// My first post // Notable Game List Polls // Argumentation // Sony defect rates // EA's Monopoly


If there's one thing that I like about posting stuff on Usenet it is that I can't look at my younger self with rose colored glasses. This is my first original post on Usenet titled "Sega Haters, Why?".

One thing about most people that I don't like is their tendancy to memorize first impressions, their habit of trying to put a new person in a box based on the first time they met them.

Being the master of the first impression that I am, I chose this article as my introduction to Usenet. The preceding three months on Usenet were littered with troll posts and Sega bashing due to the release of the Dreamcast, and everybody from Nintendo and Sony fans, to virtual non-gamers, to Sony, EA and Working Designs, wanted to predict how the Dreamcast would die an early death, because "Sega sucks", so they didn't have to buy one. That's right folks, I chose an advocacy article, cross posted to four Sega groups and the Sony group no less, to introduce myself.

What makes matters worse is that most of this stuff was either wrong or poorly worded. I had not yet come to understand the merit in choosing one's words carefully before spreading them all over the Internet. However, posting this article and a few others like it also eventually led to the Notable Game Lists and Console History pages under Fact MIJIN.


I argue for Sega more than any other company because of two reasons, I rarely see any other company get beat on as much as Sega, and without Sega where would gaming be right now? I will not reply to any "you just think Sega made everything" replies, that is just a cop out. If you think differently, show me why with reasoning or facts not with your opinion and a blanket statement. And please read the entire thing and take all of my comments in context if you reply, do not pull one sentence out and use it against me. I am for competition and I do not hate Sony or Nintendo, I just don't get this anti Sega crap.

Yeah, starting a cross post with dictations on how to reply to me, that never did turn out very well. ;)

Lets start in the 80s, what would the world have been like without the Nes. Nintendo would not have ruled over the third parties and retailers with an iron fist for five years and all of those third party games would have come out for a system with 52 colors on screen and three times the processing speed, the Sega Master System. Metal Gear, Mega Man, and all of those other games would have shown up in upgraded form. Judgeing from Sega's treatment of the market in the Genesis days, it seems fair to assume that they would not have tried to corner the market like Nintendo did, thus promoting competition and innovation.

A whole lot of speculation there. There's really no way to prove that the market would even be here today were it not for Nintendo's massive success with the Nes. It's not like there was definitely a market of platform game hungry people out there, just waiting for a console to come and satisfy it.

No, Nintendo made their market with a flood of 1st and 3rd party games, and advertising, just like Sony made their market by advertising and meeting the next gen expectations of the grown up 16-bit crowd. Not to mention practically forcing the transition to 3D gaming.

Now, what would gaming be without Sega in the 80s? No Space Harrier, Shinobi, Out Run, After Burner, Zillion, Zaxxon etc. Furthermore, the Master System lasted five years on Sega's games alone, very little third party support. People always give Square the credit for creating the first console RPG, well then what was Phantasy Star? PS came out long before FF and had all of the things that define the FF games and then some. PS debatably started the Dungeon RPG as well as the traditional. Without a Nintendo console we would probably still have Nintendo, so Mario and Zelda and Metroid could have come out for the SMS too. Even if Nintendo did not exist, the SMS had Alex Kid, Wonder Boy, Golvelious: Valley of Doom, and Zillion, more than enough to get those genres started right fine. Now you could argue that some of those games would not have been made if Nintendo had not made the games it did, but you would probably have had some of the minds behind those games in other companies, so something like them would have showed up.

Yeah, and I suppose that the minds behind Sega's games would never have been born if Sega didn't exist?

In Nintendo's own words they said that they were not going to make a 16-bit system for a long time, and even with the Genesis kicking the Nes's but(sic) they still took till 92' to release the SNES. I don't know if the TG16 could take some credit for getting Nintendo moving into 16-bit because I have no reliable info on what happened with it in Japan. It seems though, that if Sega did not release the Sega Genesis in 89' we would have waited a long time for games to advance to better hardware and better gameplay. Also, what would gaming be without Revenge of Shinobi, Shinobi 3, Phantasy Star 2-4, the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Golden Axe, Streets Of Rage 1-3, Toe Jam and Earl and the countess other hits made by Sega in the early 90s?

(inserted paragraph break.)

I still agree with this. Nintendo is still the master of milking its franchises and hardware for all they're worth, rather than releasing new hardware and games. I do think the Saturn could have benefited greatly from being released after the PS1, possibly when VF2, Sega Rally, Panzer Dragoon Zwei and Virtual Cop were ready. Yet I'm very happy with my 50+ Dreamcast games.

The Dreamcast filled a much needed hole in gaming that might have been even more boring than the current glut of sequels and license games is causing me. The Notable PS1 gamelist has 36 games released from September, 1999. Of them I own two, and about ten appeared in far superior form on the Dreamcast. The N64 released Conker's Bad Fur day and I'm sure a few others some would call notable, but that's all I own for it from that time period as well.

Nintendo offered Mario, Zelda, Super Metroid, Super Punch Out, and Donkey Kong as the bulk of its games, with Mario Kart and StarFox taking up some of there more innovative games. We would have had Galaxy Force 2 to carry the 3D shooter genre just fine, Mario Kart would have been a loss in my opinion though. But would any of these games have been made by now if Sega wasn't there breathing down their necks all of the time, and inspiring some of these games with their arcade games.

Again, not really a point worth making.

If it wasn't for Sega releasing the Sega CD, Nintendo would likely have never started working on the SNES CD with Sony. Nintendo's own desire to hold back CDROM gaming sparked the end of Nintendo's contract with Sony, starting the adversity between Sony and Nintendo that spawned every-one-but-mine's favorite PSX.

(Inserted paragraph break)

This is actually true.

Sega was already well into development on the Saturn when the Sega CD came out, so that would have come out too. Granted, it might have been without the 3D abilities, but it might have been with them as well with arcade games like Virtua Racing, Daytona, and Virtua Fighter 1-2 coming out in the arcades and Sega loves to convert its arcade games to the home. Some might say that Namco still would have carried the 3D flag without Sega, but they are using Sega's code, that is now patented, to make all of those games, and besides, without the PSX those games would have just come out on the Saturn along with all of the other third party games that came out on the PSX.

(Inserted paragraph break)

That programming code thing turned out to be completely undocumented. According to Ken Small and Raymond McKeithen (who has had me killfiled for 2 years), Sega patented it's 3D camera "style" used in Virtua Fighter and nothing ever really came of it anyway.

Also, as much as I'd have loved to see what the Saturn's last gen stuff would have looked like if it lasted until 2000, there's no way to prove that gaming would be what it is today without Sony's massive success with the Playstation, the market may very likely have never grown to the massive size that it is today.

What has Sony offered the gaming market really, Crash? I don't think so. If it wasn't for the PSX the third parties would have learned how to use the Saturn and we would have seen the same games, if not a little better, on the Saturn. It took all of the third parties, and Nintendo combined against Sega to kill the Saturn after three years! That is not a bad run at all for one company to make pretty much on its lonesome.

I can agree with this. Aside from forcing the market to go 3D almost overnight, Sony hasn't really done much gaming wise. Also, I am still impressed with Sega's support of the Saturn, considering how poorly it sold.

Now you might be able to say that Nintendo invented the 3D platform genre, but Nights came out at the same time and had the same gameplay as Mario 64 when you were walking, not to mention Tomb Raider.

I'm not sure what I was going for here. Though NiGHTs did share much of the control scheme of Mario 64, and Tomb Raider did come out at the same time, neither are 3D platformers like Mario 64 is.

I have to ask, Sony advocates, what do games like Resident Evil, FF7, Tekken, Soul Blade, and Gran Turismo really offer the gaming market over old school games like Alien Syndrome (RE), or newer games like Shining the Holy Arc, Shining Force 3, Panzer Dragoon Saga(FF7), VF1-2 (Namco), Daytona, Sega Rally, Touring Car Championship(GT). Where I am going here is, did any of the PS favorites enhance gaming so much that they could not be done without or are they just rehashes of games that have already been made?

(inserted paragraph break)

I had to answer my own question. They offered mass appeal that the games I compared them to somehow didn't have.

Now Destruction Derby, Twisted Metal and a few others actually did define a genre, would they not have been made on the Saturn in the absence of the PS from the market? Sony Imagesoft was making games long before the PS, so we likely would have seen versions of 989 games on other systems without the PS.

