Tag Archives: EA Tiburon

Madden 17 review

Madden titles of late have been remarkably well-built. The improvements to the animations, control response, visuals, and features have made a significant jump in this generation compared with the last. Madden 17’s enhancements to the game are less significant but result in a title that feels familiar and wonderfully tweaked. Indeed this is the most accessible, realistic and impressive Madden so far.

This year’s Skill Trainer is superbly comprehensive, teaching precisely what you want to know about the complicated sport. Whether you’re a new comer or veteran, here you can learn as little or as much as you need. Basic controls to advanced tactics are thoroughly covered as so to prepare you for the savvy AI and players you’ll meet online. It’s a terrific jumping off point to start your Madden 17 experience.

Meanwhile, on lower difficulties you can activate a number of assists – ala Forza – to make your learning curve less steep. Skill moves can be set to automatically be performed depending on the situation, furthermore, a run path assist shows you which direction you’re heading. Additionally, the new Concept Counter reveals which play the offence is making, allowing you to counter more effectively. And of course, as your skills develop these assists can be turned off.

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Franchise mode remains the go-to single player component – although Ultimate Team is arguably just as big a draw now. Whether you’re a player or owner, Franchise mode is more accessible than ever. The roster UI has been improved and now features recommendations on who to trade, cut, and sign, making it easier and faster to manage your team. Additionally, helping elevate the slog of Franchise mode is the new Play the Moments feature. Here, instead of having to play matches in their entirety, you only have to play the most crucial moments. Touchdown opportunities, field goals, third downs, etc. are played as normal, otherwise the jumbotron and a chart shows you how the rest of the game is coming along, allowing you to jump in and take control if you feel the AI is misrepresenting your team. It proves a handy time-saver if you’re looking to advance through the Franchise mode with more haste.

Player stats now play a bigger part in the ability to perform advanced maneuverers and use certain skills. Juking is a great example, with players with less the 80 in that skill struggling to perform them elegantly. It add the incentive to look at players’ stats more closely and use their power moves, adding deeper elements to the game overall. Meanwhile, defensive zone coverage has been improved and the ability to swat the ball has now been added, this is alongside improved ball physics makes fumbles, tips and turnovers more of a threat therefore injecting further realism into the game.

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Madden 17 isn’t entirely without fault however. Long load times occur now and again, especially in the Ultimate Team solo challenges. Meanwhile, the old three click system is back for kicking the ball, which may feel like a step back, although it does eliminate any frustration the analogue stick flicking may have caused.

However, the tweaks to the game overshadow the aforementioned minor faults. Finally being able to skip cinematics and camera cutaways is a welcome addition that once again aids in the speed of the game. There’s great chemistry with the new Madden commentators, Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis, with the expected generalised comments and player histories accompanying some great play-by-play analysis that feels natural and realistic.

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Indeed, Madden 17 takes the strengths of the last two iterations and enhances them with smart tweaks. The game feels more balanced than it ever has, thanks to a focus on realism and vast tactical options. Meanwhile, the handful of new animations are easy to appreciate as you dash up the field and suffer bone crunching tackles with splendid visual fidelity.

Thanks to Xbox and EA for supporting TiX

Madden NFL 16 tackles its way into The Vault

MaddenNFL16

Everywhere I look everyone is getting ready for Super Bowl 50 and EA Access is no different. As of February 2nd, EA Access members will see the new addition of EA Sports Madden NFL 2016 added to The Vault.

In Madden NFL 2016 you can start your journey off the field in your own personal war room with the all-new Draft Champions mode. Choose which NFL stars and legends you want on your perfect team, and be the playmaker on the field with all-new controls that let you dominate in the battle for air supremacy. New QB mechanics including body-relative throws, plus touch and roll out passes provide you with unprecedented depth and control while under center. Combined with a new risk/reward catch and pass-defend system, get ready for the biggest WOW moments in franchise history.

Alternatively try Madden Ultimate Team where you are in control of your favorite NFL Legends as well as current stars. Compete in Online Head to Head Seasons, build your roster and control every aspect of your team, from team playbooks to uniforms you have the final word in every decision.

Madden NFL 16 is just the latest EA game to join The Vault. Members can also play Battlefield™ Hardline, Dragon Age™: Inquisition, FIFA 15, Battlefield 4™, and more as much as they want. Members also get a chance to try upcoming EA games before they’re released, and save 10% on all EA digital purchases on Xbox one — full games, pre-orders, expansion packs, Madden Ultimate Team items, and everything in between.

For more information about EA Access check out the link here.

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour review

After a short hiatus, EA Sport’s PGA Tour is back, with Rory McIlroy as its new face, but with an extra year to prepare for the series’ debut on the Xbox One, have the high expectation of fans been met?

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is certainly a big release for golf enthusiasts, especially with so few golfing alternatives, and pleasingly this is another excellent facsimile of the sport. The option to use three control methods allows newcomers and veterans to jump in with ease, with the 3-click system harking back to days of yore, and the analogue swing system proving as reliably accurate and enjoyable to use as ever. Additionally you can customise the controls, taking away or adding modifiers that aid you on the course – from a trajectory arch that takes into account wind, to after-touch spin on the ball – it all comes together to help you create the ideal control system for your style of play.

