My latest monthly column for GameSetWatch focuses on realism in sports sims, and I compare two games released 23 years apart: MLB 10: The Show and Earl Weaver Baseball. Here's a snippet:
The holy grail of graphical sports sims is an experience that feels realistic, and we routinely measure these games by their ability to convey that experience. If you'd like to test that contention, peruse the reviews of the latest high water mark in graphical sports sims, MLB 10: The Show, and count how many times reviewers deploy "realistic" in praise of the game.
To understand the nature of MLB 10 as a sports sims, it's useful to look back at EA's Earl Weaver game as a kind of swan song in sports game design. Its sequel, EWB 2, employed a 3D camera that radically altered the player's perspective, and the series shifted from simulating the experience of playing baseball to the experience of watching it on television. For the graphical sports sims to follow, there was no turning back.
You can read the whole essay here.