No stats this time!
It’s time to look at a soccer game that I’ve had for a while. This one isn’t FIFA so I definitely am not familiar with it. Right away you could also tell that things were a little different since the United States team isn’t available. It does say Euro in the title though so I suppose that is to be expected. It’s fun enough for big soccer fans, but it’s not really for me. I still can’t figure out how to score which is definitely rough. I need to score!
When you jump into a game you are given the option to play as the whole team or to just be one player and hope that your teammates pass it to you. It’s a novel concept, but after trying it for a while I can’t really imagine playing that way for long. I like to be in control of what’s going to happen and I can’t assume direct control if I’m locked to one player. As a result this strategy just doesn’t work for me. I also played a game as the whole team of course and that was a lot better. Of course, in that game my team didn’t score so there’s a flip side.
The rules of the game are similar to Basketball. You have to kick your ball into the opposing team’s net in order to score a goal. Whoever scores the most goals will end up winning and claiming the title. The problem of course is that scoring is incredibly difficult. The goalkeeper seems to be able to block any kind of shot that you hit his way and you are never given the opportunity to even get close because the other team is constantly stealing the ball or knocking you to the side. This game just feels like a mystery to me because nothing would work. This traditionally does happen in soccer games though. The only one where I was really able to get into the zone was Mario Strikers and that game has always been particularly awesome so that isn’t really much of a surprise. For all I know the Nintendo just really aces the sport.
Of course, a lot of people play these soccer games and score so it’s not that the game is glitched or anything. I like to think of these games as puzzles and this is one puzzle that I just haven’t cracked yet. Hopefully I will be able to soon as I will have a few more opportunities with soccer games coming up. I believe I at least have one more and then it’s on to the NHL. The graphics definitely look pretty good here even if they aren’t as polished as the other sport titles. You can always clearly see what is happening and that is absolutely the most important part to the graphics here. You’ve gotta be able to see in order to make the key plays after all.
In terms of replay value, this game’s still got a lot to do. There is definitely less content than FIFA, but there’s still a ton to do as long as you enjoy soccer. You can keep on playing games over and over again and you can really refine your play by choosing to lock yourself as one player I guess. It’s definitely not the option I would choose, but I’m sure that there are a lot of people who would enjoy doing that.
I guess one ironic part of the soccer games is that it’s one of the only sports where I’m better at defense than offense. I typically hold the other team to 1 point at best. I may lose the match, but it’s always a very respectable final score so that’s something I can be pretty proud of. It doesn’t really help with making the game more exciting though. A low scoring match like that just shows me even more why soccer just isn’t my thing. I really love high powered offenses and points, which isn’t really the point of soccer. This is possibly a game where a 1 hour tutorial actually could have ended up helping me out quite a bit. Interestingly the computer doesn’t get a whole lot better when you increase the difficulty or at least I couldn’t notice. I still can’t score, but neither can they so it evens out.
Overall, UEFA Euro is a quality soccer game. It checks all of the boxes that it needs to and while it doesn’t ultimately differentiate itself as the definitive soccer game it does give players another option when heading into Gamestop. Not every game needs to be the next showstopper and there are no real weaknesses with this game that would make you want to skip it. At the end of the day it adapts the game of soccer pretty well and that’s all you really need. It’s only around 5 bucks so I’d recommend picking it up if you see it. If you don’t like soccer, then you definitely shouldn’t be buying a soccer game anyway.
1/59 PS3 Trophies
No stats this time!
3/50 PS3 Trophies
Yes guys, it is Basketball time once more! I’m still not the biggest 2K fan out there, but I will admit that they spared no expense with this one. There’s even more content than usual and of course the graphics are really good as always. There’s really nothing to dislike here so as long as you like Basketball then you’re gonna be in for a pretty great experience.
As always I started out with the classic Play Now mode. It’s always a good way to quickly get used to the controls and just get yourself acquainted with the game. I’m still not quite ready to take on the higher difficulties here as normal mode is enough for the computers to start to overwhelm me. I was doing pretty good, but gradually the small lead the computer had kept getting bigger and bigger. By the end of the game it was a genuine blowout. I tried adjusting mid-game but it’s definitely easier said than done.
The main issue here is the fact that on offense I am definitely not guaranteed to score and that’s always a bad thing since I can’t really stop the computer all that consistently. Sure, I can stop them here and there, but they score almost every time and I’m typically scoring 50% of the time. It’s odd that I’m missing so much so In know that I’m getting something wrong as opposed to the shot% just being really low here. It seems like there is some kind of shot meter like in some of the newer NBA games only it is invisible unlike those. So make sure you’re timing your shots since that seems important.
