Monday, October 17, 2016

Franchise Hockey Manager 3, the upcoming hockey strategy game from Out of the Park Developments and, for the first time, licensed by the NHL, has released its annual simulation of the 2016-17 NHL season. In addition to the NHL, FHM 3 also simulated results for all of the minor leagues in North America as well as many European leagues and the international World Championships.

The big news is that, for the first time ever, the Washington Capitals will win the Stanley Cup! In the FHM 3 simulation, Washington defeated Chicago, 4-0. The series was actually a complete blowout for the Capitals, who outscored the Hawks 21-4 in the series: 2-0 in Game 1, 6-2 in Game 2, 7-1 in Game 3, and 6-1 to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup above their heads.

Individual Awards
  • Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
  • Ross Trophy (League Leader in Points): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh, 115 points (rest of top 5 scoring leaders: McDavid 97, Eberle 92, Kane 84, Seguin 83.)
  • Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman): P.K. Subban, Nashville
  • Richard Trophy (Most Goals): James Neal, Nashville
  • Vezina Trophy (Top Goaltender): Semyon Varlamov, Colorado
  • Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Auston Matthews, Toronto (64 points in 79 games)
  • Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward): Patrice Bergeron, Boston
  • Smythe Trophy (Playoffs MVP): John Carlson, Washington
  • Lindsay Trophy (NHLPA-voted outstanding player): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
  • 2017 Draft top 5 picking teams: Dallas, Carolina, New Jersey, Vancouver, Ottawa (Dallas won lottery, Carolina was last overall)
  • 2017 Draft #1 pick: Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) to Dallas
Surprises and Notes
  • Edmonton and Toronto as surprise divisional winners
  • Phil Kessel led the league in +/- with +49 (played with Crosby most of the year)
  • Results of Webber-Subban trade: Nashville 1st in the Central (and made playoffs but were upset by Chicago in the opening round, after which Subban played for Canada in the World Championships and was tournament MVP), Subban wins Norris with 73-point season; Montreal 3rd in Atlantic , Weber had 45 points
  • Other prominent rookies besides Matthews: Patrik Laine (WPG), 34 points in 77 games; Jesse Puljujarvi (EDM), 24 points in 79 games; Pierre-Luc Dubois (CBS), 16 points in 82 games, Jusse Saros (NSH) was the top rookie goalie, 2.23 GAA and .914 save % in 23 games)
  • Biggest trade of the year: Mark Giordano from Calgary to Edmonton for Leon Draisaitl
  • Prominent unrestricted free agents in summer of 2017: Steve Mason, Brent Burns, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ben Bishop.
Non-NHL Champions
  • AHL: Hershey Bears
  • ECHL: Toledo Walleye
  • CHL Memorial Cup: Tri-City Americans (WHL)
  • KHL: CSKA Moscow
  • Sweden: Frolunda HC
  • Finland: Pelicans Lahti
  • Czech Republic: Bili Tygri Liberec
2017 World Championships
  • Gold - Canada
  • Silver - Sweden
  • Bronze - USA
  • MVP: P.K. Subban, Canada
Franchise Hockey Manager 3 officially releases later this month on PC and Mac. Pre-order here for a $10 savings off the $39.99 retail price and to receive an early beta copy!

Game: Franchise Hockey Manager 3Hype Score: Vote Now
Platform: PCVotes: 0 - View All
Sunday, October 16, 2016
11:50 AM - October 16, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah
Every Sunday, we will get you caught up on the sports gaming news you might have missed during the week.

Game: Operation SportsReader Score: 8.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 19 - View All
Saturday, October 15, 2016
03:46 PM - October 15, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

Out of the Park Developments simulated the NLCS 10 times in OOTP 17, check out the results below.

Out of the Park Baseball 17 correctly picked the Cubs, Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Indians to win their Division Series, and it believes the Blue Jays will beat the Indians to advance to the World Series, based on 10 sims of the ALCS.

In the NLCS, the Cubs are hoping to reverse the sweep they suffered at the hands of the Mets in the 2015 NLCS and finally return to the World Series, which would be their first since 1945. With no championships since 1908, the Wrigley Field faithful are hoping to finally end that drought too.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers have had plenty of success in recent years, with their eighth playoff berth since 2004 happening this season, but they haven't played in a World Series since beating the heavily favored Oakland A's in 1988 (Kirk Gibson, anyone?).

That's the setup. Here's what happened when we simmed the 2016 NLCS 10 times in OOTP 17.

After 10 sims, the Dodgers emerged as a clear favorite, having won nine times. They never swept the Cubs, though, so at least Chicago fans can consider that some good news. (The Cubs' lone win was in five games.)

