Tuesday, November 29, 2016
11:04 AM - November 29, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Mike Lowe

Earlier this year in an Operation Sports feature titled, “Fact or Fiction: 2016 Sports Gaming Predictions,” I said “NHL 17 will be a sports game of the year candidate in a big way.” With Madden, The Show and NBA 2K showing relatively standard -- yet still very good -- improvements this year, NHL 17 arguably has made the most progress of any of the major sport titles for consoles; it’s a much improved and complete game this year compared to its predecessor.

One of the game’s deepest enhancements has been the expansion of available gameplay sliders. There are far more sliders available in this year’s edition compared to '16, and perusing the slider sub-forum on Operation Sports, I was curious as to how folks were handling this year’s new edition (bad pun) when it comes to adjusting gameplay.

Read More - The Psychology of Sliders: How the Community is Changing NHL 17

Game: NHL 17Reader Score: 8/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 4 - View All
Monday, November 28, 2016
07:02 PM - November 28, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

Forza Horizon 3 Blizzard Mountain Expansion Pack is scheduled to arrive on December 13, featuring snow, ice, extreme elevations and blizzards to challenge players in their quest to become the King of the Mountain.

Become King of the Mountain
This brand-new campaign challenges players to compete in a series of thrilling events with the ultimate goal of becoming the King of the Mountain. With more than 50 new events and challenges to compete in, the expansion tests drivers’ skills across extreme weather and brand new race types, including Hill Climb, Descent and Blizzard race events. In addition, players will be able to take part in new Bucket List, Blueprint and Rivals events, as well as earn 28 new Xbox Live Achievements worth 500 Gamerscore points.

Explore a New Alpine Playground
Blizzard Mountain is a mountain paradise for car fans, full of adventurous terrain and challenging driving conditions. New areas like the extreme sports snow park and a massive frozen lake make this the ultimate snowy playground for players’ favorite vehicles. In addition, players will find bonus boards to smash, beauty spots to enjoy, and a brand new hidden Barn Find vehicle.

Blizzard Mountain also introduces seven brand new vehicles to the game (plus the aforementioned Barn Find), including the incredible 2016 Ford GYMKHANA 9 Focus RS RX, the 2016 Nissan Titan Warrior Concept, classic rally cars and more. In addition, when exploring Blizzard Mountain, players will be able to choose snow tire upgrades for any of the vehicles in Forza Horizon 3 to prepare them to take on a wide range of thrilling driving surfaces.

The Blizzard Mountain Expansion for Forza Horizon 3 is available separately or as part of the Forza Horizon 3 Expansion Pass, which gives players discounted access to two expansions for $34.99. Ultimate Edition owners receive a $10 discount on the Forza Horizon 3 Expansion Pass if purchased before the end of 2016.

Below are the new cars coming to the expansion:
  • 2016 Ford GYMKHANA 9 Focus RS RX
  • 1965 Ford F-100 Flareside Abatti Racing Trophy Truck
  • 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Group 4
  • 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Group B
  • 2016 Nissan Titan Warrior Concept
  • 2016 RJ Anderson #37 Polaris RZR-Rockstar Energy Pro 2 Truck
  • 2016 Subaru #199 WRX STI VT15r Rally Car

Game: Forza Horizon 3Reader Score: Vote Now
Platform: PC / Xbox OneVotes: 0 - View All
02:47 PM - November 28, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Chris Sanner

We're getting close to the end of the NFL season, and Madden NFL 17 is old-hat to many OS'ers at this point. By that we mean the quirks of the game are well known, and the best ways to balance the game with sliders have been explored in a rather in-depth manner.

With that said, we're wondering how you feel about this year's game? Do you think you've gotten it to a point where it plays a pretty realistic game of football? Do you think it's not realistic at all?

Vote in the poll, and leave a comment as to what exactly you think Madden is doing right or wrong in regards to realism!

Game: Madden NFL 17Reader Score: 8/10 - Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 16 - View All
11:40 AM - November 28, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Chris Sanner

Did you happen to catch the NFL yesterday?

