'Weakening the Leading Team According to Score' Suggestion

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Bounty Bob
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Re: KO2 Competition Version Wish List

Postby Bounty Bob » Fri May 22, 2009 7:27 pm

Steve1977 wrote:The most ironic thing about all this is I bet the guys who want KO2 to stay as it is are also the same people who always download the latest patches for Fifa :lol:
Nothing ironic about it. I buy and play the new FIFA each year, just as I bought and played KO, KO2, Final Whistle, Goal etc.
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Re: KO2 Competition Version Wish List

Postby Troglos » Fri May 22, 2009 10:30 pm

Steve1977 wrote:The most ironic thing about all this is I bet the guys who want KO2 to stay as it is are also the same people who always download the latest patches for Fifa :lol:


Sorry you lost your bet. Me, Maurizio L., Mario and Fabio F. only play KO2, no one other kind of football game for consolle/pc :) :) :wink:
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Re: KO2 Competition Version Wish List

Postby Steve1977 » Sun May 24, 2009 10:04 pm

Troglos: If you followed the Betting thread you'd realise I'm lousy at gambling :lol: :lol: :D
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Re: KO2 Competition Version Wish List

Postby hogstrom » Wed May 27, 2009 12:57 am

Im 100% with Marco here. I would feel zero joy if beating Dagh handicaped in the next tournament, nor would i be happy potentially losing points against an poor and untrained player, just because I play with a severly wekened team.

A=B is a great addition. Two teams play against eachother and both is as level as they can be. The hcap idea would take us back to square -1.

We all draw the line somewhere, Bbob refuse to play with slides out of the game and I would not be willing to travel far to play handicaped kickoff2 in a tournament.
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Re: KO2 Competition Version Wish List

Postby Bounty Bob » Wed May 27, 2009 8:11 am

hogstrom wrote:Im 100% with Marco here. I would feel zero joy if beating Dagh handicaped in the next tournament, nor would i be happy potentially losing points against an poor and untrained player, just because I play with a severly wekened team.

A=B is a great addition. Two teams play against eachother and both is as level as they can be. The hcap idea would take us back to square -1.

We all draw the line somewhere, Bbob refuse to play with slides out of the game and I would not be willing to travel far to play handicaped kickoff2 in a tournament.

The teams would still be equal. The team would only become weaker when someone is leading, then equality would be restored when the scores balance out again. You aren't handicapped from the start and in reality, a 1 or 2 goal lead shouldn't see much difference.

For what it's worth, I don't want tournaments this way either. :)
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Re: KO2 Competition Version Wish List

Postby gdh82 » Wed May 27, 2009 11:27 am

Dagh's 'handicap' suggestion and subsequent discussion deserves its own thread imho. Try and put my moderator status to good use and 'copy/move' some of these posts....

EDIT: Done! Wasn't that difficult either. I do this simply to unclutter the wishlist thread and make this topic easier to find.
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Re: 'Weakening the Leading Team According to Score' Suggestion

Postby Tripod » Wed May 27, 2009 1:39 pm

Thanks, I would have missed this interesting discussion otherwise. Definitely a very interesting idea, Dagh is a bright chap. :) Here are the thoughts that immediately jump into my head: If we actually implemented this - as more than a JFF option - it would radically change the game. Far more radically than stuff we have adapted or are fighting about, A>B, PBD optional, autoslides, etc. I'm afraid I cannot see it happening in tournaments. For two equally strong players it would theoretically mean all games become extremely close and it might just boil down to who scores the last goal with the final whistle so the opponent can't take advantage of his extra speed (or whatever other stats you'd like to influence). And it would make it harder for a weak player to beat a slightly better player. It only really makes sense if you are certain who'll win before you start the game, making the win smaller. But who's willing to risk it? Sure, Dagh, Gianni, you'd probably be safe against a lot of players, I wouldn't want to risk it against anybody. Looking at the Luton tournament... no way. Ok, against Pedro, but that's it.

