News & Updates
  • Supreme Court will not hear O’Bannon case
    Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 10:45 am No Comments »


    The Ed O’Bannon v NCAA case that has been going through the legal process since 2009 will not be heard by the Supreme Court. That comes as no surprise considering the court doesn’t even take on 1% of the cases that are brought before it for consideration. Both the plaintiffs and the defendants were appealing lower court rulings to the Supreme Court affecting the definition of amateurism and what that means for the compensation of student-athletes.

    The O’Bannon party was seeking a reversal to the ruling made by the 9th Circuit where the ability to defer additional compensation beyond just the cost of attendance to athletes was struck down. Originally Judge Claudia Wilkin’s decision would have allowed for compensation capped at no less than $5,000 a year for each individual to be put into a trust the athletes would receive after completing their eligibility. On the flip side the NCAA wanted the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling that the NCAA violates antitrust laws by limiting what athletes can receive.

    This is unfortunate news for those hoping to see a return of college sports video games as there is still no final judgment that will allow players to be paid for their likenesses. Athletes can still only receive money based on educational-related expenses. There are other cases making their way through the legal system challenging the NCAA’s power. It’s likely it will take one of those succeeding for a system to be put into place that will make it possible for players to be paid but sadly that remains years away from potentially happening.

    For more on this news check out the article written today over at Sporting News. For a full summary of the situation with college sports video games – from the first lawsuit filing to where we are today – make sure to read through this piece from 2015 at Hit The Pass.

  • NBA 2K17 tuning update looks to bring outside shooting percentages back to reality
    Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 9:00 am 10 Comments »


    One of the bigger complaints about NBA 2K17 in the over two weeks since it has released has regarded shooting percentages, particularly when the shots are being contested. That has been at least somewhat addressed in a gameplay tuning update that went live over the weekend. Gameplay director Mike Wang provided details on some of the changes that have been made to shooting as well as CPU defense:

    ♦The main change was redefining what the game considers open vs covered vs crowded. Sometimes when users think they play pretty good defense against a shooter, the game actually thinks he’s wide open. So this tweak will basically knock down covered jump shot %’s across the board.

    ♦Also flattened out the RS aiming bonuses and penalties. Perfect Aim was giving too big of a boost if you were good, and too big of a penalty if you didn’t use the feature.

    ♦The ‘Limited Range Badge’ was nerfed a little bit. Still a useful badge but people were cheesing it more than we anticipated.

    ♦Offensive Awareness was reduced for CPU on higher levels while Defensive Awareness was increased for User teammates.

    ♦Offensive Consistency was reduced for CPU to match the User on Superstar and HoF. Defensive Consistency was increased slightly for both CPU and User.

    ♦Made a change to fix excessive perimeter double teaming.

  • New Gauntlet in Madden NFL 17 Ultimate Team offers big rewards
    Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 8:00 am 5 Comments »


    One of the most common complaints with Ultimate Team modes in various sports games is the pressure put on users to pay money in order to build competent rosters and compete with others online. Madden has managed to avoid necessitating money be spent – though naturally they’re happy to have those that do – by implementing an expansive system of “Solo Challenges” which provide coins, players, and packs for completion. Now easily the best sequence of challenges has been introduced in Madden NFL 17.

    The new October Gauntlet just went live in the game. There are three Gauntlets to run through focused on running, passing, and defense. Each one has 20 challenges to complete set against the CPU on Pro difficulty.

    Those who go through all 60 will have earned over 100,000 Coins, 12 Contract Reward Packs, 6 Pro Packs, 6 All-Pro Packs, 3 Legend Packs, 3 Elite Player Packs, and an 89 Overall Julius Peppers. In terms of dollar amount that equates to about $80 worth of earnings. All that alone could turn a beginner’s team into a very solid one or take a good team to the next level.

  • The Line Drive for October 2
    Posted October 2nd, 2016 at 1:30 pm 8 Comments »


    The Line Drive is a weekly collection of news, links, deal alerts, and updates that didn’t necessarily warrant their own postings.

