The first EA Sports UFC struggled with its identity, as the publisher not only marketed the game but tailored its gameplay to attempt and attract consumers who were simply never going to be interested in it. One of the first indicators of that ill-advised decision was the announcement of Bruce Lee as the pre-order bonus and a major marketing push centered around the legendary martial artist and actor who of course never actually had any association with the UFC.
Post-release EA Sports UFC was handled in a much different manner as developer EA Canada appeared to recognize what had to be done as major changes were made to transition the game to more of a simulation that would satisfy MMA fans. The announcement of the EA Sports UFC 2 pre-order incentive is another hopeful sign of a shiftÂ in philosophy.Â Read more
Early on during the season NBA 2K16 was updating its rosters several times a week. The pace has slowed considerably however since then, particularly in the last month due to the holidays, and today the first update since Christmas arrived.
Kawhi Leonard has moved up a point to 92 Overall, making him the third highest rated player in the game. He began the season at 87 but has climbed due to performance that would have him in an MVP conversation if it weren’t for Steph Curry. He’s averaging 21 points and 7 rebounds on 52% shooting from the field and a league-leading 50% from three-point range for the 31-6 Spurs.
Meanwhile Paul George, who rose all the way to 92 less than a month ago, has been dropped two points now down to 89. A handful of really poorÂ games (9 points on 3-14 shooting, 7 points on 1-14 shooting, 12 points on 5-19 shooting) look to be the primaryÂ culprits. He’s still averaged 20 points and and 7 rebounds since that high rating point of 92 was achieved but that has been on only 37% shooting from the field.
Other players of note moving in the latest roster update are James Harden (+1 to 90), Anthony Davis (-1 to 90), Blake Griffin (-1 to 89), Draymond Green (+2 to 87), DeMarcus Cousins (-1 to 87), Dirk Nowitzki (-1 to 85), Tim Duncan (-1 to 85), Dwyane Wade (-1 to 85), Hassan Whiteside (+1 to 84), Pau Gasol (-1 to 84), C.J. McCollum (+2 to 83), Nikola Vucevic (+2 to 83), Rudy Gay (+2 to 82), Kenneth Faried (+2 to 81), Giannis Antetokoumpo (-2 to 80), Tyreke Evans (-2 to 80), Will Barton (+2 to 80), and Boban Marjanovic (+4 to 77).
He’ll be remembered as one of the best baseball players of all-time, but also as a video game icon. Ken Griffey Jr. was today inducted into the Hall of Fame becoming the 51st player to make it in on their first ballet. Though not unanimous asÂ three voters inexplicably left him off, he goes in with over 99% of the vote, the highest percentage in history.
Between 1994 and 1999, Griffey was the face of four different Nintendo games: Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (1994), Ken Griffey Jr.’s Winning Run (1996), Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr. (1998), and Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest (1999).Â The first game did not have the MLBPA license which meant Griffey was the only real player included. Based on the Twitter poll from todayÂ it’s the final game that is being remembered as the favorite.
The period of voting for the 2015 Pastapadre Community Awards will be coming to a close later this week, with results being announced shortly thereafter. Over 23,000 votes have already been cast across the 10 categories.
Vote For:Â Best Gameplay â€“ BestÂ Presentation â€“ Best Post-Release SupportÂ â€“ Best Career Mode â€“ Best Team-Building Mode â€“ Best Online Play â€“ Best Franchise Mode â€“ Best New Feature â€“ Best New or Non-Yearly Sports GameÂ – Best Sports Game
NBA 2K16 leads the way in nominations with eight – only missing out on one category in which it was eligible. MLB 15: The Show and Madden NFL 16 are close behind with six. Rocket League, NHL 16, and FIFA 16 all have three nominations while Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 received two.
Over at Sporting News this week I also went overÂ the best of sports games in 2015, recognizing the greatest achievementsÂ in many of the same categories that are now being decided upon by the community here.
