News Post

I checked out NCAA Football 10, Madden NFL 10 (360/PS3 and Wii), Fight Night Round 4, NHL 10 and FIFA 10 today. FIFA is embargoed until tomorrow, and NHL is embargoed until June 16, so those are hush-hush for now. I've spoken about Madden (360/PS3) already, and you all can play Fight Night, so that just leaves NCAA Football as the unknown.

NCAA Football 10

As someone who did not play NCAA Football 10 at all last year (I know, crazy right?), it's hard for me to really gauge too much from six quarters of gameplay. I feel like it would be better for me to just touch on some of the new gameplay elements because I wouldn't need a history with the NCAA franchise to gauge the new stuff. Before that, though, I must say that the game certainly feels much faster than Madden NFL 10, which I think is intentional.

Beyond the game speed, I know the game-planning option was a new addition this year, and it definitely seems like the ultimate test of risk/reward. As Air Force, I set a running game option to aggressive, which meant my running back would potentially break more tackles but also fumble more often. This held true. I fumbled twice within my first six carries, but I also broke off a big run.

I tried the "aggressive" option for a few other options on offense and defense and had similar results. I certainly would not want to leave an option as "aggressive" for a whole game, but that's why you can change the game-plan option from play to play.

The "linked plays" gameplay enhancement is an interesting one. For the uninitiated, this is where two plays are tied together on offense. If you run a lot of HB Dive plays effectively, the play-action pass that is tied to the HB Dive could potentially confuse the defense and result in a big play. In this scenario, if you wait longer to do the "linked" PA pass, the better chance the play will be effective.

While trying this gameplay addition out, it seemed like the percentage of effectiveness went up rather quickly. After one 11-yard carry, the passing play linked to that run shot up about 40 percent, which seemed to be a bit much to me. However, when trying the pass play at 75 percent effectiveness, it resulted in an incomplete pass. So, hopefully that is a sign that this feature will not be abused.

Beyond a couple of those new enhancements, I just get the feeling that any discussion about the game starts with the TeamBuilder and online franchise elements -- for better or worse when it comes to the rest of the game.

Fight Night Round 4

I think it would be counter-productive to talk about this game too much from an impressions standpoint because there is a demo for you all to play. However, I cannot say enough about how good the graphics look. It's easily the best looking sports game out there.

I love seeing things like an ice bag on my boxer's head in the corner, and watching instant replays of a fight just makes me smile -- it sounds corny to say but it is true. Watching spit, blood and sweat fly from a boxer's mouth and face in super slow-mo is good times.

I know some people have some questions about online and career modes, so I'll try to find out more on those fronts tomorrow.

Madden NFL 10 (Wii)

Not too much to say here. I'm interested in Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger Woods on Wii because I feel like the console adds to those games -- PS both games should be on my doorstep next week, and I look forward to giving impressions to you all. But I have never been that interested in Madden on the Wii, because I just don't think the Wii helps football games much. However, I did play the game for a bit, and I do think it serves its purpose for the "casual" fans out there. However, I'll always question how big that "casual" football market really is on the Wii.

The new Season Showdown mode also seems pretty interesting. Basically, week to week you can play with up to three other friends and bet (EA says make "predictions" but this is clearly Wii fantasy Madden gambling) on the games you are not involved in. In other words, if I think one of my friends is going to beat the other one, I can bet on him to win the game -- you start out with 200 fantasy Madden space bucks. Other bets will also pop up throughout the game (for example, who will win the time of possession battle).

You also earn Madden space bucks by winning the game when you are involved in it. I asked if you could "Pete Rose it" by gambling on yourself to lose, but that is not allowed. That's probably for the better, because I would definitely throw a very important game to win the gambling battle -- and receive a punch in the face soon after from an unhappy friend.

Essentially, if you stink at the game but are a good gambler, you could still potentially be the victor in this mode. Bottom line, it's certainly a unique mode.

Member Comments
# 1 marcoyk @ 06/03/09 06:53 PM
Yee, looking forward to NCAA 10.

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