Even with that it is tough to get the shots because you need to learn how the mechanics work for all the various situations. A lot of times I would try to get a shot off but the player would try to dodge someone so the shot didn’t go off. It definitely takes a lot of practice. You also can’t get away with the risky passes you might have tried in the normal NBA games because here they’ll steal the ball almost every time. The defense is relentless.
On the other hand, it’s hard to stop the team when they’re on offense. Most of the time you’re just hoping that they’ll miss the shot and you can get the rebound. Of course, rebounds are really tough here. On one hand I almost always got the rebounds when I would miss a shot, but by the same token they would tend to get their own rebounds as well. Defense just felt almost impossible at times, but that’s usually how it is for me.
So, I decided to play some more of the bonus content here that I usually don’t really touch upon. One of these was the franchise mode. In this one you start out as a new recruit in college and you play one game before the actual draft starts. It’s pretty interesting since you’re an actual player so you can’t just keep on jumping around like you would in a normal game. You have to just play the game as a selfish player constantly asking for the ball or just waiting for your opportunity. I tried being selfish since it’s not like I was going to be playing this for a long time anyway. I ended up getting an F grade….so that didn’t work out well.
From there you go to the draft and then some actual interviews which was pretty interesting. I do love the concept as this makes the realism grow to even greater heights. It’s hard to imagine the games getting even more realistic than this. It’s the full draft experience, but the one thing I don’t like is that you can’t skip the cutcenes. You get 3 interviews back to back and I like how you have different options for your answers, but it is very long so if you don’t care and just want to get into the action you’ll be waiting for quite a while.
Meanwhile the graphics are naturally top tier as always. You won’t have any complaints here for sure. The players are naturally on point and on model. The court is clear and a lot of effort was put in here as per usual. The soundtrack is definitely less inspired. It’s pretty much the same as per usual but either way you’re in it for the Basketball right? The soundtrack would just be a bonus.
There’s pretty much endless replay value here as you can keep on playing the various basketball matches or you can jump into these various franchise modes. I probably prefer the classic Basketball gameplay the best, but I do think the novelty of sticking to one player could definitely be a lot of fun as well. I don’t know about being pulled out of the game though, that seems like it would be annoying pretty quick. Then of course you’ve also got the PS3 trophies to earn so you’ll definitely be here for a while. I didn’t try the online, but since this is 2K15 I wonder if the servers are still up. I definitely don’t know for sure though so don’t count on the online still being active just in case.
Overall, NBA 2K15 is probably the definitive installment in the 2K series. At least from the ones I’ve played. The gameplay still isn’t quite as fast paced or intense as the NBA ones in my opinion. It’s definitely a very different take and for longtime fans of the 2K series I’m sure they’ll love it. It’ll take a little longer for the normal NBA fans to get into it of course, but once you do then you’ll see the great amount of depth that is to be found here. I’d recommend picking this one up and soon I’ll be playing the older installments so it’ll be fun to see how the game has evolved over the years.
No stats here either.
It’s time to head to the next NBA game. I’m still not sure what the difference between NBA 08 and NBA Live 08 is, but I suppose I’ll be finding out soon since we also own the normal NBA 08. This game may be the best of the 3 NBA titles that I’ve played recently though. It completely gets rid of the new gimmick where you see a meter when you shoot. It feels more like the good ole days and that’s definitely a good thing. I also feel like I’m finally hitting my stride here like the good ole days although I suppose it is also possible that this game is just easier than the other two.
Naturally I went right into the quick play mode to jump into some games right off the bat. I always have a game against the easy computers and then I jump right to the top. Well, this time I managed to beat the computer on both settings and that felt pretty good. The computer wasn’t making any obvious mistakes like the last game, it’s more like they just couldn’t stop me here. Whenever they would be closing in I would just make the pass and keep it moving. It was a lot of fundamentals and maybe also a degree of remembering how the computer acts as I have gotten to play against the computers quite a bit lately.
One strategy that almost always works is to run to on the bottom side of the screen and pass up when you’re close. The computer will stand there with a confused expression while you score. This works on all difficulties and often times you can also beat the computer one on one. Just go for the shot and you’ll make it. While there is no meter, I would usually hold down the shot button for a second or two. It just seemed to increase the accuracy but it could easily be a placebo effect going on there.
Interestingly, the computer does start to panic near the end though. I was winning by a good amount as the game was ending and the A.I. seemed to take that as a cue to start hitting me with fouls. The final minute or two I couldn’t even move as they would immediately foul me so I would go to the free throw line. The logic seemed to be that whether I made the shots or not they would get the ball again. If so, this was a pretty desperate strategy indeed. Plus, the free throws are fairly easy, I made 7/9 which wasn’t half bad. In general I thought the controls were really on point here. You won’t do anything that you didn’t plan on doing and that’s important. There are no glitches to be found either.
