Author Bio
Jayson Young

Home Town: Nashville, TN.
Sports: Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer
Games: Old: Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball, Tecmo Super Bowl III: Final Edition, NBA Hangtime, New: All Pro Football 2K8, NHL '09
Teams: Vanderbilt Commodores, Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators, Memphis Grizzlies
OS Username: OS: wEEman33 Xbox Live: wEEman33 BSD
Thursday, August 27, 2015
10:17 AM - August 27, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Jayson Young

As I said in our staff's recent Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 roundtable, I'm fundamentally opposed to the multi-button, meter-based kicking mechanics that games like PES and FIFA have employed for over a decade. But despite not liking either of those titles' core gameplay, I've still found myself firing up lots of FIFA on the new consoles, primarily due to its well-made cooperative multiplayer modes. Whenever I'm playing Pro Clubs or Two vs. Two Online Seasons alongside my pals -- instead of being isolated against a single friend in a personal grudge match -- the gameplay frustrations that'd normally stop me from having fun with FIFA just drip off the side of my skull before they can ever reach my brain, like condensation coming off a cold bottle.

Read More - Madden Should Have Expanded OTP, Not Eliminated It

Game: Madden NFL 16Reader Score: 7.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / PS4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox OneVotes: 7 - View All
Monday, August 17, 2015
07:53 AM - August 17, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Jayson Young

During last week's Gamescom convention, GameSpot interviewed Electronic Arts' chief operating officer Peter Moore. For sports fans (especially those owning a PlayStation 4), the most interesting part of this discussion came when Moore was asked if Electronic Arts had any plans for bringing the surprisingly successful EA Access program to Sony's system.

"Let's switch to EA Access, which a lot of people think offers a good deal.

Peter Moore: I think it offers a great deal.

Do you still want to see EA Access on PlayStation 4?

Peter Moore: Doesn't matter. It's on Xbox One, and those customers love it. We have analytics on everything these days, and subscriber satisfaction rates are through the roof. EA Access customers get to play more, because of the Vault, they get to play early, ahead of general release date, and they get to pay less because of the discounts it offers.

So, consumers love it. It's doing well. If you expand to another console, business will be even better, right?

Peter Moore: But it's not. It's on Xbox One.

I'm curious about what you're saying. Is this part of a deal with Microsoft now?

Peter Moore: It's on Xbox One-

[Interrupting] Do you want to talk about this?

Peter Moore: Well Sony talked about it, ask them [laughs]. There's not much left for me to say."

Moore's last line is a reference to Game Informer's infamous quote from an anonymous Sony representative who claimed that, "We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect. We don’t think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer."

The "value" of a $5-per-month subscription ($30 for the year) was certainly questionable when Sony made its original statement on July 30, 2014. But as EA's downloadable game vault has been expanded to include the entire EA Sports catalog, and the company's pre-release trial period has been extended to 10 hours, EA Access has arguably become a better value for sports gamers than Sony's own PlayStation Plus program.

Sony's PlayStation 4 was the clear choice of a new generation when it and the Xbox One debuted during 2013's holiday shopping season. But since most sports titles look and play similarly on each console, and Xbox One owners finally have a good hardball option in Super Mega Baseball, I have mostly run out of reasons why I would recommend a PlayStation 4 over an Xbox One to someone looking for the best place to play console sports games (sup, Rocket League).

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Visual Concepts' Community Managers, Chris Manning and Ronnie Singh, just finished their regular Tuesday Twitch stream. This week, the duo discussed NBA 2K16's plans for Germany's upcoming Gamescom convention, plus they answered several community questions about the recently revealed 2K Pro-Am mode.

If you don't want to watch the entire 47-minute broadcast, here is a summary of the stream:

  • The 2K Pro-Am mode will have "eSports elements," which will be discussed in more detail at a later date.

  • There won't be any "Got Next" spots in 2K Pro-Am mode, even in the 40-person arena. Ronnie said that all the player icons moving around NBA 2K15's Rec Center were causing the lag in that mode, not the 40-person player load.

  • The developers are making sure that the fill-in AI players on 2K Pro-Am mode will be "mediocre," so that lineups with more human players will always have a competitive advantage.

