Friday, June 11, 2010
01:34 PM - June 11, 2010. Written by MMChrisS
It's time for me to finally take an actual vacation, although I'm sure I'll still manage to find some time to blog -- I'm a workaholic after all. However, as we head into the heart of sports gaming season, here are some of the storylines I'm particularly following closely:
  • There is going to be some additional updates on the NCAA Athlete Lawsuits really any day now. As soon as we find out what the next step is on those cases, I'm sure you'll be some of the first to know about it.
  • The NCAA 11 Demo drops next week, and we will all get a sneak peak at EA's newly refreshed take on the game of football. It's not as drastically changed as Madden will be, but the demo will give us clues as to whether the titles are heading in the right direction or not.
  • The NBA 2K vs. NBA Elite feud is going to be extra fun to follow this year. We'll be watching the next developments this year to see how each company continues to market their games.
  • NHL's new physics based system: Will it mean the game is done with it's plateau-ing and it's back on the upswing? I can't wait to get my hands on it to find out.

What are you interested in right now? Are any other storylines of particular importance to you?
Blog: MMChrisS
Thursday, June 10, 2010

In case you missed it, Online Dynasty is going fully online with most of it's features.

Recruiting in your web browser? Done. Scheduling? Yep. Dynasty Reports? That too.

I'm giving the NCAA 11 team early credit for moving forward with their title after a rather melancholy year with NCAA Football 10. Along with the tweaks already mentioned within dynasty mode, this is a welcome addition and will be huge for a large number of NCAA gamers who like to share their dynasties.

There are some serious changes in the title this year. But I'm not ready to crown the game as a much improved title and a must buy just yet. There are things which need to be watched in the coming month to see how things unfold: will the defenses actually have a chance in NCAA 11? Is the new coat of paint over dynasty just covering up a rusty old core? Is there going to be a bug or two that practically ruins the gameplay right out of the box?

These are all potential pitfalls for NCAA 11, among others which I didn't mention. But all signs are pointing towards a much improved game this year. What do you think? Do you think NCAA is poised for a big year or do you think the game is stuck in a rut? Let me hear your thoughts!
Chris is the Executive Editor of Operation Sports and maintains this blog on the site. He is also a native Oklahoman and avid storm chaser. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisSnr.
Blog: MMChrisS
06:26 AM - June 10, 2010. Written by bronco92
Just a quick note to inform everyone that OS will be temporarily offline for approximately 3-4 hours from 7am ET this coming Friday.

We will be performing a major upgrade to our main web server, increasing our CPU's from 8 to 24, upgrading our RAM and installing solid state hard-drives. This is all in preparation for the anticipated flood of new visitors during the upcoming busy E3 and football game release periods.

Regular updates will be posted on the front page of OS during the upgrade process.
Blog: bronco92
12:42 AM - June 10, 2010. Written by jmik58
New article @ Offthebag.com

Blog: jmik58
Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sometimes, you don't need to be truly great to change an industry. In Backbreaker's case, the game is below average through and through. However, despite the game's overall lack of quality, it is going to leave a lasting legacy on sports gaming which I think you'll see games filter into their designs in the coming years.

Lesson #1: Trying to really simulate a sport really begins and ends with trying to simulate the realistic point of view while playing said sport. No matter how realistic your gameplay is, if you can see the whole field while you are playing, the game will still feel somewhat off. I think games might take this lesson to heart and offer alternative camera angles sometime in the future.

Lesson #2: NaturalMotion football is no better than EA's continually evolving animation based football. While a lot of people are enamored by the possibilities NaturalMotion do bring to the table, Backbreaker only shows that the engine suffers from new types of flaws when it comes to depicting football. The technology is impressive, but I don't think anyone developing Madden saw it in action and rushed up to corporate to get it in the game.

Lesson #3: Gameplay isn't the factor it used to be. Backbreaker has a new and interesting type of presentation, and a lot of people love the game overall. However, Backbreaker's gameplay is average at best in multiplayer settings -- and absolutely atrocious in single player. I've been saying it for awhile that if a game can nail the presentation aspects -- which Backbreaker really didn't outside of it's camera -- gamers would be enamored with the game. Why do you think NFL 2K5 has such iconic status still in 2010?

