Shacknews - Asif Khan

Madden NFL 18 is coming out soon for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and we have the guides to help you figure out which players will give you the best chance at success. Running back is one of the most important positions in the game and teams with solid workhorse are usually tough to beat. Good news, we have compiled a list of the best players at the position. Here are the top 30 best running backs in the game this season. Pittsburgh's Le’Veon Bell takes the number one spot with an overall rating of 97. Check out the list to see where your team's RB ranks.

Madden NFL 18: Best RB Overall Player Ratings

1. Le’Veon Bell: 972. David Johnson: 943. LeSean McCoy: 924. DeMarco Murray: 915. Ezekiel Elliot: 906. Devonta Murray: 897. Jay Ajayi: 878. Melvin Gordon: 879. Giovani Bernard: 8610. Marshawn Lynch: 8511. Jordan Howard: 8512. C. J. Anderson: 8513. Lamar Miller: 8514. LeGarrette Blount: 8515. Tevin Coleman: 8516. Todd Gurley II: 8517. Matt Forte: 8418. Jamaal Charles: 8419. Jonathan Stewart: 8420. Adrian Peterson: 8421. Latavius Murray: 8422. Mark Ingram: 8423. Darren Sproles: 8324. Frank Gore: 8325. Doug Martin: 8326. Carlos Hyde: 8327. Ty Montgomery: 8328. Thomas Rawls: 8329. Danny Woodhead: 8230. Theo Riddick: 82

Once again, not a single Cleveland Brown cracked the top 30. EA might also have been sleeping on Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch, with the former Seahawk only receiving an 85 overall rating.

Be sure to check out our comprehensive guides on the Best QB Overall Player RatingsBest Overall Team Ratings in Madden NFL 18 and the Best Offense and Defense Team Ratings in Madden NFL 18.

Also, when is then Madden NFL 18 Release Date? We have you covered.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Madden NFL 18 is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this month, and we have the guides to help you figure out which players to target for your MUT squads. Quarterback is one of the most important positions in the game and teams without a solid field general are usually in trouble. No worries, we have compiled a list of the best players at the position. Here are the top 30 best QBs in the game this season.

It's no surprised that Madden NFL 18's cover athlete, Tom Brady, takes the number one spot with an overall rating of 99. Check out the list to see where your team's QB ranks.

Madden NFL 18: Best QB Overall Player Ratings

1. Tom Brady: 992. Aaron Rodgers: 983. Matt Ryan: 964. Drew Brees: 925. Ben Roethlisberger: 916. Russell Wilson: 907. Andrew Luck: 908. Derek Carr: 899. Cam Newton: 8810. Matt Stafford: 8711. Dak Prescott: 8612. Kirk Cousins: 8513. Phillip Rivers: 8414. Andy Dalton: 8415. Carson Palmer: 8316. Ryan Tannehill: 8317. Sam Bradford: 8318. Tyrod Taylor: 8219. Joe Flacco: 8120. Alex Smith: 8121. Jameis Winston: 8122. Marcus Mariota: 8023. Eli Manning: 8024. Carson Wentz: 7925. Teddy Bridgewater: 7926. Jay Cutler: 7827. Mitchell Trubisky: 7728. Jimmy Garoppolo: 7729. Blake Bortles: 7730. Patrick Mahomes II: 76 

It is sad to see Jimmy Garappolo, Tom Brady's backup, ranked ahead of several starters in the league. In fact, not a single Cleveland Browns QB cracked the top 30 list.

Be sure to check out our comprehensive guides on the Best Overall Team Ratings in Madden NFL 18 and the Best Offense and Defense Team Ratings in Madden NFL 18.

Also, when is then Madden NFL 18 Release Date? We have you covered.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Madden NFL 18 is about to release, and we have all the team overall rankings in this guide. Find out who is the best overall team.

Madden NFL 18: Best Overall Team Ratings

Here are all the NFL teams rankings in Madden NFL 18 ranked from first to last.

1. New England Patriots: 93 Overall Rating

No surprise that the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots are number one overall. They did have an amazing comeback and have Tom Brady at QB. 

2. Atlanta Falcons: 91 Overall Rating

No one usually remembers second place, except when you blow a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl to the Patriots. The Falcons still earned the respect of EA Tiburon with the second highest overall ranking to kickoff the season.

3. Dallas Cowboys: 89 Overall Rating

The Cowboys are a young up and coming team with a lot to prove now that Tony Romo has moved to the broadcast booth. 

4. Green Bay Packers: 88 Overall Rating

The Packers are still a force to be reckoned with. Aaron Rodgers is back to lead the second highest rated offense in Madden this year.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers: 88 Overall Rating

The Steelers' Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger are the one two punch for the fourth highest rated offense this season in the game.

