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Posts with tag sports

Rumor: Snowboarding game coming to XBLA

The GameTap service is known for their subscription-based, unlimited game access, style of content. When you think of them, announcements of XBLA games from Scandinavian devs is not what comes to mind. Still that is exactly the case here, with the dev being Housemarque (creators of the PSN title Super StarDust HD) and the game being an "unnamed XBLA sports title."

Now if those devs or the writer of the article truly knew how crazy we on the tubes are, they would have known not even to give that tidbit of news. As a check into the background of the company will reveal, the only genre of sports title that they've ever done before is snowboarding, bringing out Transworld Snowboarding for Xbox and Boarder Zone for the PC. And while their are a few rumblings that Housemarque is working on a golf game (and that is of course entirely possible) it seems likely given the company's past experience that XBLA is going to be getting it's first "extreme sports" game.

Hockey showdown brings back the memories

The current hockey demo showdown (NHL 07 vs NHL 2K7) on XBLM is bringing back fond memories of EA vs. 2K rivalries of yore. For many grid iron gamers, that old football favorite, ESPN NFL 2K5 for Xbox, still compares favorably with the latest Madden in several respects, especially presentation (Half-time highlights with Chris Berman!). Would Madden 07 really be a better game if EA didn't have a monopoly over the NFL license? How do you think the NFL 2K series would have developed given the chance?

PS3 gets upgraded FNR3

Let it be known that we don't ignore positive Sony news at 360Fanboy: Recall last week's announcement that EA will grace the PS3 with an upgraded version of Fight Night: Round 3 including a first-person mode, ESPN integration, and some minor graphical polish. When I first heard this, I was annoyed that there are no plans to release this stuff as downloadable content on XBLM. Then I realized, by the time Joe Average gets his hands on PS3, we'll likely be enjoying Fight Night Round 4. Still, it's nice that PS3 fanboys have something to cling to in their hour of need. Maybe EA should throw in some 1080p Burger King ads to really spread the cheer.

NHL 07 ready to shoot it out with 2K?

After spending last season stuck in the penalty box, EA makes its Xbox 360 ice hockey debut with a 541mb NHL 07 demo showcasing the upcoming game's shoot-out mode. Featuring highly detailed player models, new controls, and an honest-to-God dynasty mode, this could be the first next-gen EA Sports title that doesn't feel like it's short a Hanson Brother or two. In fact, I have heard buzzing from hockey fans with mullets far longer than my own, that this could be the year EA steals the puck back from the 2K series. Based on your limited experience with the demo, will NHL 07 bring a toothless smile to your facemask?

Secret NCAA 07 achievements explained

Paul from VideoGameJocks clues everybody in on the "secret"" achievements in NCAA 07:

They are basically achievements that denote how much of a gamerscore you have in the game. There is one each for reaching 250, 500, 750 and a full 1000 gamerscore in the game. While each achievement actually comes with zero points they are needed if you want to complete the entire list, which you will obviously do by getting the known achievements.

Necessary stuff for the collegiate completist.

EA finally putting ESPN license to good use

In a welcome shift from their standard corporate policy, EA is finally putting their expensive partnership with ESPN to good use:

At EA Studio Showcase, the next level of ESPN integration was displayed in NBA Live 07 for the Xbox 360, and it is finally something worth all the cash EA paid for this 15 year partnership. When online, not only will you have the ESPN ticker at the bottom of the screen updating you on the latest news and scores, but you will be able to listen to streaming podcasts of ESPN Radio, including Mike & Mike and The Dan Patrick Show.

But that's only the beginning.

ESPN Original Programming is also in the mix, enabling you to back out of your game and watch shows like the latest Pardon the Interruption, all within NBA Live.

Play your Dynasty, watch for the big news to hit the ticker, then after your game check out Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon as they debate the hot topic, only to go right back into your season.

Sure beats a logo slapped in the corner of the screen. Will this kind of stuff convince anybody to buy NBA Live 07?

[Thanks Matt T]

EA names NHL 2007 cover athlete

I was so busy not watching the World Cup, I forgot about the other sport Americans don't care about, NHL Hockey. Fortunately, the few who did tune in to watch Carolina win the Stanley Cup are a dedicated bunch, who demand the best from their hockey video games. They're fanatical enough to be excited that lamp-lighting rookie phenom Alexander Ovechkin is the new cover boy for NHL 2007. With hockey TV ratings melting and 2K Sports hampered by their fondness for post-ship-date product testing, the pressure is on EA to do right by the brutal ice ballet. But given the recent history of spartan  titles on the 360, it's going to take alot more than just a hard-to-pronounce pretty face to make cautious fans pass the puck.

Incidentally, Tracy McGrady is McGracing the cover of NBA 2007. The same comments apply.

Two new sports demos hit XBLM

Two new treats for any sports-gamers out there. A little something old not so old -- a demo for EA's FIFA World Cup 06 soccer game, which launched alongside the system in November -- and a little something new -- a demo for 2K Sports' tennis-sim Top Spin 2, which came out late last month. A nice little pre-E3 treat.

