The weeks are passing by quicker and quicker, and the biggest yearly games are upon us. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week.
5 years ago (sobs where does the time go), yes 5 years ago I picked up my PS4 on launch night, and the next day on my lunch break I picked up one of the games that strangely I had been anticipating the most for PS4. NBA 2k14. Will and I were both quite infatuated with NBA2k14 and it featured in many of our posts back during the starting days of this console generation and GSRR. I picked up NBA 2K15 a year later, but then I stopped buying this yearly iteration instead focusing on WWE 2K and Madden. Well this year I felt an urge to dive back into 2k. So after picking up FIFA 19, regretting my decision within 2 hours and selling it, I picked up NBA 2K19 & Madden 19.
Firstly, the game still looks incredible. As linked above, it was one of the games that shook me when the new generation started on how good it looked visually, and as to be expected it remains the case. It’s a beacon for yearly sport franchises with regards to visuals. While I still follow NBA, The NFL has become my favourite US Sport over the last few years so my player base knowledge dipped in NBA as NFL players became more dominant names to remember. There are of course still the plethora of names I remember from NBA, but there sure are a lot of new names to rosters.
Rather than start MyCareer which has attained a lot of controversy over the years due to it’s virtual currency becoming more increasingly difficult to attain while regularly playing and the temptation to spend real money to improve your player is pushed on you more I went to an old faithful mode that I used to love. MyLeague mode (yes I also loved MyGM, but for quick pick up and play leagues, MyLeague is great).
I’ve opted to go with the Knicks naturally, and have been a tad naughty by turning off Trade Logic. Come on, it’s my game, I want to have some fun. I’m not breaking the game. With that said I have of course made a few trades to bolster up the Knicks squad. Kemba Walker, Jabari Parker & Iman Shumpert have been brought in. See it’s not that game breaking? I didn’t go flat out and bring in LBJ, Durant & Curry did I? I started playing every game and turned the quarter length down to 4 minute quarters. It’s still a long ass match though with the time outs, cut scenes and such, but because of how incredibly well it’s all presented I don’t really mind. Plus as seems to be the case with NBA 2K games, the soundtrack really pumps you up too. However I have started to use a handy feature which I can’t recall being in 2K14 or 15. The simulation live mode, where you can sim the game and the court screen appears with dots on it resembling the old Football Manager layouts.You then see the game played out here in a faster mode and can jump in and actually take over playing whenever you want. This has improved my playing time greatly doing this and jumping in to play when I feel like it. I’m also ensuring I play the bigger games against legendary teams or rivalries such as the Bulls, Celtics & Warrior’s. As it stands right now, the Knicks are at 14-2 with losses to the Raptors and Wizards.
I will delve into the GM mode I feel and also turn off Trade Logic (again It’s my game, I’ll do what I want). But this year I’m more reluctant to start the MyCareer mode which I was so addicted to 4 and 5 years ago. I’m more so worried about how god awful the progression is going to be with near to impossible VC earning mechanics. Here’s hoping it’s not that bad.
And more sports. As well as NBA I treated myself to Madden 19. In this regard, there really isn’t much to say over what’s changed from last years game. The roster, there are now celebration choices when you score a touchdown….. If you want me to go into EA @ E3 Mode…. “The American Football, is the most American Football shaped ball it’s ever been, this time round the American Football, looks and feels like an American Football”.
EA jokes aside, there isn’t much that needs to be done to improve Madden in my eyes. It’s fast paced and had delivered the goods exactly how I need them. A franchise mode with the choice of being a player, manager or owner. Sold. So far I have started a manager mode and rather than go with the Giants which I would normally, I’ve started GM mode with the Chiefs. They are a really exciting team currently, and sure they just took their first loss of the season last night to the Patriots, But they are a fun team to play as. Tyreek Hill as WR and Kelce as TE provide some fun targets to throw to from rookie QB Mahomes, and Hunt is a force at RB. Currently with the Chiefs as a GM I’m at 5-0 funnily enough with my next game coming up being the Patriots. Hopefully I don’t follow in their footsteps in terms of real results. My plan with the GM mode is to eventually move onto the Giants and lead them to glory.