6. Kansas City Chiefs: 87 Overall Rating

The highest rated defense in Madden NFL 18 has made the Chiefs a force to be reckoned with this season.

7. Oakland Raiders: 86 Overall Rating

The Raiders are one of the most fun teams to play as in this year's Madden. Beast Mode is back and the team's seventh highest rated offense is has a great running game.

8. Seattle Seahawks: 86 Overall Rating

The third highest rated defense in the game is still a force in the NFC West.

9. Tennessee Titans: 85 Overall Rating

Remember the Titans, if you are looking for a decent team with a mobile QB. Mariota leads the eighth highest rated offense in Madden this season.

10. New York Giants: 84 Overall Rating

Eli Manning and the Giants' sixth highest rated defense in the game are still one of the better teams in the NFC. 

Madden NFL 18: Overall Team Ratings Continued

11. New Orleans Saints: 84 Overall Rating

12. Buffalo Bills: 83 Overall Rating

13. Miami Dolphins: 83 Overall Rating

14: Denver Broncos: 82 Overall Rating

15. Arizona Cardinals: 82 Overall Rating

16. Indianapolis Colts: 82 Overall Rating

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 81 Overall Rating

18. Detroit Lions: 81 Overall Rating

19: Los Angeles Chargers: 80 Overall Rating

20: Baltimore Ravens: 80 Overall Rating

21: Washington Redskins: 80 Overall Rating

22. Carolina Panthers: 79 Overall Rating

23. Houston Texans: 79 Overall Rating

24. Cincinnati Bengals: 78 Overall Rating

25. Philadelphia Eagles: 78 Overall Rating

26. Minnesota Vikings: 78 Overall Rating

27. Chicago Bears: 77 Overall Rating

28. Jacksonville Jaguars: 77 Overall Rating

29. Cleveland Browns: 76 Overall Rating

30. San Francisco 49ers: 76 Overall Rating

31. New York Jets: 75 Overall Rating

32. Los Angeles Rams: 75 Overall Rating

Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on the Best Offense and Defense Team Ratings in Madden NFL 18.

Also, when is then Madden NFL 18 Release Date? We have you covered.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Summer is winding down, which means football is almost upon us. We have compiled the ratings of all 32 teams in this guide. Please take a look.

Madden NFL 18: All Team Offense Ratings

Here are all the NFL teams offense ratings in Madden NFL 18 ranked from first to last.

1. New England Patriots: 922. Green Bay Packers: 903. Atlanta Falcons: 894. Pittsburgh Steelers: 895. Dallas Cowboys: 886. New Orleans Saints: 877. Oakland Raiders: 868. Tennessee Titans: 86 9. Seattle Seahawks: 8510. New York Giants: 8511. Detroit Lions: 8412. Carolina Panthers: 8413. Arizona Cardinals: 8314. Indianapolis Colts: 8315. Kansas City Chiefs: 8216. Miami Dolphins: 8217. Philadelphia Eagles: 8218. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 81 19. Washington Redskins: 8120. Buffalo Bills: 8021. Denver Broncos: 8022. Los Angeles Chargers: 8023. Baltimore Ravens: 8024. Cincinnati Bengals: 7925. Minnesota Vikings: 7926. Jacksonville Jaguars:7927. Chicago Bears: 7828. Houston Texans: 7729. Cleveland Browns: 7630. San Francisco 49ers: 7531. Los Angeles Rams: 7432. New York Jets: 73

Madden NFL 18: All Team Defense Ratings

Here are all the NFL teams defense ratings in Madden NFL 18 ranked from first to last.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: 912. Houston Texans: 903. Seattle Seahawks: 894. Minnesota Vikings: 895. New England Patriots: 886. New York Giants: 887. Arizona Cardinals: 87 8. Denver Broncos: 879. Philadelphia Eagles: 8610. Los Angeles Rams:8611. Baltimore Ravens: 8512. New York Jets: 8513. Pittsburgh Steelers: 8414. Jacksonville Jaguars: 8415. Dallas Cowboys: 8316. Los Angeles Chargers: 8217. Chicago Bears: 8218. Green Bay Packers: 8119. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8120. Atlanta Falcons: 8021. Buffalo Bills: 8022. Cincinnati Bengals: 8023. Oakland Raiders: 7924. Tennessee Titans: 7925. Detroit Lions: 7926. Carolina Panthers: 7827. Washington Redskins: 7828. Cleveland Browns: 7829. New Orleans Saints: 7730. Miami Dolphins: 7731. San Francisco 49ers: 7632. Indianapolis Colts: 75

Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on the Best Overall Team Ratings in Madden NFL 18.

Also, when is then Madden NFL 18 Release Date? We have you covered.

