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Yankee outfielder sports cool ‘Destiny 2’ gear during Players Weekend

Destiny 2 beginner's guide
For the first “Players Weekend,” Major League Baseball encouraged everyone to have a little fun with alternate jerseys, creative nicknames, and even flashy colored bats to express themselves on the field. Video game fan Aaron Judge took it to a new level, sporting cleats and batting gloves promoting Destiny 2, the upcoming blockbuster game developed by Bungie.

Here’s a closer look at the #Destiny2-themed cleats that will be worn by @TheJudge44 this weekend. First up: Warlock cleats and gloves.

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— Destiny The Game (@DestinyTheGame) August 25, 2017

Judge is not only a first-time All-Star, he also won the Home Run Derby in July at the annual event in Miami. “I just think of myself as a little kid from Linden, Calif., getting to live a dream right now,” Judge told “This was awesome. It’s my first time coming to Miami, and the goal is to have some fun and compete.” He is also a dedicated gamer who visited Bungie in July for some behind-the-scenes previews of Destiny 2.

Judge is a big guy at 6-foot-7 and 282 pounds, and he wears #99 for the Yankees. His custom jersey name for Players Weekend? “ALL RISE,” of course. Judge said he had planned to just go with his last name, until one of his teammates convinced him otherwise.

“Man, are you kidding me? Get your brand out there. Everybody loves you,” Todd Frazier told him. “You put ‘All Rise’ on there, you know how many people are going to buy that jersey?”

While it’s nice to see the notoriously buttoned-up MLB relax a bit for one weekend, not everyone is a fan of the Players Weekend and they wish those dang kids would just get off their lawn. On the other hand, if you want to browse through them all, here’s a complete list of the jersey nicknames.

If you’re looking for the latest news and rumors for Bungie’s upcoming blockbuster, you’ve come to the right place. After a successful beta, Destiny 2 will arrive for consoles on September 6, but PC gamers have a longer wait with a release date of October 24, 2017.

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Overwatch 2 is taking pages from the Valorant playbook
Sojourn uses an ability in Overwatch 2.

Overwatch 2 should have been a surefire hit. The original Overwatch took the world by storm when it was released in 2016 and introduced a fresh take on the hero shooter subgenre established by Team Fortress 2. It had a healthy community, and its sequel would maintain that by not overriding its multiplayer base. In 2022, though, Overwatch 2 is both sorely needed and a controversial title.
In the years since its announcement, Activision Blizzard has lost multiple major developers related to the franchise and reportedly fostered a problematic work environment. Overwatch 2 has been delayed numerous times, and the original Overwatch hasn't received a super-substantial update in almost two years as a result. Fans have since jumped to games like Valorant and Apex Legends.
As the Overwatch community feels frustrated and abandoned and workers organize at Activision Blizzard, Overwatch 2 has lost some of its shine. That's why it makes sense that Blizzard is taking a clever marketing cue from one of its biggest competitors to stay relevant and keep discourse about the game in a place it's happy with. 
Sojourn Gameplay Trailer | Overwatch 2
Where we dropping?
Overwatch 2's first PvP beta begins today, finally giving fans a taste of what they've been waiting for through many ups and downs. Players can sign up for a chance to get access to the beta on the Overwatch website, but that's not really the way Blizzard wants to attract people to the game. Instead, it wants players to watch several streamers play the game during a specific timef rame on April 27 to get a beta code via Twitch Drop.
Rolling out the beta in this way will drive engagement and discussion about Overwatch 2, which the game sorely needs. It's all pretty clever, but there's a catch: This has been done before.
Back in 2020, Riot Games had the challenge of introducing Valorant, a brand new IP that was quite similar to Overwatch. Previous Overwatch challenges like Battleborn and Lawbreakers had failed gloriously, and they weren't launching in the middle of a pandemic. It was a tough sell, but Riot Games managed to make its shooter the hottest title of spring 2020.
Leveraging some intrigue in the title and its League of Legends clout, Riot Games gave streamers access to the closed beta and made Twitch Drops the primary way to get beta access. This fear of missing out helped encourage many players to try the game once they finally got access and broke a single-day viewership record on the Amazon platform.
Closed Beta begins in EU/NA - VALORANT
And because Valorant is a well-designed and entertaining multiplayer hero shooter, players stuck around, and its popularity skyrocketed. Valorant is still very relevant today and has kind of taken Overwatch's place during Blizzard's dearth of updates for Overwatch and news about Overwatch 2. Blizzard is fighting from behind to recapture some of the same magic with Overwatch 2, if only for a day. 
Defy the limits (of PR)
This Twitch Drop approach is a smart decision for Blizzard. Overwatch 2 has some stiff competition these days and needs to court hardcore fans back to the franchise after scorning them with a lack of updates. A limited-time stunt like these Twitch Drops will likely inflate viewership numbers and bring Valorant and Apex Legends players' attention back to Overwatch 2.
Blizzard was historically a company that charted its own path and found creative and unique ways to promote its games. Now, the best way to ensure Overwatch 2's success is to follow the competition during a beta period. On top of those benefits, this approach keeps the focus on the game itself, not the questions and problematic conditions surrounding its development.