Another point not worth making, could be used against Sega's games too, them being a third party now. Except for the annoying little fact that since they went third party they haven't ever been the same, and haven't released nearly as many games per month as they did, even in the Saturn days.

Now we have the Dreamcast. Without it Sony would not have released the PS2 until later than next year for sure, and Nintendo is just starting on its new system now and it wont be seen until at least 2001. I always say that competition is good, without it we may not have gotten the Saturn or DC when they came out, but without Sega what happens to the gaming market? Look at the last two years. What has come out on PSX and N64 in the last few years that has not been done already?

(inserted paragraph break)

I'll tell you what happens. The practical death of arcade gaming, fast paced action gaming, and the in your face Sega style of old. They've gone the way of the side scrolling shooter, and 2D gaming in general, reduced to the occasional underperforming title about once a year. Replaced by wanna-be city simulators that let you kill people who are in the way for that purpose anyway, and fetch quest 3D platformers. *sigh*

I'm sure a few can be argued, but I have not seen a good argument to support that Sega is anything else than a gaming powerhouse that drives innovation in gaming more often than any other company. Many games have been made by Sega that defined a new genre or redefined an existing one. The much debated Sonic Adventure is a prime example, how long would it have been until we could have played a 3D platformer that could truly be called an action game? Speed is of the essence in the word action, not big explosions.

How long will it be till we play a fast paced action game, with solid controls, again?

A lot of this is just my opinion, but I try to base my opinions on facts and will gladly change my opinion if I am proven wrong with a good source. Prove to me that Sega does not drive the market more than any other individual company. Prove to me that we would even be playing 32-bit games without Sega's drive for the next level of gaming in the home. Prove to me that gaming would even exist without classics like After Burner, Space Harrier, Zaxxon, Galaxy Force, and G-Loc, or newer games Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter 1+2, Virtual ON, Daytona and Virtual Cop 1+2. I have an open mind, just be reasonable about it and use documented facts or good reasoning in your points, not just your opinion. I can already see some good holes in my argument, especially on the PSX, but my primary goal is to stop all of this Sega bashing not kill the other companies.

I could have narrowed my entire post down to these two paragraphs and it would have worked swimingly.

Notable game lists polls:

Most of these google links have gone dead, rather than go back and find each individual poll, it's just easier to go to groups.google.com and search for either "quality game list" or "notable game list", each thread is individually titled by system, and all of the polls should be contained in each search result.

PS1 polls:

Saturn polls:

Dreamcast polls:

PS2 Polls:

GenesisCD32X polls:

The following are the best examples of the excuse of fanboyism. They are cases of me being called a Sega fanboy, simply for stating something positive about something Sega related. These also contain the best examples known to me of the very reason this web page exists. This, and the fact that popular rhetoric about Sega consoles is almost always negative, that these sayings are not contested by the media which often propagates said accusations, is why my web site exists and continues to grow.

Brown = me, Blue = reply.

Specimen 1: <Example 1> <Example 2> <Example 3> <Example 4> <Example 5> <Example 6>
Specimen 2: <Example 1> <Example 2> <Example 3> <Example 4>
Specimen 3: <Example 1> <Example 2> <Example 3> <Example 4> < Example 5>

Specimen 1 Example 1: Brown = me, Blue = reply.

What's wrong with Airforce Delta? I own it and AC4, and find the gameplay and level designs comparable at the least. Airforce Delta has more difficult missions in my opinion, but the controls are solid.

What's wrong with it? boring to tears gameplay. Do nothing but shoot missles all day. No variety of missions. Practically the exact same thing over and over again, ie: blow up everything, yeah there are some missions like escorts which are a bit different, but essentially its a one button game. All planes are almost exactly the same besides some performance differences. I mean give me a break.. an A10 doesn't carry bombs, and you use missiles to blow up ground targets and dog fight. What's the point of having A10 then? graphics was passable and some level designs were interesting but definitely not even close to AC4 (the XBOX version of Air Force Delta Storm in particular looks horrid). I know you like to defend your DC games Scott, but believe me this game isn't worth it. Go and read any review site's review if you don't believe me. AC just eats AFD for breakfast.

I agree that AC is an all around better (read: more varied and polished) game. I just don't see AFD being so different that it's bad. I didn't find it boring at all, and found there to be quite a bit of variety in the missions. Some are in a city attacking fighter jets and large bombers, or land targets and refineries, others are over the ocean attacking battleships, others are straight attacks on stealth planes, still others involve flying through a mountain hangar base without running into things, then there's the shoot down the satellite before it hits the city level, or the escorting levels where you have to escort either land vehicles or planes. The mission variety seems similar to AC4 to me.

None of the bombers have bombs in AFD, that's true, but I don't find firing bombs in AC4 all that different from missiles, they just blow up more of the targets, targeting is the same. The dog fighting in AFD is at least on par with AC4, if it isn't superior in terms of the AI actually getting behind you while you're trying to target them. Also, the graphics are more than passable, the danged thing was a launch game from 99', compared to a second-third gen PS2 game from 2001. AFD holds up very well in the graphics department, especially in the area of textures and plane detail. Again, I'm not saying it's better in any way, but saying that AC4 eats it for breakfast is more than a little exaggeration.

Then comes the reply, I compared the game's gameplay, and somehow gameplay is completely ignored and replaced by an arguement that an average of the review scores, i.e. the games' popularity level, is a better comparison of the two games. Even the quotes from specific reviews have no comments on actual gameplay, they're just catchy phrases from the review.

Gamerankings average ratio

Air Force Delta: 67%
Air Force Delta storm: 66%
Ace Combat 4: 85%

I'd say that pretty much sums it up. I'd call a 20% margin eating it for breakfast. Go and read some of the reviews. I still recall one from Gaming Age that says something like "AFD is a poor man's Ace Combat", or was it "AFD is Konami's poor attempt at challenging Namco's far superior Ace Combat". Obviously all those reviewers, as well as myself, don't see it as a very good game, especially when compared to AC4. You seem to feel its better than that. Though given your track record of always making out DC games to be better than everyone thinks, you can understand if some of us feel your views might be slightly biased.

Example 2 of Specimen 1: Brown = me, Blue = reply.

But take what I say in context. I always comment negatively in direct reply to some gushing review of the same game, that doesn't mention any flaws whatsoever. What would be the point in my restating all the good things already stated in the original post, when all I want to say is yes those are true, but don't forget that these other things are extremely average, or bad? It's not like I'm OPing posts about how bad a game is out of nowhere, it's usually in the middle of a discussion that is very one sided for or against the game in question. Your comment that AFD "sucks" is a good example.

it does suck, and most review sites agree with me. So what you're saying is you always try to balance out things, so when someone has something good to say about a game you'll point out the other side and lists its faults. Similarly if something bad is said about a game, you would go in there and say something good about it.

I would buy that. EXCEPT: there is a definitive pattern to all the games you defend and all the games you knock. ie: what I stated earlier, you only defend games on those three categories I listed and always knock games not in those three categories. This pattern is characteristic of fanboyism, and because you exhibit this pattern. I call you a fanboy.

I find this a particularly interesting paragraph. This pattern will repeat in all of the examples here. The argument can be boiled down to, because I'm found defending a Sega game or product, my argument shouldn't be considered, and because they're not defending a Sega product, they don't have to explain why their point of view is valid.

Specimen 1 Example 3 : Brown = me, Blue = reply.

More specifically, I hate Sony, their business tactics, and the fact that the mythos surrounding the PS2 was all but forgotten when it failed to live up when other systems get held to every word the company promises about them. Before I bought a PS2 I looked into the specs, and technically it *should* be able to display twice the polys per second of the Dreamcast's max, and the same texture clarity. Unfortunately few games actually achieve this, and thus I'm dissapointed and annoyed with it's flagrant success at the same time. Especially since Sony's continued success is doing NOTHING but killing competition in the console gaming Industry.

For starters, all the "mythos" that you put it surrounding the PS2 all came out of the enormous success of its PS1. You think there were that much hype over the PS before it was announced? ofcourse not.. nobody's heard of Sony then in the console business. With success comes hype that whatever it makes next is going to be a success as well. It happens with game sequels, it happens with movie sequels, it happens with EVERYTHING that is successful. There is always going to be hype that its next product is just as awesome. In contrast, Sega has long alienated many people with a string of bombs since Genesis, so when people hear them developing a new console, its "yeah yeah.. yet another highly promised product that's going to fail in a few years". Basically Sega couldn't BUY hype at that time if they had all the money in the world. Humans are creatures of habit, in the absence of empiracal evidence we use history to forecast the future. While Sony certainly didn't try and mute the hype, what they did to promote the PS2 before its launch really was inconsequential in generating the hype. The people generated that hype all by themselves based on the success of the past system. They didn't need any help from promos.

