Welcome back to This Week @ Shack, your weekly dose of news, commentary, video, guides, and goings-on.
Almost every year around this time, the consistently pretty great reviews for MLB: The Show 17 make me wonder if I should try picking up the virtual bat again. It's the springtime equivalent to "maybe I should try Madden" in the fall. Without fail, though, I've always found that I'm more excited about playing sports games on a theoretical level than in practical use. Somehow, they always lose me after only a few days.
That's not to take away from the craftsmanship of them. MLB The Show is a respected series for good reason. Madden has had a rockier history with more ups and downs, but it's still the go-to example for simulation football. And while I enjoy watching football on TV, or baseball in-person because it's boring on TV, the simulation just doesn't connect with me.
(I haven't tried MLB The Show 17 yet, and our reviewer Bryan Carr makes it sound pretty great. But he also has baseball pajamas, so.)
I watched Sports Night a few years after its short-lived run, and the very first episode has a scene that constantly comes to mind when I play simulation sports games. Casey, the anchor, is talking with Jeremy, the researcher. Jeremy goes into exhaustive detail about a series of no less than seven pitches that eventually led to a grounder to the shortstop. Casey is baffled by putting all that detail into a highlight reel, but Jeremy calls it "the inevitable conclusion to a job well done."
It's a solid punchline, but playing simulation sports games always makes me feel like Casey. I don't have a head for all the careful nuances of baseball, or football for that matter. And in a world where The Show owns baseball and Madden owns football, there isn't much room for casual, arcade sports games. Give me an NBA Jam or NFL Blitz or even Cyberball. I just want the highlights.
News of the World:
- StarCraft Remastered is prettying up the whole thing for 4K, but leaving all its foibles intact. No doubt this is the future of Korean esports.
- Facebook found a new head of VR hardware development, and just a few days later, announced that Palmer Luckey was leaving the company. Probably just a coincidence.
- Razer's new high-end laptop is the first one certified by THX, which is quite a feat.
- Link is like a bird, he wants to fly away-eyay.
- One of the co-creators of Astroneer has passed away.
- Heroes of the Storm's "2.0 Update" makes it much more reminiscent of the F2P models used by Hearthstone and Overwatch.
- A new Gear VR is coming, packaged with a controller, for $129, for all your low-fi VR needs.
- If a deal on a Nintendo Switch seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Star Wars Battlefront 2 is going to be shown off at Star Wars Celebration, and then immediately oveshadowed by an Episode 8 trailer.
- Destiny 2 finally got an official release date this week, and this time, it'll be on PC!
- In a moment of awful timing, Telltale announced its release date for Guardians of the Galaxy right alongside the Destiny release date.
- I took another in-depth look at Hearthstone cards this week, with the second part of my ongoing Un'Goro reviews.
- I also talked with Heroes of the Storm's production director about all the changes coming with version 2.0.
- Bryan Carr really likes MLB: The Show 17 so far, but we all know he's in the pocket of Big Baseball.
- With the last Dark Souls game getting its last DLC, David waxed nostalgic about some of his favorites from over the years.
Guides to Life:
- Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City - How to Access the Ringed City DLC
- Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City - How to Get Lapp's Armor
- Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City - How to Find the Ring of Steel Protection +3
- Mass Effect Andromeda: Mining Minerals and Upgrading Your Nomad
- Mass Effect Andromeda: How to Earn and Use AVP
- How to Charge Nintendo Switch on the Go
Steve Watts posted a new article, This Week @ Shack: 'I Can Be Centerfield' Edition
I love TW@S!
I received a notification that my t-shirt has shipped. Truly a great day.
I remember Sports Night! I watched a few episodes and was sad that it was cancelled.