Possibly it'd work better if the handicap doesn't kick in until the lead is at 5-0 or so - and as soon as the opponent scores the 1-5 it'd be gone again. Problem there is: It wouldn't help a newbie much. If it becomes progressively tougher starting at 5-0 then a player who cannot score at all would maybe lose 8-0 while somebody who can score the odd goal would lose 10-2. For friendlies with my pal Tobi it might be good fun. Though usually - as in real life :) - if one of us pulls ahead by 3 or 4 goals he naturally relaxes and plays worse anyway.
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Re: 'Weakening the Leading Team According to Score' Suggestion

Postby gdh82 » Wed May 27, 2009 5:19 pm

Good post, Alex. Like the way you cover the various scenarios.

Its not hard to understand the concern of Gianni, John H and others here. Applied in the wrong situations, you can imagine feeling like you've achieved an undeserved victory/unfair defeat. I had my doubts too and questioned its use in official games.

Having said that there may be some circumstances where the suggestion still proves its worth. Thinking back to KOBRA X, such an option could have added to the fun. In a small local tourney like this, where the number of ranking points exchanged is going to be smaller anyway, and you have a newcomer/player who isn't a regular and has little prospect of picking up a single point, maybe applying this option to his games only could be a good idea? The newbie may enjoy their extra participation in a game and the more experienced player the extra challenge. Using such an option would have to be agreeable of course to the 'lesser' player (who may not want it anyway!) and all of his opponents. I'd have been okay with it (even though I probably needed it myself!! :lolo: )

Not that I feel strongly about this either way tbh. I'm also still unsure whether games using such an option could still count as official ? Bbob suggested it wouldn't make much difference and so shouldn't be a problem ? Any other views on this - Alkis ? Spyros ? Robert ?

That aside, the jff possibilites still exist and it may yet persuade my lad to give me a game!!! :)
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Re: 'Weakening the Leading Team According to Score' Suggestion

Postby Tripod » Thu May 28, 2009 6:38 am

Though I'm not one of the experts on the rules and rankings, I see no reason why it should not count towards the rankings. If all pitch types, wind, etc are possible, why not this?

And definitely, in a small tournament with a new player (or somebody who still has a long way to go) it might be a good option to have. However, Dagh wrote

However, I would like the mechanism to be neutral and not based on any pre-game measurements. 4-0 is 4-0, and the mechanism would only look at this score to determine the handicap.


and my thoughts were based around this. With this suggestion Dagh is suggesting to use this option the whole time no matter who is playing, not just as a possibility for new players. Which is why I said this would be an extremely radical change. It'd be absolutely possible that we always play with this option enabled and it might actually be a lot of fun and interesting, but it would definitely change the game. Alkis would never have to lose 1-10 or 1-12 again! ;) JFF, great. As an available option for weak players - certainly. FAKO tournaments might become more interesting, for example. Jorn?
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Re: 'Weakening the Leading Team According to Score' Suggestion

Postby dnielsen » Thu May 28, 2009 6:53 am

Thanks for bringing the discussion to its own thread, Garry.

And thanks for the criticism. I will give some comments on various points to explain why I personally still like the idea (at least in some circumstances). Of course, I don't mind if people dislike the idea and will not use it. Nothing will be lost. But to start with, I would just like to see the idea with a proper implementation, so I will discuss the idea with that in mind.

First, to highlight Bounty Bob's analogy:

Look at Super Mario Kart on the SNES as the perfect example. Racers at the front get slightly disadvantaged, while the ones behind have a boost. It's not visibly shown to the players but it's there and it's why games like this always have close racing.

The system is often referred to as rubber banding. The more ahead someone gets, the more the 'elastic' is stretched, making it pull the losing player back in more quickly.


I guess this describes the essence of the idea and its purpose well.

The criticism comes in two different flavors:

1) The idea will hurt the game from a "is the game fun at all?" point of view.
2) The idea will hurt the game from an "authenticity of experience" point of view.

So, first the gameplay stuff. How will the idea affect the "is the game fun at all" question, authenticity apart. It's obvious that a lot depends on the details of the implementation. If you design a poor rubber band, you end up with bad consequences.

Tripod wrote:For two equally strong players it would theoretically mean all games become extremely close and it might just boil down to who scores the last goal with the final whistle so the opponent can't take advantage of his extra speed (or whatever other stats you'd like to influence).


