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Sports Games

NBA 2K15 Review | A Sporting Soap Opera

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
2K Sports, Basketball games, NBA 2K15, PS4 games, Sports Games, Visual Concepts, Xbox One Games

NBA 2K15 Review | A Sporting Soap Opera

NBA 2K15 is an interactive sporting soap opera, and it's quite brilliant in that regard. Visual Concepts have been leading the line in terms of narrative framing for career modes for some time, but last year's next-gen version saw them really ratchet things up in terms of context and plotting for MyCareer, upping the stakes by giving you a nemesis to measure yourself against, a mute team buddy to give you inspiration and a kick up the arse when warranted, and interactions with coaches, GMs and the press.

This year, though, they've really gone the extra mile in cultivating a sporting narrative full of drama and emotion. You kick things off as an undrafted rookie with an obnoxious, Jerry Maguire-esque agent shopping you about low-to-mid-level teams for a trial. The greater the team's standing, the harder you'll have to work to impress them, and so on. Succeed, and you'll earn yourself a ten-day contract; do well in the mattering of games during that short time period, and you might win a spot on the rotation for the rest of the season. It's a true underdog setup that then spins out into regular team meetings, chats with your coach, practice sessions, contract negotiations, team-mates finding out about you entertaining the notion of signing with a another team, squabbles about playing opportunities, clashes with other rookies and players, all in the quest to become the greatest player you can be.

NBA 2K15 Review | A Sporting Soap Opera

It's rather intoxicating stuff, aided by more fully-featured voice work from the characters you'll meet along the way. It must be said, however, that few NBA players have the acting chops of Shaq, and the monotonous drawl of the likes of Terrence Ross and Andre Drummond, not to mention the interesting timing of some lines that VC clearly didn't have the time to record twice, can make dialogue exchanges inadvertently hilarious.

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VIDEO | This is how NBA 2K15's Face Scan *should* work

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
2K Sports, Basketball games, NBA 2K15, PS4 games, Sports Games, Videos, Visual Concepts

NBA 2K15 is finally here, and it's good. I mean really good. Visual Concepts have tweaked a fair few things in this latest instalment of the World's Best Sport Game Series, and one of the nifty new features is the ability to scan in your face for MyPlayer.

Check out my efforts in the quest for facial perfection in the video above.

I won't lie, I didn't hold out much hope that this would be any good. EA Sports' Game Face is utterly dreadful. Aside from it being a slow, clunky, often unworkable piece of crap, when it does have the decency to work, my Game Face creations all came out looking like someone had stuffed several slapped arses into a blender and then given the remains to Picasso.

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FIFA 15 Review | Thrilling Pace

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 15, Foootball games, PS4 games, Sports Games

FIFA 15 Review | Thrilling Pace

I long one day to have a FIFA game that truly encapsulates what that title suggests, although that would probably be a House of Cards-esque, murky, political adventure title, or a bureaucratic take on Crusader Kings II -- all backstabbing, corruption, and intrigue.

The limited edition set would come with a watch that you'd have to return to the store, naturally.

Instead of that, however, here we have another buzzword-stuffed game wherein you take control of teams of players from a side-on perspective, stringing together intricate passes, laughing at the foibles of player impacts, and cursing when your player tries to volley inside of heading the pinpoint cross you just floated into the box.

FIFA 15 Review | Thrilling Pace

This is really the first true new-gen FIFA title (we're not counting the graphical scrub up of FIFA 14), and it's clear that a number of things have changed on the pitch. Perhaps the most noticeable tweak is that pace is back in a big way. In the real game, a player with pace, someone who runs at defenders and looks to take them on, is a huge asset. FIFA has finally managed to recreate the thrill of having someone like Bale or Sterling or Di Maria really take on opponents at speed. No longer will full backs conveniently be able to catch up, it seems like teams with pace have a real edge that's finally realised thanks to expert balancing to go along with the precision control that has been standard for the last couple of years.

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Pro Rugby Manager 2015 Review | Crash Ball

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
505 Games, Cyanide Studios, Management sims, Pro Rugby Manager 2015, Rugby games, Sports Games

Pro Rugby Manager 2015 Review | Crash Ball

I managed to play Pro Rugby Manager 2015 for just over half a season with a Bath team that was almost hilariously under-represented in the stats department (this is the team that just crushed Leicester 45-0). Then a patch arrived and now all of the text has disappeared and the game crashes to desktop every time I try to interact with the user interface.

