Category Archives: Xbox

Madden 15 deal at Best Buy (starts on 8/10)

Stick with me on this one kids, it does involve a few steps.

Next week, Best Buy will be offering $25 in trade-in credit for Madden 25 (for the PS4 and Xbox One versions,) plus a $10 coupon to be put towards Madden 15.

So, if you already have a copy, you can acquire Madden 15 for $25.  Good deal, huh?  It gets better if you do a few other things.

If you pre-order Madden 15, you can receive a $10 reward certificate when you pick up the game, so that takes it down to only paying $15 for the newest version of Madden for the PS4 or Xbox One.  If you have Gamers Club Unlocked, you get the game for $48 (after the automatic 20% off,) plus the $10 reward certificate, so you get the new version for only $3 after the trade-in, coupon, and reward certificate are all factored in.

Probably the best deal I’ve seen for getting a new version of a sports title in a while.

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.


Monday notes

- Looks as though Dan is going to win the race to 100 followers.  I’m just not that popular it appears.  (Anyone who sat in my high school lunch room could have attested to that fact.)

- As we get closer and closer to the World Cup, I have been spending more and more time playing Football Manager 2014 in a way to connect more with my building love of soccer.

With the January transfers now being a part of the default roster, I decided to take another shot at running Crystal Palace to see if I could get them to avoid relegation in FM, as they did in real life.

Tony Pulis can not be given enough credit for keeping Palace up this year, as I have found through my time with the game that it is incredibly difficult to keep that squad from being relegated.

Thanks to some monumental efforts from Ince and Chamakh I was able to grab 17th place in the Premier League (by 3 points) and stay up for one more year (and get a 2 year contract extension.  Woot!)

I have had more fun with this game over the past six months than any other game in recent memory.  Even though I can simulate every game, I find myself watching each match and yelling at my players when they make a bad play and pumping my fist in the air when they make a great one.

It’s still priced at $12.50 on Steam and is worth every penny.

- E3 begins with Microsoft, Sony, EA, and Ubisoft all having press conferences today.  Not sure how much there will be out there as far as sports gaming from them, but I’m sure that Dan and I will be commenting when we have a chance.

Tuesday notes

- Somebody is taking a road trip to Columbus!  My daughters just about lost it this morning when I told them we would be going to see Crystal Palace play.  My wife won’t be able to attend, so it’ll be interesting taking the girls on an 8 hour drive to see a soccer match, but it should be worth it and we will definitely be coming home with some new Eagles gear.   Can’t wait.

- For those of you who trade in your games (Dan….) Target is having a deal where they are offering triple value on their trades for this week.   For example, Grand Theft Auto 5 for the PS3 is getting $45 in store credit right now.

As for me, I’ll be trading in the PS3 version of Diablo III (for $30) and picking up the new addon for the PC (which is priced at $30) along with a few other old PS2, original Xbox, and GC games that have bizarrely high values.

- Speaking of Diablo III, it took Blizzard a few years to get to this point, but the game is really great right now and I’m having as much fun with this as I did with Diablo II back in the day.  There is still something special about every Legendary drop and waiting to see what valuable goodie you’re going to get from it.

If you’ve held off until now, you should really pick up the game either for consoles or for the PC.  Both are terrific at this point.

- As for upcoming games, we have Wolfenstein and Transistor releasing today, Watch Dogs next week, and Mario Kart 8 at the end of next week.

Trying to remember this many games being released right before E3, but maybe I’m just getting old and having a hard time remembering details like that.  #oldmanproblems

Microsoft removing Kinect from Xbox One

Had to say that we should have seen this coming.

The Xbox One has probably been one of the greatest console purchase regrets that I’ve ever had.  I barely ever play it and it only really gets used as a system for my kids to watch Amazon Instant Video or Netflix.

I hope that there will be some games that will sell me on keeping the system when E3 rolls around or else there is more than likely going to be a Day One edition console for sale soon.

Monday notes

- Sports On Earth does a much better job of summing up what is going on with the Brewers right now than I ever could, as they detail what has been happening with the team during their 10-2 start (including winning their last 9 in a row.)

It’s hard to think about big series in April, but with 3 against Pittsburgh (already completed,) 3 against St. Louis, then another 4 at Pittsburgh, there is a lot of interesting games in the NL Central early.

Also, while it’s impossible for the Brewers can keep playing like they have, it’s been sure been fun to see how many interesting ways they can win games of late.

- Dan was giving me grief for not mentioning the Brewers lately, but I have been paying as much attention, if not more so, to Crystal Palace’s play over the last few weeks.  Getting 9 points over the last three weeks has pushed them from 17th place (and in serious danger of relegation) to 12th place and 7 points clear of 18th (with 1 game in hand) with 5 games to play.