This is all true. My complaint is that when Sony said (1) the PS2 would render 75 million PPS, to the Dreamcast's 3 Million, (2) that it could display Toystory 2 quality graphics in real time, (3) showed demos of CG that the PS2 could never and would never do (the RRV chick, FFVIII's dance scene), (4) claimed that the system was powerful enough to render individual grains of wood in a door, and thus didn't need texture memory, and let's not forget (5) that in 2002 we were going to be able to "jack into the Matrix" with the same interface as in the movie, and I believe it was Ken Kutaragi himself that said these things, no webzenes or game magazines, or Sony fans complained when all of it was blatantly false.
That is what I don't like, it's not that Sony "hyped" their system, it's that they flat out lied about it. Remember the original PS1 specs? 1 million PPS non-textured or 500,000 texture mapped lit polys per second right? Wrong, Sony was lieing about those specs all along, and has now fessed up to that fact, and still nobody cares.
There's also the now well known Disc Read Error for PS2's, and several known defects with the different PS1 models, that Sony's not made any public statement about, but in fact denied exists as an actual defect in the systems at all, and they're also releasing a new, more robustly featured, PS2 (with progressive scan) and the PS2 TIVO player, the PSX, and nobody seems to be complaining that they got stuck with a regular old PS2.
First Sega went down to Sony's domination, but everybody blamed it on Sega, blaming everything from their add-ons for the Genesis of ten years ago, to the Saturn "not having any 3D ability, to their advertising style, all the while ignoring the many things Sony has done wrong, that've gone unchecked buy the consumer and the media. Now Nintendo is suffering in the market, and even a company as big as Microsoft can't put a dent in the market, and still nobody's seriously considered that Sony is setting themselves up to be a monopoly. I dislike that the vast majority of the gaming public is so in love with Sony's Playstation franchise, that they completely fail to see or care about the problems the company is causing.

This stuff absolutely didn't matter.. for me anyways. I couldn't care less about all these claims, as long as it has the games I want to play on it. In fact, I paid very little attention to all this hype making. I bought my PS2 cause it has all the games I want. I'm also willing to wager than 90% of the general populace that bought the PS2 did so because of the previous success of the PS1 and not because they were wooed by all the crazy promises.
exact.. nobody cares. So in the overall scheme of things, it don't matter. You can say you don't like them for doing that, that's fine. But you then went and said you despise them FOR THEIR SUCCESS because they did this. This is where I will disagree, because I don't think their campaign to constantly sexing up their machine was much of a factor at all in their success.
Nobody is complaining because they're getting the important things, the games they want to play. You see, if you deliver on that, people will forget your little Blue lies. That's an art that Sony has perfected, and I take my hats off to them for being able to pull it off.
While Sony has done many things "wrong" as you put it, they've done all the important things RIGHT, that is, first and foremost, securing the biggest and most diverse library of all consoles. Who do I blame for the Saturn's failure against the PSX? Sega, not Sony for putting a hard to develop for console and fail to convince 3rd party to invest in them. Who do I blame for the DC's failure? the general populace who's gotten sick of Sega's broken promises and gave up on the system, and Sega Japan who simply was a mess of management. Sony doesn't even come into the picture. Unless you somehow thinks just because a company makes a really good console means that it should be given a free ride from all its competitors, and the right to reign for a period of time without opposition. Which is obviously unrealistic.

Specimen 1 Example 4 : Brown = me, Blue = reply.

That is correct, and completely missing the point. If the Saturn or
Dreamcast had been a success, Sega's "mistakes" would be considered positive
choices rather than mistakes. Just how Sony's lies and mistakes "don't
matter" because they have no larger failure that would cause people to look
for mistakes in the first place. In other words, releasing too many games
and not advertising enough, making complicated dual processor hardware, and
making a 32-bit upgrade to the Genesis would have been considered great
ideas had_they_been_successful, and nobody knew at the beginning if they
would be successes or failures.

yes but they DIDN'T succeed now did they? You're talking hypothetical
like if we go back in time and do it again the Saturn or DC might be
successful and it was just some fluke. It wasn't. They could try it a
hundred times and they'd still wouldn't be successful.

Oh, that's rich. According to <Specimen 1> the Saturn and Dreamcast
wouldn't have been successful no matter how Sega tried to promote them. The
Saturn wouldn't have been more of a success had it been launched after a
competitive launch line-up was ready, or if it saw better and more timely
localization of games like Grandia, Thunder Force V, Radiant Silvergun,
Panzer Dragoon Saga, Dead or Alive, Shining Force III Scenario 2+3, Dragon
Force 2, Gun Griffon 2 and many other high quality Japanese only titles.
The Dreamcast wouldn't have been more successful if EA had supported it
from day one, rather than bad mouthing about Sega and the DC at every
opportunity. The DC wouldn't have been more successful if Sega spent money
on marketing instead of games that flopped for them, like Space Channel 5 or
Jet Set Radio, or even Shenmue. The Dreamcast also wouldn't have been more
successful if SOJ hadn't left in a CD-ROM booting ability so games could be
easily downloaded, burned and played on any stock Dreamcast. All because
<Specimen 1> can't see it making a difference.

Specimen 1 Example 5: Brown = me, Blue = reply.

I don't know what makes me happier, that they're<PS2 Sega 3D ages discs> comming out at all,
that they're coming out on 2 discs at a lower than full retail price,
or that they're coming out in Jan-Feb so I can get the new games I
want this season and not miss out on anything in the slow season. ;)

I know what DOESN'T make you happy Scott. The fact that they're coming out for your most hated console. But don't fret, having played most of them I'll tell you right now that alot of them aren't very good anyways. So I'm sure we'll soon be hearing from you how the PS2 messed up Sega's old classic games, and BTW.. don't even try and suggest that the Saturn version of VF2 is better than the Sega Ages one, its not, I have both versions.

You need to get over whatever fetish you have for dogging me <Specimen 1>. I've not insulted you, and our differences, to the extreme that you make them out of to be, are only in your mind.

Just to clarify, I think that the public could have and should have supported Sega for the quality of their efforts. I do not think that either Sega or Sony should be dominating the market for anything they've done, past or present. Insisting that I am lying in every single post I've ever posted, and in every single page on my website, that I actually wish that Sega were grand ruler of the videogame industry is delusional at best. Your accusations are only making you look bad.

By the way, thanks for the Berserk review, I'll be looking forward to it hitting Stateside.

I'll get over it when you demonstrated even a smidge of open-mindedness by atleast trying out, without pre-judgement, a small fraction of the many many games that I and others have recommended to you over the years instead of just SAYING "yeah.. that sounds interesting", and going on with posting ridiculously biased and untrue statements like PS2 doesn't have any innovative and original titles when for example, I've told you about Katamari Damashi as one of the most innovative titles of this generation if not the last couple of generations, months before it came out.

I'll get over it, when you stop making obviously fanboyish comparisons such as Air Force Delta is just as good as Ace Combat and Tokyo Extreme Racer is just as good as Gran Tourismo, and SoA and Grandia are just as good as any FF games.

I'll get over it, when you stop saying popular games are crap, and somehow thinks games sales is inversely proportional with game quality.

I'll get over it, when you stop making apologies for Sega consoles and games on Sega consoles while at the same time short changing everything on the Sony consoles.

I'll get over it.. when you've taken down that ridiculous web site, and stop portraying Sony as the evil empire.

I think the existence of that web site proves beyond a shadow of a doubt who is the one that looks bad

My Sega game reviews are meant for Sega fans that have moved on from Sega consoles and is looking at what new title Sega is bringing to the new generation. It's not for people that are stuck in the past and thinks that the end of the DC was the end of good gaming or end of Sega.

Well, this seems like a good point to stop, though the link above has my reply to it. I encourage the reader to read my site, and if you find any evidence of what he accused me of, E-mail me and tell me what I said and what claim you think it supports. I'll happily reword myself if need be.

Needless to say, some of the claims above aren't even based on reality (TXR being compared as better than GT, and the Air Force Delta comments are quoted in example one), and I've not claimed that a game being popular makes it a bad game.