How has Blizzard's workplace changed since the revelations about rampant harassment last year? How did Chacko Sonny, Jeff Kaplan and Micheal Chu's departures impact Overwatch 2's design? How will Microsoft's impending Activision Blizzard acquisition impact future support for Overwatch 2 and the studio as a whole? These are all significant questions looming over Overwatch 2 that Activision Blizzard would probably prefer not to address outside of highly controlled PR statements.
Now, most players will just be paying attention to the gameplay and excitement behind potentially getting a Twitch Drop with a code. Blizzard can generate hype through streamers who will signal-boost Overwatch 2 gameplay, likely without addressing or critiquing Blizzard's company culture and the game's troubled development. This approach, unfortunately, worked well for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and it now looks like Blizzard is seeing how well it works with Overwatch 2.
After years of waiting, it is exciting that some players will finally get their hands on Overwatch 2's PvP beta and hopefully help mold the game with their feedback. Still, these Twitch Drops make it abundantly clear that Blizzard needs to think outside the box to promote Overwatch 2 and attract new players after several controversies. 

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I paid $2 a day to play an abandoned Wii Sports sequel
wii sports club retrospective boxing

It’s hard to find someone who was alive during the Wii’s heyday that hasn’t at least tried Wii Sports. It’s one of the bestselling games of all time, and its simple but accurate motion controls made everyone from young kids to seniors feel like they were an athlete for a few minutes. Those are big shoes to fill for any game trying to follow it up, and Nintendo Switch Sports is poised to reinvigorate the formula on April 29 with its reworked visuals and new sports offering.
But did you know that another Wii Sports game came out between those two titles? In the early days of the Wii U, Nintendo released Wii Sports Club, a remake of the classic casual sports title for the failed Wii U console. It enhanced the controls and visuals and tried to give the Wii Sports series a lively community.
Nintendo Switch Sports rekindled my memory of Wii Sports Club's existence, and following the announcement of the Wii U eShop's impending closure, I knew I wanted to check it out and see why this follow-up fell into obscurity. This meant paying $2 a day to access a remake of Wii Sports with broken features that almost no one was playing. Was it worth it? No, but it's a very fitting Wii U game as it's also a product completely overshadowed and made redundant by its predecessor. 
Wii U - Wii Sports Club All Sports Trailer
Pay to play
I was able to find Wii Sports Club on the Wii U eShop and download it for free. While free-to-play Wii Sports seems like a fantastic idea, it doesn’t last long. The first time I booted up the game, I had a 24-hour free trial to try any of the five sports -- tennis, bowling, golf, baseball, and boxing -- that I wanted. I got a bit of tennis and bowling in on my first day with the game, but didn't see everything it had to offer.
After that first day, it was time to pay up. I was given two payment options in-game that would then bring me the Nintendo eShop. I could purchase the individual sports for $10 each, which would give me access to them and their associated minigames forever. My other option was to pay $2 a day to access everything.
Although having to buy a $2 day pass several days in a row for an abandoned Wii U game wasn't really a wise financial investment, I was curious enough to succumb to this microtransaction and keep playing. Doing that and only spending around $14 makes a lot more sense than paying $50 for remakes of games I got for free with my Wii over 15 years ago. This monetization scheme doesn't seem like it was that good of a deal in 2014, and it definitely isn't one now when there are tons of cheaper or free fitness apps that people can get much more out of. But what exactly did I get for that money?
Reinventing sports
Since June 2014, Wii Sports Club has featured the same five sports as the original Wii pack-in: Tennis, bowling, golf, baseball, and boxing. The individual sports play as you remember them in the original Wii Sports for the most part. Swinging the Wii Remote causes your character to make the same motion with a tennis racket, golf club, bat, ball, or fist. Some training mode minigames do shake the formula for each sport up a bit, but none kept my attention for long.
The most significant gameplay differences between the original Wii Sports and Wii Sports Club are Wii MotionPlus support and the Wii U GamePad. Wii MotionPlus is obviously more responsive than the basic Wii Remotes, so the movement of whatever you’re holding in-game does feel more accurate in Wii Sports Club. That said, the game is still easy and accessible enough that I’d call it a must-try for players who love Wii Sports.
Then there’s the Wii U GamePad, which comes up in golf and baseball. In golf, you place the Wii U GamePad on the ground, and it displays the ball you have to hit. It’s a fun visual touch but very gimmicky. Meanwhile, the GamePad’s gyroscope is used to aim pitches and catch balls in baseball. Although baseball makes much better use of the GamePad, constantly switching between it and the Wii remote can get tiring. Outside of those features, the Wii U GamePad is fairly useless in Wii Sports Club, so it isn’t nearly as good of a tech demo for its system as the original Wii Sports was.

