The second category to open in the annual Pastapadre Community Awards is for Best Mobile Sports Game. This is one that sometimes has proven difficult to narrow the field down or, as was the case last year, even identify specific ones worthy of recognition. 2016 however has three candidates that represent different models for how mobile games can be successful.
Photo Finish Horse Racing filled a void in the mobile space with a compelling structure involving not just the racing but also management in the form of training horses within current levels and breeding them in order to move up to higher levels of competition. Multiple significant updates since release have expanded the depth of the game considerably. Photo Finish has near a perfect 5-Star rating on both iTunes and Google Play.
NBA Live Mobile is based on Ultimate Team – building squads up by earning XP to buy packs or players through completing gameplay challenges or buying packs with real money. The gameplay turned out better in many ways than recent attempts for NBA Live on consoles, new content has been added frequently, and gameplay has been improved upon since release.
MLB Manager 2016 is the slimmed-down mobile version of Out of the Park Baseball 17. The management-simulator offered full league licensing with the MLBPA joining MLB.com from the previous year, three different modes of play, and the same sim engine found in the PC version.
Other categories now open for vote
The debut trailer for MLB The Show 17 revealed the introduction of ‘Retro Mode’ which will act as a standalone way to play inspired by baseball games of the ’90s including those fronted by Ken Griffey Jr. this year’s cover star. It’s the perfect type of announcement well in advance of release creating buzz as a newsworthy and socially shared item, helping to drive some early pre-orders while leaving the meat of the improvements to the game for later announcements.
Reaction has ranged from indifference to excitement, from calls for development time to be spent elsewhere to nostalgia only raising anticipation for the game. Vote in the poll below and leave your thoughts in the comments on what the announcement of Retro Mode means to you!
The roster update following week 13 of the season is now available in Madden NFL 17. Khalil Mack has been on a roller coaster ride of sorts since the start of the season having begun with a rating of 94, moving up to 97 for week one, having sunk to 93 following week six, and now having climbed all the way back up to 97 with the latest point being added today.
Other notable players on the move in the latest roster update include Marshal Yanda (+2 to 95), Kam Chancellor (+1 to 95), Aaron Rodgers (+2 to 94), Harrison Smith (-1 to 94), Eric Berry (+1 to 93), Zack Martin (+2 to 93), Darius Slay (+2 to 91), Drew Brees (-1 to 91), Emmanuel Sanders (+2 to 90), Alex Mack (+4 to 89), Martellus Bennett (-2 to 89), Cliff Avril (-3 to 88), Tyrann Mathieu (-3 to 88), Janoris Jenkins (-2 to 87), Cam Newton (-1 to 87), Marcus Peters (-2 to 86), and Malcolm Jenkins (-7 to 85).Â View all the ratings changes made throughout the league with the new form here.
With 2016 coming to a close itâ€™s time to start looking back on the developments that have taken place and acknowledge the various efforts in sports gaming. To start is the first category in the annual Community Awards. You can check out the winners from previous years here.
The categories to look forward to include Community Sports Game of the Year, Best New or Non-Yearly Sports Game, Best Mobile Game, Best Racing Game, Best Online Play, Best Presentation, Best Franchise Mode, Best Career Mode, Best Post-Release Support, Best New Feature, and Best Team-Building Mode. All winners will be announced late this month!
First up is Best Gameplay, a category dominated by NBA 2K with the series coming off four consecutive wins. Its standing appears moreÂ shaky this year however which could provide the opening needed for Pro Evolution Soccer or MLB The Show to finally break through. All three candidates are well-regarded for their authentic gameplay and attention to detail.
The latest free update for Rocket League arrived today and brings with it a brand new arena that is set in space. Developer Psyonix has also delivered on a huge new feature in the form of the ‘Rocket League Trainer’ which allows you to create and share specific practice scenarios.
There are other new items in the content update like colorblind mode, Steam Workshop support, and the ability to set preferences for arenas in playlists. Additionally a new DLC car is available for $2 which too is inspired by the developer’s mobile game ARC Squadron.Â Read more
The 16th commentary update for Madden NFL 17 has gone out with the broadcast team of Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis reflecting on the events that took place and storylines that emerged from week 13 of the season. Madden will be receiving these real-world commentary updates regularly throughout the year which apply to Play Now and Online games. The duo is also recording additional audio for modes like Franchise and Ultimate Team.
Another commentary update is out in Madden NFL 17. Here's just a sampling of what's new coming out of week 13. pic.twitter.com/k2vvD1DVnu
— Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre) December 7, 2016
The free-to-play street basketball game 3on3 Freestyle entered its open beta period today. The game is out on PS4 and can be queued for download through its store product page. Any progress made during the beta will be carried through to its official release.Â Read more
It’s only December and yet MLB The Show 17 has already revealed Ken Griffey Jr. as the cover star and a new Retro Mode that will celebrate the time in which he last fronted baseball video games around 20 years ago. Outside of those official announcements however there’s a few changes that will be implemented based on the new collective bargaining agreement that will be in place for the start of the coming season.
The changes from the deal that was just struck won’t have any effect onÂ gameplay however they will play some role in the Franchise and Career modes. The two biggest ones are 10-Day Disabled Lists (changing from 15) and home field advantage in the World Series being determined by record rather than the All-Star Game result. Others are primarily financial-based and probably won’t play muchÂ of a role within The Show’s modes. Ideas that didn’t make the cut in this CBA included an International Draft and expansion of the roster from 25 to 26 players.