Basically, it was a party from beginning to end with great games just about everywhere you turned. Eight games were decided within a score, with the nightcap featuring a wild game between the Broncos and Chiefs which was decided in overtime.

And of course, our Thanksgiving football staples were also very entertaining. Dallas and Washington was thrilling while Detroit and Minnesota played in a tense defensive matchup.

In short, despite the complaints many assert over the NFL, this week really showcased what makes the league so great to begin with.

When it comes to Madden, I've personally had a lot of games which were very close -- with tense back and forth action in my franchise mode. In short, I experience a lot of games like what we've saw this week thus far and can honestly say that's made the game quite a bit of fun this year.

What about you? Are you experiencing games which have some unpredictable twists and turns in Madden?

Also who do you have in MNF tonight: Packers or Eagles?

Game: Madden NFL 17Reader Score: 8/10 - Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 16 - View All
11:11 AM - November 28, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Fraser Gilbert

If you've had a chance to get your hands on FIFA 17, you've probably spent some time with The Journey. It's a big part of the experience this year, utilizing the power of the Frostbite engine to deliver a story-based, single-player feature for the first time in the series' history. It has been generally well-received thus far, and player engagement has been high, as noted in a recent EA infographic.

Still, it isn't perfect. The mode follows a fairly structured form that never deviates from the script too dramatically, whether you're excelling in front of goal or making countless blunders. The mode's detractors will understandably point to this as a negative factor, but fail states do exist, and the game will adapt to your inconsistencies to a point if you're unable to perform up to scratch.

We're going to take a look at a few fail scenarios you might encounter, but keep in mind that spoilers are ahead.

Read More - What Happens If You Fail in FIFA 17's The Journey?

Game: FIFA 17Reader Score: Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 0 - View All
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Friday, November 25, 2016
09:23 AM - November 25, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS.

The folks at Sports Gamers Online posted a new video going over all of the defensive settings in NBA 2K17, while recommending settings for each.

If you were not aware, you can customize how your team plays defense by adjusting several different coaching preferences in your coach settings screen. These include:

  • On and Off-Ball Pressure
  • Force Direction
  • On Ball Screens and Hedging (Can adjust for the Center as well as team)
  • Off Ball Screens
  • Post-Up Settings
  • Double Teaming on the Perimeter and Post
  • Pre-Rotation, Screen Help and Help Rules
  • Extending Your Pressure
  • Tagging on Rolls
Simply put, the tools to customize your defensive philosophy are immense. Check out the video above and then let us know what you prefer!

Game: NBA 2K17Reader Score: 10/10 - Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 1 - View All
09:12 AM - November 25, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Chris Sanner

Sim is a tough word to define.

When you think you've figured 'sim' out, the definition is presented in a different way by someone else and you are left starting all over again on a quest to understand it.

My journey started in the earlier days of sports gaming with sim meaning something akin to balance and avoiding taking advantages of a game's unfixable flaws which created imbalances. It also meant forcing yourself to do crazy things like have to run the ball in Madden.

Today, with games a lot more balanced (but not perfectly so) it seems to be morphing into another definition entirely. Balance is still key, avoiding some flaws and money plays is still important, but the overall thought of 'simness' seems to be a little different than it was before.

I typically use a self-LOL inducing phrase, 'not sim' when something extraordinary happens in sports these days.

Kevin Love gets 34 points in a quarter? Not sim. Some of the Big XII offenses of the past few years? Definitely not sim. Aroldis Chapman throwing 105 mph? Nah, not sim.

But yes, they're all real events that really happen in sports. The unexpected becomes the expected quite often, which is why many of us keep coming back to sports in the first place.

So what about you? How do you handle the sports uncertainty principle while still desiring a simulation experience? Where do you draw the line at sim vs. not sim?

Sound off in the comments!

08:47 AM - November 25, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

The world of video games is constantly evolving, and no phenomenon has impacted how companies market, how media covers, and how consumers discover them more than livestreaming. On this week’s episode of the Press Row Podcast, we gather streamers and content makers from three different angles – a publisher (Adam Burnett from Out of the Park Developments), an independent media outlet (Chris aka Millennium from Operation Sports), and a self-made popular streamer (Daniel Basel aka UberYouTuber). The three join host Rich Grisham to discuss how and why they do what they do and how it impacts their favorite sports video games.

