- And now they're up to a 9.1% chance of making the playoffs. Still, not likely to make up 2.5 games in the next 16 as they would probably need to play 12-4 or 13-3 baseball to make it into the Wild Card game though. Very unlikely, but they are certainly making it interesting and putting a good deal of pressure on the teams above them.
- It's funny. I had both Madden and NHL sitting on my game cabinet this weekend and what game did I play? The original Jak and Daxter.
NHL is good, no doubt about it. But I just can't find any incredibly compelling reason to try and dive into a season right now.
I started out a My Player type career on Friday night, played a few games.. then promptly went back to the other games I have been playing.
Maybe I'm alone in this, but I have a really hard time staying locked into a sports game when I have so many other alternatives around. Again, might just be me.
- Saturday night, I sat down and had the Badgers game on in the background but I was really pulling for Utah State. They were clearly a better team on that day and lost due to a pulled field goal, which was just too bad.
I'm trying to take a different approach to watching football this season, when I do tune in, and that is to actually watch the game as if I have no interest in either of the teams.
The one thing that is been clear to me, when it comes to NFL football, is that the referees are absolutely horrible. Deadspin does a great job yet again of breaking down how Roger Goodell is doing a spectacular job of ignoring the health and safety of the players in the league, all so he can make the league more money.
I had a chance to watch some of the Seattle/Dallas game yesterday and saw on one play where Sidney Rice absolutely destroyed a defenseless player who never saw the hit coming, and drew no flag, but a Dallas defender gave a slight push to Russell Wilson, the Seattle QB, on the sideline and drew a 15 yard penalty.
The replacements are clearly in over their heads and the players are the only ones that have a chance of trying to force Goodell to the table to try and make things right. I was amazed that the Dallas LB who was hit by Rice was able to return to the game, but you have to believe that it will take a terrible injury that is missed by the refs for something to change.
- Borderlands 2 tomorrow. Woo!!!! Ready for the first Psycho to yell out, "Time for my pound of flesh."
- People know that the Brewers season is done. They know that they're not going to make the playoffs, and the odds sites pretty much make it easy to see how they're not going to make the wild card this year, but it sure has been fun to see the team play well for the last 20 games (16-4 in that span.)
Again, I know that they won't make the playoffs, but it's fun to watch.
- As far as football went this weekend, I missed the entire Badgers game and slept through the Packers game.
Like I commented last week, football really hasn't been all that big of an interest to me this year. I might watch some of the games, but outside of fantasy football interest, I'm not really drawn to watching the games.
People might say it's because the teams lost that I'm not really interested, and that's fine, but I just can't seem to find the passion for the game right now.
- Last night I watched, The Raid: Redemption and I was stunned by the amount of action that they packed into a 1 hour and 40 minute movie.
It was mind-blowing in its violence, but quite an incredible action film. Well worth your time if you like martial-arts films.
- If you're a fan of Wing Commander or Freespace, check out this new site by Chris Roberts. Looks like he might be trying to make a new space combat game in the future. Color me giddy about that prospect of that.
It's on sale for $24.99 at the Sports Mogul website.
- People have asked about Madden league for the Sportsgamerblog group, but I don't have an online pass for the game and still am not sure if I'm going to be buying the game via my Gamefly rental.
Dan might be the person to bother in regards to that.
- Edit: Steam Coupon for Portal 2 taken.
- The fantasy league kicked off without a hitch on Wednesday night. A nice thanks goes out to DeMarco Murray for his 100+ yard rushing day... which could have been much better if Dez Bryant could block downfield. Grr.
- Tomorrow is my last big training run, 12 miles, before my half marathon in two weeks. I'm about 4 or 5 minutes off of the pace that I would like to run for the whole race, but I think with all of the people around and the competitive aspect of it, I should be able to break 2 hours. That's my goal at this point. Hope I can pull it off.
- Have a great weekend.
- The fantasy draft went off without a hitch on Sunday evening. I was actually surprised to see that there were 9 people taking part in the live draft as well.
