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Game Breaker / Sports

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Game Breakers in sports games.

  • In Lakers vs. Celtics, Tom Chambers of the Phoenix Suns and his two-handed double pump dunk. Absurd range, and he did not need any momentum to take to the air. The move is overpowered to the point where the Phoenix Suns are banned in multiplayer.
  • In many sports games, especially American football games, there are money plays that work 99% of the time against the computer. For example, in the Madden series, curl routes against a CPU defender in man-to-man coverage is an easy completion.
    • Likewise, any kind of play action rollout which targets a tight end running a post corner route. Man-to-man coverage is almost useless, and if you keep the QB moving the same direction as the TE, any defender in zone coverage will peel off and head for the QB, leaving the TE undefended for a quick pass. Unless the defense brings the house in on a blitz, this play is almost always a guaranteed completion, for at least ten yards at minimum, and if the TE breaks free of his coverage, he can cover 20-30 yards along the sideline easily.
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    • Passes to the fullback in the flat work similarly.
    • When run correctly, power sweeps to the wide side of the field are literally impossible to stop.
  • In NBA Jam Tournament Edition, you could use the San Antonio Spurs in the west side, or the Charlotte Hornets on the east side and have absolutely no trouble defeating the other teams due to their overall great stats and perfect balance. This was the optimum way to beat the regular game and unlock the extended roster for all the teams, making these two teams even MORE powerful than they already are. These teams both have players that were great shooting from both the 3 point line, and could dunk well when they were close to the basket. The only way they could become more useful is if one player makes three baskets in a row and gets on fire which causes them to make the next four shots in a row regardless of where they shot the ball which means you could shoot four 3 point shots for a guaranteed twelve points, and have a commanding lead if you used this trick repeatedly, completely decimating and destroying all of your opponents in the process.
  • The sledgehammer choke in WWE Smackdown Here Comes The Pain. Not only does it store up finishers extremely quickly while doing tons of damage, but it's impossible to counter. If your opponent has a sledgehammer, the best thing you can do is try to knock it out of their hands.
    • Also, for Hardcore matches taking place in the parking lot, there's a truck that can be climbed up, but the only way to get down is to fall off, taking extraordinary amounts of damage. This can easily be abused by continuously Irish Whipping an opponent to the top, forcing them to fall off.
  • In Smackdown Vs. Raw 2008, the Hardcore wrestler type can heal themselves by smacking themselves in the head with a steel chair. This becomes a Game Breaker in Money in the Bank Matches and Table Maches, as the former requires endurance, but Hardcore can heal that off, and in Table Matches, red damage is required before you can be put through a table. In other matches, this also makes a comeback very easy.
  • Various characters in WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009, due to the Signature / Finisher game mechanic and the fact that being hit with them in a row is a guaranteed loss. Most characters cannot take advantage of this, but certain ones (for instance Undertaker, Kofi Kingston, and especially Triple H) can and therefore if they build enough momentum become unbeatable.
  • WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2008 was even worse, having special abilities being available based on what sort of wrestler you were (ie, brawler, dirty, powerhouse, high flyer), EVERYTHING becomes completely pointless next to the Powerhouse's ability, which makes all their grapples uncounterable, and makes them instantly counter all attempted grapples on them. They even shrug-off attacks. This completely destroyed any and all semblence of a fun gaming experience in multiplayer matches.
    • To wrap all this up some classes are Gamebreakers in particular match types.
      • Hardcore: Table and Money In The Bank(See Above)
      • Powerhouse: Last Man Standing (can get up instantly)
      • Brawler: First Blood (you can sit on them and continuously pummel their face, a very damaging bleed move)
      • High Flyer: At end match where pinfall is an option. (Possum Pin is too strong, and you will likely both be very damaged.) and, when Stamina is turned off their rolling dodge makes them invincible.
  • Yet again from the Smackdown vs Raw series is the ring rope environmental grapple from 2007. It was highly damaging, drained momentum like crazy, and was unblockable. Later games at least curbed the pain by making it counterable, but then we got...