Top Spin 2
developer, Indie Built, was recently closed down by Take-Two, publishers of the 2K Sports series and owners of the Salt Lake City developer.

[Thanks, Arsamore & Carl-Tang]

(Update: corrected the timeliness of the FIFA demo. Thanks HoTHiTTeR360 and BraveQuail. Can you tell I don't play sports games much? Seriously though... they just came out with a soccer game less than six months ago! What could they have changed?!)

Spaz out with Tiger Woods demo

The Tiger Woods PGA Tour '06 demo is now available on Xbox Live Marketplace, weighing in at a Big Bertha-sized 890mb.

 I'll never complain about a free demo, but it sucks to be reminded that EA is equally guilty of releasing barely next-gen sport-ports. It's enough to make a virtual golfer spastic with rage.

[Thanks John]

MLB 2K6 freezing bug drives ballers batty

Just released MLB 2K6 is batting .000 with angry baseball fans due to a freezing bug that literally strikes you out of game. Already tagged by reviewers as an uninspired port of the Xbox version with minor graphical improvements, the title is now being grand slammed in the 2KSports forums for product testing that failed to cover the plate. Here's a typical post minus the expletives:

I mean not to be rude, but I paid hard-earned Money for this game ($60) and not to mention the system ($400) just to have it freeze-up. In my version of the freeze happens after striking someone out. It doesn't happen after every strike-out, but when it does my screen goes all black and the only way to get a picture back on my screen is to completely restart my system.

Perhaps aware that opening the season with a broken game isn't the best way pitch your newly exclusive Major League Baseball license, 2KSports has issued an official response with the usual mumbled apology and promise of a fix.

Folks, we've been Charlie hustled. This problem was not mentioned in any of the reviews that I read. Now we're supposed to sit on the bench and wait for a patch. According to one forum poster, the issue is related to the 360 hard drive and can be worked around by using a memory card. But people paid $60 to hit home runs, not half-assed hardware solutions. (He also says the same bug was present in NBA and NHL 2K6).

I loved MLB 2K5 like Barry Bonds loves shrunken nads, but so far 2KSport's Xbox 360 efforts have been one of the console's most disappointing foul balls. No company is more guilty of slapping some polygon paint on a port, rushing it out the door, and calling it next-gen. Now that their quality control has swung and missed,  it may be time to send this developer back to the minors until they figure out what we demand out of a next-gen sports game, particularly an exclusive license. Three games, three strikes.

On the plus side, freezing time may be the only way to keep the Phillies from sucking this year.

[Thanks JB]

Grand Theft Ping Pong hands-on

IGN has a hands-on preview of Rockstar Presents Table Tennis that confirms two things: It's a Ping Pong game and there are no dead hookers:

There's a kind of Geometry Wars learning curve at work where you get better and better and the game gets more addicting and more addicting. No, it's not going to ever replace real ping pong, but the game does replicate that same intense feeling of a long intense rally, and that's really all Rockstar was trying to do. Take this as you will, but the preview build of Table Tennis came closer to replicating the feel of the real-life sport than maybe any sports game in history.

There are plenty of people who still think  this whole charade is promoting a mini-game in GTA Next-Gen: Sluts of Shanghai, but it looks like Grand Theft Ping Pong is just that: Ping Pong.

Any time the words Geometry Wars crop up in reference to simple yet addictive gameplay the Joystiq crowd gets excited. If Rockstar really has created the ultimate replication of a rec room paddle war, and avoided the Medusa-like stare of Hillary Clinton for at least one game, who can complain?

FIFA World Cup 2006 gets a website

EA has launched the official website for their latest attempt at "the world's most popular sport," FIFA World Cup 2006. If  you're getting a sense of digital deja vu, it might be because FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup launched along side the 360 a scant four months ago to middling reviews. This game is supposed to have more stadiums, better animations and a "Best World Cup moments" mode. We'll see if five extra months in EA Canada's backfield results in a world class Cup, or just another kick in the balls for next-gen soccer fans.

Hoops 2K6 sparks Mediocrity Madness

News of interest to video game basketball fans who occasionally take a break to watch the real thing: CBS Sports commentators will use the engine from College Hoops 2K6 to analyze plays during coverage of  the NCAA Tournament (the same way Monday Night Football used Madden). Millions of casual hoops fans will tune in and see an afterthought Xbox 360 title that looks disappointingly similar to the regular Xbox version. Call it Mediocrity Madness. I know the road to the Final Four is a long haul, but could we please get a real next-gen College Hoops game for 2K7.

First screens of MLB 2K6

When are we going to get the first real next-gen sports game? The first screenshots of Major League Baseball 2K6 look pretty good, but I'm still waiting for a 360 sports title (besides maybe Fight Night Round 3) that isn't a stripped-down rush job or a carbon copy of the regular version. Oh yeah: Joe Young, or whatever they're calling the Barry Bonds player this year, better come with a homerun slider so we can match his steroid consumption.

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