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Sports Gaming News Weekly Wrap-Up - FIFA 23, NBA 2K23, Madden 23 & More

Operation Sports

Sports Gaming News Weekly Wrap-Up - FIFA 23, NBA 2K23, Madden 23 & More

Every Sunday, we will get you caught up on the sports gaming news you might have missed, during the busy week. This week it’s all about FIFA 23, NBA 2K23, Madden 23 and more.

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FIFA 23 Matchday ExperienceEven going back to the first official reveal trailer, the grass was oddly the first thing I noticed. It looks wonderful to say the least. Good looking grass is always a combination of textures, lighting, and coloration and EA scored a hat trick on this front. To say that this is the best looking FIFA to date isn’t just about player visuals, it’s about the crowd visuals, turfs, and more. Even the grass markings, which have been done in other games, look good — albeit a bit exaggerated — and it speaks to the work FIFA’s art team has done this year.

I’m always a bit cautious when it comes to shadows. On one hand, it’s a bonus when they are dynamic and change with the time/weather. On the other hand, they can be really distracting and make it hard to play in certain stadiums. Overall, they look good but the true test will come after the game is released.

Nets, again just look good. The PES community waxed poetically about nets for years (perhaps too much), but they do help to accentuate a good goal when the sound is crisp and the net physics play out accordingly.

Drop-in games are one of the worst experiences you can have in FIFA. Not only are they comprised of a collection of players who are only out for themselves, they’re usually end-to-end affairs where you don’t really get better at the game or the mode, but instead just kill time while you wait for your clubmates to join online. So what does EA do, they go ahead and shorten the halves to four minutes. Similar to the “Playable Moments” introduced in career mode, shorter games are perhaps a byproduct of the perceived impatience of gamers now, but the thinking behind this just let’s you know that FIFA is a casual game aimed at casual fans whose attention spans might not make it through a real 90-minute match.

Further updates like including eight different stadiums that rotate, as well as new kits, are good changes but make me wonder why they took this long to get into the game. I do like that there is extra time should the match be tied at the end of regulation, but penalty kicks would have been a nice way to practice them and also create some memorable moments with your buddies.

NL West All-Stars of the FranchiseThe All-Star program has become one of the most anticipated content drops in Diamond Dynasty. Bringing juiced-up versions of many popular current players, DD players get a ton of new options to upgrade their squads. With every MLB team being featured as well, it mimics the real All-Star Game with team representation and injects some needed variety at this point in the game cycle. With that in mind, let’s talk about how the All-Stars of the Franchise Program came off this year with our usual postmortem on the program.

Remembering back to MLB The Show 21, the Diamond Dynasty community was salivating when the All-Stars of the Franchise program was announced. You can pinpoint the exact moment that the meta completely shifted in ’21 and it was this very program. The cards featured last year were unbelievably good pretty much across the board. Even the “weaker” cards were juiced beyond expectations. It also brought some cards that were instant classics like Trea Turner and delivered 99 Jacob DeGrom to the nightmares of many. Overall, it was a huge content drop that massively shifted the meta and set the bar very high for content the rest of the year.

In an iconic moment in the original Jurassic Park film, the inimitable Jeff Goldblum, as Dr. Ian Malcolm critiques the entire endeavor by declaring that the park’s scientists “were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Now, he may have been talking about recreating dinosaurs from a strand of their ancient DNA, but he could have just as well have been discussing developers of NBA 2K22 and The City within MyCareer on next-gen consoles. The implementation of a huge urban landscape to serve as the central hub for the mode can’t help but be impressive from a design and innovation standpoint. However, it only takes a little bit of navigating from point A to point B to find a specific court or establishment before you start to question whether the amount of time it takes to get anywhere is worth the scenery throughout The City.

If it seems like video game emulation has been all the rage as of late, it’s because it has been. Regardless of what console or arcade system you’re looking to play, it can be found online. What makes emulation so great is not only does it allow one to enjoy their favorite titles from the past regardless of the console, but the visual fidelity can enhance each title in ways we never would have imagined. That said, not every sports game has received this treatment, which is why I’m putting together this top five PCSX2 sports games that still deserve to get an emulation enhancement.

Getting started is easy, but emulation can require a rather “beefy” gaming computer, especially regarding the processor, so do your homework before getting too frustrated. With that said, I recently covered a couple of groups who have taken emulation to the next level with modding and individual game enhancements, particularly with NFL 2K5, Madden 08, NCAA Football 06, and NCAA Football 14.

2nd Half Heroes Ken Griffey Jr.MLB The Show 22 is at a point where many folks were just looking for a way to air their dirty laundry, and it seems the new Ken Griffey Jr. Program today is that data point to unleash some takes. The 2nd Half Heroes Ken Griffey Jr. card is not impressive to be sure, but it also seems like it will just be a stand in to have the Festivus-style airing of grievances.

Many folks feel the gameplay has been especially inconsistent this year, and it’s something Cory has talked about in depth for why The Show feels especially frustrating this year. SDS has used the phrase “working as intended” to a degree that it has become a punchline as well, so all of this is sort of boiling over now that a generational favorite like Ken Griffey Jr. is getting a rather unimpressive 99 overall card.

We’ve now hit the part of the game cycle where the 99 overall studs are being released and the salivation for all-time greats has begun. That’s why the vibe started changing once SDS announced that a Ken Griffey Jr. Program featuring a 99 overall card would drop on August 12. The Kid is synonymous with The Show at this point and remains one of the most popular players in MLB history. That popularity translates to Diamond Dynasty where Griffey Jr. is one of the most popular and hyped cards to drop in-game.

Despite the gameplay issues and non-existent communication from SDS on important matters, many of us expected this Griffey Jr. card to bandage the wounds of this game’s missteps. And then we saw the attributes.

MLB The Show 22 trade deadline franchise modeThe MLB trade deadline has come and gone with a flurry of moves that have seemingly set up certain teams well for the stretch, added depth for others, and allowed certain teams to boost their farm system for the future. If you are like me and restart your MLB The Show franchise every time a new roster is dropped, then now is the real start of the season for people like us. Thankfully, the roster creators in the Ridin’ Roster camp have the community covered, as they work with Sony’s official release and update the minor league rosters, lineups, and ratings as closely as possible.

Now, sadly my beloved Chicago Cubs are in a rebuilding phase, and finishing a complete season with them is a rather daunting task, so for the second half of the season and into the winter I am looking for a team that can be fun, exciting, and yet still provide a bit of a challenge to make the playoffs. If you’re looking for an easy ride into the playoffs, the obvious choices are there with the Braves, Mets, Dodgers, Yankees, and Astros. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but I’m looking at five teams that have the talent and depth post-deadline to fight their way into the playoffs if things go right and the team stays healthy.

madden 23 ratings adamsThe road to the Super Bowl may look similar for all 32 teams as they approach the 2022 season, but their individual trips are bound to be wildly different. Some will get completely lost on the QB carousel just a few weeks after setting out. Others will fall behind gradually with losing streaks until they eventually have no shot at catching up to the front-runners. A handful will get run off the road by better opponents during the stretch run (hopefully in some playoff games just as entertaining as last year), until finally one will be left standing at the finish line. With the imminent arrival of Madden 23 and the inevitable launching of millions of franchise saves by anxious players, there are decisions that need to be made by everyone about which team they will be riding with to get to the Big Dance.

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