EA Sports UFC 2 will be arriving sooner than expected. Today the official release date was confirmed as being Tuesday, March 15. That means it technically will land in winter rather than the spring window which was announced initially.
New features include an Ultimate Team mode, Knockout Physics System, Custom Event Creator, Knockout Mode, Practice Mode, ability to create female fighters, and a much larger roster. Check out all the details known so far on the game and enjoy the new trailer below.
This was one of the strongest years in terms of quality for sports gaming top to bottom. There may be fewer games than ever before but even the weakest of the bunch could be considered decent. When it comes to Sports Game of the Year however only those which demonstrated real achievement can be considered. The five nominees from 2015Â all delivered compelling and complete experiences.
MLB 15: The Show
With MLB 15, SCEA improved not only on the series’ strengths, but also finally on its biggest weaknesses. Online play not just functioned but performed fairly well. Gameplay improvements, the rebuild of Diamond Dynasty, carry-over saves from MLB 14, and faster loading times all made a huge difference in terms of value and enjoyment.
No sports game has been played by more people than Rocket League, which burst onto the scene with appeal to a wide audience and addictive qualities that have kept them playing ever since. With few unique sports titles released these days, Rocket League and its cars playing soccer (or now hockey) really stands out from the crowd. Superb post-release support has meant creative new ways to play for free while the paid DLC has been limited to cosmetic elements ensuring the fantastic gameplay balance remains in place.
With an unrivaled feature set no game offers more to consumers than NBA 2K16. From its best-in-class gameplay and presentation, to a story mode with high production values, great Career mode (after the movie ends), two different Franchise modes including an online connected one, and several different ways to play online, there’s something for everyone in the product.
As the highest rated sports game on Metacritic since 2013, Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 managed to surpass the much higher-selling FIFA franchise in the eyes of many. Generally touted most for its gameplay, PES 2016 offered a strong suite of modes and will be adding in exclusive UEFA Euro 2016 content for free this spring.
Madden NFL 16
The dynamic moments of footballÂ showed up more in Madden NFL 16 thanks to the work done to receiver-defender interactions, while penalties and quarterback accuracy made the gameplay more realistic and strategic. The new Draft Champions mode proved to have widespread appeal, made online matches more interesting, received a ranked mode and ability to play friends with post-release patches, and will be utilized as the method of play in eSports going forward.
Other Categories Open for Voting:Â Best Gameplay â€“ BestÂ Presentation â€“ Best Post-Release SupportÂ â€“ Best Career Mode â€“ Best Team-Building Mode â€“ Best Online Play â€“ Best Franchise Mode – Best New Feature – Best New or Non-Yearly Sports Game
The Line Drive is a weekly collection of news, links, deal alerts, and updates that didnâ€™t necessarily warrant their own postings.
â™¦NCAA Football 14 went 6-2 in the NYE/NYD games in itsÂ simulation predictions.
â™¦Revisiting the biggest sports gaming stories of 2015 that will have lasting impact.
â™¦Make sure vote in any of the nine categories open in the PP Community Awards.
â™¦Madden NFL 16 roster updates should be back on schedule this coming week.
â™¦After being forced to keep them on longer 2K has shut down NBA 2K14’s servers.
â™¦It’s possible some MLB The Show 16 news or a trailer comes out of CES this week.
â™¦I’ll be taking over the reigns of the Press Row Podcast as host going forward.
â™¦PS+ members on PS4 can get NHL 16 for $24 and NBA Live 16 for $16.
â™¦Gold members on Xbox One can get FIFA 16 for $24.
â™¦Blu-ray releases this week include True Detective S2 and Sicario.
The latest Press Row Podcast episode returns a tradition of visiting with friends of the show at the end of the year to get their thoughtsÂ on what games they enjoyed the most. From game makers to game critics, a host of different viewpoints are represented.
Make sure you also don’t miss the last two episodes, which centered on naming a panel selected Sports Game of the Year and revisiting the top sports gaming stories of the year.
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. Subscribe and review to help support the show! You can also listen with the streaming player below.