We all love well crafted games. Those moments when they make us sit back, rendered speechless at their beauty or a stunning revelation, are hard to rival.
And then… and then there are those moments when it doesn’t quite come together so well. When characters fall through the level, or when the head of an NPC starts slowly spinning without them so much as blinking, the spell is broken.
On the plus side, these glitches provide us with some of our fondest gaming memories (well, ours at any rate). They prove that even the biggest developers can slip up and provide us with a glorious sliver of unintended hilarity. And when they happen in sports games – with their emphasis on cutthroat competition and win-at-all-costs mentality, the effect is wonderfully amplified.
From football to basketball, cricket and a whole lot more, join us as we run through some of the funniest bugs to make their debut in the world of sports gaming.
Giant players in FIFA
The FIFA gaming franchise is well known for its glitches, from giant, headless, armless goalkeepers to invisible balls and players, EA’s football series has had more than its fair share of bugs. Oh, and weird, messed up faces. And bendy legs. And headless, patterned players. And… you get the point.
But possibly the funniest of all is the giant players glitch. Watch the video below as 20m tall players flop and roll their way across the floor or explode across the pitch as the game tries to work out what on earth it’s done. The penalty shootout at the end is a particular gem, with massive players flailing into the camera shot after almost every kick. We’re not really sure why it happens, but we do know it gives us a damn good chuckle.
Ashes Cricket 2013
This one is less a case of a specific glitch than an entirely broken sports game. Ashes Cricket 2013 was met with widespread disbelief as it became apparent that it was more of an exercise in futility than an actual game. It featured hilariously outdated graphics, choppy animations and a team of fielders who looked like they learned the game 5 minutes before the start of the match.
The game was withdrawn from sale a mere four days after release, more than enough time for a spate of videos to appear on YouTube displaying the game’s, erm, questionable gameplay. Check out the video below to see some rather confused players doing what they think is probably called ‘fielding’, but they’re not really sure.
Another unfortunate case of an entire game being rife with bugs, MLB 2K9 is to baseball what Ashes 2013 is to cricket. Looking at the game and the sheer number of glitches and bugs that make their presence known, we’re tempted to think it was either unfinished at release – completely unfinished, that is – or made by people with little to no knowledge of the game. But then again, we’re pretty sure even the most novice of baseball followers knows that bats don’t float through the air by themselves. Yeah, that happened in MLB 2K9.
Players float through the floor. Players run through walls and take hits to the face without even flinching. Random bonus pitchers stand directly in front of their teammates in an apparent bid to put them off. You can even score a home run by tapping the ball as lightly as possible and leaving the fielders to stand around staring at it, wondering what it is. If you want entertainment, give it a go. But if you’re looking for a realistic baseball game, you’d probably have more luck playing Tetris.
NHL 13 – the Hercules check
NHL 13 was a good game, with a ton of new features and fan-requested changes. But one thing publisher EA Sports didn’t tell us about before the game came out was a secret feature called the ‘Hercules check’. It allowed your players to send opponents flying into the air and even into the crowd with a super powered shoulder barge, unlocked after your score 4 consecutive goals whilst skating backwards and singing the national anthem in Swahili.
Well, maybe not quite like that. But you could indeed utilise the super powered glitch barge by checking a player through the bench door as it opened during a line change. What made it even more hilarious is that EA Sports released a spoof ‘making of’ video explaining why the feature is in the game (see below). Now that’s how you respond to people uncovering glitches in your products.
Skate’s unusual physics
When EA released the first edition of their Skate franchise in 2007, it was hailed as a revelation, a welcome relief from the arcade-y ridiculousness of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. The Skate series allowed gamers to upload footage of their best tricks – or bails – to the Skate website, and this soon developed into a comedy goldmine, with one of the more famous examples being the strangely serene bench bail. Lampposts, bins, walls and cars could all bring your ragdoll skater to an abrupt, if amusing, demise.
But there was one that topped them all, making itself known in Skate 2. This allowed skaters to get off their boards, and users discovered that if they dropped their board, jumped, recalled their board then tried to get back on it in mid air, their skater would crumple up before flying across the map. Occasionally your skater would distort, stretch and shake through the air in an impressive display of elasticity. This would be especially useful when trying to get Hall of Meat achievements requiring particularly painful bails. Thank God for respawns.