NBA 2K14 Features – Play as LeBron James, Map Out his Future Career Path

NBA 2K14 Features – Play as LeBron James, Map Out his Future Career Path

It’s no surprise why the NBA 2K franchise of 2K Sports has a stranglehold on basketball video games.  Aside from the realism of the gameplay and the excellent graphics, the series has allowed sports gamers to think out of the box and go beyond what they could usually do when playing a game based o the current NBA season.  For instance, previous versions had included game modes where gamers can play out Michael Jordan’s biggest career moments, some of the NBA’s greatest teams dating back to the ‘60s, and most recently, the chance to pick any NBA player in My Player mode and go throughout the course of a season or a career, may it be a big star like LeBron James or any random benchwarmer.

Speaking of James, he is, as most know by now, the cover athlete of NBA 2K14, and with that established, a lot of the game’s features will be focused on the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player.  One of these features, according to 2K Sports, is LeBron: Path to Greatness, where users can take control of James and guide his career up to the time he retires.  As players go along, James will improve in some areas and deteriorate in others, especially as he ages, but the really interesting elements of this feature are the two choices gamers have for LeBron’s career path.  The first would be the conventional one – James remains with the Miami Heat as he, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh push forward in hopes of being mentioned in the same breath as the 1960s Boston Celtics or the 1990s Chicago Bulls.  The second would have James joining the New York Knicks in 2014 as a free agent, and trying his best to bring a title back to the Big Apple with other big-name free agents.

In an exclusive hands-on test, Yahoo! Sports’ Eric Freeman was able to test the game for himself, and as it turns out, LeBron: Path to Greatness is quite similar to previous legends modes, where players only take control of their team during certain points of the game, or on certain games.  It also shares some affinity with the usual NBA 2K franchise mode, which involves gamers picking their favorite team and playing through multiple future seasons.  Said Freeman in reference to the general feel of the Path to Greatness feature, “The gamer only has so much control and must play to a script, taking specific scenarios and getting rated on a five-star system based on their performance.”

Freeman also observed that the conventional Heat Dynasty option is actually one that offers more chances to see a “bizarre” future for the NBA, despite being predictable at the start.  Some of the situations he encountered included Deron Williams and Chris Bosh, currently with the Brooklyn Nets and Heat respectively in real life, playing for the Dallas Mavericks as they step up as LeBron and the Heat’s latest rivals.  But there may also be a chance of controversy for the second career path.  Said Freeman, “2K Sports representatives repeatedly ensured me that James only signed off on the concept for this feature, with 2K Sports coming up with every scenario from their own imaginations.”

NBA 2K14 is due for release on October 1 in North America for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC (Windows) platforms.  PS4 and Xbox One versions will be out as launch day titles for the respective next-gen consoles on November 15 and 22.

Jackson Trial Testimony to End this Week – Doctor Speaks of Decades-Long Sleep Disorder

Jackson Trial Testimony to End this Week – Doctor Speaks of Decades-Long Sleep DisorderMichael Jackson’s death was the cause of a decades-long battle with insomnia and an increasingly dangerous regime of trying any and every trick in the book to get some sleep, a California court has heard. Prior to resorting to the drugs that would eventually kill the pop superstar, he even had his personal doctor read bedtime stories to him to try and help the singer doze off.

On June 25th 2009, Michael Jackson would eventually turn to propofol administered by Dr Conrad Murray and never wake up.

After endless testimony that has taken most of the summer months to highlight, AEG will this week rest its defense case having been accused of causing the death of Michael Jackson through negligence.

On Friday, one of Jackson’s previous doctors spoke of being asked for propofol by the star as far back as 2003, which he flat-out rejected. According to Dr Van Valin, he would ultimately end up being “put to sleep like a dog” six years later at the hands of another physician, Dr Murray.

The suit was filed by Michael’s mother Katherine Jackson, who claims that because Dr Conrad Murray was hired by AEG, the concert promoter is directly responsible for the star’s death. Murray is currently behind bars having been convicted of the manslaughter of Michael Jackson – a charge he has denied strongly from the start.