    • The ground and pound, as noted above the ability to sit on your opponent a dish out knuckle sandwiches until you got tired or they countered one of them, but considering each punch had a very small counter window, the poor punching bag often had a very damaged and often bleeding head and no momentum. Later years made it worse by the fact that now every one can do it and the computer practically abused both it and you.
    • And there is a new ring rope grapple, by dragging your opponent face down into the ropes, you will put their neck on the bottom rope, and push with the foot. Normally, as in Real Life wrestling, the ref gives you a 5-count, and it you don't let go, you get DQ'd. Not bad. No DQ, or the referee's knocked out? you can go at this for about 10-12 seconds, which does insane damage, and almost guarantees full momentum, the only downside being if you hold it until you let go automatically, you get counterattacked, due to being exhausted. Not that you could let go about a frame before and not get tired or anything.
  • Once more from Smackdown, good luck finding anyone online with a high rank not over using the Head Attack (ungodly range and overly long stun), Buzzsaw Quick Kick (overly long damaged animation, during which you can be attacked again), and the Striking Spear (the longest ranged running strike attack in the game).
    • If in multiplayer the opponent has 'Fired Up' and 'Fan Favourite' you can predict how they win. Fired Up will once a match give you 3 finishers to do. Fan Favourite will once a match let you do a special taunt that gives full momentum (i.e. a finisher). Finishers have a pathetically small counter window.
  • Bo Jackson was an astounding athlete, excelling at both baseball and football. With that said, his real life legacy pales in comparison to his character in Tecmo Super Bowl, in which you simply could not tackle him if the player controlling him was good enough. His counterpart in the original Tecmo Bowl ("Los Angeles RB #34") was even more unstoppable.
    • Don't forget Christian Okoye (same game, same website). If his condition was good enough, most defenders literally couldn't even touch him.
      • Tecmo Super Bowl had a LOT of these, actually. Jerry Rice would catch nearly 100% of all balls thrown his way. QB Eagles (Randall Cunningham) was one of the fastest players in the game and also had superior passing abilities. Worst of all, though, was Lawrence Taylor, who was such a dominant pass rusher he could get to the QB at the same time as the ball, leading to an instant sack 99% of the time.
  • Many EA Sports BIG games starting with NBA Street have literal Game Breakers. These are pretty much just power-ups. In NBA Street, nailing a shot with one of these would give you points while taking away from the opponent's score, whereas in NFL Street, they pretty much worked like an Invincibility Power-Up. The sequels to each gave you the Game Breaker 2, which was pretty much Up to Eleven.
  • Madden 08, on the PC at least, has a couple of huge game breakers in its franchise mode. The first has to do with the draft: early in the season, before the trading deadline, the player can trade their first-round draft pick for any other team's first-round pick. It doesn't matter if the player picks last in the round, and they're trading with a winless team who may wind up with the first-overall pick, they always make the trade, and will throw in two extra picks. Depending on the team, you may get their picks in rounds 1-3, or in rounds 1,2, and 4. So with that #32 pick in the first round, you can get a pick in the top 10, plus two other high-round picks. This works every season, so there's no draft-position penalty associated with on-field success. Especially since at draft time, teams will offer a first- or second-round pick for every pair of picks in rounds 1-6. It's not uncommon to draft five players in the first two rounds and one in the seventh, year after year, guaranteeing that every draft loads the team with eventual Pro-Bowlers. The second game breaker is triggered after several successful seasons, either a certain number of Super Bowl victories or undefeated seasons. All veterans' "awareness" rankings will shoot up to 99 during the offseason. Once this happens to a franchise, it's rare that they will ever lose a game again.
    • Thankfully, the modders managed to fix most of this stuff on the PC. The in-season trading, however, was not fixed and will never be.
  • Madden 04. Say it with me now: Michael Vick. This guy could give Bo Jackson a run for his money. For those who don't know, Michael Vick was, at the time, QB for the Atlanta Falcons, and had emerged as one of the first successful dual-threat QBs in NFL history. Madden games have a tendency to make the cover player into Game Breakers (take a look at Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald in Madden 10, and Vince Young in 08), but they took Vick Up to Eleven. He had a max speed rating, something rarely attained by even RBs and WRs. He also had elite ratings for stuff like throwing accuracy, despite throwing for less than 55% in the season prior to becoming the cover boy (for reference, 65% is generally considered a top tier completion percentage). Basically, if you paired him with a great WR, you could score on pretty much every play. Call a Hail Mary on every play. If your receiver is too well covered, scramble and dodge defenders, all of whom are deep downfield, for a relatively easy TD. If he's even slightly open, throw to him and you'll almost never miss.
