My name is Jared Whittaker, one of the hosts and Audio Chewbacca of the Super-Fly Podcast and PCW! Welcome to Game Changer, a weekly burning missive about all aspects of video gaming with a little bit of opinion thrown in for fun. Proceed with caution and tread lightly, gentle gamers. It’s going to be good time. Like the first time you saw Super Mario 3 good time.
We continue the mini-series “The Fall Lineup”, where we look at some of the games we’ll be seeing in the next few months on store shelves, on TV screens and under Christmas trees. This week, we look at the big sports games that will be showing up this year. Sports games are always big sellers and sports fans are always happy being about to help lead their team to victory on the small screen. Here are some of the bigger titles coming out in the next few months:
Madden 12 (EA/Every console known to man)
Another year, another Madden game shows up on store shelves. And when that happens, the general public starts looking for ways to take a sick day the day it comes out. While this year’s game offers more refinements to the core game experience than adding new features, the all-new collision system, advanced defensive AI and custom playbooks are going to make a game that’s already has a deep gameplay experiences even deeper. Boasting a franchise mode that includes more than 100 new features and enhancements, including expanded rosters, an all-new rookie scouting system, a free-agent bidding system, and more as well as an unprecedented on-field authenticity with hundreds of visual improvements across all areas of the game, Madden 12 is going to make you feel like you’re in the game more than ever. All that and the still mysterious ” Online Communities” feature than EA hasn’t said much about yet. We’ll hear about it for sure August 30th when the game hits everyone.
Kinect Sports: Season 2 (Mircosoft/Xbox 360)
The Kinect motion controller turned out to be a big hit with 360 owners and one of the games that displayed the controller’s possibilities early on was Kinect Sports. The sequel to the 360′s casual sports collection will be adding new events, like tennis and darts, along with football, golf and more. If you have a 360, Kinect and love to see your Avatar dancing around after a touchdown or swinging wildly at tennis balls, Kinect Sports: Season 2 will be right up your alley. Look for it October 25, 2011
NBA Jam: On Fire Edition (EA/PS3.360)
Basketball games have been a personal favorite of mine growing up. I played the original NBA Jam both in the arcade and on my Super NES with my friends for hours at a time. So, it hurt a great deal last year that a revamped version of the game made an appearance on the Wii and none of the other systems. But a year later, NBA Jam: On Fire Edition is coming out on PS3 and 360. It’s an HD version of the classic game play that everyone knows and loves. Adding an online component to the backboard breaking, action based basketball game we all loved. Look for Obama and Bill Clinton to be hitting 3′s on all y’all suckas November 17th.
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Wii)
Not to be out done, Mario and Sonic give the Olympic games another go in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. There are four new events: horse-riding, canoeing, football and badminton, all set in a London background. Big Ben looms in the background, the horses ride beneath the Greenwich Observatory and badminton matches take place in the Wembley Arena. If you liked the set up from the last game based in Beijing, you’ll dig this sequel as well. The London installment won’t change hardcore gamers’ minds about the series, but casual gamers and Wii fans will defiantly dig their favorite Nintendo and Sega characters going at it for the gold. Mario and Sonic at the London games comes out November 15th
WWE ’12 (PS3,360,Wii)
As a bit of a wrestling fan, wrestling games are always on my radar. And this year’s wresting outing, newly renamed WWE 12 is looking to bring in some new fans by making the franchise both more accessible and competitive. Face buttons trigger signature/finisher moves and a mixture of pinning and Irish whips. The right stick is dedicated to positioning your opponents. If you grab the other player, you can flick the stick to turn your opponent to muscle in a move from behind, making controlling your grappler that much easier. The simplified controls and presentation that mirrors the real WWE programs are going to make any wrestling fan get lost in the action. Create a wrestler is back with more options so you can make yourself in the game or your favorite wrestler that ins’t in WWE, (cough…Samoa Joe….cough) and more online matches are going to give this game legs. WWE ’12 walks that isle November 22
that’s a few of the sports games that will be seeing this holiday season. Next week, we focus on some downloadable titles that are going to make a big splash on download services this year.
Jared Whittaker plays a lot of games. Not as much as he’d like, but as much as time and money will allow. If you want to play some games with Jared, you can find him on Playstation 3; PSN tag: JFX. He is also on Steam and Battle.net as JFX316 and while he doesn’t have an Xbox 360, he has the coolest Gamertag in the world: Obiwan Jaborni. Feel free to add him as a friend or email him at JWhittaker@PanelsonPages.com. and on Twitter as JFX316