There are the usual extra modes available here, but for once I decided to quickly try one of them out. I tried the Dunk Contest and while I like the concept, I think it could have explained the controls a little better. The goal is to land a good dunk with style points to be the best, but the controls are a little different than the average game. You can’t just run up and dunk after all. You have to wow the crowd with a lot of fancy ball tricks and movement before you can dunk. My character would just drop the ball and so I lost the game without scoring a single point. That’s not enough to make me say that it’s a bad mode, but it did remind me why I usually stick to the main one.
As always the graphics are on point here. Everything looks nice and detailed. The colors are sharp and the character designs seem pretty well made. The way the menu loads is the new style where it takes you right into the basketball court so you can shoot some hoops while it loads. I always felt like this probably slows down the loading time, but it is a fun way to pass the time. You can practice all of your skills here and practicing is definitely important. It helps the replay value even further although that’s never a weakness for a sport game.
Overall, NBA Live 08 is pretty great as expected. It’s more or less the same as the other two NBA games so at the end of the day it boils down to how much you like Basketball. If you like it a lot then you’ll be fine. If you only like it a bit then you’d probably get bored so just keep that in mind. The whole game is built around the sport because you’re supposed to just have a lot of fun going through the games. For what it’s worth, I definitely think the game succeeds in that area. It’s got a really nice presentation overall so they didn’t cut any corners here. It also goes for a good price nowadays so don’t worry about spending a bunch on this one.
It’s time for my NCAA Football marathon to come to a close. It’s been a good run but they must all end someday. This one actually does change the gameplay up quite drastically compared to the last games which were pretty much identical. Unfortunately I don’t think it works quite as well as the last few. This one slows down the pacing so it’s more of a classic football simulator. Not a bad idea, but after playing the fast paced ones it is just hard to go back.
The array of game modes are pretty much the same as always. I’m not sure why they listed quick play as a new mode inside of the game, but I’ll assume that was a quick misdirect to try and get more sales in and trick people into thinking there is more content. It wouldn’t exactly be the most sinister thing that EA ever did after all. There’s franchise mode, practice, and a bunch of other options. I believe the servers are likely down for this one so don’t expect to be getting into some crispy online battles just yet.
Either way the majority of your time in the game will be playing full Football matches which is why the gameplay is key. You can’t just cheese the game by running in with your quarterback anymore. This game really encourages you to run the ball with your running back as you would typically do in real life. It works well enough and for the record I was still able to win against the computer on Heisman level. It just meant playing very patiently and working on getting used to how this game rolls. For the first few drives I actually wasn’t able to score so I definitely did have to take a step back and re-evaluate how I was playing. Once I got the hang of it then it was off to the races. I found that the best plays were still slants and crossing patterns. The computer always seems to have a tough time with those no matter what year it is.
Surprisingly the computer wasn’t so good on offense this time around which is the only reason I was able to stay in the game. I was able to stop them many times. It almost felt like a glitch at points as the computers would try the same screen pass over and over again. They’d either run it or screen it, but they never really went for real throws. It happened so infrequently and that worked out for me since it’s hard to protect against the longer shots. I kept holding them to field goals so that was pretty cool. I still think something didn’t seem right. When zooming out to see the play it would also flicker at times so there may be something up with my copy after all.
Regardless, the gameplay is still a lot of fun. It may not be as fast as the others, but every aspect of the gameplay is still very polished. You have a lot of control over the player and there are so many different plays you can run. Each game will never feel quite the same as the last one with so many variables intact. Part of why I love the Football games is because of how fun and peaceful they are. You can get lost in these games for a long time as you just go play by play. Before you know it you’ll have gone through the full season. This definitely reminds me that I need to go and play the next Madden soon.
As for the graphics, they’re definitely on point as you would expect. Everything looks pretty sharp and while it isn’t a big change from the other games, this series has never looked bad. EA is always proud of their graphics so that doesn’t really come as a surprise. The sound effects are on point and the game holds up as well as you would expect it to on a technical level. There’s a lot of content here as I already mentioned so you don’t need to worry about replay value. Considering that you can get this game for a dollar now, that’s more than enough content to keep you busy.
Overall, NCAA Football continues to impress. It’s certainly the best ongoing sport series aside from Madden. If the games are still coming out then I’m pretty behind at this point since this is the latest saga in the series that I own. I’ll definitely take a look and see if I notice any newer ones next time I’m at Gamestop. I definitely recommend this game if you like Football and naturally I’d skip on it if you don’t. It’s the kind of game that completely depends on whether you enjoy the sport so you’ll likely know right away whether this is the game for you or not. Now I’ve gotten my sport backlog down to 37 games which is pretty cool. You’ll be seeing it at 0 before you know it!
No stats I’m afraid!