  • Triple Play 98. The Oakland Athletics had a pitcher, Richie Lewis, who (aside from being a short pitcher at 5'6) was rather unremarkable. He threw a mediocre fastball (88-90 range)... and a few other pitches (such as the slider) at between 111-120 mph. To put this into perspective, one should realize the fastest fastball (with almost no movement) was only 105 mph.
  • The entire offseason in MVP Baseball 2005 was completely conveninent, in that if a player was considered a free agent come offseason time, it was trivially possible to 100% guarantee they would sign with your team, leaving you with a full team of the best free agents on the market. Not helping matters any was a Good Bad Bug that allowed you to completely disregard another team's higher offer and sign the players you wanted for their minimum asking price, which was already lower than normal for players of their caliber. Even if the free agent market happens to be dry, simple Save Scumming can fix that.
    • Jeromy Burnitz is a reasonably good player in this game - a consistent threat to hit well for average and power, good enough to make the fifth or sixth spot in the lineup on most teams. So what makes him stand out? First, he starts as a free agent, meaning every team in the game can make use of him, and second, he can be signed for a pittance. Still not quite Game-Breaker material, until you realize that his true value lies in trade bait. When you offer players to other teams, they strongly prefer players who will perform well for their salary. Burnitz' performance considering his tiny salary is off the charts to the eyes of the CPU. The best part is that Burnitz is an older player, and older players have their performance degenerate over time - but the CPU doesn't even take age into consideration when looking at trades. So you're giving the other team a player whose stats will drop off soon after you trade him away, while getting one of the best players in their roster for essentially free.
  • In Pro Evolution Soccer 2012, the skill card "Speed Merchant" increases the player's speed and allows him to take sharper turns. So, you can either learn every little aspect of the game, from tactics to defending, keeping posession, outplaying the opponent in every part of the pitch... OR you can pass the ball to Messi, run past the opposite defense and score. Konami already nerfed it a bit on their 1.03 update, but it's still a Game-Breaker.
  • Playing FIFA online, equipping two pacey strikers (or indeed a pacey winger with a striker) means that most players can skip past defences, force the goalkeeper to run out, and pass it through to the other striker for an effortless goal - since the goalkeeper will, by this point, be on the opposite side of the box. Such a tactic is often done in spite or by those not good enough to score better goals. Or indeed those willing to look like a dickhead to win.
    • Good examples of this were Victor Ibarbo (Game-Breaker in almost every game he's appearing), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (especially if his card is upgraded all the way to 99 pace), Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo (both for obvious reasons, especially if any of them gets a 99 rated card).
    • The recent metagame has favored players with not just blistering pace, but also good physicality and (for offensive players) excellent shooting stats. This has led to many Ultimate Teams utilizing Anthony Martial, Gabriel Jesus, Sadio Mane, Kingsley Coman, and/or Romelu Lukaku (alongside usual suspects like Messi, Ronaldo , and Aubameyang) on offense, while having the likes of Eric Bailly, Kostas Manolas, Jerome Boateng, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Antonio Valencia on Defense.
  • A SNES game by the name of Super Baseball Simulator 1000 allows the gamer to give each player on their team a unique superhuman ability. Many of these would be Game Breakers in any other game - for example, the ability to throw a fastball above 180 miles per hour or run the bases so quickly that it takes less than two seconds to reach first - but when Everyone is a Super, most abilities aren't as gamebreaking as they appear at first glance. However, there are a few abilities that are completely devastating even in this light:
    • Missile Hit causes a batter to always hit a straight line drive that is low to the ground and doesn't stop until it hits a wall. If a Missile Hit ball hits a fielder, that fielder is promptly dragged by the ball out to the wall and stunned, and this does not count as an out. In other words, if a Missile Hit ball isn't foul, that player is guaranteed a base hit at the minimum, and usually a double. By making a lineup of nothing but batters with Missile Hit, the only things stopping the team from scoring infinite runs are the possibility of striking out, and the fact that there's still the pitcher's spot in the lineup (pitchers can't be given batting abilities).
