The Line Drive is a weekly collection of news, links, deal alerts, and updates that didnâ€™t necessarily warrant their own postings.
â™¦Make sure to get in on the MLB The Show 17 MVP Edition giveaway!
â™¦Game reviews published this week: Disc Jam and 3on3 Freestyle.
â™¦Unfortunately Konami has completely wasted the license for the World Baseball Classic.
â™¦New update has added another Journey and more sets to Madden NFL 17 Ultimate Team.
â™¦The MCCSÂ has the two individuals embroiled in controversy at the top of the standings.
â™¦MLB The Show 17 is back available for pre-order on Amazon and 20% off with Prime.
â™¦Details on the changes made with the first patch that went out for Disc Jam.
â™¦Disc Jam looks to be doing well on Twitch which is a good sign for the game.
â™¦Developer blog goes over the new Challenge Mode in Out of the Park Baseball 18.
â™¦Long-awaitedÂ sequel to Fire Pro Wrestling has been announced for PS4 and PC.
â™¦New screenshot has been released from the upcoming sequel to The Golf Club.
â™¦Rocket League has surpassed 10.5 million sales and 29 million total players.
â™¦Closed beta for Gran Turismo Sport will beginÂ on March 17th.
â™¦Details on the system update that released last week for PlayStation 4.
â™¦Blu-ray releases this week headlined by Passengers and Fences.
Compared to other areas of the game the reveal of Franchise Mode improvements for MLB The Show 17 has proven underwhelming. One new feature, Player Quirks, will affect team construction and gameplay, while most of the other work has gone into features that assist people who want to get through games and seasons faster. Critical Situations and Quick Manage join Player Lock and Quick Counts as optional methods that can be utilized to speed through games while still having at least some influence on their outcomes.
The lengthy developer stream archived from the live broadcast goes further into the features (but nothing about Online Franchise)Â while also presenting even more gameplay footage.
Two untraditionalÂ sports games have recently arrived in Disc Jam and 3on3 Freestyle. The former a tennis and air hockey mashup generatingÂ great word-of-mouth while the latter the first street basketball game for a console in 10 years and free-to-play but gone largely unnoticed.
With Disc Jam free to PlayStation Plus members (it’s also available on PC where it’s on sale for its first week) both of the games offer the opportunity to play without any initial investment. Disc Jam will be free as long as its downloaded this month while the PS4 exclusive 3on3 Freestyle has brought over the model so successfulÂ on mobile that has also been utilized on PC with this series even as Freestyle is a sequelÂ to a game released released in 2015.
With natural comparisons being made to Rocket League, in how it has caught on early and has the potential to reach a wide audience and establish itself as an eSport, Disc Jam has proven itself already to be a winner. It’s facing some matchmaking issues in its early days and will need far more content added over time but its high fun factor is proving undeniable. Check out the full review of the game at Sporting News.
3on3 Freestyle feels like a throwback to a much earlier generation as it does not have the fluidity or responsiveness of an NBA Street or NBA Jam. There’s some fun to be had but that’s almost entirely reliant on quality of teammates which makes each game a total crapshoot. Check out the full review of the game at Sporting News.
Racing games have had a fantastic resurgence in the past year, and looking forward into 2017 that great trend looks to continue. The newest episode of the Press Row Podcast gathers our Hit The Pass racing experts together for a really fun discussion on all the titles that we have to look forward to – which games have the most potential, which ones we’re concerned about, and a whole host of questions and answers from the people that know this space best.
Check out the podcast through iTunes for iOS,Â onÂ Android with the Stitcher app,Â or withÂ Pocket Casts on iOS, Android, and Windows. The show can also now be found on the recently launched Google Play Music for podcasts.Â Subscribe and review to help support the show! You can also listen with the streaming player below.
Despite theÂ importance of soundtracks in sports games having greatly deteriorated over the years with the ability to use custom music or stream through services like Spotify,Â and with copyright claims threatening streams and videos leading many to simply turn off music completely, developers still put time and money into cultivating them for those who don’t make any changes to what they hear from the games.