The Dodgers won in five games three times, in six games four times, and in seven games twice. The average runs scored per game over the 58 games simmed were fairly close for both teams: LA averaged 4.2 runs a game and Chicago averaged 3.5. The Cubs' hitting attack was held in check in every series except the one they won, when they averaged 7.0 runs a game. They never averaged more than four runs a game in the other sims, though.

The sims led off with an oddity, as the Dodgers won in six but were outscored, 21-16. Justin Turner smacked all three of LA's home runs while Ben Zobrist accounted for two of the three Cubs' dingers. Dodgers setup man Joe Blanton actually won two games in relief and Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman posted a 9.00 ERA in three appearances.

Sim four was all Cubs as they hit seven home runs in their five-game victory. Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant led the way with two homers apiece, Chapman was his usual lights-out self, with a 0.00 ERA, a win, and a save, and the Cubs' starters turned in solid outings.

Sim seven went all the way, but the Dodgers narrowly outscored the Cubs, 28-27, in their series win. The Cubs won the home run battle, 12-8, as Bryant hit four and Addison Russell hit three. Chapman posted a 0.00 ERA, but he struggled in his three outings, allowing a pair of hits and two walks in two innings pitched, allowing four unearned runs in the process.

Game: Out of the Park Baseball 17Reader Score: 9.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PC / MacVotes: 2 - View All
11:44 AM - October 15, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

Codemasters have released F1 2016 patch 1.7 for PC users, scheduled to arrive on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 soon. Check out the details below.

UPDATE: The patch is available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
  • Added the Master difficulty option to bridge the gap between Expert and Legend.
  • Added the Master difficulty option when starting a new Career and Championship Season. - New for v1.7.0
  • Changed the tyre rules so the tyre you start the race on counts as a mandatory for the race.
  • Falling too far behind penalties will no longer be given after being told to overtake the Safety Car.
  • Corrected a few translation issues.
  • Fixed a bug that could occasionally cause race sessions to never end.
  • Fixed a bug that could give players who rejoin a multiplayer session the wrong tyres. - New for v1.7.0
  • All cars now use the same gearbox when playing with Equal Performance. - New for v1.7.0
  • Nvidia Scalable Link Interface (SLI) performance improvements. - New for v1.7.0
  • Fixed a number of crash bugs.

Game: F1 2016Reader Score: 9.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 3 - View All
Friday, October 14, 2016
01:46 PM - October 14, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Chris Sanner

Sixty years ago, a player-manager from the Cleveland Indians named Lou Bodreau came up with a defensive strategy to stop Ted Williams' brilliant hitting.

At the time, Williams was playing some of the best baseball ever -- even compiling a .408 batting average in a single season.

In an attempt to stop Williams, Bodreau came up with a defensive shift which was unorthodox but ended up effective:

"[Boudreau] said, this is what I want you to do: See the the stuff I put on the blackboard? When I yell ‘Yo!’, that’s when everybody takes the position that I put on the blackboard,” Russ Schneider, Boudreau’s biographer, told me. “And the players said, ‘What’re you, crazy?’ Even his coaches said the same thing. ‘You can’t do that! How can you do that?’ He said, ‘We’re gonna do it.’”

What Boudreau was diagramming would eventually go down in baseball lore as the “Ted Williams Shift.” It was a simple case of playing the percentages: Boudreau knew Williams was an extreme pull hitter, and therefore more likely to make an out if more defenders were shifted to the right side of the field. So he rolled out a crazy-looking alignment that packed all four infielders between first and second base..."

The shift has taken over baseball this year. The number of balls in play hit with a defensive shift on went from under 5% in 2011 to almost 30% of all balls in play this year.

As offensive numbers go down, there is some talk of banning the shifts in order to boost offensive numbers as one of many rules changes.

But so long as they're here, are you using defensive shifts in MLB The Show 16? If so, how effective have they been vs. a more traditional defensive alignment?

Game: MLB The Show 16Reader Score: 7.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / PS4Votes: 21 - View All
12:46 PM - October 14, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Chris Sanner

The Journey is the newest mode in FIFA 17, which brings narrative storytelling to an EA Sports AAA title for the first time this generation. The Journey puts you into the shoes of rising star Alex Hunter, and it puts you into the Premier League and all of the trappings of that world.

In our FIFA 17 review
, we called The Journey 'a great addition' to the series.

But what do you think? After getting time to really dive into the mode, are you impressed with it? Sound off by voting in our poll and be sure to leave a comment on what you think of the mode!

Game: FIFA 17Reader Score: Vote Now
Platform: Xbox OneVotes: 0 - View All
09:47 AM - October 14, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Caley Roark

While you can expect a full review early next week, here are my initial thoughts after a day with WWE 2K17...

Read More - WWE 2K17 Reviewer Impressions

Game: WWE 2K17Hype Score: 8.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 10 - View All
08:11 AM - October 14, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

FIFA 17 title update #1 has arrived for PC users and scheduled to arrive soon for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Check out the details below.