This is true if you design the rubber band in a poor way. In the extreme, you could give a player leading with one goal a 50% pace handicap. Nevertheless, as also mentioned earlier, bad consequences like this can be avoided by designing the rubber band with more care. For one thing, we can use a buffer: There is no handicap as long as the goal difference in below N goals. Just an example:

0 goals -- no effect
1 goals -- no effect
2 goals -- no effect
3 goals -- leading team has pace reduced to 92%
4 goals -- leading team has pace reduced to 85% (0.92^2)
5 goals -- leading team has pace reduced to 78% (0.92^3)
6 goals -- leading team has pace reduced to 72% (0.92^4)
etc.

Doing this has some advantages. First, deciding goals are always scored with no handicap in play. Secondly, you make room for "random goal streaks" like in the Klaus-Gianni example that Gianni mentioned. Third, you ensure that most of the close games will have the majority of the action take place with no or only a minor handicap activated. The general aim here is that, EVEN if some rubber band effect will sometimes take place in games between roughly equally strong players, it should not completely disrupt the action or mess up the competitive mechanisms (or indeed the "authenticity" of the experience).

Tripod wrote:And it would make it harder for a weak player to beat a slightly better player.

hogstrom wrote:I would feel zero joy if beating Dagh handicaped in the next tournament, nor would i be happy potentially losing points against an poor and untrained player, just because I play with a severly wekened team.

Bounty Bob wrote:All it might do is throw up a few 'shock' results more often.


I give these 3 quotes to illustrate that it is not so self-evident what the effects of a rubber band would be. Again, it would depend a lot on the implementation. Let's take a hypothetical situation with two players where one is about a 75% favorite. In this circumstance, the weaker player will normally score small victories, while the victories of the stronger player will be distributed between small and big victories.

Now, if we design a rubber band such that there is no buffer, then Tripod would be right in some sense. It would be hard for the weaker player to hold on to any lead, so the stronger player has a better chance to at least score a draw. On the other hand, the stronger player would now tend to mainly achieve small leads. This gives the weaker player more "shots" at erasing the leading player's lead. It's not clear who would be favored. However, once you introduce a buffer, the rubber band + buffer should overall help the weaker player more. His generally small leads do not hurt him, while the stronger player's occasionally big leads will be less safe.

Let's return to the racing game example. Let's imagine that two players race pretty much equally well, except the weaker player crash more often. Here, the weaker player would usually win by making only, say, 2 crashes while the stronger player made 3 crashes. While the stronger player would have both small and big wins:

2 crashes vs. 3
3 crashes vs. 7

Then let us introduce a rubber band: If you are 2 crashes behind, you car is sped up so the gap is soon only 1 crash. We have a one crash buffer where neither player is sped up.

In this example, it is pretty obvious that the rubber band mainly helps the weaker player since he is much more often two crashes down. As above, the main effect would be that this gives the weaker player more "shots" at erasing the leading player's lead.

You could make many more examples. My main point is that the design of the rubber band will determine its effects. You can design an absurd rubber band so that almost all games end in a draw, or you can design a rubber band so that the stronger player almost always wins, or you can design a rubber band so that there is no effect on the winning chances, or, finally, you can design a rubber band so that a weaker player will get overall better chances. My hope is that you can design that latter rubber band in a way so that neither fundamental gameplay nor fairplay mechanisms are disrupted.

Troglos wrote:One of the historical reasons why KO2 is so good is because it has a fast game, if you remove the speed, you take away the fun.


Well, I don't think the old A>B games were less fun because team B was about 10% slower!? Anyway, you are right. KO2 is more fun with Int. A vs. Int. B than with div. 4 vs. div. 4. However, once again, I would claim that it is a question of design and proper balance. In the design above, you only reach 72% speed once you are 6 goals up. I honestly don't think this effect would result in people becoming bored!

OK, the above was a discussion from the "is the game still intrinsically fun" point of view. It's clear that, yes, you can make the game intrinsically un-fun if you design a poor rubber band. On the other hand, you can also make games more fun by introducing a well designed rubber band, as for example Bounty Bob's racing game example demonstrate. The aim of this idea is of course to make KO2 games more fun, not less fun. So this is a first assumption, yes, we have a rubber band that works well. Then the question is, ok, we have a new feature, but would it hurt the authenticity of the experience?

gdh82 wrote:Applied in the wrong situations, you can imagine feeling like you've achieved an undeserved victory/unfair defeat.

hogstrom wrote:We all draw the line somewhere, Bbob refuse to play with slides out of the game and I would not be willing to travel far to play handicaped kickoff2 in a tournament.