I have, in fact, always held to the ideal that popularity doesn't affect the game's actual quality at all, and that a game's quality can only be broken down by its components (Graphics, Sound, and most importantly Gameplay). This is the central theme of my website actually. I hope to convince whoever reads it to look at each product on its own, and determine for yourself whether it's worth a purchase to you, and learn to see quality, even if you end up not being interested in the product.

Specimen 1 Example 6: Brown = me, Blue = reply.

I see no reason for praising them for turning a gaming system into a set top box that the whole family can waste time with. That only benefits the megacorps, and people that will not encourage better gameplay ideas.

the fact that they have more hardcore games available on their consoles than Sega ever did makes them worthy of respect. I don't give a damn if 90% of their games are for mainstream gamers nor do I care 90% of their userbased is filled with non-gamers. Why should I? All I care about is the fact that there are MORE games for old school and hard core gamers on those platforms than your so called "gamer console".

Specimen 2 Example 1 : Brown = me, Blue = reply.

Well, I don't know who Scott H "reviews" games for, but I have been writing articles and game reviews since 1998 for various magazines (PSExtreme, Q64, and PSE2) and I've written about a dozen strategy guides for Prima (do an author search on Amazon for "Androvich"), so I hope I have a clue...

Judging from our discussions last year, your best bet is to ignore him. He has created a list that no one asked for (or cares about), with criteria determined solely by himself, simply to gratify himself. That's fine and dandy if he kept it to himself...but instead he gets on the newsgroup and claims to have created some sort of masterpiece of factual "truth." We aren't worthy to ridicule it or point out the flaws, since we haven't made an equal "contribution." And don't bother to argue why a certain game should be included--either he'll include it, taking your word without having played the game, or he'll argue that the game you have in mind is not notable under his personal definition (an argument you can't win).

As for me, I favor either extreme: Either every game in the universe should be on such a list (because each game is created by a different team, with different code, and has something "notable" about it, even if it is just a new title), or no game after the very first videogame should be on such a list (because every game is derivative in some way from every other game that has come before it). *Anything* in between is merely a matter of subjective opinion, no matter how strongly he insists there is a factual basis to determining whether or not a game is "notable."

Example 2 of Specimen 2: Brown = me, Blue = reply.

3rd party Original Post:

I want a game console that has inferior hardware specs, the option for high-latency internet gaming, and one that forces me to buy memory cards for game-saving. Bearing those requirements in mind, which console would I own? Please help!

Depends. Do you want to play hundreds of games, or will you be content to play Halo for the rest of your life?

Says the unbiased PS mag reviewer.

Example 3 of Specimen 2: Brown = me, Blue = reply.

3rd party comments:

Also, on gaming-age.com they did a poll before E3 asking who out of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo would have the best showing and Nintendo was the winner. Then after E3 they asked what everyone thought again and the Xbox won.

And during the show, those of us who were there thought Sony won. Go figure...

Says the "unbiased" PS game mag reviewer, again. This time in the Xbox newsgroup.

Says the "unbiased" guy working on a objective list of notable games...just so he can prove that the Dreamcast had more notable games than the PS2 in its first year. Is that why you are in the Xbox newsgroup? Tired of getting shouted down in the PS2 newsgroup?

What can I say? As a writer for a PS2 magazine, I'm happy with the current situation. We backed the winning horse for two hardware generations in a row...soon to be the handheld market leader as well. As an Xbox and GameCube owner, I'm disappointed with both of those systems.

Example 4 of Specimen 2: Brown = me, Blue = reply.

3rd party comments:

Wha? This is the biggest selling PSX game ever? I'd think I'd've heard about that before now...

A few years ago, I asked my friends at Sony what the biggest selling PSX game was, and they told me it was.... ...Frogger!

"I asked my friends at Sony...." and he calls me biased simply for trying to make a game list for his console based solely on gameplay.

Specimen 3 Example 1 : Brown = me, Blue = reply.

This thread went on for a very long time. The basic argument was about whether the 32X Genesis add-on and the Saturn could have been made into a marketing success, and that Sega wasn't the only company to make the mistakes listed in this thread that are claimed to be the cause of the 32X and Saturn failing.

But using the 32X would have still been concentrating on the past. The future was turning to dedicated 32-bit and beyond, regardless of how many good games that were made for the 32X. SOA taking a risk at trying to milk the Genesis cashcow was unwarranted and foolish, especially at the eve of the Saturn. At the very most, Sega should have concentrated on more titles that used their SVP chip.

Like Sony and other 3rd parties including Rockstar were living in the past when they made PS1 games during the PS2's second year of life, or that Sony designed the PS2 to be backward compatable in the first place? Or how Nintendo and others were still making NES games well into the SNES's lifecycle, and SOE still made Master System ports of popular Genesis games because the Master System was still so popular in Europe?

Identifying that a console still has a lot of popularity and marketability, even in the face of much more advanced, and expensive hardware, is common practice in the industry. Finding a way to satisfy budget gamer's desire to see 32-bit games on their Genesis was all the rage in 94', and game mags even applauded the 32X, so far as to say it'd be an instant success.

Because of all of these things, I say that if the 32X had been better imp#0000FFnted, possibly only being released built in to a Genesis, or as that and a smaller add-on to the Genesis, and definitely making the Saturn capable of playing 32X games and releasing the Saturn later, the 32X would have been a success, and Sega's name wouldn't have been damaged. The list of games and 3rd parties signed up for the 32X in 94' exceeded 80, and at least 30 of them actually came out, in its first few months, even though the system rotted on the shelves. Much of the Industry thought the 32X was going to be a success, it literally was SOJ that killed it before it even hit the shelves.

You're talking about software, which is different to developing hardware. Developing PS-1, NES and SNES games, and Master System games are pennies to the developmental costs that would go into the 32X, and that doesn't include costs to build up dev kits and marketing.

Also, when selling hardware, you lose money! When selling software, you make money!

Big difference.

Sega could have simply made more good software for the Genesis instead of trying to "breathe new life into it" through hardware.

Again, the 32X, despite what anyone may say to justify it, was totally unnecessary.

Specimen 3 Example 2: Brown = me, Blue = reply.

I'm saying that Sony doesn't have serious competition. Nintendo and Sega fighting for half the market together was serious competition. Sony owning the market, and Nintendo and Microsoft fighting for left overs is not competition.

Sony having the market because they made something that appealed to the people. Anything can change in an instant. People looked at Atari as invincible in the late 1970s-early 1980s. Now look at them.

The Industry wasn't bigger than the movie industry when Atari was considered invincible. Atari didn't also own a majority of the movie industry when they were considered invincible.

Does Sony Pictures control SCEI? No.

Does Columbia/Tri-Star constitute the majority of the movie industry? With Buena Vista, Viacom, AOL Time Warner, News Corporation, Vivendi-Universal, StudioCanal, Turner, MGM/UA, Dreamworks SKG, Village Roadshow Pictures, Artisan Entertainment, and many others involved in the same market, HELL NO!

And don't even fucking say that they don't have anything to compete with Sony Pictures. Viacom owns Paramount/MTV/VH1, AOL Time Warner is Warner Bros./Seven Arts/New Line Cinema, News Corporation owns 20th Century Fox and bought out Carolco Pictures, Vivendi-Universal owns Universal City Studios, Buena Vista owns Walt Disney/Dimension/Miramax/Hollywood Pictures, MGM/UA owns Metro Goldwyn Mayer/United Artists and controls some of the catalogue from Canon Films/Orion/Avco-Embassy/Hemdale, StudioCanal owns catalogues from Avco-Embassy/Carolco, and ETC.

Sony doesn't have a majority in anything except in videogames and broadcast equipment.

BTW, at the time that Atari achieved its height of profitability, a good percentage of its stock was controlled by Warner Communications, now known as AOL Time Warner.

To clarify humourously, a big chunk of Atari was owned by Bugs Bunny and gang at Warner Bros.

Specimen 3 Example 3 : Brown = me, Blue = reply.

When people talk about the Sega CD and 32X, they most often cite splitting of markets and consumer confusion as the reason they didn't succeed, but that didn't stop Sony from releasing a system that could play PS1 games, PS2 games and DVD movies.

Not just that, but that you must spend EXTRA to enjoy the Sega CD and the 32X.