While there is no Trade Logic to switch off in Madden, I have found a cheeky method that entails pretty much any trade offer you make is accepted, and it involves changing the position of the player you want to a kicker. I’ll say no more. But again I haven’t abused this power, as the Chiefs are a pretty tidy team with no real requirements to strengthen up.
It’s looking like it’ll be a good winter for me. Madden & NBA franchise modes which will let me lead my beloved Knicks and Giants to the glory that New York Sports haven’t had much success of for a few years. Red Dead 2 is out in less than 2 weeks, and Pokemon is due in November with Smash Bro’s following a month later both for Switch.
Some of you may be aware that Citizon Con was last week, the annual show for one of the most ambitious games ever. I’ve had Star Citizen for a few years now, I bought it back when one of the versions was on sale for around £35. I haven’t spent a lot of time playing it mainly because I would get around 15 fps most of the time. But a recent patch just hit the Public Test Universe (PTU) and I was hearing reports that performance was a lot better now so I decided to try it out again.
Firstly, yes performance is better I now get around 30 fps and pretty consistently too, it’s still not great, but it’s progress I guess and makes it somewhat playable for me. Secondly I seem to have acquired a new ship… The RSI Aurora MR, I don’t know why I have it or how I got it or if its permanent, but I’ll take it!
I called my new ship to a landing pad and jumped in, I had a mission to go and investigate and find evidence about what had happened at this small station floating in the orbit of one of the moons.
Star Citizen is still pretty clunky in lots of places, the star map is terrible and trying to mark locations as a destination is very fiddly, sometimes a mission just won’t seem to tell you where to go at all, which is pretty annoying. Eventually I was able to mark the location and engage my jump drive thing and actually get started on doing my first ever quest in game.
I approached this station floating in space, looking very damaged and like it had been attacked and I was attacked by another ship, I took him out and made my way to the station. There were a few other players around – probably doing the same mission and we mostly ignored each other. I needed to board this station and noticed a huge hole in the side of it, I approached slowly in my ship, ‘parked’ it in space and climbed out in to the void. This was a very cool moment, climbing out of your ship and in to space feels really awesome and I don’t even know why, it just feels cool to suddenly be floating around, it makes you feel vulnerable.
I was able to enter the station and search around, I found clues about what had happened and was able to complete my mission.
This was the first time I’ve actually been able to properly play the game and I have to say that even though it’s still a bit of a mess it was so much fun. I also landed on the nearby moon of Daymar which was really cool although it was pretty barren where I landed.
Star Citizen is ridiculously ambitious, but it’s looking like it can achieve it and if it does it will be incredible. Check out the recent trailer for Squadron 42 for the game packed full of famous people!
I love DayZ, despite its flaws it’s been a source of fun for me and my friends. 0.63 have been live on the experimental servers for a little while and recently we got back on it to see how it was. Early impressions are very good, performance has seen a drastic improvement and it now runs extremely smoothly. The loot feels better and seems to have struck a good balance between not enough and too much making survival very possible but not too easy to for it feel meaningless. There are also some new mechanics and changes to the way things like crafting and general loot management is done which have made things interesting. Everything now feels pretty manual in that you have to physically put items in your hands first to use them, like loading a magazine with ammo, opening tins of food. At first it was a little strange but you quickly get used to it.
Over the last few days I’ve probably played around 6 hours and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve recorded all of my sessions and will probably be looking to make some videos from them on my YouTube channel, so if you’re interested in that stick around!
Survival games are a special genre, they’re full of unknowns and that’s what appeals to me. In one of our sessions we ran in to another player who we decided to ask to join us, we named him Flare Boy and made him run around with a lit flare in the middle of the night – until we all got shot at and ran and hid in the woods. I love these weird interactions with people, I love the tense moments, like running through the woods in the pitch black only to hear lots of gunshots very close by. It really gets the heart rate going!