Joining us this week:

Game: Press Row PodcastReader Score: 6/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 1 - View All
Thursday, November 24, 2016
12:22 PM - November 24, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

PES 2017 Data Pack 2.0 is available now, featuring Anfield, home stadium of Liverpool FC, Signal Iduna Park of Borussia Dortmund and Allianz Parque of Palmeiras, as well as Liverpool FC's classic kits, the anthems of Liverpool FC and Borussia Dortmund and more than 100 players' real faces and new boots.

An update patch for PES support for PS4 Pro is planned for mid-December.
  • Kits - Addition of Liverpool FC's classic strips and updates to 16 other clubs' strips
  • Liverpool FC / Borussia Dortmund Add Anthems - Additions of Liverpool FC's anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" and Borussia Dortmund's "Heja BVB"
  • Update Real Faces - Updates to more than 100 players' faces.
  • Boots Added - Addition of 11 latest models of boots.

PES 2017 screenshot gallery - Click to view PES 2017 screenshot gallery - Click to view
Game: PES 2017Hype Score: 9/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 10 - View All
10:58 AM - November 24, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Chris Sanner

It's officially feast day here in America. Thanksgiving is a holiday where we share what we are thankful for, celebrate harvest, and of the year we just had. As with all Thanksgivings, many of us will gather around a table and celebrate all of this with tons of food -- and for OS'ers we'll then turn our gaming consoles on to enjoy some sports games.

We have once again had a really good year in sports gaming. Several games improved quite a bit this year, and several others have continued a streak of quality this year. The independent sports game scene is hopping, and mobile sports games only continue to improve in quality. There's a lot to like about sports games these days.

So let's hear what you are thankful for in sports gaming. Share a story, experience, or a singular thing which you are just thankful for over the last year in sports gaming!

Sound off and give thanks in the comments!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016
02:25 PM - November 23, 2016. Posted by boomhauertjs. Written by Steve Noah

Super Mega Baseball 2 will be playable at the PlayStation Experience on December 3 and 4. Check out the trailer here.

Expect to see more realistically proportioned and more detailed characters, a modernized interface, and a vastly improved lighting and material model (the technical term is Physically Based Rendering — all the cool kids are doing it these days). Think of the presentation upgrades as an initiative to make sure you have an easy time recruiting your friends to play with you.

Super Mega Baseball 1 had a decent degree of player customization, but was missing some key options, particularly at the team and league levels. Super Mega Baseball 2 aims to round out the package with those key options that were missing in the original.

Most notably, you’re now able to edit team names, logos, and uniforms. You can then take your custom teams and organize them into custom leagues of whatever size you like. Lastly, the customization options at the player level have been greatly expanded as well, perhaps most excitingly with the ability to customize player skill values, gear, and animations, like batting stances.

Online play was the single most-requested feature after we shipped Super Mega Baseball 1. We knew that would be the case when we wrote the first line of Super Mega Baseball 1 code more than six years ago, but it was simply a job too large for our studio at the time.

I’m not going to get into detail about Super Mega Baseball 2’s online gameplay right now as we have a lot of work on our plate still. What I will say is that the style of play you’re used to with Super Mega Baseball will carry forward into online play. It’ll be friendly to newcomers of widely differing skill levels via the Ego difficulty system, ruthlessly competitive for players who are up for it, and will maintain the game’s ultra-rapid pacing to ensure you can get a lot of fun out of even short play sessions.

Super Mega Baseball 2 is scheduled to be released in mid-2017.

Game: Super Mega Baseball 2Hype Score: 9/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 1 - View All
12:51 PM - November 23, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

WWE 2K17 patch 1.04 is scheduled to arrive today for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, check out the patch notes below.

