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mcdowell31's Blog
Pre-season And Hype Springs Eternal 
Posted on August 16, 2017 at 01:24 AM.
Another August and the football and basketball hype trains are loaded and left, or loaded and leaving. This is the pre-season for game fans of those particular sports, and people are limbering-up on every tidbit of marketing hype trotted out. Can't blame them... despite twenty years of the circus, I'm not jaded enough to not watch a YouTube with something quality about its information. Every team has the potential for champion during pre-season, and every fan is hopeful.

Speaking of circuses: I stopped buying Madden after 2005 and did not return until 2016 when I was convinced that development team was interested in simulation. NFL 2K5 got me through that long winter (a nod to Game of Thrones). I also abandoned NBA Live 2005: It was smoldering and heading toward dumpster fire. Having tried NBA 2K2, I had a feeling the winter could be shorter and less severe with NBA 2K6. I was right and watched NBA Live flounder trying to regain footing.

I'm actually looking forward to Madden 18. I've been playing seriously heartwarming battles versus the Madden 17 AI in franchise mode, and I'm feeling this game almost as much as NFL 2K5. Heartwarming? Yes, because the game delivers pure football entertainment with many of the tropes found on any given Sunday (another nod). The AI is logical and the game world consistent. I only played football in ninth grade, but a lot of what I know came through video simulations. And, a lot of real world strategy and "physics" translate well into Madden 17. I might actually jump on Madden's "early" access hype train.

And, then there is NBA 2K17. I'm typing right now just to calm down and go to bed. I just rage-quit a franchise game. I've made decent off-season acquisitions for the Magic; our team chemistry is understandable at 62% with the roster changes. But, we are losing to 73% chemistry Portland by 20 in the second quarter. I've been experimenting with the start today roster from the season just ended: Badges and all. Six months ago I was experimenting with no badges: Attributes; tendencies; that's all; no badges. And, the games felt purer; less gimmicky. Win or lose, everything felt more logical and earned; no badge slight of hand.

Right now, I feel Madden is going to deliver. It's not hype if you deliver.

2K... I'm not sure... my head hurts a little right now... no, it actually does. It's been like this for 365 as I've hoped to recapture the euphoria of the deep franchises I had on Xbox 360. I was given hope for NBA 2k17 because of 16; I hoped for 16 because of 15. This game used to give me joy, but this console generation's franchise mode has been riddled with inconsistent AI and gameplay mechanics, and game-flow (that seemingly hates basketball) that have just made the process exhausting.

So now... I'll go to bed. I've got a 2K18 YouTube queued-up from E3. I'm looking for inconsistent AI, gameplay mechanics, and game-flow that turn a beautiful game into frustrating...

I hope to get on the 2K hype train.

Right now I'm not feeling it.
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