Shacknews - Charles Singletary

Video games based on movies don’t have the most wonderful track record, but it looks like we’re getting another valiant attempt to bring a film world to an interactive medium. Announced today, players will soon be influencing both sides of one of fiction’s most interesting conflicts in Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier.

The announcement comes by way of IGN, who reported that developer Imaginati Studios is working on Last Frontier and it will serve as the devs debut. The game is a cinematic adventure game set between Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the recently released War of the Planet of the Apes, which are modern takes on a series of films started in 1968.

The reveal trailer shows off the bubblings of a scuffle between humans and apes in the Rocky Mountains, with the player making conversation choices on both sides. The apes are of a rogue group that has taken refuge in the mountains but are forced into human territory as supplies become scarce. Characters on both ends are original to Last Frontier, so anything goes when it comes to life or death and there are multiple endings depending on your performance and choices.

Even if Imaginati isn’t an immediately recognizable name to you, the game seems to have some star power behind it. Actor Andy Serkis, who does the motion capture acting for the Apes’ film’s lead character Caesar, leads a performance capture studio called The Imaginarium. That studio has a newly formed gaming division and Imaginarium will be publishing Last Frontier.

The Planet of the Apes films are quite well received, which is an anomaly when it comes to reboots. The report notes that the developers want to create an experience closely related to the films, even aiming for a runtime of 2-3 hours. That last bit is likely surprising to most, but it could be a good way to create a film-based game without fluff or overextension of the license. We’ll have to see when the final game releases.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Xbox One owners who subscribe to EA Access can now download and play Madden NFL 18's Play First trial. The trial lets you play Madden NFL 18 for up to 10 hours in advance of the game's release on August 25.

PastaPadre (via GameSpot) reports that the trial gives you access to the full game. However, Longshot mode punts you out after the first section. On the bright side, any progress you make during the trial carries over to the full release. Just make sure to disable the game when you're not playing it; the trial's 10-hour limit whittles away even if the game is running in the background.

As a reminder, EA Access is exclusive to Xbox One. Subscribers receive other perks besides early access, namely a 10 percent discount on all purchases. That means if you play Madden NFL 18's trial and enjoy it, you can purchase the game for around $54 instead of $60.

Madden NFL 18 will kickoff with several new modes when it launches later this month. Among them is MUT SQUADS, pitting teams of three players apiece in a Madden Ultimate Team challenge. Shacknews CEO and editor-in-chief Asif Khan took the field against other journalists at a press event held at EA's Redwood Shores headquarters. Check out the video below to see how he fared.

Fans are hoping for a more technically refined experience in Madden NFL 18. Reviewing Madden NFL 17, guest editor Bryan Carr was keen on gameplay online and off, but pointed out nagging legacy issues that EA needed to fix. "To the point, Madden NFL 17 is a quality Madden game," he wrote. It does a lot of things right, and fixes most of the major shortcomings of previous editions. If you’ve lapsed in the series or just want to know if you should grab this year’s game, go forward knowing that you will get a lot of mileage from it. It’s good. At the same time, however, it is still absolutely a Madden game, and in the 12th year of EA’s exclusivity deal with the NFL it’s hard not to pine for a little competition."

Shacknews - Bill Lavoy

In any game where you can level up fast, doing so is to your benefit. Levels normally come with more perks, including dealing and taking more damage. In Agents of Mayhem, each Agent has their own level, meaning you’ll need to grind each one up individually if you plan to use certain Agents in later missions. In this guide, we’ll give you some tips to level up fast no matter what character you’re using, giving you more flexibility going into each fight.

Level Up Fast - Side Missions

Completing in-game side missions is one way to level up fast in Agents of Mayhem. Find these quests in both the Missions area, and on the map. Each of these missions will give you a set amount of experience, so you should have a good idea of what you’re getting for your efforts. Remember, though, that you can get additional experience by killing enemies, collecting intel, and doing other tasks. The more time you spend thoroughly working through a mission, the more experience you’ll gain from it.

Level Up Fast - Contracts

Like missions, Contracts have an objective. You know what you’re getting into when you choose to accept it from the Missions menu, accessed via the character menu. If you’re in need of some additional XP for one of your favorite Agents, try completing some Contracts. You can also challenge others to complete the same Contracts, and will be pleased with the reward at the end.

Level Up Fast - Targets of Opportunity

During your time in Agents of Mayhem, you may come across Targets of Opportunity. These will be armored vehicles on the road that have purple reticles above them. If you shoot them they will try to flee. While Targets of Opportunity themselves don’t provide a lot of experience, they do give you the chance to get a Legion Alert, similar to a wanted level in Saint’s Row. This means more enemies show up to give you a hassle, but really that’s just XP for you.

