xtreme
Cool Boarders
Ready 2 Rumble
NFL Blitz
Hot Shots Golf

The only four simulation sports games that will evade this new stance are the ones that have already been completed – NHL 2000, Madden NFL 2000, NBA Live 2000 and Triple Play 2000. One notable adjustment that I’ll be making in accepting these as grandfathered in titles is that I will be going back to play them via playoff mode, with either one game advancements through the playoffs (football) or either 2/3 or 3/5 series to advance to the next round (baseball, hockey, basketball). Once The Legend of Dragoon is completed, I will be replaying Madden NFL 2000 with the playoff advancement structure listed above. After game #45 is completed (Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition), I will play through NHL 2000 in the 2/3 or 3/5 to advance and the period time length/difficulty adjusted to whatever difficulty. After game #50 (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) will be NBA Live 2000, and then after game #55 (Vigilante 8), I will tackle Triple Play 2000.

One reason why I want to do that for those four titles is because not only have I played them and have already logged in their times and such, but I want to be sure that they are as completed as possible without having to play full or abbreviated seasons. There will be no simulation sports games added in the meantime, or likely ever after that. Here’s the full list of sports games that will be omitted from PSX Mania

As for Dreamcast Mania – the approach is going to be much different overall. Sports games will all be played, will all be played via playoff mode (if none, an abbreviated season into playoffs into finals). Same thing goes for difficulty/period length/games to win to advance (any/any/best of 3, 5 or 7). This is a console with basically a sixth or less the number of games compared to the PS1, and its lifecycle was such that there’s not an overflow of samey sports games. I already have a system set up where every 7th game (with two small changes later into the list as the 7th falls on a milestone number) is a sports game, so there won’t be any scheduling follies on my end.

Something like the sole college football game on the Dreamcast, NCAA College Football 2K2, will be played in an entire season, and the win condition is to win any Bowl game that was earned. Something like Virtua Tennis I’d have to look into and see if there’s a tournament mode or something. But the gist of this is Dreamcast Mania will play every game outside the games that appear more than once on the console (Speed Devils Online, Sega Swirl and Phantasy Star Online Ver. 1). So this will be a much closer to “complete” library playthrough, whereas PSX Mania will omit the major simulated sports titles completely.

Between all of this and a bit of a funk I’ve been having personally, I haven’t really streamed much of either project this month. Hoping that changes in the coming days, especially since I’ve missed doing this. I think with this renewed focus and confirmation on how to approach this sticking point, we’ll be able to knock more games out sooner and not later.


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