According to legal parties representing AEG, it was Jackson himself that chose Conrad Murray as his personal physician and therefore the responsibility does not fall with the promoter. They argue that they had no way of knowing what Murray was doing at any given time behind closed doors and the only person with any control was Jackson himself.

Prosecutors on the other hand argue that AEG continually ignored Michael Jackson’s clear health problems and the way in which he was visibly deteriorating by the day. Rather than opting for a new medical professional to nurse the singer back to health, Michael’s mother contends that AEG deliberately kept Murray on as they knew he’d do anything and everything to ensure Jackson kept his commitments to the group.

Wentworth Miller Admits Multiple Suicide Attempts While Struggling with His Sexuality

Wentworth Miller Admits Multiple Suicide Attempts While Struggling with His SexualityLast month, Wentworth Miller broke a million hearts the world over when he confirmed that he is in fact a gay man. The Prison Break superstar became a Hollywood heart-throb while playing the lead role in the stupendously successful TV show, though would ultimately confirm his homosexuality in a rather unexpected manner.

Having been invited to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, Miller refused to attend and penned a response condemning Russia’s attitude toward homosexuals, who are for the most part treated like criminals.

His admittance and outspoken response was deemed nothing less than heroic, but a new video of the star sheds light on much less confident and troubled past.

First published by TMZ, the video shows Miller making a speech at the weekend’s Human’s Right Campaign Dinner in Seattle. During the address, he admits that coming to terms with his sexuality was extremely difficult and that he tried to take his own life “more than once” along the way.

“I waited until my family went away for the family and I was alone in the house and I swallowed a bottle of pills,” confesses 41-year-old Miller.

“I don’t remember what happened over the next couple of days but I’m pretty sure come Monday morning I was on the bus back to school pretending everything was fine,”

“Growing up I was a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding your wrist the right way. Every day was a test and there was a thousand ways to fail.”

He also spoke of the demons he faced when embarking upon his Hollywood acting career, saying that he’d often resort to lying just to get by.

“When I thought about the possibility of coming out, how that might impact me and the career I worked so hard for, I was filled with fear.”

It was only a few weeks ago in August that Miller finally went public about his sexuality, when he refused to attend the film festival in Russia.

“As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes,” he wrote in the public note.

“However, as a gay man, I must decline.”

“I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government… the situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systemically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”

Simon Cowell Breathes Sigh of Relief as Sharon Osborne Rescues X Factor UK

Simon Cowell Breathes Sigh of Relief as Sharon Osborne Rescues X Factor UKThere’s been a huge “will he or won’t he” with one Mr Simon Cowell as of late – the subject being whether or not he’s making his way back to the UK version of The X Factor. With ratings already at disappointing lows and heading further down the pan by the day, it seemed pretty clear during season 9 that something wasn’t working.

Things have this time been taking back to the drawing board somewhat, with auditions returning to the small rooms and one Mrs Sharon Osborne once again joining the judging panel. And wouldn’t you know it seems to have worked – ratings for the first episode of the tenth season beat-out last year’s by an impressive 700,000.

As far as the critics are concerned, it all comes down to the reinstatement of Sharon Osborne.

Sharon had been one of the founding members of the judging panel back in 2004, but ended up quitting when she just couldn’t bear to be in the same room as Danni Minogue. From 2007 onward, the panel changed a few times and once Simon Cowell left to concentrate on the X Factor US, things started going from bad to worse.

It all seemed to reach a peak when Tulisa Contostavlos failed to strike any real chord with the viewing public and her constant spats with Gary Barlow quickly went from puerile to pathetic.

The future was bleak, but thanks to the Queen of Rock it’s all heading in the right direction once again. So for the time being at least, it seems Simon can keep America happy by staying on the judging panel for the US version.

Sharon’s fellow judge Louis Walsh made it pretty clear that he agrees with the critical consensus applauding her return. He spoke of how the atmosphere was better than it had been in years and the fun had been put back into the panel.

“Sharon has brought something extra to the show. I can’t explain what but she is fun and she is feisty,” he said.


Breaking: Kriss Kross Rapper Chris Kelly Found Dead at Age 34

Breaking: Kriss Kross Rapper Chris Kelly Found Dead at Age 34It’s just been announced that Chris Kelly who shot to fame as half of rap duo “Kriss Kross” had died. The 34 year old artist, known as the “Mac Daddy” throughout his career died in his home state of Atlanta at around 17:00 Wednesday, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner.