Torchiador wrote:I can understand that it isn't pleasant to be defeated and more if the defeat is heavy. But I would be unpleased to play a KO2 that doesn't run in the proper right way. I wouldn't like to play a such adulterated KO2. KO2 has some characteristics. To change these characteristics would be to mine the gameplay.
Of course I would play with a sort of option enabled for fun, but absolutely not in a tournament.
My opinion is that a tournament is made with a purpose. there is the love for the gathering but there is also the love for the challenge.
In baseball there are rules to set the fight in equal terms. In Soccer there are rules to set the fight in equal terms.
Probably my considerations are not so popular but I think that are at least fair.
A sort of mercy rule is used this year in Formula 1 and look what a shit is happening, probably Ferrari will drop out next year.
A mercy rule could be good in Mario Karts but I don't think that it belongs to a KO2 challenge mentality.

Troglos wrote:Autoslide on/off, this new proposal today and who know what tomorrow, will not be the favourite footbal for the koa but only the "favourite football" of gdh, or Bbob etc. In this way I think will be inevitable to see more fractures and absence in tournaments and in jff games because of too many different "favourite football" the player will want to use.
...
In truth to talk about changes to the gameplay engine is NOT very welcome :lol: .

Tripod wrote:If we actually implemented this - as more than a JFF option - it would radically change the game. Far more radically than stuff we have adapted or are fighting about, A>B, PBD optional, autoslides, etc.


OK, there are two slightly different variations of criticism at play here.

I) The first is that victories with this feature would feel hollow and thus less authentic.
II) The second is that this change (like other changes) would directly by itself make the experience feel less authentic.

With regard to changing gameplay, let me first note that there is a lot of grey zone with regard to what constitutes a gameplay change. If you give players in a racing game faster cars, you do change gameplay in some sense, but in another sense you don't really change anything at all. Cars with different speed is likely already included in the racing game package, and you just change the competitive setting. Likewise, I personally don't see A=B as a change of (fundamental) gameplay compared to A>B. Players of different (or equal) strength is already an integral part of the KO2 package. Again, you just change the competitive setting. I also wouldn't see line-up changes as a (fundamental) gameplay change. On the other hand, if we played with pitch walls or 10xgravity, then I would consider the gameplay fundamentally altered, since the physics are fundamentally altered. On the other hand, you also change the physics fundamentally when you choose soggy pitch instead of normal pitch. But then again, this is already a part of the KO2 package, so you don't really deviate from the "true KO2 package" by playing on soggy pitch.

I guess my point is that there is a fundamental difference between navigating within the already familiar package, and then introducing something completely new, even if we are inclined to call both things for a change of gameplay. If we pick other teams (like B=A instead of B<A) we are still firmly within the original package since having players of any strength competing against players of any strength is already a fundamental KO2 condition, and so, you can't say you introduced anything new by altering the stats of a team -- instead, you just picked another team for your competitive setting. Likewise, I actually wouldn't say that removing cpu-slides is introducing something new, since we already are firmly used to situations without cpu-slides. As I see it, it is just an adjustment of the cpu-slide frequency (to zero), but not something completely new. On the other hand, if we radically changed keeper deflection frequencies, then yes, it would feel like a fundamental change of gameplay, so there is still some grey zone. Anyway, my expectation is that introducing a pace handicap is not going to change my sense of still operating within the fundamental gameplay package. We already are firmly used to, for instance, R.Curtis being outrun by Barrett, or Nicholls being outrun by Lindsay. We can also play games with 2. division vs. 1st division. It's part of the KO2 package. It IS a change of the competitive setting though and thus also a gameplay change in some sense, but it is not something new and unexpected and unauthentic (in itself). Not to me anyway.