    • Speeder Ball acts as a sort of reverse changeup, starting off slow and suddenly speeding up to roughly 100 miles per hour as it approaches the plate. This sounds mundane by this game's standards, but the problem is that this pitch is the epitome of an A.I. Breaker. If you have a pitcher throw nothing but Speeder Balls against a computer opponent, every single opposing batter will strike out in 3 pitches, no questions asked - even on the hardest AI setting.
    • Warp Ball is arguably even worse, mainly because this one doesn't lose its edge against human players. This pitch allows the player to give the ball a command to teleport slightly closer to the catcher, along the path it's already following. Unfortunately, "slightly" here is just barely enough to cover the batter's entire range, making it 100% impossible for the batter to hit, assuming the player times it right - and yes, the umpire calls it a strike anyway.
  • Averted in Pro Cycling Manager 2012, where it would be justified to have Tom Boonen as a game breaker when it comes to cobblestone races, given that Boonen is the record holder for all the four biggest cobblestone races (he does share the records in all of those races with someone else, but he's the only record holder in more than one of them). In the game, he isn't even the highest rated cobblestone rider. The highest rated rider is Cancellara.
  • Wii Sports:
    • In boxing, weaving back and forth repeatedly, then countering when you foe misses results in such easy wins, the player can literally reach a rank that is off the scoring chart, and if they go at it long enough, off the screen.
    • Returning a tennis serve at the right time makes it impossible for the server to hit the ball back. With a little practice, games of tennis can turn into "Receiver always wins".
    • It's easy to get a strike every time in bowling by throwing the ball up in the air when you bowl. The ball rolls down the lane incredibly slowly, but very rarely has any spin at all.
  • Inverted in NBA 2K16, where Stephen Curry's ridiculous range, accuracy, and ability to shoot off the dribble is nerfed for the sake of Competitive Balance. It works like this: If NBA 2K16 Steph Curry was programmed to be as accurate as his real-life counterpart, nobody would pick any other team for online play aside from the Golden State Warriors.
    • The ridiculousness of real-life Curry's ability is so much, that when ESPN tried to simulate Curry's performance in NBA 2K and tried to compare the virtual Curry's stats with the actual Curry's, the simulation Stephen Curry performs worse than the actual Stephen Curry.
    • 2K Sports honored Steph Curry's unanimous MVP voting by raising their virtual Stephen Curry's rating to 99 for 30 hours — and for those hours, video game Steph was just as ridiculous as real life Steph.
    • Played straight in the case of several players: for example, 2K Sports released a "Moments" version of Kobe Bryant in commemoration of his 60-point final game, and despite a lack of speed and quickness, he will still shoot the lights out during games, whether the shot is contested or not.
  • The Football Manager series has had very few actual Game Breakers during the series, not counting each year's cheaper wonderkids (Especially those that remain in that status for several seasons, such as Carlos Fierro). There have been some examples that really fit this trope, however:
    • Championship Manager 03/04 had the most notable Game-Breaker during the entire history of the series with the "Diablo" tactic. This tactic exploits a glitch in the game's match engine - the two strikers will be marked as intended by the opposing central defenders, but that central midfielder (Usually actually another striker) instructed to run straight to the box will not be marked, and almost always end up in one-on-one situations. This tactic is only really effective with someone with high speed, stamina and goalscoring ability, but once that is taken care of, he can get over a hundred goals in a single season without even trying.
    • Game Mods can cause really major Game Breakers to appear. There have been famous cases in the aforementioned Championship Manager 03/04, featuring Freddy Adu, then a 14-year old whose starting stats were on par with those of Premier League regulars, or the more justified example in the mods that add legendary players to the game, which turn it into the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny of Game Breakers.
  • In Golf Story, the Skimming Woods don't shoot as high as other woods, but they guarantee that your ball will skip off of the water up to two times, allowing you to take shortcuts that aren't possible with other clubs. Notably, they are purchased on the Bermuda Isles, where the course is mostly water, letting you test them out right away.


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