- Over at game designer Zack Hiwiller's blog, he's got an interesting piece discussing 'The State Of Sports Games', and specifically questioning the accessibility and ease of play for some of the biggest-selling and most hardcore sports games.

He particularly notes a recent incident where we "...have a prominent blogger (Luke Plunkett) that was sent a copy of NBA 2k8 and found it unplayable because it was too complicated for someone who hasn’t played for(i=2007;i>1996;i–) {NBA i}. (Is it bad that I thought of the string of past ten NBA games in that way?) And I totally agree with Plunkett in this case."

He also notes: "There has to be room for something in between Wii Sports abstraction and Football Manager esotericism. And there is: see NBA Street, NFL Street, The Bigs. But these “action sports” games decide that since they aren’t being “hardcore” that they also cannot be realistic."

A possible solution, according to Hiwiller? "A coworker told me that MLB Power Pros is fantastic and has a ton of depth while still being realistic and approachable. I plan on picking it up and seeing. I imagine the lunatics haven’t gotten a hold of it because it looks “kiddy” and anything that isn’t 100% hardcore serious is kryptonite to them. Call me Lex Luthor." On the other hand, I've heard that the game is surprisingly hardcore - but maybe in a good way? In any case, it's an interesting conversation to be having.

[UPDATE: Zack notes in the comments that he picked up Power Pros at the weekend, and it's "...exactly what hardcore sports people think is approachable, but isn’t." He also asks: "I'd be interested in hearing what GSW readers think an 'accessible sports game' is. I'm wondering if I'm out in left field (pun intended) on this whole issue."]