Bring Back NCAA Football Games

Today, I will be briefly ranting about two things near and dear to my heart: football and video games. More specifically, I will be talking about NCAA Football video games. NCAA 14 was the last college football game released by EA, do to licensing disputes and a plethora of other issues. At the time in which the games were still coming out, I wasn’t an exceptional fan. I liked them, I always purchased them, but with the exception of 2012, I always preferred Madden games to their NCAA counterpart (Madden 12 was awful). However, I recently started watching a YouTube gaming channel which featured an NCAA 14 Dynasty series, which hit me right in the nostalgia spot. So, for the first time in years, I hooked up my old Xbox 360 and played some NCAA 13. I ended up not buying NCAA 14 for whatever reason, so I made do with what I had. I was immediately enthralled by the game. I had forgotten just how in-depth and fun the Dynasty mode was. I absolutely love the recruiting process and I find it to be just as fun, if not more so, than the actual games themselves. The nature of college football forces players to constantly be looking to the teams future, as you have a maximum of 5 seasons at most with any and all in-game players. Currently, I am going into my 4th season as head coach of my local team, the Marshall University Thundering Herd. I hold an immaculate record, having lost only 4 games in those 3 completed years (playing on Heisman difficulty, of course). I have both a Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl victory, and two C-USA Championships to show for my success. I’m pressing on in my dynasty, not feeling the slightest hint of exhaustion or boredom toward the game. This has led me to raise the question of why in the world the NCAA and EA Sports have not revived this series. The game is exceptional. I obviously don’t have exact figures, but I’m 100% certain that the NCAA Football series made millions of dollars for EA. It undoubtedly exposed a significant amount of people to college football, to the benefit of the NCAA. Surely the two sides could reach an agreement on a way to bring the series back. On top of that, the game could be heavily beneficial to the players themselves. I have always been a strong supporter of paying college athletes. While I do not believe that they should receive any compensation outside of a scholarship from the school’s themselves, the players should be able to monetize their likeness, in the form of profiting from their respective jersey and merchandise sales, as well as actual usage of their likeness in things like the NCAA Football video game series. The reintroduction of the game could be the best possible way to ensure a higher quality of life for both college athletes and causal video game players. The series has provided me with countless hours of fun, and continues to do so, despite the last rendition of the game being 5+ years old. The revival of the game could help bridge the gap between the millions of dollars made by the NCAA and the lack of compensation for college athletes. Bringing back the game would be a win-win-win situation for the NCAA, collegiate athletes, and video game players alike. In my opinion, this is something that really, really needs to happen. I hope to one day be able to turn on my new-generation gaming console and again be able to enjoy the fun of the college football experience, sooner rather than later.

That’s all for this week. Be sure to check out some of the other great content from the writers at Mid-American Culture. Thanks for reading!

The Strangest WWE Game Ever

crushhour

Notice in the title that I said “The Strangest WWE Game Ever” and not “The Strangest Wrestling Game Ever.” That’s because WWE Crush Hour is not a wrestling game. It’s a Twisted Metal rip-off. How are they connected? I’ll let the game’s intro tell you.

Continue reading “The Strangest WWE Game Ever”

E3 2018 Hopes/Predictions

Some of you may have read my E3 2017 predictions a year ago, before Mid-American Culture existed. I was wrong. However, that doesn’t mean that I could do it again! The Electronic Entertainment Expo is always highly anticipated by the gaming community, It’s a cliche to say so, but it really is. Speculating is always fun, so here’s my hopes/predictions for the 2018 edition! Continue reading “E3 2018 Hopes/Predictions”

Fortnite Battle Royale Season 4: My First Impressions

Welcome back to Mid-American Culture and thank you for checking out the newest addition to the “My First Impressions” series. This is the series where I gave my initial opinion on things in popular culture long before I have had time to create any sort of legitimate thoughts or feelings about whatever I am reviewing.  Today, I will be examining the newest season of the gaming sensation Fortnite Battle Royale. As you may know, if you’ve read any of my previous content, I am a huge fan of Fortnite. The new season launched on May 1, 2018 to a great deal of hype and speculation. Epic Games did an outstanding job during Season 3 of building suspense regarding the incoming meteors and the effect they would have on the game in Season 4. In my opinion, they closed out Season 3 perfectly. That leads me into Season 4….

squad leader

The first thing I wanted to check out upon purchasing my Season 4 Battle Pass was the new skins. I found them to be hit or miss. Some of the skins are absolutely incredible. The “Squad Leader” skin  (pictured above) is 100% my favorite Battle Pass skin that the game has ever had. The outfit on the Squad Leader is epic and the sleeve of tattoos absolutely speaks to me. I have the utmost confidence that this skin will lead me to many wins in the future once I have unlocked it. Some of the other skins are cool as well. Considering it is the first skin unlocked, I also like the Carbide skin. It kind of looks like a dollar store version of Captain America but it’s solid and fits the season theme of superheroes well. I am obligated to point out that I am not a fan of the Omega skin. It is the final skin unlocked at Tier 100. It is a bitter disappointment. The Reaper skin (better known as the John Wick skin) became a sort of enigma to the Fortnite community. The Omega just looks like a blacked out version of the Carbide skin. Last season’s Dark Voyager was significantly more imposing and took virtually half the effort. Outside of that, I would say that Epic Games did a pretty good job with the skins. Along the same lines as the skins, the game also did a solid job with the other cosmetics. The new emotes, loading screens, gliders, and pickaxes are all fairly creative and well done.