Don't forget to set those rosters today as the Giants and Cowboys kick off the season this evening. C'mon Demarco... I'm counting on you in two of my leagues this year.
- One of the topics that came up in the draft room were the games that people have been playing and what people are looking forward to. Borderlands 2 was mentioned and it is now on sale at Greenmangaming.com for $36.00 after their coupon on the front page.
I'm committed to playing the game with a few of my friends on the PS3, but I'm debating the PC version as well, as I know a few people from here will be playing on there. I don't think I've ever bought the same game for two different platforms before (Portal 2 would have been the closest thing and one of the copies came for free,) guess I'd have to check with Dan to see how that works out for him...
- For Labor Day weekend, I spent a good deal of time working on projects around my house, including finishing up my theater room. I'll have to post some pictures soon, as I have nearly completed most of the work.
What's funny is that we have been in the house for almost 8 years and I'm just now getting to completing the work. I'm a real self-starter...
- I've played a bit more Madden and while I like it a bit more than NCAA, I still just can't really get into it. In fact, the only component that I really seem to like is Madden Ultimate team, but considering the fact that I can't play it online (due to the fact that I don't have an online pass with my Gamefly rental,) I can't really spend much time with that either.
I do have to say that I'm annoyed that you can't even get a roster update without the online pass. That just seems silly to me. I'm not trying to play a portion of the game online, just get a roster.
- More later in the week.
Over the past few weeks, I have had a very hard time coming to grips with how I feel about sports and sports gaming. I know that I will never stop being a gamer or a person that is interested in sports, but what has become a challenge is in expressing my feelings about how I think the world of sports is changing and how much value I place on it.
In the past, I would be so excited when the football season started that I wouldn't be able to avoid checking dozens of sites on a daily basis to gleam any information that I can about the players and teams, but now that passion is almost completely gone.
There are a lot of reasons that I think I've come to this point, but so much of it is predicated on the treatment of players. If I look at college sports, I see players that are, to put it politely, exploited for a massive financial gain by the universities and NCAA. I look at pro sports, football specifically, and I see the stories of former players that have almost no life left after severe brain injuries.
Then you read something like Patrick Hruby's most recent article and wonder, why should I fuel this machine? People can continue to talk about player safety and what they are doing to protect these men from the injuries that they are almost certain to occur due to the fact that improving helmets cannot prevent the brain from moving around in sudden collisions.
So, what am I to do about how I feel? At this point, I know that I have really detached myself a great deal from football. Outside of looking at a few things for my fantasy draft last week, I really haven't paid much of any attention to the Packers in the offseason. If you would have told me that I would have almost ignored the Packers pre-season a year ago, I would have thought that there would have been some serious medical issue that was preventing me from doing so. As far as the Badgers go, my interest in this season has been more of a curiosity than a passion.
How long will this last? At this point, I think it's hard to say, but I do know that my feelings about football and sports have changed quite a bit in the past year and at no point did I think it was a bad thing that they had changed.
but I'm really pulling for Russell Wilson to get the starting job in Seattle.
I have only watched about 2 minutes of the Packers pre-season games (thankfully, it would appear,) but it seemed like all you heard for the past year was that Wilson was not going to be good enough to be a pro, or that he was not tall enough to play QB at the pro-level.
Here's hoping that he plays well on Friday night.
After playing a few games on the demo, I can already tell that one feature for next year will be "Tuning physics engine."
There are so many comical interactions on the field that occur due to the physics engine being way too sensitive. You will see players tripping and falling in bizarre ways nearly every play.
It's a balancing act because there were a few tackles that I saw that looked (when you saw them in the replays, which you can't control in the demo) like something that could happen in real life. The problem is that you see so many others where it looks like someone is tackling the ball carriers aura, and never actually touches the player but somehow brings them down.
The playcalling AI is just as bad as I've seen it in years past. Especially when it comes to the less than 2 minute time frame. Running plays selected right after big pass plays, followed by passing plays that let the clock run down to almost nothing.
