Saturday, August 23, 2014

Madden 15 Review

EA will be releasing Madden NFL 15 on Tuesday August 26th, but thanks to the new EA Access app, for just 30 dollars a year you can play any EA game five days before its release.

                Madden is the first game that is available for early access, and you  have six hour of game play to decide if you want to go and spend the sixty dollars or not.

                The trial version of the game opens with a short video clip of the Seattle Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers battling for the NFC Championship. We see a fumble by Russell Wilson which gives the ball back to the Panthers inside the two minute warning. This is the player’s first chance to experience the game play of Madden 15.

                The graphics in the video were outstanding, and the situation of it already has you saying, “this game is going to be great!” followed by, “Let’s do this!”

                Once you see the new camera angle it already feels so unlike any Madden you have played to this point. The camera is much tighter.  It’s so close that you feel like you are right in the middle of all the action.  Once you hike the ball you will be 100% sure this is a whole new game that bows the last 25 years of football gaming out of the water.

                The stadium sounds, the broadcast presentation, and the player likenesses make it seem like you’re watching the game on Sunday afternoon. Every snap is so realistic and the game speed feels so different from what we are used to.

                After scoring a rushing touchdown with the Panthers, I got a quick idea of what is new in Madden 15 from Cam Newton. Then it was time to play for real.

                I played in exhibition game, Patriots VS. Jets and the game just got better and better. This was my first chance to play defense and the changes made to the D were a lot of fun. Instead of button mashing as the Defensive line to try ti get off your block, there is now a different system for pass rush and run stop.

                 There is a button specifically used to try and stop the running back, and a specific button for pass rush defensive moves.  All of this depends on how fast you get off the line which now is measured as perfect, early or late displayed above your defender.

                Perhaps the best addition to the defense in Madden 15 is the ability to player lock on defense and control one defender through an entire play. This has been seen in NCAA Football but was not in Madden 25.
                The best part is this is how you control your defender on connected franchise which now gives you the camera angle of your defender in third person view and the offense at the top of the screen which makes it much easier to keep track of a play.

`               The connected franchise mode is similar to last year but now instead of practice to gain XP you can now go through different forms of game prep with the addition of confidence which gives you individual game boosts or the typical XP that is more permanent.

                The Madden Ultimate team menu has changed and is now easier to navigate and introduces new challenges which give the player more chances to collect coins and buy new packs. Not much has changed the new very popular MUT game mode that has become the most popular mode in the game.

                New is the word to describe this game. It is unlike any Madden we have ever played before and when the full game is released on Tuesday, we will have enough time to see them all.

                Six hours was hardly enough time to experience everything so  If you haven’t bought Madden in a few years, now is he time to get back in the game. You will not be disappointed.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

On Friday, Marvel released its 2014 summer block buster Guardians of the Galaxy. The Movie stars Chris Pratt (Peter Quill)), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), and Vin Diesel (ZGroot).
      The story is about 5 outcasts who meet after Peter Quill steals an orb that holds a power unknown to him.  Once they discover what the orb is and what Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace,) plans to do with I, they team up to stop him and become the Guardians of the Galaxy.
      I respect Marvel for not   inserting an Avenger or any other character in to the film to help along the story. They trusted that people who did not know the Guardians prior to the movie would relate to and fall in love with the Guardians with no extra help. I mention this only because in the latest volume of the Guardians comics, the first few issues feature Ironman and I personally did not believe the Guardians needed that crutch.
       The story of the film was very well written. As a reader of the comics, there were a few things I thought would happen differently but we all know it takes different stuff to make a relatable movie.  In the end, the changes that were made were not drastic enough to distract from the film.
       The humor used in the movie was used just right. Star Lord, or Peter Quill was a perfect capture of the comic book character, and the same goes for Rocket. The other characters however were made a little sillier then their comic counter parts, but that did not change the core of the characters. Drax was still a maniac, and Gamora was still a kick ass assassin. Groot was a great compliment to the comic book character with the use of his mesmerizing abilities and his one line of speech, “I am Groot.”
       Speaking of lines, I was disappointed that Rocket lacked the use of his personal swears from the comics that make me laugh every time I read them, and he also is without his tag line, “Blamo! You’re dead.” I spent the whole movie with the thought that it might come up in the back of my head but with no luck. Perhaps in the sequel that was announced at San Diego Comic Con I will get to hear some Rocket originals.
       I was also expecting to see Peter’s father, and there be some of his story in  the movie. If you don’t know about Peter’s father I will not spoil the surprise that awaits. I will only say that he is a big part of why Peter is a Guardian.
       If the missing Rocket quote, and Peter’s father missing are the only complaints I have, then I can live with that. Marvel has given us another great film that leaves us wanting more. There will be no lack of Marvel films in the next four to five years as the Studios have announced their line up through 2019 with 2 more Avengers moves, another Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more.

     Go see Guardians of the Galaxy it’s a great film for all ages and who knows maybe you’ll pick up the comics that made me fall in love with these characters. It will only help Marvel bring other lesser known stories to the big screen and believe me there are a lot more characters to see and stories to be told.