So what do you think? Has Backbreaker left a lasting impression on the sports gaming genre or is it bound for a destination of irrelevance? Sound off!
Chris is the Executive Editor of Operation Sports and maintains this blog on the site. He is also a native Oklahoman and avid storm chaser. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisSnr.
Blog: MMChrisS
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
12:24 PM - June 8, 2010. Written by jmik58
Offthebag.com | NCAA 11 Dynasty, Picking a Team: ACC

Excitement is building for the NCAA 11 video game like none has seen for college football on next gen consoles.

With vast improvements being made to gameplay on both sides of the ball, improved depth of the dynasty engine, and an emphasis on accurate and specific playing styles (120 ways to win) it is an exciting year to chose your favorite style and attempt a climb to the top.

With the coaching carousel that follows NCAA football and the new faces on the recruiting front that replace familiar ones, it can be difficult to know exactly what your options are for each yearly installment of NCAA football.

That’s where we step in... [Full Article]
Blog: jmik58
01:17 AM - June 8, 2010. Written by jmik58
New article @ Offthebag.com | 2010 ACC Football Preview

While the start of the 2010 NCAA Football season may still be several months away, it’s not too soon to begin preparations for the fresh season.

Recent talk has focused on potential conference realignment, however; such changes wouldn’t impact the upcoming season.

In other words, let the talking heads waste their breath on the guess work of seasons to come. The real season is just around the corner and we have a lot of work to do in preparation for it’s beginning.

For a preview of the 2010 NCAA football season we’ll take a trip through each and every conference in the FBS, complete with predicted conference standings, team records, and conference champions.

Today we begin our tour on the East coast with the ACC. [READ MORE]
Blog: jmik58
Monday, June 7, 2010
01:22 PM - June 7, 2010. Written by ChaseB
As a person who follows/writes/talks/obsesses about sports video games, it's not surprising to know that I am also in love with real sports. Tonight is a big night in the baseball world. While the MLB Draft is less popular than most of the other major drafts in the sports world, it only trails the NBA Draft in my book. In fact, it really reminds me of a scavenger hunt, and who doesn't love a good scavenger hunt?

If you follow the pre-draft coverage, then you probably know most of the first-round names, but there's not just one round in the MLB Draft, there are 50 rounds. That's a ton of names, and beyond just that, you won't even hear about most of these guys for years, if at all. On top of that, it's not like stats for many of these guys are readily available. You can easily find stats for the big-time college guys in the SEC or ACC, but it's a little harder to find stats on a prep pitcher who's pitching in Iowa. And even if you have the stats, so what? It's a draft, so you obviously are drafting someone based on projection more so than his stats in most cases. In the end, you run around to random Web site after random Web site, talk to random people on message boards who saw some prospect one time, and then you try to find some more solid and sound information at places like Baseball America.

So maybe it's an e-scavenger hunt, but it's a scavenger hunt nevertheless.

Now, my fondness for the Draft also led me to a side job this year. Andy Seiler is a one-man scouting machine, and this year he has released an MLB Draft Notebook that I had a chance to help edit. You can buy it at his site (here, just look on the left side for a link), and it will be e-mailed to you soon after. There will be updates to the Notebook in the coming days, weeks and months, and it's really an impressive guide to the Draft.

As of now, I am working with two other people to hammer out the edits to the 755 player profiles located in the Notebook. In other words, while the Notebook is live and fully functional, Andy is just one man, and he had to wait until it was closer to Draft time to finalize most of these player profiles. For that reason, Notebook version 1.0 is not final because there was just no way for three people to get through all 755 profiles in a span of a couple days and make sure everything was perfect.

However, version 1.0 is still a fantastic guide for those who want to follow the MLB Draft, and if you want to know about the guys your team has drafted, Andy Seiler's MLB Draft Notebook is something you have to buy.
Blog: ChaseB