There's been precious little for rugby fans to get excited about in the world of video games. Rugby Challenge and its sequel had a fair bash at replicating the sport, but there was little by way on on-pitch tactical play to be had, no real way to organise a coherent backline, and the action on the pitch devolved into a mess of limbs and scrambling bodies without much organisation. Admittedly, that's fairly accurate for Gloucester matches, but any fan of the cerebral, strategic nature of the game would have found little solace in that title.

Of course, Pro Rugby Manager was supposed to fix that. But, having waited a decade for a new rugby management sim, I sort of wish Cyanide hadn't bothered.

It's not just that PRM 2015 is a buggy shambles that should never have been released in this state, it's that the game itself is a dull, soporific affair that sucks the joy out of the sport rather than celebrating the nuances that the 15-man game can provide. Oh, and almost nothing under the hood appears to have changed from 2005.

I'm going to try as best as I can to soldier on with this review and actually attempt to take a look at some of the woefully flawed and under-developed systems in the game beneath the blanket of game-breaking bugs, but you should be aware that the game is damn near unplayable. As in, I literally haven't been able to play it for the last few days; days that include several reinstallations.

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FIFA 15 Demo Impressions | Let's Talk About Our Feelings

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Demo, EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 15, Football games, Games previews, Sports Games

FIFA 15 Demo Impressions | Let's Talk About Our Feelings

The FIFA 15 demo has been out for around a week or so now, and I've been dipping into it in amongst swathes of Destiny, Hyrule Warriors and Bayonetta 2 (do check out Carl's review of Bungie's FPS, and my appraisal of the Zelda/Warriors mashup). As per usual, EA Canada have been showering us with buzzword-heavy promotional sentences largely devoid of any real meaning, and the biggest of the lot for this year's release has been "emotion" -- that is to say player and crowd reactions, presentation tuned to deliver the theatrical and entertaining, and a boost in dynamic atmosphere when it comes to the in-game environment.

Has it worked? Are all of the footballing feels writ large upon this new, super-shiny canvas? Here are a few thoughts are several hours spent playing the demo:

Emotional behaviour is a thing: FIFA's always been a rather emotional game for me, in much the same way as any multiplayer game that you love can be. When winning and bragging rights amongst your friends (or the rest of the online community) are onthe line, matches mean more, and the peaks and troughs of a game matter more than they really have any right to. But this is now reflected on the pitch. In one game where I was playing as PSG, Lucas skipped past several defenders, Ibrahimovic shook his man, but I wanted to get the winger a goal so I ignored the Swede and promptly ballooned a sitter over the bar. Ibra then launched several unintelligible insults Lucas' way.

Players will shove and barge more than they used to, they'll clamour and cheer when you do something awesome, but they'll also let you know when someone's been an arse. After unclean tackles, if those involved are not injured, they'll leap to their feet and start mouthing off and pushing one another. If anything, FIFA 15 has most gloriously captured the notion that footballers are whinging prima donnas, who'll get uppity about anything.

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 £6.95 at GC on 360

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PES 2014, Sports Games, Xbox 360 games

Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 £6.95 at GC on 360

Pro Evolution Soccer 2014Game Collection | £6.95 | Price Comparison

There's nothing quite like taking your World Cup frustrations out on their digital counterparts. Sure, a digital take on football can't quite replicate Gerrard's anti-Midus touches or the rabid lunacy of Suarez, but PES 2014 tries to remind you why you enjoy the beautiful game in the first place. GC are the cheapest by over £6 today and £15 cheaper than FIFA 14.

Thanks to Chanchi32 at HotUkDeals.

Virtua Tennis 4 on Vita £3.99 at 365 Games

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PS Vita games, Sports Games

Virtua Tennis 4 on Vita £3.99 at 365 Games

Virtua Tennis 4365 Games | £3.99 (with code)
Discount Code: GOLD | Price ComparisonReview

Sega's handheld tennis ace is easily the best sports title on the Vita and even manages to surpass the PS3 version. The excellent career mode is a perfect fit for bitesize sessions. Bitesize sessions that turn into a whole afternoon especially. The comprehensive online options are well-worked into the career mode for when you want the additional challenge of a human player.

Thanks to Bure11 at HotUkDeals.

NBA 2K14 down to just £7.49 over on Steam

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
2K Sports, Basketball games, NBA 2K14, PC games, Sports Games

NBA 2K14 down to just £7.49 over on Steam

NBA 2K14 | £7.49 | Steam | Review

NBA 2K14 is a barnstorming game, and Steam currently have a fat price cut offer on for the PC version, but there's a downside. The PC version of the game is,for all intents and purposes, the last-gen edition of NBA 2K14, which is a crying shame. It's still a cracking title, and a must for basketball fans who prefer to play on PC, but it's more like NBA 2K13.5 rather than the fully-fledged upgrade offered by the PS4 and XO versions.