UPDATE: (10-18) The title update is available now for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

  • A situation where cancel was unresponsive after requesting a clearance.
  • A rare situation where the penalty shootout should have ended earlier.
  • Increased the CPU AI tendency to attack directly.
  • An issue where players sometimes overrun the ball after a skill move.
  • Increased the chance of error from ground crosses (triple tap).
  • Improvements to ball physics where shots off the goal posts lose too much speed.
  • Goalkeeper positioning for corner kicks.
  • Improvements made to player switching from corners and free kicks.
  • An issue where the player would control the ball instead of attempting a clearance.
  • Improvements to contested headers logic from corner kicks.
  • General fixes for player controlled celebrations.
  • Cut scene for contentious fouls can now be skipped.
  • Improved the general responsiveness of shooting.
  • Minor improvement to passing responsiveness when the ball is in the air.
Pro Clubs
  • Increased experience required for the higher overall ratings in Pro Clubs. *
  • Addressed an issue where a player's customized facial features did not display properly in game.
Ultimate Team
  • FUT Single Player difficulty no longer defaults to your CPU setting.
  • Addressed an issue where the player is forced to substitute an injured player in FUT online matches.
  • Corrected the shooting and crossing text in custom tactics
Career mode
  • Addressed a situation where the CPU AI would frequently leave star players on the bench.
Visual Changes
  • Added new components of the 2016/17 Premier League broadcast package.
  • Updated team kits, banners and flags for Velez Sarsfield and Tigre.
  • The goalkeeper now correctly celebrates after catching the final penalty in a shootout.
  • Addressed an issue where the selected kit isn't the one used in-game.
  • Addressed frame-rate issue during pre-match skill game.
  • Addressed an issue where the fog from a player's breath was detached from their position.
  • General overlay fixes.
*As a result of the change to Pro Clubs, some of you may find you’re a lower OVR than before the update. This is intentional and you haven’t lost any of your progress.

Game: FIFA 17Reader Score: Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 0 - View All
07:59 AM - October 14, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

FIFA 17 is currently on sale for $39.99 at Amazon for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Game: FIFA 17Reader Score: Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 0 - View All
07:22 AM - October 14, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

Check out the new Football Manager 2017 video featuring some of the major additions, significant improvements to key areas and plenty of subtle touches which dramatically enhance the FM experience.

Loyal fans of the series can pre-purchase FM17 now on Steam at up to 20% off for a limited period only. There’s 5% off for each addition owned dating back to Football Manager 2013 but you’ll need to get the deal wrapped up early as this offer ends at 11:59pm BST on Friday, October 14th.

Game: Football Manager 2017Hype Score: Vote Now
Platform: PC / MacVotes: 0 - View All
07:10 AM - October 14, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

It’s been too long since we caught up with longtime Press Row friends Chris Sanner from Operation Sports and Jeremy Stein from SGN games – so we right that wrong this week! Chris and Jeremy join host Rich Grisham to chat about what sports games they’re spending time with this fall, including Madden 17, FIFA 17, PES 2017, and NBA 2K17. It’s a fun discussion about all the different options sports game fans have this season!

On the show this episode:

Joining us this week:Run Time: 53 Minutes

Game: Press Row PodcastReader Score: 6/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 1 - View All
Thursday, October 13, 2016
05:09 PM - October 13, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

The official Madden NFL 17 roster update for week 6 is available now. These weekly roster updates include changes to player ratings, depth charts, and injuries for all 32 teams.

You can check all of the changes here, along with a new blog here. We've listed some of the changes below.

  • Jamie Collins +1 (Overall 94)
  • Ben Roethlisberger +1 (Overall 94)
  • Zach Martin +1 (Overall 93)
  • Aqib Talib +1 (Overall 92)
  • Martellus Bennett +2 (Overall 90)
  • T.Y. Hilton +1 (Overall 90)
  • Darius Slay Jr. +1 (Overall 90)
  • Jadeveon Clowney+1 (Overall 89)
  • Brian Orakpo +1 (Overall 89)
  • Justin Pugh +1 (Overall 88)
  • Matt Ryan +1 (Overall 88)
  • Randall Cobb +1 (Overall 87)
  • Janoris Jenkins +2 (Overall 87)
  • David Johnson +1 (Overall 87)
  • LeSean McCoy +1 (Overall 87)
  • Jason Pierre-Paul +1 (Overall 87)
  • Derek Carr +1 (Overall 86)
  • Mike Iupati +1 (Overall 86)
  • Taylor Lewan +2 (Overall 86)
  • DeMarco Murray +1 (Overall 86)
  • Zach Brown +3 (Overall 84)
  • Ezekiel Elliott +2 (Overall 83)
  • Morris Claiborne +3 (Overall 80)
  • Julio Jones -1 (Overall 97)
  • Aaron Rodgers -1 (Overall 95)
  • Tyron Smith -1 (Overall 95)
  • Khalil Mack -2 (Overall 94)
  • Joe Thomas -2 (Overall 93)
  • Desmond Trufant -1 (Overall 92)
  • Odell Beckham Jr. -1 (Overall 91)
  • Vontae Davis -1 (Overall 90)
  • Olivier Vernon -2 (Overall 89)
  • Andrew Whitworth -1 (Overall 89)
  • Lavonte David -1 (Overall 87)
  • Golden Tate III -2 (Overall 87)
  • Jarvis Landry -1 (Overall 86)
  • Cameron Wake -3 (Overall 86)
  • Vontaze Burfict -4 (Overall 85)
  • DeAndre Levy -3 (Overall 83)
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie -3 (Overall 83)