While I still have so much to learn about the Premier League, and soccer in general, I just love the passion that the Palace fans show at every game, whether at home or on the road.  I’m glad that I picked the Eagles to support as this season has been a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

- The other thing that I’ve been watching was the end of yet another Islanders season.  That organization frustrates me to no end.  Maybe next year they’ll sell the team and fire Snow… maybe…

- FIFA World Cup 14 is due to release tomorrow for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and while I loved the previous game, I really couldn’t get into the game based on the demo.  The PS4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA play incredibly well and are very fluid, but the older version of the game engine just doesn’t seem to hold up very well after having experienced the new versions of the FIFA game engine.

- Konami has released their own World Challenge DLC for Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 and while it doesn’t have the full presentation that the EA Sports game costs, you could get Pro Evolution and the DLC for just over half the price ($29.99 for the game at Amazon – $4.99 for the DLC) of picking up FIFA World Cup 2014.

Something to think about.


Thursday notes

- Long time, no see.  Work=crazy.  Moving on.

- Front Office Football 7 now has a Steam Greenlight page.  Do Jim a favor and give it a thumbs up to get it onto Steam.  Steam really needs more of these types of sports games on it and Jim’s game is one of the best.

- Yesterday my copy of Titanfall showed up via Gamefly and all I was able to do was to install it. (I had hockey last night and I’m trying to do as much of that as I can before my surgery.)  I’ll give the Xbox One version a go before deciding whether or not I want the game or not (for either consoles or PC.)  I’ve read some reviews that state it is a First Person Shooter for people who don’t usually play those sorts of games.  I guess I’ll find out if it works for me….

The Xbox One has been a huge buyers remorse device for me since I purchased it, so I’m really looking for something that makes me use it more because I haven’t found much to do with it to this point other than letting my kids watch Amazon Instant Video in the living room while yelling “XBOX SELECT” at it.

- When a feature is removed from Madden, it’s a good guess that it’s because the NFL wanted it out.

- So, plenty of details are out there now about the new RBI Baseball and there is good and bad there.


Simplistic Gameplay

Season Mode

No Pay to Win

Unlockable Jerseys via Season Mode


Few Gameplay modes

First console game from MLB AM

To this point, the Good outweighs the bad, but we’ll have to wait and see if it the game turns out to be a fun and entertaining sports product.

- Lastly, I think I’m going to be buying a second copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf in the next week or so.  My daughter ended up taking my copy when I gave her my old 3DS at Christmas and she has become completely addicted to the game.  I’m still a bit sad that I had to erase my village to let her take over as mayor in her own game, so I guess her enthusiasm for the game has got me interested in playing it again as well.  Gotta love the kids.

Thursday notes

- Currently, I am on the road on the way up to Eagle River to the USA Hockey Pond Hockey championships.

I really look forward to this trip every year as it is a great weekend of hanging out with friends and now that i am getting a chance to play, that just makes it that much better.

Now I just have to hope that my hip holds up for the three games, but I am sure that it will be fine.

I will try to post some pictures from the tournament, either over the weekend or when I get back, to give you an idea of what the environment is like.  It is pretty damn cool, in my book.

- In a curious development, EA Sports announced FIFA World Cup 2014 today.  In and of itself that isn’t too surprising, but what was interesting was the fact that it is only being released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and is skipping the PS4 and Xbox One.

The PS4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA 14 were good upgrades of the previous generation software and the new engine offered some nice changes to the old FIFA engine and it is too bad that they are being passed over for this game.

I am anxious to play this when it comes out though as FIFA World Cup 10 was one of my favorite sports games on the PS3.  Hopefully the features this time around are as good or better than that version to justify the 59.99 price point. 

- Have a good weekend.

Riding the Pines – Episode 87

- After a few months, Glen and Dan have decided to get together and catch up about what’s been going on in their lives.

- Dan talks about the Vectrex

- Everyone talks about how much they love soccer

- And we catch up with our feelings about the Xbox One

Enjoy the podcast!

Riding the Pines – Episode 86 (Peter Garcin – The Golf Club Game)

Hello there, everyone.

Today we bring to you our interview with Peter Garcin, Executive Producer for The Golf Club Game.

Here are a few of the topics that we covered in the interview…

- Did EA’s decision to not release a golf title for this year impact the release of the game

- Are there feature limitations between PC/Console versions

- Is multiplayer platform agnostic (PS4 vs. Xbox One players)

- How are updates going to be handled for the game

- What limitations do we have in the course creator

- Will PC users be able to use a mouse/keyboard for course creation and gameplay

- How are tours and tournaments handled by the game

- Could the game work with any of the virtual golf simulation hardware

- How much modification of the golfer models is allowed

- What kinds of camera control options are available to us

Enjoy the interview!

