Sony thoughts on EA Access

Today Sony came out to answer a question on why the new EA Access program was not available for PS4. Sony responded that they didn’t feel it was a good enough value for their console owners.

Sounds like it’s great that a company is taking a stand against money grabbing. Then you remember this is the same company that released GameDay ’99 for PC.

My guess is that they wanted EA to give them the games free on PS+ and they said no. Just my speculation but since when does a console maker bitchslap a partner in public like that? Ouch.

My EA Access thoughts

As I was in the shower this morning (seriously), I was thinking, “Gee, I wonder what EA is doing with Season Ticket because NCAA isn’t around.” And because I am that much of a psychic, lo and behold EA announces EA Access but only for the Xbox One (WTF).

Instead of a 3 day head start on games, you’ll now get a 5 day head start. And from what I’ve read it appears if you download the game early and then pay for the game, you won’t have to redownload the game which is great for caps.

In addition to that, you’ll get legacy EA games for free. Most Xbox One owners probably have the games they are giving away (Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Peggle 2, and Madden NFL 25).

So, you get 2 of last years sports games and 2 other games for $30. Right there that’s a good value if you’re new to Xbox One gaming…but if you’re like me you already have all 4.

You also get 10% off DLC, which includes Ultimate Team stuff, which is just like Season Ticket.

However right now, in a WTF moment, you can only go out to the store to buy the pass. You can’t buy it from your console. Huh? The store purchase is coming soon and supposedly you’ll be able to buy it from your console later, whenever that is.

PS4 owners are SOL for now.

So basically it’s Season Ticket that’s $5 more, you get free games, extra days to play new games early (including non-EA Sports games like Dragon Age). but the DLC discount is cut from 20% to 10%. Is it worth it? I’ll leave it to you to comment.

Is it worth it? Um…not sure.

EA Access for Xbox One

So, EA has decided to launch an updated version of Season Access on the Xbox One where for $4.99 a month (or $29.99 a year) where you get access to their “Vault” which at the launch of their beta will include Battlefield 4, Madden NFL 25, and FIFA 14 along with 10% discounts on digital purchases on the Xbox One.

For a moment I thought this was a good deal, and could possibly see myself purchasing a single month rental from time to time just to play some old games, but when I look at the fact that I would be spending $30 a year to only get a 10% discount, why wouldn’t I just get the Gamer’s Club Unlocked at Best Buy (which has been down to $60 lately) which gets you 2 years where you get all games, for all platforms, for 20% off.

Sure, the “Vault” titles offer some incentives, but for me, I just can’t see a great benefit from this deal.

Thoughts?

Fun with FIFA ’94

While many of you out there in videogame land may not have even been born yet, one of the games that really sold me on the Sega Genesis was FIFA International Soccer, aka FIFA ’94. Now mind you, the Genesis was 3-4 years old by then so people were just really starting to get into the glory years (NHL 94 anyone)?  Of course there was a minor sporting event happening in the USA that year (this was before bribery was so big).

Anyway, there’s a cute blurb about the game over at SB Nation that goes over some of the neat “features” of the game. Check it out here.

Reboot

Well, I’ve held back on posting this for a while here, but I’m just letting everyone know that I’ll be moving to Atlanta, Georgia in a few weeks.

Craig, you know Craig, he sort of posted here once or twice, mentioned a job opportunity to me about a month ago and it looked to be a perfect match for my skills.

One month later, I had my offer letter and today I accepted the job.

It’s going to be a whirlwind to move the family almost 1,000 miles across the country to a new city where we really don’t know anyone, but it just seemed like an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.

I know that my new job will be very hectic for a while, but I don’t see any reason why the site can’t keep going the way that it has, and who knows, we might even be able to get Craig on for a podcast or two as the things go.

I’ll be posting more about the move and all of the other stuff that goes along with it in the coming weeks and months.

Thanks in advance for your support.

Thursday notes

- Hey look, the site has been up for 2 days.  (Of course, that probably just jinxed the whole thing.  Damnit.)

