Friday, April 18, 2008

Hockey Fight!

Fighting in hockey has been a controversial subject for a long time. However, it is an integral part of the game whether people like it or not. In hockey, players are often in dangerous positions where serious injury can occur from a cheap shot. Take Patrice Bergeron from the Bruins for instance. A cowardly cheap shot from behind effectively ended his season and came near to killing him. In order to deter this sort of thing, it takes more than a two minute penalty for roughing or a double minor. It takes the fear of getting the piss pounded out of you if you do that kind of shit. Enforcers have always been around in hockey. As great as Wayne Gretzky was, he would arguably not had as great a career if he didn't have guys like Dave Semenko and Marty McSorley watching his back. If all teams had to worry about was a two minute penalty, they would have cheap-shotted him all over the ice. I am not here to argue about whether fighting in hockey should be allowed or not. Suffice it to say that it is and always will be a part of the game. If that isn't your cup of tea, go watch another sport.

On to the point of the post. How do you simulate something like fighting in a hockey video game? Honestly, I have turned off fighting in pretty much every hockey video game I have played. The form it takes in video games is just gratuitous and does not model real life in its effect on the players or the game. First of all, it has never been fun to me. The game mechanic has always been very simple and unsatisfying. It also never has the effect on the players that it does in real life. Games can be turned around by a good fight. It gives the other players on the team a boost and builds morale. If you are sitting on the bench and your star players are getting pounded by cheap shots and questionable treatment, it gives you a lift to see one of your guys go out and beat the hell out of the player who is taking liberties.

I would like to see fighting in video game hockey have the same effect. There would be a reason to keep a few enforcers on your team this way. If they happen to also be able to play like Terry O'Reilly and Cam Neeley then that is a bonus. I would propose having an option to take the fighting out of the player's hands and let the computer simulate it. You as coach could send out your enforcer to do his job at strategic times and his ability would determine the outcome and change the morale of your team for better or worse. Not having control of the fight would make the outcome less certain. Let's fact it, the way hockey fighting is simulated now you would have to really suck to not win most fights. Fighting is a big part of hockey strategy and has been poorly implemented in hockey video games.

What do you think? How would you like to see fights implemented in hockey video games?

1 comment:

JoJosho said...
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