Reports have just emerged that Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly, whose stage name was “Mac Daddy”, has passed away at the age of 34.  The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office said that Kelly died around 5:00pm on Wednesday in Atlanta.

Along with his rap partner Chris Smith, the pair became superstars in their teenage years when their smash-hit single “Jump” topped the charts all around the world. Their unique fashion style also earned them an enormous following, which involved wearing baggy jeans backwards.

No information has yet been confirmed as to Kelly’s cause of death.

No Settlement for Kardashian and Humphries – A True Hollywood Love story

No Settlement for Kardashian and Humphries – A True Hollywood Love storyAttorneys have failed to reach a settlement in the divorce case of Kim Kardashian and her estranged husband Kris Humphries, following this week’s negotiations that the latter party was notably absent from. Humphries’ attorneys refused to answer questions on the discussions that took place just before the weekend, though confirmed that the trial set for May 6th is to go ahead as planned.

Kardashian exited the courtroom just before midday with a small army of deputies surrounding her. She’s looking to close the door on her marriage to Humphries which lasted what even by Hollywood standards is impressive at just 72-days by way of divorce. Humphries, however, wants the marriage to be annulled as he claims the agreement in the first place was based on fraud – a claim he will attempt to prove during the trial.

And they say romance is dead? Such sweet, sweet examples set by the word’s role models!

NBA star Humphries is yet to give any direct confirmation as to his grounding for the fraud accusation, though according to a former legal party of his, Kardashian tricked him into marrying her for the sake of her reality TV show and therefore qualifies for annulment.

Kardashian however has stringently denied the allegations. Heavily pregnant with the child her and current partner Kanye West are expecting in the coming weeks, she was not accompanied by any family members of West himself. She was however relaxed enough to joke to deputies that she always wanted to be a juror,” before being seated.

The trial set to begin on May 6th should reach its conclusion within one week.

American Idol Final – Details and Lineup Revealed by Lazaro Arbos

American Idol Final – Details and Lineup Revealed by Lazaro ArbosHe might not have gone all with way to take the American Idol crown, but Lazaro Arbos isn’t exactly down in the dumps about rolling out with the sixth-place gong. During a press conference call this past Friday, the ice scream server…former as of right now… from Florida revealed that he’ll be realizing a pretty mind-blowing dream on the live final of the show by performing a duet with none other than Cher.

“Six months ago when the show came on, she saw me and she connected with me,” he beamed on Friday. “She followed me on Twitter, and we’ve been talking back and forth since then. I love her songs!”

He went on to confess that he doesn’t actually know the main body of her work for the reason that her career spanned longer than he’d been alive, but affirmed his love for some of her movie work and her biggest hits including “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

Lazaro struck a chord with both the US public and the judges from his very first audition, with his emotional story having become the kind of thing real-life fairy-tales are made of. His courage and dedication moved Randy Jackson, Nicky Minaj, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban to tears on more than one occasion and while he’s had to make do with sixth place, he said that competing on American Idol turned out to be some of the most effective speech therapy he could have wished for.

“I think this show kind of forced me to lose my nerves,” he told reporters. “My stuttering has definitely subsided a little bit more. I think that part of that has to do with the fact that I’ve learned to control my nerves better.”

He also spoke of his love for the remaining contestants and his genuine excitement as to where his blossoming career might take him next.

LucasArts Closes Its Doors For Good – Star Wars 1313 Release Still Possible

LucasArts Closes Its Doors For Good – Star Wars 1313 Release Still PossibleIn what has been heralded as the end of an era for gamers of all ages, LucasArts has been shut down by Disney – the company now owning sole rights to the empire of George Lucas.

Announced last October, the deal Saw Disney take ownership of the business for upwards of $4bn and brought the announcement of a series of new Star Wars movies planned for the coming years.

Sadly for so many, it would appear that games are not of any real interest to Disney’s new wing.

According to the statement made this week by Disney, there will still be a small team present to handle the licensing out of rights to use Lucasfilm intellectual property and trademarks, but as far as production goes all in-house work on games had come to a halt.