  • Improved targeting against Superstars near the apron in multi-man matches
  • Fixed an issue with the referee becoming unresponsive or slow to react after the performance of certain moves
  • Addressed exploits with multiple moves, including Overhand Hammer Fist and Testicular Claw
  • COM Superstars no longer have a tendency to exit the ring when a Superstar is climbing a ladder
  • Improved a Superstar’s stopping animation after repeated Irish Whip rebounds
  • Adjusted some moves that were not dealing sufficient damage when performed
  • Managers can no longer perform grabs when standing at ringside against Superstars in the ring
  • Addressed several circumstances in which managers were not triggering the intended ejection penalty
  • Managers can no longer break the referee’s count out by entering and exiting the ring while two competitors are outside the ring
  • Fixed an issue with Superstars not rebounding off the ropes properly when Irish Whipped during a post-match breakout
  • Addressed an issue with large Superstars encountering invisible collision in the crowd area
  • Fixed a warping issue that could occur when being grappled while descending a ladder
  • Addressed a match rating exploit when using the Randy Orton Stomp or Elbow Drop/Knee Strike Combo signatures
  • Fixed an issue in which Ric Flair couldn’t taunt when using an alternate attire in the second attire slot
  • The Undertaker’s comeback now properly awards a Signature after being performed by a Custom Superstar
  • Addressed several selling animations to appear more natural
  • Fixed issues with COM Superstars being unable to reverse certain moves
  • Addressed warping and animation syncing issues with various moves
  • Fixed an issue with users being unable to kick out of pins when playing as a WWE Superstar using an alternate attire
  • Addressed an inconsistency between Prestige points displayed on the post-match screen and the Prestige overlay when viewed in 2K Tonight
  • An existing rivalry will now end when entering the tag team division rankings, preventing rivalries from continuing indefinitely while progressing in the tag team division
  • Fixed an issue in which standing springboard attacks couldn’t be used inside the ring in MyCareer matches
  • Fixed an issue in which tag team finishers couldn’t be assigned in a user’s Move-set even when the user was part of a tag team
  • Addressed an issue in which Superstars recovered too quickly when being struck with a high impact move with low health
  • Addressed a stability issue that could occur when completing a rival match with a cutscene
  • The Tonight’s Show banner now preferences displaying current champions and Superstars participating in upcoming matches for that show
  • Champions will no longer lose titles in matches when a challenger wins by way of count out or disqualification
  • Addressed an issue in which “Error Roster” could appear as the name for Superstars on the match card
  • Money in the Bank matches properly award the Money in the Bank briefcase even after match participants have been edited
  • Fixed an issue which a blank Superstar roster image would appear on the match up screen after editing that Superstar’s attire
  • Fixed an issue where a Royal Rumble match wouldn’t be booked for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view if the show’s roster included less than 30 Superstars
  • Addressed an issue where controller vibration didn’t function when playing in a Royal Rumble match in WWE Universe mode
  • Fixed an issue with the timeline cursor when rewinding recorded footage
  • Fixed a major warping issue with boots for Superstars wearing an alternate attire
  • Fixed a warping issue that occurred with Custom Superstars using The Dudley Boyz’s victory motion
  • Fixed an issue with LED displays in multi-man matches
  • Fixed title animation issues for certain Superstars during the pre-match cutscene of a title match Fixed multiple presentation issues with Sasha Banks’s entrance
  • Fixed a visual issue with Asuka’s tassels in her entrance when using an alternate attire
  • Post-match replays now trigger in matches that end with a post-match cutscene rather than a standard victory scene
  • Christian and Viktor will now possess a championship during entrances if either is a title holder
  • Fixed an issue with logos on Custom Superstars created in earlier patch versions shifting location after installing a more recent patch and attempting to edit the Superstar
  • The DEFAULT option under the FACE section now correctly resets all facial customization, including body oil, eyes, and skin color
  • A white outline no longer appear around logos after changing the logo color
  • Fixed multiple issues related to Menus Screen poses not appearing correctly
  • Addressed multiple issues with clothing parts clipping or warping
  • Addressed positioning issues for various Custom Superstar parts
  • Face Photos will now only apply to a Superstar’s head and not to the chest or back
  • Fixed an issue with letter orientation reverting after the user modified it
  • Drop shadow and outline settings for a logo now reset if the user switches to another logo
  • Improved logo and lettering application for additional shoe parts
  • The ability Immovable Object is now automatically removed when lowering a Superstar’s weight to an invalid weight class for the ability
  • Fixed an issue with colors on logos applied to arms not copying properly to other attires
  • Fixed an issue with the thumbnail for the user’s first created Custom Arena not appearing correctly
  • Fixed several issues with side plates not displaying correctly
  • The default volume for generic entrance themes has been increased
  • Fixed an issue where the preview would always show the Raw arena regardless of what arena was selected under the Universe / Career section
  • Fixed an issue in which deleted attire would still be displayed when a Superstar was uploaded to Community Creations
  • Uploading a Show with a Custom Video under Show Load will no longer result in the uploader’s local copy having the Show Load revert to the default Raw video
  • The crowd will now properly cheer or boo Superstars according to their alignment in tag team entrances
  • Entrance music now plays properly in Diamond Dallas Page’s entrance
  • Custom tag teams are now announced correctly in handicap matches
  • The crowd will now react to taunts and moves during matches in which a Superstar has two or more managers
  • Addressed an issue with the ring announcement in Fatal 4-Way matches
  • Addressed a syncing issue between Sheamus’s music and Titantron video
  • Fixed various missing impact sounds for various moves
  • Under Options > Game Balancing, “Finisher Strength” has been renamed “Special Moves Strength,” and this option now affects Signature and Finisher damage.
  • Custom Arenas now display Custom Shows they are USED IN in the Deletion Utility
  • Fixed an issue where certain help info tutorials continued to appear every time a certain area or feature was accessed instead of only the first time
  • Renamed the injury option in the Options > Gameplay menu to indicate it only affects “Play / MyCareer” modes. The injury option for Universe can be changed in the Story Options menu in WWE Universe
  • Added support for the “WWE 2K17 New Moves Pack” downloadable content ahead of release.
  • Tatanka’s comeback move will now award a signature properly (WWE 2K17 Legends Pack)