Game: Madden NFL 17Reader Score: 8/10 - Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 12 - View All
01:33 PM - October 13, 2016. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Elliott Jenkins

In celebration of the captivating MLB postseason, this week’s Throwback Thursday focuses on a particular baseball game many consider not only as the best baseball game of all-time, but one of the greatest games ever made.

Read More - Throwback Thursday: MVP 2005

Game: MVP Baseball 2005Reader Score: 9.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS2 / XboxVotes: 29 - View All
01:16 PM - October 13, 2016. Posted by Steve_OS. Written by Steve Noah

NASCAR Heat Evolution patch #3 is available now for PC and PlayStation 4 and should be released soon for Xbox One. Check out the full details below.

  • Cars ghost out and are not collidable when driving backwards or parked in Normal Lobbies
  • Cars ghost out and are not collidable and then are kicked mid-race when driving backwards or parked in Hosted Lobbies
  • User can create simulation only lobbies with custom setups in Hosted Lobbies
  • In Private Lobbies, users can modify race length and wear factor (Console-only)
  • Track surface improvements at Las Vegas
  • Fence improvements at New Hampshire, Michigan, and Texas
  • Fixed crazy bump at Chicagoland
  • AI Improvements at Dover and Homestead
  • Corrected the qualification rules at Indy, Michigan, and Pocono
  • Superspeedway engine/car tuning (improved the RPM engine curve at superspeedways)
  • Show position/lap in replay
  • Added a screen adjustment feature in Options->Visuals
  • Movie volume is now connected to SFX volume slider
  • User can specify to Always Use Custom Setups in advanced options
Bugs Fixes
  • Improved Yellow Flag sensitivity
  • Fixed ordering of cars when pitting under yellow
  • Fixed tire pressure labels in pitting options (LR and RF were swapped)
  • Fixed bug where you could see “Custom AI level” when closing track settings, even if AI wasn’t set to Custom
  • Fixed rare situation where user could get stuck at race day in multiplayer, without ever entering race
  • Fixed issue that could cause performance hitches when playing spotter sounds
  • Fixed issue where DLC wasn’t loaded if it was installed while the game was suspended
  • The correct pit animation is displayed, taking into account how much fuel was remaining in the car
  • Corrected scaling of damage (improved engine damage)
  • Added 2016 NASCAR Next drivers (only playable in Quick Race mode)
  • Performance enhancements when viewing season standings in UI and post-race
  • Season standings only show the first 40 drivers
  • Clarified that clutch only works with stick shift
  • Speed points count up faster when earning a large number of points
  • Players only get speed points for laps completed
System Specific
  • PS4: Thrustmaster TH8A shifter and clutch pedals now work correctly (shifter must be plugged into wheel to work)
  • PS4: Fixed challenge videos so that they play the correct video
  • Xbox: Added Duel mode with voice chat. (Duel mode is an online two-player quick-race mode. We have no plans to release this feature on other systems.)

Game: NASCAR Heat EvolutionReader Score: 7/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 1 - View All

Some more tweaks and fixes are coming to NBA 2K17. Gameplay Director Mike Wang, AKA Beluba, has posted some of the details on Twitter. Check them out below.

Fair Warning: Shot timing will become more difficult soon. It's too easy right now cause I had to compensate for the shot meter glitch.

When I undo my band-aid fix, you will see a noticeable drop in the frequency of green releases, so enjoy them while they last.

Sharpshooters will be just fine. But nobody should be averaging 80+% from 3PT range.

Pass speeds, moving screens and defense are being looked at as well. And yes, we know about the Relentless Finisher issue. Will fix asap.

It's not going to be as drastic as some of you think. I'm just prepping you all that the timing band-aid is going away after XB gets 1.04

Just addressing those who are saying that shooting is too easy and FG% are too high. I'm aware of it.

Game: NBA 2K17Hype Score: 8.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS3 / PS4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox OneVotes: 30 - View All