The announcing team of Simms and Nance is a refreshing alternative to having to listen to Gus Johnson for the last few years. I can barely recall any of the notable things that they said, which is a good thing, I guess.
At this point, I'm just hard pressed to say that there is anything remarkable about it. The physics engine is way overdue, but not well implemented (and probably won't be for a few years.) By the time you do feel like the game will have the engine right, we'll be onto the next generation of consoles.
What bothers me more and more about sports games on consoles is that so much of this could have been adjusted if they would have PC versions with tuning files. Given a few weeks, some of the hardcore fans of the game could tweak and adjust the engine and make it amazing, but since we're stuck with console gaming... we have to wait years for adjustments to be made, and that just sucks.
One last thing that I forgot to mention is that the lighting is awful at times. The light that shines down on the players makes it nearly impossible to tell one team apart from the other, as they are both in some sort of shadow effect.
I highly suggest that you give it a try as there are some good things, but I think the bad greatly outweigh the good.
- I have to give a ton of thanks to blog reader, Chris Doherty, who re-created the Riding the Pines graphic that we use on iTunes. I just uploaded it to the site, so it should show up on iTunes very soon. Thanks again, Chris.
- The NCAA Football 13 interview went very well with Ben Haumiller. I hope that you've had a chance to listen to it and enjoy what we had to talk about. I always try to get outside of the cookie-cutter type interviews and get into more information about the game than a typical interview would. Hope that you agree.
- I've now signed up for Playstation Plus and was debating picking up the Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (Complete Pack) that they have on sale for $19.99, as it gives you all of the characters and courses. Then I remembered that I bought Everybody Golf 5 (the Japanese version of the same game) back in '07... and had acquired a Japanese PSN points card to buy the courses and such back then.
What I had forgotten was the crazy amount of time it takes to install and patch the game. It took 2 hours to get the game to playing condition. After waiting that long, and playing for a few hours, I realized I was good to avoid buying the game... even if it was "on sale."
- That kind of leads into one of the next issues that Craig and I have been talking about recently... the fact that I just haven't been playing as many games of late. Right now, I'd rather be running, biking, or playing golf rather than be sitting around playing games, which is just so damn odd for me. I've been wanting to play games more than anything else for the majority of my life, but all of a sudden, the urge to game is kind of fading away a bit.
Perhaps it's just the fact that it's summer that is causing that change. Who knows?
- More tomorrow.
Here is part 2 of our 2-part interview with Ben Haumiller producer for EA Sports, NCAA Football 13.
In part 2, here is what we discussed
- The inclusion of the new reaction time feature and people's initial thoughts of the feature
- The new kickoff rules and how they might impact the in game AI
- How South Alabama was not included in the game and the process to adding a school in the future
- How the University ratings will now fluctuate, for the recruting system, and how they ratings may change
- How does your academic rating and campus lifestyle actually get altered through the game?
- How the recruiting system has changed in the dynasty mode
- Game updates now being presented to you in game and when the simulation for those games happens
- Are exports of draft classes and road to glory players still in the game? (answer... no.)
- What the future of the game looks like with the elimination of the BCS
Check out the interview on iTunes or via our nifty little web player right here.
Today, we are able to bring to you a 2 part interview with Ben Haumiller, one of the producers for EA Sports NCAA Football 13.
In part 1 of the interview, Ben and I discuss the following.
- The limits and benefits of a perpetual development model for making a game like NCAA Football
- Adjustments and additions to the Road to Glory Mode
- How they have dealt with the online dynasty upload issues
- Enhancements to the online dynasty mode
- Is there a future where NCAA Football and Madden may be working on the same engine with the same features at the same time?
- The new 'Read and React' defense
- Passing game changes
- How the Heisman Challenge athletes were chose
Check out the interview on iTunes or via our nifty little web player right here.
Sorry about the Google Hangout issues. For whatever reason, my camera would work in everything except that. And the mic was problematic as well. Then I had to talk to Dan... and it all fell apart. Perhaps we will try it again sometime.