divot

Moving on to what is probably the most significant change to the game, the enigmatic meteor finally struck the Fortnite map. However, it did not destroy Tilted Towers as many had speculated. Instead, it struck Dusty Depot. The impact resulted in a deep crater on the map, sprinkled with consumable crystals that give your character a sort of low gravity effect. These crystals enhance jumping capabilities for short period of time and also eliminate fall damage. I loved the concept of a meteor hitting the map and destroying a location from the very beginning. I am also glad it wasn’t Tilted Towers. Despite my love/hate relationship with Tilted, I would have been very sad to see it go. Instead, they opted to destroy part of Dusty Depot and I couldn’t be happier. You could make the case that Dusty was the worst named location on the entire map. While I wouldn’t agree with that statement, it is certainly up there. They took a massively underwhelming location and made it significantly more interesting. Kudos to you once again, Epic Games. In addition to the new Dusty Divot location, several other structures were added to the game. A new location, called Risky Reels was added. This location has a drive-in movie theatre theme. Similarly, Moisty Mire was also given a movie-themed makeover. Also, several structures that I would describe as superhero bases and lairs have also popped up around the map. I think the new locations are pretty neat. I can’t say that I love them, but I also don’t have any real complaints with them either.

royale

Overall, I think that Season 4 of Fortnite Battle Royale is very promising. Although I’m not in love with every aspect, I think the changes they made to the game will effectively keep the game new and fresh while still maintaining the basic battle royale concept that we all have grown to love. Epic Games will undoubtedly release many more updates with new additions to the game in the coming months and I look forward to all of them. I can’t wait for a Season 4 full of Victory Royales!

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out some of the other great content from the Mid-American Culture Staff!

My Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C

 

Far Cry 5: My First Impressions

Far Cry 5 was the most excited I’ve been for a new video game since the release of Mafia 3 in 2016. Despite my excitement, I was skeptical. Mafia 2 was one of my favorite games of all time and Mafia 3’s attempt to follow it up had fallen horrendously short and left me immensely disappointed. Far Cry 5 is in an almost identical situation: following up one of my favorite games of all time (Far Cry 4) and facing great expectations from the gaming community. The setup could not be better for Far Cry 5 to be a failure as well.

With that being said, I do not consider Far Cry 5 to be a failure at this point. It does, however, have some noteworthy problems. At the time of writing this article, I am approximately 4 hours of play time into the game. I have encountered several bugs that forced me to either manually restart missions or led me to an inevitable death that forced me to restart at a prior checkpoint. I can’t even begin to explain how frustrating this is, especially considering my next gripe with the game. The combat is very very challenging. While I must point out that I am used to Fortnite combat, which is a far cry different than that of Far Cry 5 (pun intended). But regardless, I found myself dying far more than I ever should as early as I was into the game. Perhaps the combat will get easier as I become more familiar. I simply wouldn’t be honest in giving my initial thoughts of the game if I didn’t mention that. My only other significant complaint about the game thus far is that the open-world concept that the game employs may be a little too open world, if that makes any sort of sense. The missions are entirely spread out throughout the immense map as of this point, the game doesn’t feel linear in the slightest. I feel as if I could do these quests in any order and the game would make just as much sense as it does now. It is worth mentioning again that I am only around 4 hours into a campaign that is said to be able to last up to 25 hours, so the story may line up more as time progresses.

Now that my issues with the game are out of the way, I can talk about the good. First off, I absolutely love the game’s concept. The idea of fighting a right-wing religious cult in the heartland of America speaks to me on a subconscious level. This fresh concept paired with the current real-world political climate make the game that much more enthralling. In addition to this, I find the game’s main protagonists, the 4 members of the Seed family, to be utterly brilliant. Each has their own twisted, semi-psychotic characteristics. This makes them extremely easy to hate, a quality which they share with Far Cry 4’s protagonist Pagan Min. The story, elevated by these great protagonists, has potential to be fantastic if executed properly. I look forward to seeing if the campaign meets its full potential. Before I wrap up my favorite parts of the game, I feel like I have to mention the Pee Tape mission. Early on in my play-through, I encountered a certain familiar CIA agent from past games in the series who had been tasked with recovering a videotape that was said to be greatly embarrassing to the in-game President of the United States. The subtle innuendos and references to the so called “Pee Tape” which is rumored to contain video proof of Russian prostitutes urinating on President Donald Trump are absolutely hilarious. I was so glad the game included a real-world reference like this, especially given its parallel to our current political climate. I really enjoyed it.

Overall, I feel that the game has a lot of potential. With bug fixes certain to be coming in the form of updates and further plot development, it could really be something special. It may even have what it takes to beat out its predecessor. Once I finish the game, I will post a full review and give my final thoughts on it. This may come as early as next Wednesday, or as late as the following Wednesday. Regardless, you can rest assured that it is coming. In the meantime, check out some of the other great content put out by the Mid-American Culture crew. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday.

My Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C