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By Ryan Lewis, January 4, 2013 Comments Off FIFA

Continuing on in our look ahead to sports video games in 2013, it’s inevitable that this will be the last set of sports games before we head into the new console generation.  If history tells us anything, it would say, “hey future, invest all of your money in Apple and Google…also, the last games of a console generation are fantastic.” So, what will these games do to 1up the previous versions, and will it be enough to call these games “the best of the generation?” Since FIFA 08, EA’s soccer franchise has been consistently and rapidly moving in the right direction. In the last two installments of FIFA, the major back-of-the-box features were all about making the gameplay better. And it’s to a point now where gameplay tweaks will be so subtle, it might make some more casual fans of the series feel like the development team just spent the… Read More »

By Ryan Lewis, January 2, 2013 2 Madden, NFL

When I woke up in this wonderful new year, I realized that most video game sites were spending time looking back on 2012 and all of its video game splendor. But, there is nothing that we can do about 2012. We’ve played 2012’s games and our 2013 video game boners are starting to sniff out the first hints at what will make 2012’s video games look like Andrew Bynum’s hair hat. So, I say, “fuck 2012.” Who cares about your physics engines and your handpicked Jay Z soundtrack?! Let’s look ahead to 2013 and all of its possibilities, hopes and back-of-the-box, ballstroking goodness. What will 2013’s sports video games look like?  In this multipart set of articles, we’ll look at some likely themes in 2013’s sports titles: Seriously, NCAA 14, other video games need to get in there. We all know that NCAA 14 will feature Madden’s Infinity Physics Engine,… Read More »

By Rich Grisham, September 5, 2012 1 Football, Madden

It’s a statement so obvious that it borders on absurd – We need Madden to be good. The “we” doesn’t just refer to those of us for whom Madden is one of our favorite pastimes, though. After all, if a particular year’s Madden is up to snuff, the 4th String Madden leagues flourish and we all have an exceptional amount of fun. Rather, the “we” refers to those of us with a vested interest in the video game industry. Everybody knows the games business is in the midst of a brutal, protracted decline. Company losses are huge, development studios are closing left and right, and enthusiast magazines are nearly extinct. The next generation of consoles may create a new wellspring of success, or ultimately accelerate the misfortunes of the industry. Nobody knows. That’s where Madden comes in. For thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of gamers, Madden is… Read More »

By Ryan Lewis, August 16, 2012 2 Football, Madden

Did you spend all night playing the Madden 13 demo and then wake up in the morning feeling empty?  It’s because you’re not a part of the greatest Madden leagues on earth (or maybe you didn’t eat dinner the night before). Two things: eat dinner!  AND join the 4th String Madden leagues.  Go sign up now! http://4thstringleagues.com/index.php/login/signup We currently are planning on running two, all-out, balls to the wall, hit to hurt, 32-team Madden Connected Careers Coaches leagues.  When we say “coaches,” that just means you manage and play as the whole team instead of a single player on the team.  Depending on the response we get, we might do just one league, or we might do ten of them. No, we won’t, but signup and make sure you don’t play like an asshole!

By Ryan Lewis, August 14, 2012 1 Football, Madden

We’ve seen the screenshots.  We’ve enjoyed the shitty E3 videos of gaming press playing the game.  Some of us have even talked to people who have played the finished game possibly.  Now it’s our turn to try out the Infinity physics engine for Madden 13.  The much-anticipated Madden 13 demo launches today (Tuesday, August 14th).  The demo features a full game with five minute quarters.  You have the opportunity to play with RG III and the Redskins, the Seahawks and their fancy new uniforms, Aldon Smith shitting on people’s faces with the Niners and/or the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. The demo marks the first time that the general public will get to view both zombie Jim Nantz and zombie Phil Simms in the booth.  If you aren’t satisfied with zombie Simms and zombie Nantz’s faces, the word on the street is that you will be able to try… Read More »

By Ryan Lewis, August 13, 2012 Comments Off NBA

When FIFA introduced skills moves on the right analog stick in FIFA 08, it was a brilliant move.  While most normal players of the game would normally make jerky movements and immediately turn the ball over to their opponent, skilled players learned how to use the skill stick and dominate at the game.  In a similar fashion, skill moves in NBA 2K have been pretty difficult to master consistently.  If fact, you basically have to memorize control movements on the left stick that are both timing and position based.  It’s safe to say that skill moves (i.e. “fancy dribblin’”) in NBA 2K are truly for the hard core. The first “non-marketing, pandering bullshit” announcement from 2K this past weekend aims to make the game more accessible.  The first of NBA 2k13 new features is that skill moves will now be on the right stick.  As I was watching the first… Read More »

By Ryan Lewis, August 9, 2012 4 NCAA Football

Now that EA pretty much makes every sports game out there, it gets harder to see different ways of doing things in sports video games.  You basically have PES, NBA 2K and The Show when it comes to non-EA games for the major sports.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m anything but an EA hater.  I drink the living shit out of that Kool-Aid. But I also have recently become enamored with NBA 2K12′s MyPlayer mode.  When it comes to these single-player-focused modes, I think it’s the best, hands down.  I realize that Road To the Show should at least be in the conversation here, but my last experience with that mode was when I played it on PSP and PS2.  At the same time, football is my favorite sport and I do like NCAA’s Road to Glory mode quite a bit.  But, when you play that mode and then try and compare… Read More »

By Ryan Lewis, August 8, 2012 5 Madden, NCAA Football, NFL

NCAA Football has seemingly run it’s course. In NCAA 13 they added a few really cool improvements such as scouting in Dynasty mode and kick returns in Road To Glory, but with the announcement of Connected Careers for Madden 13, you have to wonder how long NCAA will continue with such minor enhancements, by comparison. One of the greatest things about Madden and NCAA in past iterations was the ability to export draft classes and also export your RTG player. While the integration wasn’t perfect, the ability to bring Andrew Luck and Justin Blackmon into Madden from an NCAA dynasty that you just played was brilliant. But, with Connected Careers, that won’t be possible. Madden might have connected its offline and online modes, but it disconnected from NCAA. One of the main tenets behind Connected Careers is permenance within the “universe.” You can take control one player or team at… Read More »

By Ryan Lewis, August 7, 2012 2 NHL

Trying to trade players realistically with the CPU in games like Madden will usually make you want to shove your controller up your butt…in a bad way.  There is no feedback, not a lot of logic besides overall ratings and it’s either too easy to screw the CPU, or the CPU is just amazingly unreasonable.  We’ve come to expect that kind of mediocrity with CPU trade logic in Madden, but in NHL games, CPU team management has had its flaws as well. With EA’s NHL series, the CPU would tend to make rash trades to fill its team needs based on only its current needs.  The CPU wouldn’t account for growth. Another huge problem was that too many players would progress too rapidly making it so that there would be an unrealistic number of players asking for too much money and not enough money to go around.  MLB The Show… Read More »

By CarlWard, August 6, 2012 6 Football

Being from the UK, my life in terms of football was quite limited. Until once upon a time, a public broadcaster started to show American Football. Coming with this came a thirst for football games. In the UK we were swamped with soccer games, but Gridiron gaming was very limited. My first foray into this area was on the NES, and the legend of the game called Ten Yard Fight. We never got Tecmo bowl here and this game showed the basis for all the most successful games to go. So much so, TV Broadcasts now have the “from behind the line of scrimmage on offense view,” although I guess the view is kinda more blimp like than what the next successful game came up with. The game was very basic, though not totally Pong basic; there was no play calling and it was 9v9. You basically ran the option… Read More »