Here are my thoughts on E3 thus far...
- Smart Glass just doesn't seem like anything that I would like to use, and it's why I think that the WiiPad has a leg up on it. I don't want to have multiple controllers that I have to swap between for my gameplay experience. I don't want to have to pick up my tablet to see something on it, then set it down and pick up a controller to get back into the game.
Trey Parker's joke about the integration between the devices pretty much nailed it for me.
Having said that, I don't think that everything with the WiiPad is terrific, but it gives you a good portion of what tablet gaming does right and gives you an added interface into the game... along with having all of the control sticks and buttons needed. (Having all of your radars and HUD's on the tablet screen will really free up a good portion of screen, in my opinion.)
- Speaking of Nintendo, Pikmin 3 looks good.. but I don't know if it's "I need to buy a new console" good. WiiFitU (with tracking device) has some appeal, but I'm pretty much using www.mapmyrun.com to keep track of all of my fitness stuff now. It handles it pretty well, and it's free.
- Sony seemed to show games that I was more interested in, 'The Last of Us' and 'Beyond: Two Souls' (I was a huge fan of Heavy Rain,) but fell really flat with Wonderbook and the fact that nothing from the Last Guardian is being shown to date.
- Haven't played the NCAA 13 demo yet, but I will admit that I wasn't thinking that adding Bullet-time to the game would be a feature that would sell me on it.
- It seems pretty clear to me that E3 is really losing it's importance in the gaming industry, at least as a means to give information about new games. Every time I heard a "journalist" whoop and holler when a video came on the screen, I groaned. Maybe I'm just getting too old for it all.
That's a pretty good price for the game, even if it's 9 months old.
If you're looking for me though... I'll be playing Diablo 3 all day. heh.
- I'm out of town this weekend as I'm attending the Minnesota Walleye opener tomorrow. Still, have a few things to catch up on.
- Can't wait to see game 7 between the Capitals and the Rangers. Man, I hate the Rangers... Really, REALLY want to see them lose tomorrow.
- Thanks to my boss and one of our vendors, I had a chance to meet Aaron Rodgers yesterday and get a few pictures taken with him. I have to say that he was an incredibly nice guy and took quite a bit of time to talk with people. Definitely very generous with his time and, not that I had a bad impression of him in the past, I think quite a bit more highly of him as a person (beyond the athlete side) now as well.
- In gaming, I'm pretty excited to start playing Diablo III next week. I get how some people aren't all that excited about it, but I was a huge fan of the last two games and sank tremendous amounts of time into both. I know that games like Torchlight and their ilk are very similar... but they just don't have that "Blizzard polish" that games like Diablo and Starcraft bring.
- One of my friends at work recommended a movie to me and I have to pass on the recommendation to you all after having seen it. You really need to see "In Bruges." It's a terrific dark comedy from Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleason. Easily one of the most quoteable movies in the last few years.
- Have a great weekend all.
- Man do I hate the Rangers.
Still, it was a bad penalty that cost the Caps the game. You get your stick up like that and a ref will be forced to make that call.
Hopefully the Caps come back and win game 6, so we can see another game 7.
- I am so glad that I picked up that LED football game for my phone. It's an awesome bit of nostalgia. Although I do find that the CPU is quite a bit more intelligent than back in the day, which is nice for upping the challenge level of the game.
- As of this morning I had 4 position players on my fantasy baseball team on the DL. I feel like the Brewers. All I know is that my team pretty much sucks at this point. Thank goodness it is a long season.
- One thing that I am trying to determine right now is what I should do for the release of Diablo 3 next week. I have a pre order at Best Buy already and they are doing a midnight launch, but that wouldmean that I would need to kill 6 hours after work. Or I can just pre order from Blizzard and have the game ready at midnight. Decisions, decisions.
- Lastly, Wisconsin has its primary today to see who will be running against Scott Walker in the recall next month. It has been an incredibly bizarre political year and a half in Wisconsin. Hopefully people get out and vote in big numbers today.