Pool Nation only £1.04 for PC on The Humble Store

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC, PC games, Sports Games

Pool Nation only £1.04 for PC on The Humble Store

Pool Nation | The Humble Store | £1.04 (RRP: £6.99)
Review

We've seen it cheaper on XBLA, but Brendan describes Pool Nation as "a must buy for pool fans." The AI can be very challenging, perhaps too much so at times, but the multiplayer is where the flavour is. The user-friendly trick shot implementation raises Pool Nation above the competition and will tempt you to try them out down the pub. Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!

Kinect Sports Rivals £34.99 on Xbox One at Zavvi

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Kinect 2.0, Party games, Sports Games, Xbox One Games

Kinect Sports Rivals £34.99 on Xbox One at Zavvi

Kinect Sports Rivals | Zavvi | £34.99

This would have been a handy launch title for the Xbox One thanks to the bundled Kinect 2.0, but instead you'll need to stump up some cash for some more motion-control sports activities. Zavvi are the cheapest by £4, making this best deal if you're after a new party game or just want your fat kids to be well...less.

Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII at HotUkDeals.

Grab Football Manager 2014 for under a tenner at Green Man Gaming

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Football Manager 2014, PC games, Sega, Sports Games, Sports Interactive

Grab Football Manager 2014 for under a tenner at Green Man Gaming
Football Manager 2014 | £9.52 (with code) | Green Man Gaming
PC price comparisonFootball Manager 2014 Review

So Football Manager 2014 is now under a tenner at GreenManGaming, so long as you remember to use the code OQE4LG-WEQPSE-SMCME1.

This is very dangerous indeed. Not because it's a bad game -- far from it. In fact FM14 is an absolute cracker of a game, th eonly game you'll ever need perhaps. But that's the problem. For less than  ten pounds it will steal your life and you'll wake up several months later having guided a non-league team into the top flight, but you'll probably have lost your spouse and your job and your feet will have been eaten by wolves. And you never noticed.

Probably. Nice spot jaystan.

 

Pool Nation only 67p in XBLA Sale

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Sports Games, XBLA games, Xbox 360 games

Pool Nation only 67p in XBLA Sale

Pool Nation | XBLA | 67p | Review

A must buy for pool fans at a ridiculously cheap 67p. Admittedly, the AI is harsh from the start, but if you play your own game, you'll enjoy it. There's plenty of multiplayer fun to be had too and yes, it's just as annoying waiting for the other player to line up their shot as it is in real life. The user-friendly trick shot implementation raises Pool Nation high above the competition and will tempt you to try them out down the pub too.

Thanks to Marc Freeborne at HotUkDeals.

Epigenesis free to try & 75% off on Steam this weekend

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Dead Shark Triplepunch, Early Access, Indie Games, PC, PC games, Sports Games

Epigenesis free to try & 75% off on Steam this weekend

Epigenesis won this year's Make Something Unreal competition: a futuristic first-person sport played in teetering antigravity arenas. FPS fans will need to learn a whole new mindset as they swap guns for ball control, using teamwork and tactics to emerge victorious.

Having received an early access build myself, I can report that Epigenesis is very early in development and rough around the edges, with lots more content and polish yet to come. However, if you're interested in the idea and being privy to the development cycle, though, you can try out Epigenesis for free on Steam this weekend... and buy it for a paltry £1.74 if it floats your boat!

Football Manager 2014 only £17.49 at Green Man Gaming

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Football Manager 2014, PC games, Sega, Sports Games, Sports Interactive

Football Manager 2014 only £17.49 at Green Man Gaming
Football Manager 2014 | £17.49 | Green Man Gaming
PC price comparisonFootball Manager 2014 Review

Green Man Gaming have knocked 50% off of the RRP for Football Manager 2014, meaning you can get Sports Interactive's latest manager sim for under £18, saving you a couple of quid on the closest competition. It's pretty damn great, and the UI is better than ever, with the match engine also getting a wonderful retooling. This series is more accessible than it's ever been, with almost intimidating chasms of depth too.

It's a good deal, just don't buy it if you have anything important to do over the next few months like work or sleep or eating.

