Australia has a great track record of underappreciated video games, but we also have a great track record of underappreciated sports video games. Especially if you’re into AFL.
The AFL Evolution series has brought AFL video games back into the spotlight recently. I’d still argue AFL Finals Fever is the best, because you can just run around everyone on the park. (The Windows version does run like absolute shit, but at least the DOS version is tons of fun.)
But whether it’s the 1989 original, EA’s much smoother AFL 98, the horrendous AFL management games, or the faster AFL Live 2003, they’ve all been lovingly chronicled by Aussie YouTuber minimme.
Over the course of 53 minutes, just about every arcade AFL (or simulation) game has been given a decent re-review of their own. Each game has strengths of their own, although no game really has the full complete package. They’re still relatively low-budget games compared to, say, FIFA, so there’s a lot of jank and animation quirks to deal with. It doesn’t help that AFL is, principally, pretty complicated.
But that’s also the part of the charm.
Hopefully one of the designers on AFL Evolution looks back at this and sees some of the great additions AFL games had in the past. The extra layer of management and organisation in the newer games is nice. But the older systems from older games would be a great addition in an AFL Evolution 3. It’s hard to do a whole lot with AI and animations, only because you can only do so much with a small budget and a small team.
It’s a good time to replay some of the classic AFL games. Finals Fever still has the Fitzroy Lions in it, so that keeps me happy. But what was your favourite AFL video game?
In the absence of live sport, gaming has become a unique avenue for athletes to connect with their audiences and show off their skills. The AFL has become the latest sport to throw its hat into the livestreaming ring with the AFL Gamers Network set for launch this week. Players from a number of teams including Collingwood and St. Kilda will show off their skills in games including Fortnite, Call of Duty and FIFA.Read more