  • The "ELO" leaderboard system is designed to reward teams who are beating other highly ranked teams. Wins against low-ranked teams won't count as much.

  • 2K's marketing schedule is "really, really close" to releasing NBA 2K16's first gameplay videos. Some screenshots of the cover athletes (James Harden, Stephen Curry, and Anthony Davis) will appear on Facebook tonight at 9:00 PM PST.

  • More of the new historic teams that have been added to NBA 2K16 will be announced later this week. The 1999-2000 Toronto Raptors, 2000-2001 Los Angeles Lakers, and 2007-2008 Boston Celtics have already been revealed.

  • There is no playable NBA 2K16 demo at Gamescom this year. Ronnie's reasoning for this decision was that the gamers attending this conference generally are not NBA fans.

Game: NBA 2K16Hype Score: 9/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS3 / PS4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox OneVotes: 39 - View All
09:35 AM - August 4, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Jayson Young

Glenn has given his thoughts on the EASHL beta, and now I'm ready to hop in with my own thoughts. Also check out the video we recorded yesterday with thoughts on EASHL's Beta...

Read More - EASHL Beta Shows Improvement for the Mode, But Some Old Issues Remain

Game: NHL 16Hype Score: 7.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 31 - View All
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
10:38 AM - July 22, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Jayson Young

When Axis Football 2015 went live on STEAM last Wednesday, July 15, the Greenlight program's latest graduate hit the field stumbling and bumbling around like a broken, buggy mess. Most –- but not all -- of those gameplay glitches have since been bandaged up by the version 1.3 patch. But there's no hotfix for Axis Football 2015's biggest problem: it's simply not much fun to play.

The game's one noteworthy feature –- using mouselook to aim your passes -- just feels like an alternative to traditional icon-based passing rather than a revolutionary replacement. All other aspects of Axis Football 2015 come across as amateurish and archaic. A more apt title would have been Axis Football 96, because that's the era of football gaming –- the Nintendo 64's and Sony PlayStation's early 3D efforts –- the on-field action and off-field options most closely resemble in their current state.

Read More - Axis Football 2015 Review (PC)

Game: Axis Football 2015Reader Score: Vote Now
Platform: PCVotes: 0 - View All
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
06:42 PM - July 21, 2015. Posted by jyoung. Written by Jayson Young

Visual Concepts' weekly NBA 2K Twitch stream just released some tidbits on how the MyTEAM game mode has changed for NBA 2K16.

According to hosts Ronnie2K and LD2K, there will be five card tiers this year, which are only based on a player's overall rating:

1) Bronze
2) Silver
3) Gold
4) Amethyst
5) Diamond

The specific rating ranges for these tiers will be revealed at a later date.

Cards will also come with different themes, and three of those themes were detailed today (more will be announced later):

1) "Day One" theme -- The attribute ratings on these cards won't ever change, as they will be based on the initial roster that ships with NBA 2K16.

2) "Green" theme -- The attribute ratings on these cards will automatically change based on the game's regular roster updates. You will receive three of these cards just for preordering NBA 2K16.

3) "Special Moment" theme -- Whenever current NBA players produce buzzworthy moments in the upcoming season, Visual Concepts will create special edition cards featuring boosted attribute ratings. So if Kyrie Irving scores 50 points in a game again next year, he could get a Special Moment card with increased shooting and scoring attributes. You will be able to sell these cards on the auction house. Ronnie and Chris also hinted that these cards might be used as locker codes, or might possibly be in-game rewards that you have to earn/unlock.

The "Special Moment" Michael Jordan card (pictured at the top of this post) you'll receive for preordering the Jordan Edition of NBA 2K16 will have attribute ratings based off MJ's first career NBA game.

Pink Diamond cards will not be back for NBA 2K16, though locker codes will still exist in some form.

The auction house will be returning, though no specific changes or improvements were mentioned.