I mean, a gameplay change can be a gameplay change by way of introducing something fundamentally new. On the other hand, you can also have gameplay changes by way of adjusting some already existing parameters within the game. Some of these parameters can fundamentally change the experience (like 10xgravity) and some may not (like introducing new kit colors). There is a huge deal of subjectivity involved in how different changes would be perceived by different people and whether they would damage the feeling of the game still being an authentic experience.

I generally agree 100% that it is important that people have a sense of playing "true KO2". It is "true KO2" that has made us meet again so many years after the original release. We are emotionally attached to "true KO2". It is the glue that keeps us together. If there is no feeling of authenticity, we lose a big part of this emotional attachment. Sure, KO2 is still a great game that we could take up today, but it probably helps that we have already played it for 15+ years.

Anyway, let me try to argue why this handicap idea can still feel like "true KO2" in the same sense that A=B can (even if it isn't, strictly speaking). I have already addressed the issue of how I would personally perceive a player pace handicap in a gameplay context. It's something I am already used to with for example R.Curtis vs. Barrett. From that point of view I would still feel it is an authentic experience. The next thing to address is the authenticity part from a competitive point of view.

First, as Garry also noted in this thread, we have the option of playing "KO2 in many ways". Point being, yes, we can and should (IMO) keep the WC as close to a "default" and "common denominator" as possible, but in other tournaments, you can use other stuff like random pitches or wind or whatever the participants will prefer.

Secondly, and this addresses the whole "hollow victory" point. Let's imagine that we now play the Nordic championship on soggy pitch. Hey, it does rain a lot up here north. Let's imagine that John is very good on soggy pitch while I am not. John wins the Nordic championship. Now, should John feel this a hollow victory?

My opinion is that he should not. It's true that we did not play by the "WC default settings". It's true that I was handicapped by playing on soggy pitch as compared to if we had played on normal pitch. BUT, we still played KO2, and we still had perfectly even conditions. The only thing "different" was just that we had another competitive setting than the WC setting. We knew this before we played the tournament. We know after the event that John would probably had had worse winning chances if we had played on normal pitch. Nevertheless, John won fair and square. The point is that the event was not SUPPOSED to be a measurement of our forces on normal pitch. It was supposed to be a measurement of our forces on soggy pitch. Heck, that was why we chose to play on soggy pitch to start with!

My point now is that, it is only if we decide that we only ever want to compare forces in "the one and only valid KO2 WC setting" that victories in other settings would feel hollow by default. While on the other hand, if you are willing to also cross swords in other settings, then you can play with these other settings without necessary feeling that your victory will be hollow or pointless.

Let's compare to 3+3 min games. These games give weaker players better chances than 5+5 min games. Does this mean you should feel that a 3+3 min victory is hollow? If we played 20+20 minutes, the stronger player would be hugely likely to win. Does this mean that a 5+5 min victory is hollow? Of course it doesn't. And not only because "well, 5+5 is the accepted norm". It should not feel hollow because we don't CARE to play a 2000+2000 min game and confirm that player A is stronger than player B. We care about who wins a particular event. We already KNOW that the event is not "fair" since the stronger player will not always win. This is an accepted part of any tournament with practical limits. You measure who played best in the concrete games with the concrete settings. You do NOT measure who is the ultimately strongest and truest KO2 player.

Also, in a random tournament you do NOT measure who is going to do better at the WC. You measure who will do better on this day. It is not necessarily supposed to be a mini WC simulation.

So, ok, there obviously is an extra sense of authenticity in playing 5+5 min games on normal pitch since this is the WC setting (and 5+5 is the ranking setting). But after that, there is still a huge space to maneuver where you are still operating with a good deal of authenticity. A 3+3 min victory on normal pitch is something to be proud of, not something hollow. A 5+5 victory on soggy pitch is also something to be proud of.

Obviously, my point is that a victory in a game or tournament with this handicap feature is also something to be proud of. Yes, it is not IDENTICAL to a victory in a game with WC default settings, but neither is a victory on soggy pitch and nor, indeed, a victory with unintended slides removed. Yet, you can still feel proud of these victories!?