The difference was that it was all in one for the PS-2. Besides, the part that runs the PSX games for the PlayStation2 also acts as the I/O processor for PS-2 modes, so you don't really pay extra for that functionality. As for DVD playback, again, the PS-2 chipset is used to run it, as opposed to adding extra hardware to make it happen. Sony got the extra functionality to work because the PS-2 was capable of doing it all by itself, without extra hardware expansions that would inflate the price of admission.

Sega was making hardware upgrades to expand the capabilities of the Genesis platform, which was looking forward but not totally for the customer's finnancial benefit.

Sony's motive was simply to create a platform that could play the existing library of PSX and DVD titles on the PS-2 since it could be done without extra research or adding extra hardware, which was thinking about the customer.

The PS2 was $300 to the Dreamcast's $150? That costs extra, regardless of what function you decide you're paying extra for, it was twice the price and of comparable performance in game.

First, the Dreamcast cost $199 on initial launch. The price would drop to $149 about 11 months later.

Second, Sega's pricing reflected desperation. At the time of the Dreamcast's launch, Sega reportedly only controlled about 1%-5% of the game market and had posted serious losses. They had to do whatever they could to gain marketshare.

Third, by the time the PS-2 was out, the Dreamcast was already flagging. In this way, you were right, Sony didn't really have competition, or at least from Sega.

What does your opinion of their emotional state have to do with the fact that the price was lower?

It's not an emotional state in business. "Selling in a panic" means selling aggressively at extremely low prices in an attempt to get as much money as you can from a product that literally has no profitable value anymore.

You are highly biased towards Sega and not very objective. You basically claim that all of Sega products do not have weaknesses and are held in superiority to their competition. You also bring up topics which have no real comparison because of totally different purposes (SuperFX vs. 32X).

You may not directly claim it, but your posts REEK of such an impression.

There's another definition to people like you: fanboy!

I like the 32X because it was a cool accessory and it did have some great games, but that doesn't change what I feel caused its failure. What you can't face is the statement that its failure is most likely due to perceived competitive conflict that had arisen between it and the Saturn, and the disagreements between SOA and Sega Enterprises over the whole issue.

Specimen 3 Example 4: Brown = me, Blue = reply.

Look at any PS1 game, check out the warping as the textures apprach the screen, and the spiderweb effect as edges of polygons seperate while the screen is scrolling. Virtually every game does this.

Funny, I don't notice it. I don't see warping nor do I see those spiderweb effects.

Perhaps you should show a picture and point out what I'm missing? That is, if you can.

And at the end of this same post.....

P.S. I have blocked this subject from my usenet reader. Don't bother posting a reply because it will go unread. This argument is going nowhere.

I then later posted this web page (PS1 Glitches)

Specimen 3 Example 5: Brown = me, Blue = Specimen 3, other colors = 3rd party.

I've become privy to this argument only when people have replied to Scott H. He is in my killfile so any posts from him are blocked.

I remember returning my first PlayStation when it inevitably broke down, only to receive a 'reconditioned' model that showed some weirdness when playing Tomb Raider; most notably the colour shading in the underwater sections - instead of being smooth shaded it looked more like an animated contour map. Did Sony change the spec of the graphics processor in their machines at some stage?

Yes, this was a bug in the earliest model.

(Specimen 3) asked for sources on that as well, and I discovered that no magazine or website has a report on it at all, much less any kind of defect percentage. Do you know of any sources on this subject?

A licensed developer mentioned it on a mailinglist and I've seen it
mentioned in a couple of other places. There may be some mention in some
developer documentation. AFAIK the problem is limited to the 1000 model,
don't know if the whole run has it.

In other words, the problem is manifested in a faulty run of first generation hardware which may have been corrected with later models, including the second generation SCPH-1001.

Because of this variable, Scott's argument may be flawed.

However, I've considered this subject dead for the longest time now.

ISTR it being a problem with gourad shaded polygons, reducing their colour depth to 18-bit so the smooth colour gradient would be reduced to bands of colour. This affected the SPCH 100x models (all regions) and the early 'Blue' development units as well (H1001, H1101). It definitely rears it's head in Tomb Raider.

Okay, so my SCPH-1001 may indeed be affected. Fortunately, I mainly use my SCPH-30001 R PS-2 for my PSX games. But, still, making the argument and accusing the entire format of being flawed just because of a design drawback on first and second generation consoles is ludicrous. Most SCPH-100X models are most likely out of operation anyways, replaced with later models that did not have the bigger problems with disc reads that had plagued that series. I own a mint condition SCPH-1001, but it's been mint because I've serviced it to fix its disc drive defects.

I was referring to the much more common issue of having to turn the PS1 on its side or on its top so it'll play games without locking up. It had something to do with the CD lens itself, or the motor, not sure which.

It was a common problem yet I know of no report of it, and no officially admitted defect rate, even though it occurred for more than just the first run of Playstations, and every repair shop I know of knows that Sony would void people's warrantee for calling about it, claiming that the user obviously played the system too much. It seems likes something there should be some kind of article on, but there seems to be nothing at all.

Since someone went ahead and quoted, I'll explain to Scott what caused the skipping.

The optical pickup in many early runs of the PlayStation console were made of plastic. A part of the pickup rests on part of the traverse assembly and would groove during normal use. Eventually, this grooving would cause the pickup to rest at an angle the laser would aim off trajectory. The servo control would correct the aim at the objective lens until the grooving becomes such that the servo is unable to counter the physical tilt.

The fix was simple. Sony stopped using plastics for the pickup housing and started using diecast metals instead. Newer SCPH-1001 consoles and pretty much all later models do not have the skipping problems that the older SCPH-1001 and SCPH-1000 have had.

The optical pickup can still wear out through normal use, but this is true of any optical pickup for any laser optical disc drive. Most consoles that have this problem will have been replaced by a newer model that has this problem corrected.

Sony's Playstation and Playstation 2 defect rates has long been an issue swept under the carpet by any and all media. It's being treated as if it doesn't exist when in fact almost every 1st model PS1 was defective, and Sony's unnofficially acknowledged about a 10% defect rate in all PS1s, and the PS2's "disk read error" is very well known. This section compiles damning evidence that both of Sony's consoles have a defect rate, and that the rate is significant enough for the media to report on it, but for some reason don't.

// Example 1 // Example 2 // Example 3 // Example 4 // Example 5 //

1 .
// Sony Defects main // Top //

the-magicbox: Capcom's Biohazard producer Mikami has made some strong criticisms toward Sony, Square and general customers in a recent radio program interview in Japan.

He mentioned that Sony makes their consoles easy to break to increase their installed base. He said the PS2 is selling so well because many people are buying a second one for replacement.

He said he has bought two sets of PlayStation and PlayStation 2 in the past, because the CD lens wore out quickly. When he played Super Robot Taisen on PS, it took one minute to load up each battle, he was so pissed off that he had to get a new PlayStation to play the game.

Other than PlayStation, he mentioned the current PC systems, walkman and Docomo cellphones are also easy to break, he said manufacturers purposely make the systems easier to break, so that customers would have to purchase a new one every one or two years. He said that how come no customers have complained about it? It's almost like cheating and committing a crime.... (the radio DJ interrupted the conversation and tried to switch to another topic.)

When asked "Do you think the customers are foolish?", he replied "Yes". He expressed that Square's Kingdom Hearts is selling so well because of "Aura Purchase", i.e. people buy this game because his/her friends are playing the same game, or really liked the game; despite whether he/she likes the game or not. He said that Kingdom Hearts does not deserve the 780,000+ unit sales, it doesn't worth the 6800 yen price tag.

At last he said "Square please forgive me", because he was so upset that Kingdom Hearts has sold a whole lot more than Biohazard on GameCube (both games released at around the same time), he thinks Biohazard is a much better quality game, although Kingdom Hearts is not a bad game either.

2 .
// Sony Defects main // Top //

sorry in advance for this, but I really dislike Sony at the mo' and can't bring myself to subscribe to any PS1/PS2 newgroups...

I remember returning my first PlayStation when it inevitably broke down, only to receive a 'reconditioned' model that showed some weirdness when playing Tomb Raider; most notably the colour shading in the underwater sections - instead of being smooth shaded it looked more like an animated contour map.

Had several more machines that ran the same, long conversations with Sony on the telephone, started to think I had imagined the smoother graphics on my first machine, etc.

Sold my PS1 in exchange for an N64, couple of years later decided to buy a PS1 again and it worked just like my first one.

Did Sony change the spec of the graphics processor in their machines at some stage?