- Not that I have bought the album yet, but I have been loving the new Weird Al videos that he is releasing daily.  How someone has been able to stay consistently funny all while working with different styles of music throughout the last 30 years is absolutely amazing to me.  I sincerely hope that he makes his way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at some point, as he truly deserves it.

- The Destiny beta launches today on the PS3 and PS4.  I will have 2 extra keys for the PS4 version, so send me a shout or a tweet if you want one of them.

-  Life has been pretty crazy of late (and next week will be no exception as almost zero downtime in the next week and a half.)  I’ll be posting updates as I can throughout though, because you know I love you all.

NHL 15 Physics

For the past few years, I’ve not been the biggest fan of the EA’s NHL series on consoles and I’ve never really been able to state definitively what my reason was for feeling that way.  The game is well designed and I know that a lot of people have a great deal of fun playing it, but as a person who actually plays hockey, it’s never really felt right for me.

Having said that, it is good to see that in their first edition of the game for the PS4 and Xbox One (please EA… get the game back on the PC as well) that they’re revamping the physics engine for the game.  Seeing pucks rolling on their sides and jumping over sticks, seeing players colliding in realistic ways, and seeing goals scored in new ways all look very good to me.

Maybe this will be the year that I really start to love the game again.  Time will tell.

Tablet Fun Time

Soooo…

I am typing this on a Surface Pro 3. It’s a really nice system. I love the tablet ability and the laptop ability. It’s just what Microsoft says – it is a tablet/laptop replacement. I only wish it had LTE built into it. The type keyboard works well and so does the touchscreen. And it runs everything Windows, naturally. Now I don’t expect to run high end games on an i5 — but that wasn’t why I bought it. I bought it to be productive of course.

So, in other non-gaming news, I do enjoy WWE Network and I’m looking forward to WWE 2K15. That should be fun. Of course this weekend is the next pay per view, which is part of the WWE network. If you like WWE, the network is the best thing going. I *never* watched or bought pay-per-views before the network but now I am looking forward to them each month.

Using the fun of HuluPlus, I am catching up with 24: Live Another Day. Don’t tell me what happens as I’m only up to episode 5. :).

The next sports game is Madden which comes out next month. Who is ready for fun and excitement?

Is anyone going through NCAA Football withdrawal? This would have been the time for it if it were coming out.

 

FIFA World Cup 14 (PS3) – $24.99 or $14.99 (PS Plus)

Considering the fact that Gamestop is still selling the 2010 FIFA World Cup title for $39.99, it’s a huge deal to see the newest edition of the World Cup games for $14.99 via the Playstation Store (if you have PS Plus ($24.99 if you don’t,) which you just should at this point.)

Most of the online reviews state that it’s more of a “fun” soccer simulation than FIFA 14 was, so it might be worth a go to hold you over until FIFA 15.  Of course this is all predicated on the fact that you might be interested in taking on the tournament for yourself.  If not, then please disregard.

Monday notes

- Grr.  Stupid database errors.  Database just keeps crashing.  Linux is not my friend sometimes.  Oh, well.  Learning as I go.

- The Brewers season has been a bizarre one, to be sure.  They played lights out in April and June, average in May, and terrible so far in July.  Still, they enter the All Star break with a 1 game lead on the division.

My heart goes out to the family of Jean Segura though.  I can’t imagine losing your child, especially at an early age like that, and I wouldn’t fault him if he decided not to come back to playing the game.  Just an absolutely heartbreaking ordeal for him to have to handle.

- Seeing as how it was my first World Cup where I truly paid attention to it throughout, I was sad to see it end.  I was able to find heroes and villians throughout and loved the entire thing.  Really hope that the U.S. gets a chance to host it again in 2022 (if and when they pull it from Qatar, like they should.)

- Lastly, I have confirmed my tickets to take my daughters to see Crystal Palace play the Columbus Crew next Wednesday night in Columbus.  My oldest daughter desperately wants to see Chamakh now that he has resigned with the team, but I’m trying to impress upon her the fact that usually it isn’t too easy to meet an athlete at a match.  Still, I’m glad that she’s so excited about going to the match (as am I.)