The modes on offer appear thin on the ground, and are certainly missing some content, but successfully incorporate many of the features from previous iterations. Stroke play allows you to play any course as a one-off game, with local multiplayer for up to four players. Meanwhile, the single player specific options are Career or Night Club. The latter incorporates many of the mini-games from previous titles into a common theme of playing at night. The courses take on a very different look and feel in the floodlit, neon lights, and the comical golfers you can play as and unlock give a nice sense of casual fun and humour to the otherwise simulation golf. You’re tasked with completing objectives and trying to earn a three star rating, with objectives running the gamut from scoring points by making accurate shots down the fairway into different coloured circles, to flinging the ball through hoops in the air. It’s a great way to have some golf related fun in small, manageable sessions.

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If you choose to take things online then you’re greeted with the usual PGA Tour options of Head-to-Head as well as Weekly and Daily Tournaments. These modes once again offer a simple and easy way to compete with others online, either through a simultaneous round of golf, or by competing for leaderboard places in the tournaments. They’re fun and practical online options but disappointingly predictable.

You’ll find the meat of the experience in the Career mode, although there are some glaring omissions. You create your own golfer to climb the ranks and join the pros in the PGA Tour, but the customisation options are horrendously austere. A handful of faces and additional options are available to build your character, so few in fact that it’s unlikely you be able to create a character that looks at all how you want it to; creating an avatar of yourself is impossible. Furthermore, your stats are automatically upgraded as you progress, with options unlocking for how these are distributed, allowing you to focus on specific traits such as accuracy or power. It’s a great option for those not interested in diving into the stats, but for the many that do enjoy the full micromanagement of growing your character, this is a compromise that’s difficult to stomach. It’s a big disappointment that eats away at your level of immersion during the mode; not feeling like it’s entirely your character makes their wins and losses less personal and significant.

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Fortunately you can create female characters as well, although representatives from the LPGA are entirely absent, and of the PGA personalities only a few join Rory McIlroy. However, the worst omission is certainly the lack of real-world courses.

Of the 13 available courses at launch only eight are real-world locations, missing are the likes of Torry Pines, Pebble Beach, Spyglass hill, and most egregiously Augusta, meaning there’s also no Masters Tournament to enjoy. The courses that are present look spectacular and have been digitally recreated marvellously, but the omissions are a big knock.

The fantasy course are excellent, though, showing off the creativity of EA Tiburon. The Paracel Storm map from Battlefield 4, reimagined as a golf course, is particular eye-catching, and the commentary from Frank Nobilo and Rich Lerner is comical and impressively rich as you play it. In fact the commentary overall is mostly excellent, relating to the player, your tournament position, past performances and crowd atmosphere, it’s highly immersive stuff. They do of course trip up on occasion, ridiculing you for a shot that actually performs splendidly, and vice versa, additionally they repeat a lot of comments when playing the same courses.

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Visually Rory McIlroy PGA Tour largely looks stunning. The fine detail is very impressive, with the grass and vegetation looking rich and the mud and sand looking menacingly real. There are even neat little touches such as flies buzzing around the green and divots from a ball landing. Moreover, the course is now fully loaded when you play it, removing loading times between holes as well as the possibility of being out-of-bounds, it’s a terrific use of the Frostbite 3 engine. However, frequent pop in of vegetation is a glaring visual oddity that proves to ruin the immersion every time it occurs.

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is an excellent golf game, but not quite the title fans have been hoping for from the legendary series. A lack of courses, golfing personalities and character customisation options really hurt what is otherwise a fantastic simulation of the sport. It is, however, an excellent starting point for newcomers to the series, and with DLC on its way, some of it free, here’s hoping it fills in some of those gaps for the veterans. But the overhaul to the character creator and character progression system is something that fans are likely going to have to wait for a new title for, which could be a ways off.

Thanks to Xbox and EA for their support 

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Rory McIlroy PGA Tour course shortage woes

If you’ve been playing the newly released Rory McIlroy PGA Tour game, then you would have no doubt of noticed the lack of courses on offer.

Only 12 courses are available at launch, with only eight of those being real-world locations.

But fear not, fellow golfers, EA will be releasing DLC.

“Paid DLC” I hear you cry “that’s bull plop! I aint paying for courses that should have been included in the game at launch!”

Well worry not, my angry friends, EA have promised free content updates post-launch, as seen here in this tweet:

PGA Tour EA Tweet

Furthermore, in a forum post on Operation Sports back at the beginning of July, designer Justin Patel indicated that this latest iteration of PGA Tour will be a platform rather than a annual iteration, with content being added to it as and when it’s developed.

Operation Sports Forum EA PGA Tour

It all sound like a bright future for the title, though sharing this information more freely may have held the wolves at bay come reviewing the launch product, eh EA?