Thankfully those options are on hand considering The Show has historically produced the weakest soundtracks in the sports gaming genre. Here’s a look at the nine songs you’ll find on MLB The Show 17. You can listen to the full soundtrack through this Spotify playlist.
“Hands” – Barnes Courtney
“Fill in the Blank” – Car Seat Headrest
“Hieroglyphics” – Beware of Darkness
“Broken Bones” – CRX
“Can I Sit Next To You” – Spoon
“Buick Mackane” – Ty Segall
“The Bully Boys” – Chavez
“PTP” – Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
“Talk to Me” – Run The Jewels
With less than three weeks until MLB The Show 17 releases here’s the first of what will likely be two opportunities to win a copy of the game! Up for grabs is the MVP Edition which besides the game and special Ken Griffey Jr. jersey cover provides 5K Stubs, Gold Season Starter Pack, Sponsor Pack, 10 Standard Packs, limited edition steel book, and PS4 themes for every team.
The winner has been drawn and contacted via DM on Twitter. Thanks to all those who entered and keep an eye out for future giveaways!
Simply be following on Twitter and retweet to be eligible. The winner will be randomly drawn from the pool of retweets on March 23rd and contacted for delivery info. Good luck!
Just did the draw for the giveaway – congrats to @claytondenson! Thanks to all those who entered, will have more opportunities coming up.
— Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre) March 24, 2017
Disc Jam is now available to download on both PlayStation 4 and PC. While the game is on sale for $10 the first weekÂ on Steam (it’ll be $15 regularly) it’s free to PlayStation Plus subscribers on PS4 as long as downloaded in theÂ month of March.
Coming off a beta that produced enthusiastic word-of-mouth, Disc Jam is taking a page out of the Rocket League playbook by releasing for free throughÂ PS+. That tactic propelled Rocket League to extraordinary success, eventually selling heavily on PC, PS4 to those who didn’t get in when it was free, and later on Xbox One. After two years hundreds of thousands are still actively playing on a daily basis and it has done well as an eSport.
Disc Jam is described as a â€śfast-paced action-sports game that pits 2-4 players against each other in a frantic combination of air hockey and tennis.â€ť It’s primarily online-based (though it can be played offline with friends as well)Â and configured in either singles or doubles, includes four different characters, and has a number of visual customization options to unlock. New maps, characters, modes, and more are expected through post-release updates in the months ahead.
The video for MLB The Show 17 yesterday presented two new features for Franchise Mode designed for those that are looking to skip all or large portions of games rather than those who actively play them. One feature however that will appeal to those who want on-the-field and front office improvements was described in more detail today.
Similar in concept to the Player Traits introduced in Madden NFL 12 and Signature Skills which followed in NBA 2K13, MLB’s Player Quirks feature is designed to provide additional differentiation in player performance and unique skill sets.
Quirks are very specific traits assigned to a player based on real-life data which give the player a bonus when triggered. As you can see in the screenshot above, Anthony Rizzo has the Breaking Ball Hitter quirk, which means he excels at hitting curves, sliders, and other breaking pitches. When youâ€™re playing as Rizzo, youâ€™ll want to look for breaking pitches to hammer, since youâ€™ll get a hitting bonus when swinging at these types of pitches. There are tons of different Quirks for both pitchers and position players, and in addition to changing the way you go about at-bats, we think theyâ€™ll also change the way you construct your roster.
The next live stream is scheduled for Thursday afternoon and will go through everything to do with Franchise Mode.Â MLB The Show 17 will release on March 28 with Ken Griffey Jr. on the cover and also found in-game as one of the new legends.Â Amazon is offering pre-orders at a discount of 20% to Prime members. The standard edition goes for $48 and theÂ MVP Edition for $56. The currently OOS latter includes 5K Stubs, Gold Season Starter Pack, Sponsor Pack, 10 Standard Packs, limited edition steel book, and PS4 themes for every team.