“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimising the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games,” read the statement.

“As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organisation. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”

On a slightly positive note, it’s looking probable that the eventual Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 release date schedule will go ahead, though these will be the last to come directly from the LucasArts brand. From then on, any and all Star Wars games that come about will be developed by third-parties having acquired the rights to do so by Disney.

The news comes hot on the heels of a further kick in the pants for Star Wars fans last month, when Disney announced the cancellation of the hugely-popular Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV cartoon series.


Rockstar Games Breaks Grand Theft Auto 5 Silence – No Trailers, Screenshot or Updates, Sadly

Rockstar Games Breaks Grand Theft Auto 5 Silence – No Trailers, Screenshot or Updates, SadlyGrand Theft Auto 5 is to the console gamer what the iPhone 6 is to the iOS addict – the elusive and seemingly otherworldly entity that all the snooping and mining in the world cannot afford a glimpse of…until its creators are damn well ready.

That being said, at least in the case of the former we has a release date to count down to – Grand Theft Auto 5 will launch on September 17th.

What both have in common is the way in which we almost have to count ourselves lucky to hear even the mention of the product’s name by its respective creator. Rockstar Games has this time around manages to tread a razor’s edge between aloof and downright infuriating with the scattered and sketchy details about GTA 5, which has the word’s gaming community in a frenzy to say the least.

However, and very much unlike Apple, Rockstar has broken silence to go on record regarding the company’s reasons for its ongoing silence and to reassure Grand Theft Auto fans that it’s nothing personal – quite to the contrary, in fact:

(Credit going to OXM for extracting the following)

“As we have said before, we have often had long gaps between asset releases on previous games and will continue to do so in the future. We are sorry if you find this frustrating, but please understand, we don’t do this because we ‘don’t care about our fans’, ‘don’t respect our fans’, ‘hate GTA fans etc’ – precisely the opposite!

“We do it because we want to make sure we only release 100% correct information, and because we want to keep plenty back for the actual game release so there are still lots of surprises when you play it.”

That’s all well and good and we appreciate the goodwill, but does this mean we’re about to be blessed with another barrage of official screenshots and trailers that don’t have to be surgically extracted by illegitimate sources? Fat chance…

“Sorry, we can’t provide a timeline as to when you can expect more info or media from GTAV. Right now we’re just bunkered down busy working on the game and aren’t ready to share anything new – please be patient and of course there will be more to see in the months leading up to game release. Thank you.”

And that’s as good as it gets for now – roll on September as you can bet your bottom dollar all the fuss will be worth it ten-times over.

Simon Cowell Confirms Big X Factor Changes – Large Venues Swapped for Small Clubs?

Simon Cowell Confirms Big X Factor Changes – Large Venues Swapped for Small Clubs?Simon Cowell has made the revelation that from this year onward, the X Factor is in for some long overdue changes.

Confirming a swathe of long-standing rumors by way of a tweet, Cowell this week said that: “There will be a lot of changes on X Factor UK and USA. But good changes. I feel excited for both shows this year.”

The news comes shortly after reports indicating that both the UK X Factor and X Factor US suffered their worst seasons in the history of the show, drawing the lowest viewing figures and attracting the highest ever levels of criticism.

It’s not looking like instead of using the large-scale live venues that critics say erased much of the magic from the show, auditions will now take place at small clubs with much more limited audiences. Finally responding to public calls dating back to the initial change format some years ago, the show’s executives have at last realized that to use bigger venues right from the start makes the show decidedly tedious by the time the live shows roll around.

Most had hoped that the X Factor would return to the original audition format of a single entrant and the judging panel in private, but it seems Cowell and Co. are looking to blend the best of both worlds next time around.

In any case, it’s certainly a step in the right direction for the X Factor.

Along with making the X Factor revelation, Simon Cowell also spent some time during the same Twitter marathon to make a few rare comments about his professional and private life.

“I was a little deep tonight but it was one of those night you realise you have a lot to be thankful for,” he wrote to his small army of followers.

“What I have realised is there will be bumps in your life but the fun is fixing them. If it was always easy life would be boring.”