Wednesday notes

- The second recording of The Golf Club game interview went off without a hitch.  The interview should be posted at some point later today and should be on iTunes shortly thereafter.

- With Puncheon’s goal yesterday against Hull, Crystal Palace have pulled into 14th in the Premier League table (and only 1 point out of 10th.)  Amazingly, they have the most wins of any team in the bottom 10 of the table as well.  Crazy to think that they were firmly in relegation territory a few weeks ago, but it’s amazing what a few wins can do.

Puncheon really has had a remarkable comeback after his disastrous PK from a few weeks ago, scoring goals in three of the Eagles last four Premier League matches.  You have to credit Tony Pulis with a lot of that, as the team is really playing remarkably since he arrived a few months ago.

- More later…

Tuesday notes

- If you didn’t see any of the images (or the awesome introduction) for the NHL stadium series game in Los Angeles from last Saturday evening, take a look at some of them.  It was amazing to see a hockey game with all of that green grass (and palm trees) in the same shot.

I’m looking forward to watching the Islanders and Rangers game tomorrow night at Yankees stadium, even with the Isles coming off a thumping from the Bruins last night.

- Speaking of hockey, this year marks my first entry into the USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships in Eagle River.  For the past few years, I’ve been going to the even with friends and watching them play due to the fact that they were playing in a 40+ bracket.  Since I’m hitting 40 in a few months, USA hockey has let me join in on the festivities (we actually had to get approval from USA hockey to let me in early, I’m just that special…) So, for the first time, I’ll be taking part in the games as well.

According to the 10 day forecasts, highs are looking to be in the single digits to low teens and lows will be in the sub zero to single digit temps.  Ah, yes… that will be a tremendous amount of fun.  Honestly, I can’t wait.

- As far as gaming is concerned, Diablo III still rules the roost at my home.  I’m on my 3rd playthrough of the game, in Hell Mode, with my Monk and am still enjoying it as much as I did when I started playing it.  The loot distribution is almost perfect and I still am giddy with excitement as I press the square button to identify that rare bit of loot that just dropped.

Now I just need to decide what character I might roll next after getting to level 60… or if I’m going to try and tackle Inferno mode and deal with the concept of perma-death.

- Get ready for the fury…. Northwestern football players are asking to be represented by a labor union.

- The list of things that I love about the Premier League continues to grow as Crystal Palace plays a match today on Tuesday afternoon.  How can you not love mid afternoon sports on a work day?

- An interview with the developers of The Golf Club Game is forthcoming.  I hope to have it posted on the site by the end of the day.

Wednesday notes

- Well, my consult with the neurosurgery department was a positive one.  They are not looking at surgery for my back pain and numbness in my foot at this point, but they need to do further tests to determine why my right foot is numb and is losing strength.  (More tests = YAY!)

- Last night as I was driving home, I stopped to get gas and my car refused to start.  The battery was completely dead.  I called roadside assistance, got a jump, and drove home.  This morning?  Dead again.  Got another jump and drove it to where I had bought the replacement battery a few months ago.  Dead again.

From there, I took it to a dealership and I was informed it could be at least 2 days before they can even look at it.  Lovely.  Oh, and it’s out of warranty, so any electrical issues (unless it’s related to the hybrid system) will end up being an out of pocket expense.

The good news just keeps piling up around here.

- What do you know?  A new golf game.

The course creator looks pretty powerful, but in at least one of the videos I saw some odd course physics where a ball bounced up when it hit off of a side hill.  (The game is currently under development, so those things can happen.)

I’m efforting an interview with the developers to see if we can talk about the process for making the game across the PS4/Xbox One/PC.  I’ll keep you appraised as I have more information.

Tuesday notes

- So, we’ve decided to go with a FIFA league on the Xbox One.

Joe and I, (along with Dan, I presume) will be participating, so just drop a note if you’re interested in joining as well.

- Congratulations to blog-reader, my wife, on going back to school to complete her bachelors degree in nursing.  She already has her associates degree from nearly 10 years ago, but has decided to go back to get her 4 year degree as well.  I’m proud of her for taking on this new challenge and wanted to mention that here.

- Still looking at new components for a PC here but still can’t make up my mind on what I want to do as far as video cards are concerned.  I keep going back and forth on the R9 280X and the GeForce 770.  I’ve pretty much always been a GeForce user in the past and like what they’ve done with 3D gaming on the PC level, so that seems to be swaying me a bit.  Anyone have strong preferences between those two cards (other than the fact that price gouging is really going on for the R9 series due to their bitcoin farming capabilities?)

- More as the week goes on…

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