Friday notes (What I’m playing edition)

- Woohoo!  The site has been up for 2 days without crashing.  Gotta love memory leaks in applications that cause database crashes. Or something.

- Dan has been bugging me to pick up Sniper Elite 3 and I just wanted to put forth a script to summarize almost every conversation that I have with him.

(Enter Glen.  A man, who even as he is approaching middle age, is still dashingly handsome.)

(Enter Dan.  A very strange individual.)

Dan: Hey! You should buy <insert game that came out in the last week.>

Glen: Why should I buy it?

Dan: Because it new and it’s a game.

And scene!

Seriously, this happens almost every single week.  It doesn’t have to be new games either.  Last night he was telling me that I should buy Bases Loaded on WiiU, because I should.

I think that living inside Dan’s mind would be one of the scariest places in the history of the world to be.

- Having said all that, I did try out Sniper Elite v2 (due to the fact that Steam had the game for free a few months ago) and have found that while playing it on the easiest setting that it is quite good.  It is certainly incredibly violent, but it does let you do something like this.  My best to this point is 2 kills with one shot, but it is fun to try and line up those kinds of shots and then pull them off.

I can imagine that the new version of the game has improved some of the aspects of the controls and graphics, but I’m definitely enjoying this game for the $0 that I paid for it.

- Also on the playlist of late is Assassin’s Creed IV for the PS4 and what has been interesting for me is that, for the most part, I’m completely ignoring the story (except to unlock the capability to complete certain events) and just cruising around from island to island wrecking the Caribbean and blowing up forts with the big-ass cannons on my ship.

I have absolutely zero interest in the multiplayer side of the game, but boarding ships and killing random Spanish and British sailing crew has been a blast for me.

- With my Club Nintendo rewards points, (I have far too much Nintendo stuff, and am still pissed about missing out on the Mario Bros shoelaces that they offered in the past) I picked up Kid Icarus 3D for the 3DS.

I don’t know if I was some sort of gaming savant in my earlier days or if my skills have faded that much, but the game kicked my arse when I played it last night.

There seems to be a great deal of nostalgia about making games hard again and I feel that eventually we’re going to reach a point where someone will create a game that punches you in the face every time you make a mistake just to make it “hardcore.”

Having said that, there is still something to completing a massive achievement in a game.  I still remember the feeling that I got when I beat Mike Tyson in Punch Out (had to use the cheat code to face him, as I could never beat him after defeating everyone else in the game.)  There is just something special about the challenge that was in some of those old games, so I will stick with Kid Icarus for a while and see if I can find some of my old skills, rusty as they are.

 

Site issues

Sorry for all of the issues that we’ve been having over the past few weeks.  It looks as though we’ve run into a memory bug with Amazon ec2 hosting that has to do with the mysql database that I have configured for the site.

I have implemented a fix and hopefully it will resolve the issues, but I’ll be keeping an eye on the site for the next few days to make sure that the issues are resolved.

Sorry again for the problems.

Quick movie reviews

- Earth to Echo

I have incredibly fond recollections of seeing  movies such as E.T., Flight of the Navigator, and Explorers as they helped foster my love of space when I was a kid and when I saw this movie coming out, I couldn’t help but to think that it would be a decent fit for my girls.

They did enjoy it, but then again, they have liked some of the Barbie cartoon movies that they have seen.  Nothing terribly wrong or offensive (other than gaping plot holes throughout) but I was hoping that it was going to be less of a kids buddy picture and contain more that might foster some sort of interest in learning about space.  Oh, well.  Only out the $15 for the 3 of us for the matinee.

- Snowpiercer

Damn.

Ever since hearing of the film about a year ago, I had been anxiously awaiting the U.S. release of it and I was not disappointed at all.  There were quite a few spectacular performances throughout, but those of Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton really stand out in my mind.  I have to say that Evans monologue in the final 3rd of the film was one of the most uncomfortable moments that I’ve had watching a movie in quite some time.

Visually, the film is quite stunning as well, as the train becomes the star of show during many segments of the 2 hour run time.

I really recommend that you take a chance on the film if it is playing at any of your local theaters.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

 

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