Let the Super Bowl pre-enactments begin

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Football has never been my game. Not in real life, not in video games. I’m just not good at assessing the risk involved in each play, the progression of the game, the fact that the Hail Mary is both fun and stupid, and not just fun. All through college, though, I endured a rivalry between two of my closest friends in whatever Madden game was the most recent.

It got intense. There was yelling, swearing, controllers were broken, consoles powered off mid-game, shouting matches across bathroom stalls, but the game count usually ended up pretty close. And every year about this time, each friend would pick their Super Bowl favorite and stage the game, complete with an array of beer, snacks, and of course, more yelling. As little interest as I have in football, it was always a good time (it was also easy to talk everyone into some Halo once the game was done).

It’s strange, but I’ve missed that these past several years. I’m still in touch with my friends, which means I know things I have no business knowing about the sport. I know my friend Brian, a Browns fanatic, might weep like a child if the Steelers win. I’ve heard the Packers are favored over the Steelers (although checking the lines at the BetUS Sportsbook shows the Steelers +110, whatever that means).

For all that, though, I wish I could sit down, drink some beer, and watch my friends hash things out on Madden. I probably won’t watch the Super Bowl this year, not even for the commercials, but I’d be willing to watch two people play a video game of the same game, because for me, it’s a much more personal rivalry.

  

Off to the Spike VGAs

I’m about three minutes from leaving for the airport to head to LA for the Spike VGAs. It should be an interesting trip, so look for some posts here come Sunday night/Monday morning. In the meantime, enjoy some Cataclysm, farm up some IP for Cassiopeia, and check me on Twitter @jmorgantwo. I’ll try to post a few updates/pics from the event if I can.

  

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 improves on a great franchise

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.

The Tiger Woods franchise has always been a good one, and it’s one of few sports franchises for which the Wii outperforms its competition. PGA Tour 11 takes the good from previous versions of the game and improves upon pretty much the entire experience.

One of the best parts of the new game is the True Aim system, which IGN details below:

The first and biggest addition is known as True-Aim. I, for one, have wanted to get closer to the real thing without having to adventure into the super-difficult Tour Pro setting. True-Aim, coupled with the focus mechanic that I’ll talk about in the next paragraph, helps to up the difficulty without making it frustrating. True-Aim removes the accuracy circle when zooming into your shot and forces you to aim your ball entirely from an over-the-shoulder camera. You have the same viewpoint as you would in real golf. That means there’s no more camera tracking as your ball flies through the air. Instead, you’re left to judge from the crowd and commentators’ reactions how well you fared. It’s much more realistic.

If there was one thing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 did right, it’s making the realistic aspects of the game more accessible, without requiring you to enter the crushingly difficult modes of the game.

  

Madden 2011 will be deeper than ever before

Madden NFL 11.

For a while there it looked like the Madden franchise might be dying. Each new version of the game felt stagnant with few new features to make anyone but the dearly devoted come back for more. In the past two years, though, EA has managed to revive the series, giving new life through better features and more in depth gameplay. Madden NFL 11 is set to follow that trend and will likely become the deepest sports experience in a game to date.

Though the game won’t launch until August, you can keep up on the latest developments at IGN. Here’s what they’re saying about the game.

Madden NFL 11 redefines the way you experience the game of football. It’s simpler: From 350 plays down to 1, the all-new GameFlow system puts you in the helmet of an NFL quarterback to execute an authentic, situational game plan, one play at a time. It’s quicker: 60 minute game times reduced to as little as 30 minutes; spend more time on the field and less in the playbook. full games, half the time. It’s deeper: Madden NFL 11 is feature-rich including all-new 3-on-3 Online Team Play, improved animations, more intuitive controls, and Madden NFL Ultimate Team … all to the play-by-play of the most exciting voice in sports, Gus Johnson.

Yeah, I’d say it’s gonna be pretty damn good.

  

NCAA 2011 is more than your average console game

Tim Tebow on NCAA 2011.Whether you’re one of the die-hards that buys each new iteration of the NCAA football franchise or a newbie to the series looking to coach a team to greatness, NCAA 2011 will bring unprecedented levels of access to game content when you’re away from your console.

The most notable feature is Dynasty Mode, which gives players a chance to create and manage their own dynasty from a variety of mobile devices. From IGN:

What that means for you, the user, is that they’re designing custom interfaces for your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad that allow you to do things like recruit and sign college-bound prospects as well as upload photos and videos to brag to other players if you happen to be playing in an Online Dynasty (or want to gloat to the CPU). You’ll also be able set your dynasty to public or private, so players can elect to give random gamers the ability to hop in their league if they want.

NCAA 2011 will be available for Xbox 360 and PS3 July 13.

  

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