Yes, this was a bug in the earliest model.

(I was) asked for sources on that as well, and I discovered that no magazine or website has a report on it at all, much less any kind of defect percentage. Do you know of any sources on this subject?

A licensed developer mentioned it on a mailinglist and I've seen it mentioned in a couple of other places. There may be some mention in some developer documentation. AFAIK the problem is limited to the 1000 model, don't know if the whole run has it. It only shows up when using a certain combination of drawing options, so it's not visible in all games. Oh, and if you didn't guess it from the description, the bug is in the dithering process.

ISTR it being a problem with gourad shaded polygons, reducing their colour depth to 18-bit so the smooth colour gradient would be reduced to bands of colour. This affected the SPCH 100x models (all regions) and the early 'Blue' development units as well (H1001, H1101). It definitely rears it's head in Tomb Raider.

Okay, so my SCPH-1001 may indeed be affected. Fortunately, I mainly use my SCPH-30001 R PS-2 for my PSX games. But, still, making the argument and accusing the entire format of being flawed just because of a design drawback on first and second generation consoles is ludicrous. Most SCPH-100X models are most likely out of operation anyways, replaced with later models that did not have the bigger problems with disc reads that had plagued that series. I own a mint condition SCPH-1001, but it's been mint because I've serviced it to fix its disc drive defects.

3 .
// Sony Defects main // Top //

I was referring to the much more common issue of having to turn the PS1 on its side or on its top so it'll play games without locking up. It had something to do with the CD lens itself, or the motor, not sure which.

It was a common problem yet I know of no report of it, and no officially admitted defect rate, even though it occurred for more than just the first run of Playstations, and every repair shop I know of knows that Sony would void people's warrantee for calling about it, claiming that the user obviously played the system too much. It seems likes something there should be some kind of article on, but there seems to be nothing at all.

The optical pickup in many early runs of the PlayStation console were made of plastic. A part of the pickup rests on part of the traverse assembly and would groove during normal use. Eventually, this grooving would cause the pickup to rest at an angle the laser would aim off trajectory. The servo control would correct the aim at the objective lens until the grooving becomes such that the servo is unable to counter the physical tilt.

The fix was simple. Sony stopped using plastics for the pickup housing and started using diecast metals instead. Newer SCPH-1001 consoles and pretty much all later models do not have the skipping problems that the older SCPH-1001 and SCPH-1000 have had.

The optical pickup can still wear out through normal use, but this is true of any optical pickup for any laser optical disc drive. Most consoles that have this problem will have been replaced by a newer model that has this problem corrected.

The first batches of PS2s reportedly have DVD drives made out of inferior materials, which Sony has acknowledged.

One of the biggest problems with the PS-2 drives is that they are allowed to accumulate too much dust. This dust dries up the lubrication for the pickup kicker mechanism, which keeps it from being able to move the pickup back and forth as fast as it has to, especially in CD-ROM reads. (So now you know one of the main causes that a problematic PS-2 may not read a Blue-bottom disc and would also make rapid clicking noises while trying to read such a disc unsuccessfully.) The dust can also accumulate inside the optical pickup itself. Dust may not affect the bearings of the brushless spindle motor as those bearings are permanently sealed.

I've repaired many problematic PS-2s by giving them a good cleanout. The dust accumulation can be bad enough that a can of compressed air won't cut it. I have to use an electric air compressor of the kind used to inflate car tires to effectively clean out the pickup and drive of any dust. I direct the air in a certain way which cleans the dust out, but doesn't damage the pickup. I also have to clean out and apply new lubrication to the kicker mechanism. I've only had one PS-2 that could not be fixed by doing this since it had a worn pickup. Models repaired include the SCPH-30001 and SCPH-30001 R.

4 .
// Sony Defects main // Top //

I have yet to encounter a Sony fan who'll even admit that there's a defect rate at all. What really bugs me though, is that there are no reports of what percentage of units were defective, at all. I can't even find sources to prove that any were defective. So, all Sony fans do is ask for sources of the defective PS1s or PS2s, and the discussion's over. Unless I want to point to google and Sony's forum for user comments on the subject. I just don't get it, every other company that's had defects in their releases (NES, DC launch discs) has had full reporting done on the subject, but Sony's managed to come out squeaky clean.

I think Sony said once that a 10% defect rate was acceptable.

That's about the same as the concervative estimates on the NES defects, which we now know where extremely common. Have you seen any web pages, or any sources at all, that has any kind of report on the subject?


5 .

August 2003 issue, page 18 in the "Dear GI" section:


I have been a Game Informer subscriber for the last two years, and have yet to read any information on the PS2's infamous "Disc Read Error." I have been told that these errors occur because of voltage screws and/or a dust problem. What's the deal? My PS2 is useless right now because you have failed to guide me in how to cheaply correct this problem. Until then, my Xbox is keeping me afloat. Please help me fix my PS2 or show me where to go.

Garret Via email

We certainly get our jollies by helping those poor, unfortunate souls with busted equipment. For complete instructions on how to get your Playstation fixed, check out us.playstation.com/support/howtoobtainservice or, more directly, call 1-800-345-7669 for repair pricing and shipping information. If your PS2 is less than 90 days old, the machine is still under warranty and you will only be respondible for shipping costs.

When we talked to the very courteous and informative representative John, he suggested the following trouble-shooting techniques, 'Try different games to see if they all give the same results. Make sure the disks are free of scratches and/or fingerprints. Clean the disks with a cloth wipe - these are available at most electronic and music stores. Try the system without a GameShark or similar device plugged in. Try the games in a different PS2 to determine if it's the games or the system having problems. Run the PS2 self test and try again.'

If these steps don't resolve the issue, you'll problably have to send the system to Sony for repairs. Give them a call for shipping address, packaging instructions and a service identification number. We were quoted 15-20 working days for the repairs to be completed and Sony foots the bill for return shipping via UPS Ground."

Notice specifically that both Game Informer and the Sony rep refuse to admit to the known defect rate of PS2s with the "disc read error" problem, and that they imply the problem was caused by the user.

August 20, 2005

Google Groups' version

My point was to ask why Madden isn't better than NFL2K when it's outselling it by such a large margin. Why is Madden so overwhelmingly more popular when NFL2K has been the innovator just as often, if not more often, especially in the AI and physics, and online department? The reason, I think, is simply that fans don't want a better or newer game, they just want more of the same. Why millions of "gamers" will pay $50 each year for slight tweaks on the same game, and a new roster (which ought to be downloadable in previous versions) is beyond me.

Madden '99 http://www.gamespot.com/ps/sports/maddennfl99/review.html

" The AI of the computer-controlled players has dramatically improved over last year's Madden. When the computer is on defense, the way that it covers the play is very natural, and in turn, more realistic. Cornerbacks no longer look like they are simply running preset paths next to your receiver, but instead act as though they are aware of not only the man they are covering but the other receivers as well. This is demonstrated when you perform a pump-fake or a fake handoff, and the defense falls for it. The AI will recognize your patterns fairly quickly, though, and won't let you get away with too much. "

" The control feels typical of Madden football games, with one exception; the game has a new gameplay feature called one-button mode. "

NFL2K http://www.gamespot.com/dreamcast/sports/nfl2k/review.html

" For anyone who hasn't actually seen the game on a TV right in front of them, the screenshots look too good to be true. In fact, when you see NFL 2K for the first time right in front of you, they still looks too good to be true. Even when you have the controller in your hands and you're playing the game, you still shake your head in disbelief play after play. That's how good NFL 2K looks, plays, and sounds. "

" Any die-hard football video-game fan knows that a football game's graphics, features, and extras only go so far. When it comes down to it, a game is totally about the control and AI. NFL 2K delivers both, with precise analog control and an easy, intuitive button layout. It really lets you play the game of football instead of worrying about complex controller and button combinations. "

" The controls are great. The analog stick lets you move players where you want, when you want, and at the speed you want. It's so awesome when you barely press on the stick before a play and see your linebacker creep up toward the line just a little bit and then bust into a full sprint as you press the stick all the way just as the ball is snapped. Aside from the precise movements of the players, you can also pass the ball precisely where you want it by using what the game calls Maximum Passing. "

" This Maximum Passing feature isn't necessary for you to play, but the level of control that it allows you to have is so great that once you get used to it you'll realize it's the only way to play. "