Game: NBA 2K16Hype Score: 9/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS3 / PS4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox OneVotes: 39 - View All
09:53 AM - July 21, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Jayson Young

To the generation of sports fans currently in their teens, 20s, and 30s, Ken Stabler was never a Super Bowl champion, an NFL MVP, or a quarterback who once took orders from coaching legends like John Madden and Bear Bryant. To football fans under the age of 40, Stabler was just another gray-haired gentleman sitting among Alabama's alumni, whom CBS' cameras loved to show between downs on SEC Saturdays. But for the few thousand young people who played All-Pro Football 2K8 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the quarterback called “Snake” might be remembered a bit differently.

Read More - Ken Stabler's Immortal Presence In All Pro Football 2K8

Game: All-Pro Football 2K8Reader Score: 8/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / Xbox 360Votes: 57 - View All
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mebius and Clarice Games are planning to bring Bases Loaded to the PlayStation 4, according to an image posted on Mebius' website. Both companies are based in Japan, and Clarice Games has previously worked with fellow countrymen, Hamster Corporation, to help port other old Jaleco properties (like Exerion and City Connection) to the PlayStation 4 as a part of Hamster's ongoing "Arcade Archives" digital series.

Bases Loaded was a big hit for Jaleco in the late 1980s, beginning its career at Japanese arcades and on Nintendo's Famicom in 1987. Bases Loaded later came to the American NES in 1988, and appeared on the Game Boy in 1990, though that handheld version was missing the franchise's famous behind-the-pitcher camera perspective.

It's unclear which version of Bases Loaded Mebius and Clarice plan to publish, or if they are even attempting some kind of remake, but a straight port of the arcade version seems most likely, given the recent style of Hamster's "Arcade Archives" titles. Past entries in this digital-only series have released first in Japan at a price of ¥823, then arrived weeks (or even months) later in America for $7.99, if they leave the Land of the Rising Sun at all.

Even if this Bases Loaded reissue stays in Japan, it can still be downloaded on an American PlayStation 4 by creating a Japanese PlayStation Network account. And if you want to satisfy your nostalgia right now, you can currently download the NES version of Bases Loaded from Nintendo's eShop for $4.99.

Platform: PS4
Friday, July 3, 2015

IGN's Ryan McCaffrey recently interviewed three men who have helped shape Microsoft's video game legacy: Xbox designer Seamus Blackley, former Xbox 360 frontman Peter Moore, and current Xbox One headman Phil Spencer. While the entire hour-and-a-half discussion is an informative listen, sports fans will particularly want to hear the conversation from 19:08 to 22:45, where Peter Moore explains Microsoft's decision to drop-out of the sports gaming business shortly after signing a deal with Don Mattrick -- then President of Electronic Arts' Worldwide Operations -- to finally get EA's games onto Xbox Live. NCAA Football 2005 was Electronic Arts' first Xbox title to include online play, despite the fact that Microsoft's gaming network had been up and running since November of 2002.

Read More - Peter Moore Discusses Microsoft's 2004 Decision To Stop Making Sports Games (Written by Jayson Young)

Game: XSN SportsReader Score: Vote Now
Platform: XboxVotes: 0 - View All
Monday, June 15, 2015

What would happen if Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive decided to copy Nintendo's idea, and host World Championships for Madden NFL 15 and NBA 2K15 at E3 this week? Given how both games are currently built, these tournaments would likely become a long series of dull "mirror matches," repeatedly pitting Seahawks against Seahawks, and Warriors versus Warriors. Picking a team other than those two front-runners would be as big a handicap in those games as choosing to hit from the Pros' tees in Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, while all of your competitors are driving off the Women's tees.

Being able to gain a significant advantage over your opponent on the "team select" screen is partially sports videogames' fault, but primarily, professional sports' fault. League bigwigs love to talk-up their competition committees, and how they've helped to usher-in an era of "unprecedented parity," but that utopian, egalitarian vision hasn't yet materialized in sports videogames, which remain ruled by the one annoying "super squad" that everyone selects online. FIFA and PES still have FC Barcelona, NHL still has the Chicago Blackhawks, MLB The Show still has the Los Angeles Dodgers, and so on, as you browse through all of the team sports titles presently available on store shelves.

