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OS Weekly Wrap Up, Getting You Caught Up on Sports Gaming News (Mar. 22 - Mar. 28, 2020)

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OS Weekly Wrap Up, Getting You Caught Up on Sports Gaming News (Mar. 22 - Mar. 28, 2020)

Every Sunday, we will get you caught up on the sports gaming news and our featured articles, you might have missed, during the busy week.

Sports Gaming News

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Brian Mazique is back today checking in with 8 MyTeam Pet Peeves to Fix for NBA 2K21. He goes through a bunch of quality-of-life improvements and just general concepts that would help streamline and improve the mode for next year. Let us know what “pet peeves” would make your list and check out the video on our YouTube channel.

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While franchise mode is not very deep, it’s still fun. One of the best parts is you can select how many games you want to play. You can play 52, 81 or a normal 162 game schedule. I also like that you have settings and not sliders for injuries and trades. For injuries, you can choose minor, which would only limit an injured player being out for no more than 10 days. The next choice is moderate, which could put a player on the shelf for up to a month. Then, of course, there is realistic where any type of injury can occur and a player could be out for the season.

I fully understand that sports sims are not for everybody, and without a PC the full experience of the OOTP series is impossible to enjoy. Without question though, if you have a PC that can handle OOTP, then this is a title you should scope out. Rarely do I write something is a “must own” game, but I would put OOTP ’21 in that category for all baseball fans and all sports sim fans. Even if you are just thinking of diving into sports simulation for the first time, you can do no better than starting with the newest edition of this wonderful series. While it might be a huge leap into an unknown world, the payoff is worth it.

One of the areas I’d like to see fixed for next year (or Data Pack 6) is the removal of the contextual shielding animation in PES. While it’s been tuned over the last few years to trigger more frequently, it has become an all too effective way to score goals as players can hold off defenders, turn them and fire one home.

I’ve discussed this before, but the ultimate goal in MyTeam is just to collect cards and assemble an end-game squad. There’s no championship to win (like in MyLeague/MyGM) or story to finish (MyCareer), but there is at least Domination. That’s been my barometer for completing MyTeam in the past. I purposely move through it slowly, and build my team around moving up the difficulty tiers. Unfortunately, the rewards for completing Domination aren’t relevant by the time I finish it each year. Like, at all.

Player progression systems in sports games can be hit or miss. I wanted to look at NBA 2K’s franchise mode and break it down in terms of depth, realism, consistency and overall enjoyment. In a world where professional sports leagues are mostly on hold, we here at Operation Sports feel it is our duty to find out if the player progression system in NBA 2K20 really holds up.

In case you haven’t noticed, Wolverine has been filling the void for sports that have fallen by the wayside, especially in the world of collegiate athletics. The yearly releases of their college football and basketball titles are some of their most anticipated games in a catalog that is rich and diverse. Add in the fact that each game can be modded on the PC to provide a plethora of real-world leagues and scenarios, and it makes the hurt of lacking College Hoops 2K and NCAA Football a little less stark. In a time when so many sports have been postponed or canceled, it’s nice to have Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2020 around.

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PES’ training development system isn’t very consistent. Wait, how did you grade it an “A” you might ask? Because there’s many ways to attack this system. The model, albeit a tad complicated, isn’t consistent in the sense that “Player A will improve to an 85 OVR after 3 years” regardless of how you train them. Player A could turn into an 87 with the right training and surrounding cast. He could even turn into an 83 that is extremely specialized in one area of the game (say finishing) at the cost of his all-around game.

We’ll be taking a look at various arcade sports games since we assume this is the direction 2K will be going with its non-simulation game (we talked about NFL Street recently), so I thought it would be a good time to discuss the crown jewel of 2K’s arcade sports titles: The Bigs 2. The original game in the series, The Bigs, was technically 2K’s first foray into the arcade baseball genre. Released in the summer of 2007 (ironically enough, not even a full month before the most recent 2K football release, All-Pro Football 2K8), The Bigs was a playful, cartoon-like take on baseball’s most popular moments: ridiculous fastball speeds, towering home runs, Matt Chapman and Nolan Arenado-quality diving catches, etc.

Playing Blitz: The League in 2020 is an immediately jarring experience. The entire atmosphere and feel of the game feels woefully stuck in the mid-2000s, down to even the iRiver (an early iPod competitor) that houses some astoundingly awful music selections. The first 10 or so seconds of each song brought a wave of memories as well. Was there a rule from 2000 to 2009 that mandated that sports titles had to include at least one song featuring B. Real rapping over nu-metal? Why did this happen so frequently? (I love you, B. Real.) Everything feels very “mid-2000s edgy” and that translates in 2020 to very corny. The dialogue is cheesy, and your head coach has some sort of cringe-worthy quip at the end of every play. The entire presentation package feels like a playable Any Given Sunday, and there remains to this day no other experience like it due to the time period in which it was released (except for maybe its sequel).

If you have a PSVR, there are plenty of fun games you can play to help get you moving and sweating. Some are simulations of existing sports, some are completely new sports that have been created for the VR realm, and others aren’t sports at all but require the kind of dexterity and athleticism associated with sports. What they all have in common though is how they provide the ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the midst of a pandemic and help you avoid falling into a sedentary existence while waiting for things to return to normal.

If there is anything else you would like to see in the OS weekly wrap-up, feel free to let us know in this post. Otherwise, enjoy getting caught up and we will see you next Sunday.

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