Like most games, being able to level up fast in Agents of Mayhem is all about smart decisions. Take the time to do things right and you’ll earn more experience than if you just blast through without considering the reward at the end.

To continue your journey, visit the Shacknews Agents of Mayhem hub, where you’ll find all our content packaged up nicely for you to browse through.

Shacknews - Greg Burke

This week on Shack's Arcade Corner we are taking a look at Robotron: 2084, the 1982 arcade classic. Developed by Vid Kids and published by Williams Electronics players had to kill waves of enemies and save humans. It was one of the first games to use twin-stick gameplay in the arcade, which was actually the result of one of the developers injuring his hand in a car accident. The arcade's board was pretty advanced for the time using a custom graphics coprocessor.

The cabinet came in three form factors: tabletop, arcade and the super rare cabaret versions. There were plans for a Robotron arcade seque, but the video game crash of the early 80's squashed any chance of that game seeing the light of day. Robotron: 2084 was ported to many home consoles and even saw a reimagining for N64 titled, Robotron 64. Please take a look at the video for more great information about one of our favorite twin-stick arcade games. 

For more videos, including gameplay and interviews, visit the Shacknews and YouTube channels.

If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack's Arcade Corner, please let us know in the comments section or tweet @shacknews & @GregBurke85 with #ArcadeCorner. 

In case you missed any of the over 100 episodes, check out our Shack's Arcade Corner YouTube Playlist.

Shacknews - Bill Lavoy

Agents of Mayhem has a total of 12 Agents to choose from. Each of them have different strengths and weaknesses, making determining the best Agent in Agents of Mayhem a subjective task. If you prefer close combat but we name a long-range specialist the best Agent, how does that help you? Instead, determining the best is more about what is effective and will complement your personal play style.

Who is the Best Agent?

There is no Agent that we can objectively call better than the rest. Instead, we’re going to focus on how we like build our team. This involves making sure that we have Agents that are specialists with long-range, medium, and close combat with us as often as possible. Make sure that you treat your squad like a multi-tool and you should be prepared for every situation.

One example of an effective squad would be Fortune, Rama and Hardtack. Hardtack gives us that close quarters goodness that helped to defeat Hammersmith. Fortune, on the other hand, has the agility to deal with faster moving enemies. Finally, Rama is excellent at range with her bow, but not so good up close. Composition is more important than trying to decide who is the best agent overall.

If there’s one area with some flexibility, it would be medium range. Most agents can hold their own in that role, so prioritize having specialists at close and long range first, and then fill out your team with an Agent that will complement them effectively.

The question of best Agent in Agents of Mayhem is the wrong one. Instead, spend some time unlocking every Agent, learning their strengths and weaknesses, and building a squad that fits in nicely with your style of play.

For more guides on Agents of Mayhem, visit the Shacknews Agents of Mayhem hub. You’ll find all our guide content collected in one location for you to browse.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Sonic Mania brings back a host of classic Sonic the Hedgehog characters, features, levels, soundtracks, and gameplay features. One of the most popular Sonic tropes, Chaos Emeralds are jewels hidden throughout levels. Historically, finding all of these jewels in any game has bestowed perks on the player. Sonic Mania is no different. This guide will tell you how to find the Special Stages where Chaos Emeralds are hidden, and what you unlock once you've collected them all.

How to Find Chaos Emeralds

There are two types of bonus stages in Sonic Mania. One is accessed by jumping into swirls of sparkles that appear over checkpoint signposts. The other, which you need, can only be entered by finding giant golden rings in each stage. These rings tend to be hidden in out-of-the-way areas such as deep in a cliff you'd never think to explore because you're going too fast and concentrating on progressing through the level.

Jumping through these giant rings takes you to a special type of stage known as UFO Chases. Making their debut in Sonic CD, UFO Chases position the camera behind Sonic and have you steer him around a pseudo-3D course in pursuit of a UFO. Increase your speed by collecting blue orbs, but watch out for enemies and obstacles such as the rough terrain that borders the track. Once you've collected enough orbs to ratchet up your speed to Mach 3, you'll be fast enough to catch the UFO and retrieve the Chaos Emerald it's holding.

Besides blue spheres, make a point to pick up rings as you play. A timer decreases as you play UFO Chases. Rings add precious seconds, so make nabbing them a priority even if it means going off the track. Note that rings are finite, but blue spheres respawn every lap.

Reward for Finding Chaos Emeralds

Once you've added all seven Chaos Emeralds to your collection in Sonic Mania, you can transform into Super Sonic, a faster and powered-up version of the character. Simply press any two jump buttons to become Super Sonic.

Be sure to check out our Sonic Mania guide for more tips and strategies, such as more information on how to play as Super Sonic.