 

Epigenesis early access now £2.00 on GamersGate, save £4.99

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Dead Shark Triplepunch, Early Access, PC, PC games, Sports Games

Epigenesis early access now £2.00 on GamersGate, save £4.99

Epigenesis (Early Access Steam Code) | GamersGate | £2.00 (RRP: £6.99)

Epigenesis won this year's Make Something Unreal competition: a futuristic first-person sport played in teetering antigravity arenas. FPS fans will need to learn a whole new mindset as they swap guns for ball control, using teamwork and tactics to prevail.

Having received an early access build myself, I can report that Epigenesis is very early in development and rough around the edges, with lots more content and polish necessary. However, if you're interested in the idea and being privy to the development cycle, though, you can get in on the ground floor for a paltry £2.00, saving £4.99.

Blood Bowl II Preview | Cyanide Aiming For eSports Greatness

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Blood Bowl II, Focus Home Interactive, Games previews, Sports Games, Warhammer

Blood Bowl II Preview | Cyanide Aiming For eSports Greatness

Platforms: PC

Developers: Cyanide Studio

Publishers: Focus Home Interactive

Blood Bowl is back, and this time Cyanide are really ringing the changes. What began as a hugely successful tabletop game, parodying American football and marrying the tactical elements of that sport with a fantastical setting , became a PC game in 2009 that was taken to heart by a resurgent Warhammer gaming fan base.

And now it's getting a proper sequel. We're not talking the 1.5-esque Legendary Edition that overhauled the UI, or the paid updates that ushered in more playable races. We're talking a brand new game.

Blood Bowl II Preview | Cyanide Aiming For eSports Greatness

We were told by Cyanide's Sylvain Séchi, who took us through a very early conceptual build, that pre-production actually began over a year and a half ago. Essentially, the team at Cyanide scrapped everything they had for the previous game and started afresh, with a new engine and a revamped art style to fall more in line with the slightly more realistic Warhammer 40K games we've been privy to recently.

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FIFA 14 £24.95 at Game Collection on PS3 and 360

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
FIFA 14, PS3 games, Sports Games, Xbox 360 games

FIFA 14 £24.95 at Game Collection on PS3 and 360

FIFA 14 |Game Collection | £24.95 PS3 / 360PS3360 Price Comparison

Need the latest up-to-date clubs and stadia every season? Then FIFA's your game and it's never been cheaper than the latest flash deal at Game Collection. Sporting the usual updates and animation improvements, EA's game has once again beaten PES to the title. There's a strong argument that the PS4/Xbone version is the best version but that's not to say this version isn't one of the finest footy games yet.

Thanks to Edward_Nigma at HotUkDeals.

Virtua Tennis 4 on Vita £4 at Amazon

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PS Vita games, Sports Games

Virtua Tennis 4 on Vita £4 at Amazon

Virtua Tennis 4Amazon | £4
Price ComparisonReview

Sega's handheld tennis ace is easily the best sports title on the Vita and even manages to surpass the PS3 version. The excellent career mode is a perfect fit for bitesize sessions. Bitesize sessions that turn into a whole afternoon especially. The comprehensive online options are well-worked into the career mode for when you want the additional challenge of a human player. Probably the best way to start building up you Xmas Vita's game collection at this price.

Thanks to therealbargainhunter at HotUkDeals.

Football Manager 2014 only £18 at Tesco Direct

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games, Sega, Sports Games, Sports Interactive

Football Manager 2014 only £18 at Tesco Direct
Football Manager 2014 | Tesco Direct | £18.00
PC price comparison | Football Manager 2014 Review

Well, here we are - at a sub-£20 price already for the latest Football Manager game, and it's all thanks to this latest deal from Tesco. Overall it works out £2 cheaper than the next best offer elsewhere.

I always laugh when I post deals for this series, because I know somewhere out there someone is cursing me for tempting them with the addiction once more. Still, on the bright side it appears Sports Interactive have managed to craft another involving entry in the series, all while making it even more accessible. Thanks to Mike7343 @ HUKD!

Virtua Tennis 4 on Vita £4.99 at Amazon

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PS Vita games, Sports Games

Virtua Tennis 4 on Vita £4.99 at Amazon

Virtua Tennis 4Amazon | £4.99
Price ComparisonReview

Sega's handheld tennis ace is easily the best sports title on the Vita and even manages to surpass the PS3 version. The excellent career mode is a perfect fit for bitesize sessions. Bitesize sessions that turn into a whole afternoon especially. The comprehensive online options are well-worked into the career mode for when you want the additional challenge of a human player. Probably the best stocking filler around at this price.

Thanks to ElectroDragon8 at HotUkDeals.