" NFL 2K has an unbalanced set of teams that accurately depicts the action in the NFL in that some teams can pass, run, and defend better than others. Some teams allow you can air the ball up against them and they won't be able to do anything, while other teams have great cornerbacks that will intercept the ball or break up passes nearly every time you go to the air...... "

Madden 2000 http://www.gamespot.com/ps/sports/maddennfl2000/review.html

" Madden NFL 2000 features the usual array of game modes, like exhibition, season, franchise, create-a-player, and so on, and it includes the full NFL license with all the teams and players. EA beefed up the franchise mode by allowing you to play up to thirty consecutive seasons with statistical tracking for your dynasty. Along with statistics this year are fluctuating player attributes that allow players to have hot and cold streaks. A player in a slump will fumble the ball more often than someone who's in the zone and catching everything you throw at him. This little feature really makes you pay close attention - if one of your guys is going through a rough time, you'll know to avoid giving him the ball. In addition to these extras Madden NFL 2000 has three really big new features - a play editor, arcade mode, and the Madden Challenge. "

" The play editor is rather nifty; it lets you create your own plays by assigning each player his own route and/ or command. ..... The Madden Challenge feature is by far the best new thing about the series. The Madden Challenge is just that - a bunch of specific objectives that are outlined for you. "

" In terms of gameplay, M2K feels pretty much the way a Madden football game should, although with a distinctly tighter feel this year. The controls are extremely responsive and match up with the game's onscreen visuals quite well. The analog stick really lets you put your player right where you want him, when you want him there.The AI of the computer is actually quite easy on the regular setting, although for us Madden veterans, if you crank the difficulty up, the AI kicks in and plays a bit more aggressively. The receivers and cornerbacks play the ball well and really make you battle to get a hand on the ball, whether you're playing defense or offense. The running game of the computer is strong, although every once in a great while the running back will get stuck behind one of his own guys. While this is annoying it is literally one of the only flaws in the game, and it happens very rarely. "

NFL2K1 (Online) http://www.gamespot.com/dreamcast/sports/nfl2k1/review.html

"... Visual Concepts, the developer of the game, realized this as well, and the team has improved everything it possibly could in an attempt to correct this. We played NFL 2K1 for a considerable amount of time, and the results of Visual Concepts' work over the past year are clearly evident. The game is a much more refined, balanced, and complete version of the first game and is not only amazing for its online gameplay capabilities but also for its improved running game and greater overall depth. "

" The most obvious change is the addition of online play. NFL 2K1's network options make it possible to play with or against other players over the Internet, as well as download team roster updates throughout the season - all you need is an active phone line and a service provider. "

" The new franchise mode lets you take a team through multiple seasons and lets you deal with tons of managerial tasks such as drafting players, releasing players, and signing players. You even have to take into account a player's age when signing him, since some players retire at the end of a season. The franchise mode adds a new depth to the series, which will undoubtedly keep you playing NFL 2K1 for a long time to come. "

" While the additions of the franchise mode and Internet-play capability are huge, fans of the first game will find the subtle control and AI improvements to be just as important. "

" In the end, NFL 2K1 is a deeper, more refined version of the original game. The vastly improved running game makes all the difference in the world, since now you can truly mount an offensive attack that consists of a true-to-life air-and-ground assault. ... The addition of the online gameplay feature and franchise mode is more than enough reason for you to upgrade to NFL 2K1. "

Madden 2001 http://www.gamespot.com/dreamcast/sports/nfl2k1/index.html

"The game has more features and options than any other Madden game before. It includes all of the fundamental options, like exhibition and season modes, and all of the in-depth options, like franchise, create-a-player, and Madden challenges. The Madden challenges have a bit more to them this year, since the completion of each one earns you tokens, which you can use like money in the game. You can purchase special items like cheats, secret players, and teams. You can even use the tokens, with the help of a couple of memory cards, as currency to wager with when challenging another player. The Madden challenge cards, which are displayed when you buy items, were made in conjunction with Upper Deck and look like really cool digital trading cards. They add a whole new incentive for playing the game and completing the Madden challenges. "

" The control in Madden 2001 is pretty much just like any that of any other Madden game, although some will find the overall feel of the game a bit too slow and unresponsive. "

" The game uses a momentum-based physics engine, which is supposed to make the gameplay all the more real. The only problem is that it plays a bit too real - players have to literally stop their momentum when making a change in the direction they're running, just like in real life. This, while physically correct, just doesn't translate into fast-paced, hard-hitting football action. Instead, it causes the reaction time of a controller command to be a tad too slow, leaving the game feeling a bit sluggish. In time, you do learn to accommodate for this, and the effect isn't nearly so bad. "

" The AI of the game will surely to seem familiar to fans of the series, particularly those who've played this year's PlayStation version. The AI's easiest setting will let you get away with a lot and teaches you early on that the game is all about knowing your team's plays and your players' abilities. Knowing which players to go to will help you blow the doors off the computer on the lower skill settings, but once you start to move up, you'd better have more than just a few tricks up your sleeve. "

(That just takes the cake right there, the AI is the same as the Playstation version, I can't think of a better example of lazyness)

NFL2k2 (Online) (but seemed to drop the ball) http://www.gamespot.com/dreamcast/sports/nfl2k2/review.html

"Fans of NFL 2K1 know that the game was an almost perfect game of football that was marred by a couple of unstoppable money plays. The NFL 2K1 online community at its peak agreed that if it weren't for the money plays that caused almost every online game to be a simple contest of halfback tosses and quick out passes that the game would, in fact, be perfect. Many hoped that NFL 2K2 would be that perfect football game, and while those two particular money plays have been deprecated, NFL 2K2 really isn't that much of an improvement upon last year's offering. "

" When you get right down to it, there are two big differences between the way NFL 2K1 and NFL 2K2 play, and one is that the money plays from last year's game are gone. Unfortunately, the second is that the running game in NFL 2K2 has been tweaked to the point that it's nearly impossible for the computer AI to stop your ground attack. Running backs can simply blast through or around the defensive line, thanks to a new tripping/bumping mechanic that literally lets ball carriers trip and bump their way right by defenders. The mechanic is really more of a simple animation, but it's extremely effective nevertheless. The only way a defender can really put the ball carrier down is to really square off and deliver a solid tackle. There still are, of course, shoestring tackles and such--it's just that as a whole, it's much easier to get five or six yards on almost every running play when playing against the computer. The one thing that's extremely important to note is that the effects of this new tripping/bumping animation aren't nearly as noticeable in an online or multiplayer game. Against the computer on the default difficulty setting, you can call a running play every single time with just about any team and end up destroying the computer. "

" The overall responsiveness and control of NFL 2K2 hasn't really changed that much. The game is just as fast, responsive, and as much fun to play as the first two games. The only real gameplay element that feels different is that the maximum passing--which lets you lead, underthrow, and overthrow receivers when you're quarterbacking--is a bit less forgiving this time around. Pushing the analog stick all the way to the right and throwing the ball to a receiver will result in a wide right pass that can't be caught. It takes some time to get a feel for the passing game, which requires a bit more finesse than before. "

" In the end, fans of the NFL 2K series will undoubtedly find that it's hard not to like NFL 2K2. But it's really a tale of two games. The computer's inability to stop repeated running plays is fairly frustrating, especially if you have played the first two games and were looking for a new single-player challenge. But if you're looking to get back online and challenge people from all over the country or just your friends sitting across the room, NFL 2K2 is better than last year's game. "

Madden 2002 http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/sports/maddennfl2002/review.html

" While it shouldn't come as a surprise that Madden 2002 is simply a beefed-up, slightly refined version of the first PlayStation 2 Madden title, it is a bit disappointing. Even still, the game manages to one-up last year's Madden in most categories. Madden 2002 includes a good list of new features and options, as well as some slight but noticeable visual improvements. "

" In the gameplay department, Madden 2002 plays almost identically to last year's title. The game still features a momentum-based physics system that accounts for the weight and speed of the player when determining how fast he can change direction when running. This system makes Madden 2002 feel a little unresponsive at first, but it quickly becomes second nature. The AI is very solid, and the inclusion of an AI adjustment scale--which allows you to adjust the AI of certain aspects of the computer's game, such as receiving, running, run blocking, and so on--just makes it that much better. "

" Once everything is accounted for, Madden 2002 is fundamentally the same game as last year's title. "

NFL2k3 http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/sports/maddennfl2003/review.html