Read More - Ultimate Team is a Missed Opportunity to Correct Sports' Inherent Imbalance (Written by Jayson Young)

Game: Madden NFL 15Reader Score: 6.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / PS4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox OneVotes: 39 - View All
Friday, June 5, 2015
09:00 AM - June 5, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Jayson Young

Last Thursday, EA Sports released a long list of improvements that football fans will find this August in Madden NFL 16's Connected Franchise mode. But for the hardcore, simulation-minded gamers, the biggest news of the day might have involved an item that EA left off their list.

Read More - Madden Should Bring Back Its PS2 Era Substitution System

Game: Madden NFL 16Reader Score: 7.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 7 - View All
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
03:46 PM - June 2, 2015. Posted by ChaseB. Written by Jayson Young

Monday's "Micro" Nintendo Direct included a number of new game announcements, but there was only one representative from the sports genre: Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which is coming to the Wii U and 3DS.

Mario and Sonic have been battling for Olympic supremacy since the series' 2007 Wii debut, and Nintendo plans to continue the mascots' sports rivalry sometime soon. No release date was announced, but here are some of the events and characters that were shown off in the minute-long trailer:

  • 100-Meter Dash
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Table Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Rugby Sevens (Wii U exclusive)
  • Golf (3DS exclusive)
  • Mario
  • Luigi
  • Peach
  • Daisy
  • Yoshi
  • Birdo
  • Bowser
  • Bowser Jr.
  • Donkey Kong
  • Diddy Kong
  • Nabbit
  • Sonic
  • Tails
  • Knuckles
  • Dr. Robotnik
  • Shadow
  • Silver
  • Jet
  • Rouge
  • E-123 Omega
Nintendo did not reveal the game's developer, but the Twitter account @MarioSonicGames was mentioned as the trailer faded out. This is the same account Nintendo used to promote Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which is the most-recent entry in the series.

Thursday, May 28, 2015
09:09 AM - May 28, 2015. Posted by MMChrisS. Written by Jayson Young

Reading into producers Sean Ramjagsingh's and Andy Agostini's statements on why GM Connected wasn't included in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of NHL 15 or NHL 16, the underlying message coming out of EA Canada seems to be, You (the fans) asked for it. We (the developers) built it. But you didn't play it. So we axed it.

Read More - GM Connected's Failure Wasn't NHL Fan's Fault

Game: NHL 16Hype Score: 7.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 31 - View All
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
01:45 PM - May 26, 2015. Posted by ChaseB. Written by Jayson Young

Metalhead Software's work on Super Mega Baseball's first major patch has been completed, according to the company's Twitter account. The version 1.01 title update will be up for download on the PlayStation Network "within a few weeks" as it must first pass Sony's certification process.

In the meantime, Metalhead Software has been teasing fans with screenshots and descriptions of some of the patch's changes, which you can see pictured above and below.

Operation Sports writer, Robert Kollars, gave Super Mega Baseball a 7/10 in his review, praising the game's rapid pace, and its appealing combination of cartoon aesthetics with realistic gameplay. Super Mega Baseball was also voted the "rookie of the year" by the Press Row Podcast, and it placed third on the panelists' countdown of their favorite overall sports games from 2014.

If the game's $20 price seems too intimidating, Super Mega Baseball is also available as a rental through PlayStation Now's on-demand streaming service, starting at a rate of $1.99 for 4 hours.

Game: Super Mega BaseballReader Score: 6.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / PS4Votes: 3 - View All
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
12:01 PM - May 19, 2015. Posted by ChaseB. Written by Jayson Young

After a shaky rookie season in NBA 2K13, MyTeam has quickly become a huge money-maker for Visual Concepts. But for as great as the mode is at encouraging users to make microtransactions, MyTeam still has not become a particularly fun or interesting mode to play.

So here are some areas where MyTeam must improve in the offseason if it wishes to be mentioned alongside Electronic Arts' Ultimate Team -- or even Sony San Diego's Diamond Dynasty -- as one of the most enjoyable fantasy team modes in sports gaming.

Read More - NBA 2K MyTeam Still Struggling To Match EA Sports' Ultimate Team

Game: NBA 2K15Reader Score: 7.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / iOS / PS4 / Xbox OneVotes: 61 - View All

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