Game: WWE 2K17Reader Score: Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 0 - View All
10:29 AM - November 23, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Chris Sanner

There's a bit of voodoo science behind sliders in sports games. What some of the adjustable settings within our favorite sports games do is a bit of a mystery.

Making this issue more complicated is the varying definitions of sim. What adjustments and what balance is needed for a game to be 'sim' vs. not?

Chances are, if you ask 20 OS'ers that question you will get 20 different answers as to what exactly sim is and how to best achieve it.

What does seem likely to be a truth in all of this is that sliders can change how a game plays, and sometimes dramatically so. So, in a sense, they're there for us to find whatever that moment of sim is for us.

I've personally always used sliders to achieve a balanced feel to the game that feels more realistic than the game usually does out of the box. Sometimes new features are overpowered and sliders offer a way to bring those new features down -- other times I may be hitting too many 3s or throwing too many INTs. Regardless, sliders help improve my gaming experience.

But what about you? Do you use sliders? Your own? Other settings you find on OS? Not at all?

Vote in our poll and leave a comment as to how you approach the slider question!

09:59 AM - November 23, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

Rocket League Game of the Year Edition Bundles are available today for PlayStation 4 and PC, via Steam. The bundles feature the full game and multiple DLC packs for $24.99.

The PS4 version also includes the Rocket League Theme and various avatars, which are now free outside of the bundle.

PlayStation 4
  • Rocket League® (Full Game)
  • Rocket League® - Supersonic Fury DLC Pack
  • Rocket League® - Revenge of the Battle-Cars DLC Pack
  • Rocket League® - Chaos Run DLC Pack
  • Rocket League® Theme
  • Rocket League® - SHAREfactory™ Theme
  • Rocket League® - Shield Logo Avatar
  • Rocket League® - RLCS Avatar
  • Rocket League® - Ball Avatar
  • Rocket League® - Octane Avatar
  • Rocket League® (Full Game)
  • Rocket League® - Supersonic Fury DLC Pack
  • Rocket League® - Revenge of the Battle-Cars DLC Pack
  • Rocket League® - Chaos Run DLC Pack

Game: Rocket LeagueReader Score: 9/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS4Votes: 4 - View All