    ♦Recent Reviews: NBA 2K17FIFA 17PES 2017Forza Horizon 3
    ♦The Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to hear the O’Bannon appeals.
    ♦Those who hope for the return of college games should want that but it’s unlikely.
    ♦Can still pre-order upcoming games like Infinite Air and Steep for 20% off.
    ♦Ubisoft announced the Gold Edition of Steep that includes its Season Pass.
    ♦Four new fighters have been added to EA Sports UFC 2 with the game’s final patch.
    ♦Roster featuring 36 college teams has been created for the PS4 version of NBA 2K17.
    ♦Article at ESPN goes through the process of ratings players in the FIFA series.
    ♦Full details on the major gameplay update that recently went out for NBA Live Mobile.
    ♦JoyCity went into some detail on what to expect from the upcoming 3on3 FreeStyle.
    ♦Franchise Hockey Manager 3 will be NHL licensed and is $10 off if pre-ordered.
    ♦Appeared on Kat Bailey’s podcast to discuss sports games and their RPG elements.
    ♦Featured blu-ray releases this week X-Men: Apocalypse and The Purge: Election Year.

  • Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings is free this month on Xbox One
    Posted October 1st, 2016 at 10:30 am 3 Comments »


    Those with subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold should be familiar with the Games with Gold program that provides a new set of free games every month. Notable for October is the inclusion of Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings.

    Released August of last year on Xbox One, SMB: Extra Innings featured additional content and updates that had made it to the PS4 side in the months ahead of its eventual arrival on XB1. Normally priced at $20 the game can now be had for free until the end of the month.

    In consideration by many for Sports Game of the Year honors, Super Mega Baseball is an unlicensed arcade-style game that’s grounded more as a sim than most would expect. An innovative “Ego” difficulty system was one of its shining features. A sequel to Super Mega Baseball was just announced last week and will be out in 2017.

  • Flawed set heavily exploited in Madden NFL 17 Ultimate Team leading to market crash
    Posted September 30th, 2016 at 8:45 pm 9 Comments »

    Madden NFL 17 Rob Gronkowski

    Ultimate Team in Madden NFL 17 earlier today experienced its first major disruption of the year and the ramifications are significant and widespread. A new set introduced to the mode was supposed to require five NAT (which are untradeable and unsellable) Elite level cards in exchange for a player rated 87+ with no restrictions.

    Unfortunately the set was improperly programmed and accepted five Bronze cards instead. For several hours users who were aware of the issue were able to capitalize on the repeatable set and collect a near unlimited number of the previously rare Elites.

    This of course is a serious dilemma for EA, and not just for balancing concerns in team-building and even the tie-in eSports events, but due to the money that consumers spend in order to buy packs. The value of packs has dropped significantly and the time and money invested in the mode seriously impacted by those who took advantage of the flaw. Meanwhile the Auction House experienced a crash given the influx of Elite supply with those who picked up a ton of them looking to turn their newly found surplus around for coins.

    EA Sports has yet to comment on the situation however the Auction House has been temporarily closed down. It’s unclear when it will reopen and what potential solutions they are considering.

    [Update] On Saturday morning the Auction House reopened. EA has temporarily banned some accounts and retrieved cards and coins from those they deemed violated “terms of service violations” to acquire them. The company has also given everyone a free bonus of 10,000 coins for what they termed an “Auction House outage.”

  • Twitch Prime announced and is free to Amazon Prime members
    Posted September 30th, 2016 at 3:15 pm 1 Comment »

    Twitch Prime

    Amazon purchased the extremely popular live video game streaming site Twitch just over two years ago and today announced its new Twitch Prime program for Amazon Prime. Free to all Prime members, Twitch Prime most notably eliminates all ads when viewing streams and provides a free channel subscription every month.

    For those who already have Amazon Prime you can get the benefits of Twitch Prime by linking your accounts here. Those without Amazon Prime can sign-up for a free 30 day trial. The valuable service offers free 2-day shipping, 20% off all video game pre-orders, a library of streaming movies and music, and much more for $99 a year or $11 month-to-month.

  • FIFA 17 vs PES 2017
    Posted September 30th, 2016 at 10:45 am 7 Comments »


    Consumers have the choice between two excellent soccer games this year. Not only is there no going wrong with either FIFA 17 or Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 they excel in very different ways making a decision on which one to buy somewhat easier. Additionally both games have demos available to try and in the case of FIFA there are the full 10 hours to play through EA Access subscriptions on either Xbox One or PC.

    FIFA 17 is a really well-rounded product considering its extensive slate of licenses and strong feature set including the intriguing new story mode while PES 2017 offers arguably the best gameplay experience in the genre. Check out my review of FIFA 17 here and PES 2017 here.

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