" Whether you're a hard-core football fan or a casual follower of the sport, you'll find that NFL 2K3 delivers nearly every aspect of professional football flawlessly. The game offers several different modes to choose from, including a revamped franchise mode and the Sega Sports challenge, which allows you to have your stats ranked against those of other players from across the country. Aside from a few very minor gripes, the gameplay is also incredibly balanced, and the introduction of the ESPN license gives the game a better overall presentation and feel. "

" Perhaps one of the more intriguing options is the situation mode, which lets you edit everything from the score and the amount of time left on the clock to the line of scrimmage. So, for example, you could set up a game so it starts in the fourth quarter with two minutes remaining, and your team has the ball but it's losing by six points. You can create just about any scenario with this feature, and it can present quite a challenge for even veteran players, but if you're looking for something with a little more depth, then you'll find it in NFL 2K3's season mode. "

" The running game in NFL 2K3 is excellent, and the running backs are easy to control and have a nice assortment of moves, including jukes and stiff-arms. In addition, when you're running the ball through the line, your running back will turn his torso slightly so he can slip past his blockers and the defensive line, which almost solves the problem of not being able to get by the linemen in most previous football games. Similarly, if a defender or a member of your team falls to the ground, your running back can leap over him and pick up a few additional yards. The run blocking is also excellent, as the fullback and guards will almost always pick up the linebackers or any linemen who happen to break through the line. "

" Passing the ball in NFL 2K3 can be difficult at first because of the excellent defensive back AI, but you'll start to adjust once you learn how to read defenses and get the timing down. In fact, timing is a crucial aspect when the defense is playing zone, as you have to throw the ball when the defensive backs are switching up coverage. "

" The only annoying aspect about the passing game (and perhaps NFL 2K3's biggest problem) is the defensive backs' propensity to time tackles perfectly so your receiver can't hold on to the ball--just when you think you have a completion, a safety will come running in and hit the receiver the second the ball makes contact with his hands. Of course, this encourages you to look for receivers who are a little more open, but it happens so frequently that it seems a little unfair at times. "

Madden 2003 (Online) http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/sports/maddennfl2003/review.html

" If you're relatively knowledgeable about the sport of professional football, then you'll want to check out some of the customizable options, namely the playbook editor, before jumping into a game. Like with most other playbook editors, you can scour various playbooks from coaches around the league and pick plays that you'd like to add to your own repertoire, but this option also gives you the ability to create your own unique formation, and from that you can create an entirely new play. "

" The defensive play editor is almost identical--it lets you make your own formations and place defensive players just about anywhere on the grid. Other editable options include the ability to make your own team and players and to adjust rosters before starting the game. "

" The practice, situation, and two-minute drills are also helpful for brushing up on your skills and getting to learn the different elements of Madden NFL 2003's gameplay, which is still based on the momentum system seen in previous games in the series. Essentially, if you're holding down the turbo button, the player has more speed but less maneuverability, which makes basic cuts a little more difficult to execute. However, this isn't a huge issue since you can ease off the turbo to make a sharp cut, or you can use a juke maneuver, but Madden NFL 2003's biggest problem is somewhat related. "

" While the running game is pretty solid overall, it does have a few lingering problems, the most apparent of which is line blocking, or the lack thereof. Even with a high-powered offense, it seems like your offensive line is rarely capable of clearing a large enough hole in the defensive line that you can run through and not collide with any of your teammates. "

" For the most part, the passing game is really good. .... The only noticeable problem with the passing game is that the out passing route (where a receiver makes a sudden cut to the sideline) is still a little too reliable for getting those 6 or 7 yards in a pinch. "

" But the defensive AI has been improved, so it's not quite as bad as in previous Madden games. "

" Madden 2003 for the PlayStation 2 has online play, a robust franchise mode, and plenty of secondary modes to keep you busy, but the minor issues with the running and passing game really prevent it from being the absolute best representation of professional football that's available. "

ESPN Football (NFL2k4) (Online) http://www.gamespot.com/xbox/sports/nfl2k4/review-3.html

" While Madden is the most realistic-playing football game on the market, ESPN NFL Football is simply the most exciting football game on the planet. You're not only forced to think strategically when picking plays, like Madden, but you also pay or reap the rewards of actually making the right cut when running. You're the hero when throwing the ball with just enough push on the analog stick to lead your receiver so that he catches the pass in-stride and continues downfield for a touchdown. Every play that goes your way happens because you make it. ESPN NFL Football's responsive controls simply give precedence to the action and the skill of the player rather than to the animation or the will of the AI. "

" The advanced passing mode, called maximum passing, gives you a much greater degree of control over the placement of the pass by tying the direction of the pass to the left analog stick. It still works like the basic icon passing mode, in that you press the corresponding button to the receiver you want the ball to go to, but it lets you lead, overthrow, and underthrow your receiver by simply nudging the left analog stick in the direction you'd like the ball to go. "

" This year the game's running and tackling has become more realistic in the sense that receivers who catch a pass in-stride are now rarely caught by defenders who are lagging a couple of steps behind. "

" The AI balance of the computer-controlled teams is very well-done and is extremely representative of the actual preferences and tendencies used by individual teams. "

" With ESPN NFL Football's online capabilities, you can simply skip the process of tweaking artificial intelligence all together by competing against human opponents. "

Madden 2004 (Online) http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/sports/madden2004/review.html

" It's not an easy task for a development team to make enough improvements to a yearly sports game series to warrant a purchase every year. However, EA Sports has not only managed to add enough features and gameplay tweaks to make Madden NFL 2004 a more than worthy purchase for those who bought last year's game, but it has also created one of best football games to date--especially in the case of the PS2 version, which is the only console version featuring online play. "

" A perfect example of this is the playmaker control feature. While it initially seems like nothing more than a quick audible option, playmaker control is actually much more than that. Before the snap of the ball, if you don't like what you're seeing on defensive side of the ball, you can adjust the offensive play to compensate without calling an audible. "

" Similarly, after the ball's been snapped, you can direct teammates on the field to block opposing players in front of the ballcarrier by pressing the right analog stick in the appropriate direction. There's a little bit of risk involved in doing this, since its effectiveness depends on the speed of the teammate running over to block. "

" When using it on a passing play before the snap, playmaker control can quickly change the route of a receiver if there appears to be a gap in the secondary. "

" Defensively, the playmaker mechanic isn't quite as prominent. Essentially, if you see a key receiver lining up one-on-one with a cornerback that you don't have too much confidence in, then playmaker can be used to shift your coverage over to that side, making it a little more difficult for the receiver to get open. "

" The fundamental gameplay mechanics in Madden NFL 2004 have also been slightly tweaked. Like in NCAA Football 2004, play-action passing plays are much more effective against opponents, especially those controlled by human players, since the camera briefly follows the running back--making it seem as though it's actually a running play--before panning back to the quarterback. "

" The running game in general feels much better, ... in other words, getting stuck behind the ample posterior of an offensive lineman is much less of a problem than it was in the previous game. "

" With all these slight refinements and changes, even blitzing seems to have much greater risks and rewards. "

"All these changes are great, but perhaps one of the biggest single reasons to buy Madden NFL 2004 is the owner mode, which is directly tied to the game's franchise mode. The owner mode gives you an entirely new perspective on the sport by portraying it as a business where you have to do everything in your power to ensure not only that the fans are happy, but also that you're making enough money to support the team and the stadium."

" If you don't feel like dealing with the business side of the NFL, you can simply turn the owner mode off and the game will automatically change to a more standard franchise mode. However, there are some slight differences from last year's franchise mode. "

" All the other modes in Madden NFL 2004 are pretty much the same as in last year's game. "

" The graphics haven't been changed all that much either, but the game still looks great. "

" The PlayStation 2 version of Madden NFL 2004 is the only one that supports online play. "

There are differences, in both NFL2K and Madden, but which company has the greater amount of profit, and therefore the greater amount of ability to improve on their game? Neither game is anywhere near perfect, especially in AI and physics, these two areas alone could be improved upon greatly, and EA has had by far the greatest opportunity to do so and has chosen not to.

The amount of money EA is making on this franchise alone would allow for a brand new graphics, physics and AI engine every year, and they'd still have cash to spare. *That* would justify the huge gap in popularity. Instead, just like Gran Turismo, we have a bunch of fans that want that familiar feeling, not innovation. I'm not sure which is worse, the fans for being that way, or EA for feeding them. When new hardware comes out they'll get around to a significantly improved gameplay experience, but that experience could be getting refined today on the current hardware.