When you play 3+3, you even up the playing field. With this handicap feature, you also even up the playing field. It's exactly the same effect. We KNOW that it is now not the same measurement as a measurement with default WC settings. But why feel bad about something we know and expect? We also know that a WC is not an objective measurement. Yet we don't feel bad about these victories. We don't always need "best of 100 matches" to feel good about winning, and likewise, I don't see why we should always need non-handicapped tournaments to feel good about winning. I would be proud if I won with either setting, and I would know that a victory in one setting does not translate to a victory in another setting. Just as a victory in one tournament does not automatically translate to a victory in another tournament.

So, to sum up. I still feel this handicap mode could be a good setting for some tournaments (with the universal disclaimer: if participants agree!). I would still expect that:

1) Gameplay preserves the authentic and fun feel.
2) Victories in this mode would feel authentic and something to be proud of.

Obviously, and as already discussed, different people can feel very differently about this. If John says that he will not like to play the Nordic championship in this mode, I would immediately back off from the idea. IMO, preserving unity is more important than forcing through fancies of the majority. But, before it comes to such discussions, I would like to focus our analysis on the best implementation we can think of and tinker our way to, and not the worst ones. :)
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Re: 'Weakening the Leading Team According to Score' Suggestion

Postby dnielsen » Thu May 28, 2009 7:06 am

Tripod wrote:And definitely, in a small tournament with a new player (or somebody who still has a long way to go) it might be a good option to have. However, Dagh wrote

However, I would like the mechanism to be neutral and not based on any pre-game measurements. 4-0 is 4-0, and the mechanism would only look at this score to determine the handicap.


and my thoughts were based around this. With this suggestion Dagh is suggesting to use this option the whole time no matter who is playing, not just as a possibility for new players. Which is why I said this would be an extremely radical change. It'd be absolutely possible that we always play with this option enabled and it might actually be a lot of fun and interesting, but it would definitely change the game. Alkis would never have to lose 1-10 or 1-12 again! ;) JFF, great. As an available option for weak players - certainly. FAKO tournaments might become more interesting, for example. Jorn?


Yes, you bring up a good point, that some tournaments are more suited for this than others. I think I would like to adjust my statement. Yes, you can have one pre-tournament measurement: Should we use this handicap feature or not? Since some tournaments are more suited for this than others, and this depends on a pre-tournament measurement.

The main point of my statement you quote was that the idea doesn't REALLY work if you only used it for some players of a tournament, since then, indeed, you would not have even conditions and then you can have problems with victories being hollow etc. It would also not be so good if I agreed to play only my games in this way, while John didn't, and then John won the tournament on goal difference. It seems best to either adopt it in full or not. Well, sure, if you have a newbie and the other participants all agree to offer him this mode, and he is happy to play in this way and not feel bad about being helped a bit, then sure, go ahead, why not. But generally, using pre-game measurements and ranking positions etc. to fiddle with the mechanism just opens up a huge can of worms. To me, an essential ingredience of the idea is that it still preserves a completely neutral environment where nobody is handicapped in advance.
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Re: 'Weakening the Leading Team According to Score' Suggestion

Postby Abyss » Thu May 28, 2009 7:24 am

So, instead of criticizing the "bastards" who continue scoring against weak players even after the 5th goal, we put the burden of making the final results closer and more flattering to the loser on the game's code (i.e. Steve Camber)?

I can only say this: I really don't like Mario Kart and it's artificial way of making all races close. I never enjoyed a comeback victory in NBA Jam, where the team lagging behing is favored. Rubber banding is a technique that babysits the player - I'm old enough for that...

Concluding, I have to admit I didn't read all the posts above :)
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Re: 'Weakening the Leading Team According to Score' Suggestion

Postby dnielsen » Thu May 28, 2009 7:51 am

Abyss wrote:I can only say this: I really don't like Mario Kart and it's artificial way of making all races close. I never enjoyed a comeback victory in NBA Jam, where the team lagging behing is favored. Rubber banding is a technique that babysits the player - I'm old enough for that...


Obviously, if KO2 had been originally released with a rubber band, we would instantly invent a new mode with the rubber band removed!

Anyway, you bring up a good point that made me laugh a bit as I had just written a long analysis of why a rubber band would not necessarily disrupt KO2 gameplay or make victories hollow. It is another point altogether that you may simply just not like rubber bands in any games, period. :lol:

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