Overall, these five sports are only slightly enhanced versions of what you remember from the original Wii Sports. It’s a remake that’s not wholly necessary, considering one can play the original game on Wii U via backward compatibility. That’s not a good thing when there are over six times more copies of Wii Sports out there than there are Wii U systems. It's a bite-sized version of the conundrum that the Wii U also found itself in. 
Gone clubbing
Wii Sports Club is so named because Nintendo focuses on in-game clubs. Each day, players can choose to join a club -- many of which are based on states, regions, or countries. These clubs are then ranked individually for each sport, depending on their players’ performance.
I joined the Illinois club, but this didn't have a noticeable impact on my experience because Wii Sports Club's social functionality doesn't really work anymore. While it still tracks clubs' performances online, there's no good way to communicate.
Playing Wii Sports Club is a lonely experience in 2022.

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Xbox Game Pass turns mediocre sports games into comfort food
mlb the show 22 xbox game pass comfort food gameplay 2

Most modern sports game franchises have settled into mediocrity. Companies like EA and 2K have found a lucrative formula for franchises like FIFA, Madden, and NBA 2K, so they rarely have to reimagine what those series look like despite some hardcore fans' frustrations. Sony San Diego's MLB The Show series has slowly fallen into the sports game slump in recent years.
While MLB The Show 22 features some new modes, updates to existing ones, and a new commentary team, the gameplay itself doesn't feel like much of an improvement over MLB The Show 21. Despite that, I'm having a great time with it, thanks to Xbox Game Pass. Mediocre sports games are somewhat mindless, enjoyable comfort games for many players like myself. Playing them through Xbox Game Pass ensures I don't feel self-conscious about spending lots of money on a game super similar to a title released 12 months prior.
As long as the series remains on Xbox Game Pass, I doubt I'll ever play MLB The Show on PlayStation again. That said, I'm probably going to continue to play each new installment every year because of the niche it fills on Microsoft's subscription service.
If it ain't broke
Only having some minor adjustments does make a bit of sense as MLB The Show 22 just launched on more platforms than ever. Historically, it was a PlayStation console exclusive series; following a 2019 deal with the MLB, Sony San Diego's baseball titles made it to Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and now Nintendo Switch. When you're focused on expanding your audience and have to make a game in under a year, it makes sense not to introduce any radical changes to core gameplay mechanics and only tweak and add to what's already there.
Admittedly, MLB The Show 22's gameplay is also just in a really good place. The pitching, batting, and fielding all have a lot of depth and different control schemes, even if these mechanics are the same as last year's. 
MLB The Show 22 - Cover Athlete Reveal: Defining A Legend - Nintendo Switch
MLB The Show 21 is what got me back into this franchise, after all. When I returned to this series after taking a break from it for several years, I found that MLB The Show games are perfect titles for me to play to relax. It lets me engage with one of my favorite sports without thinking about the game too hard; plus, I get to live out and actively play out the fantasy of the White Sox winning another World Series in my favorite modes like March to October and Franchise. 
Although I have a huge backlog, I often gravitate toward sports games like MLB The Show when I'm bored and don't know what to play. There's definitely some value to a game like that, especially on a subscription service. 
Game Pass perfection
Like last year's title, MLB The Show 22 is on Xbox Game Pass, and it affirms that sports games are more appealing to me when included in a subscription service. Typically, MLB The Show 22 costs $70 on current-gen consoles. I would not feel comfortable paying that much for an annualized sports game with incremental improvements, but I'm more than willing to have a good time with MLB the Show 22 if it's offered as part of something I'm subscribed to. This speaks to Xbox Game Pass's ability to get me to play games that I might not normally try, even ones developed by its biggest competitor. 
Although I won't buy any, Xbox Game Pass MLB The Show 22 players can still purchase microtransaction. They also have access to cross-progression if they buy the game on another platform. Overall, this setup seems like a win-win for players and Sony, especially for a game that would otherwise underwhelm. I now fully understand why MLB pushed the Game Pass deal onto PlayStation: Sports games are great fits for gaming subscription services. Plenty of players like myself would like to sit back, relax, and engage with their favorite sport, but most sports games don't feel worth the full price.

MLB The Show 22 isn't the only game to benefit from Xbox Game Pass; there are plenty of sports games on the service, especially if someone has EA Play via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Of course, there's always the worry that gaming subscriptions will cause developers to start caring more about quantity than quality. MLB The Show 22's situation is an example of why that's something to be worried about in the long term.
For now though, there are still plenty of critically acclaimed games on Xbox Game Pass that I have tried in addition to this guilty pleasure. But if I'm ever bored or stressed and want to play a game to pass the time, MLB The Show 22 will be the first game I'll boot up.

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