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EA celebrates Madden Season with ridiculous Madden 16: The Movie trailer

With the start of the new NFL season EA sports comes with their yearly iteration of the Madden series and the gaming giant is celebrating with an insane, ridiculous, and hilariously silly Madden 16: The Movie trailer.

Starring Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Julio Jones, Rob Gronkowski, Colin Kaepernick, Antonio Brown and Rex Ryan the Madden: The Movie trailer is complete with a list of some of the biggest names in the sport today. Those big names come face to face with dinosaurs, evil bosses, intense coaching courtesy of Rex Ryan, and a cyborg-football monster (Rob Gronkowski).

Madden 16 will release on Xbox One and PS4 August 25 retailing at $59.99. A Deluxe Edition is also available catering to the Ultimate Team fans with “up to $50 in value” for $69.99.

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New features and first look trailer for Madden NFL 16

The latest iteration of EA Sports’ Madden Football series will have a greater focus on the passing game this time around, and EA’s recent screenshot release shows a bit of what to expect from Madden 16.

While the game largely looks the same, Madden always adds some very minor details to improve the aesthetics and fine tunings to the gameplay to make a game that feels even better. Madden 16 puts the spotlight on receivers with new animations off-the-line between the defenders and the wideouts.

EA promises greater “WOW moments” with a new risk/reward catch and pass-defend system for more exciting explosive plays. The system is benefited by a improved QB mechanics including body-relative throws and greater touch control on the ball.

Quarterbacks are capable of pinpointing throws relative to the receiver's body.
Quarterbacks are capable of pinpointing throws relative to the receiver’s body.

Madden 16 is due to release on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, and PS3 August 25 for $59.99.

An additional “Deluxe Edition” will also be available for $69.99 giving fans 36 Pro Packs and a Playmaker Pack in the Ultimate Team mode. Also tying in as a promotion for the popular Ultimate Team mode, gamers preorder the game now can get $15 worth of content with 10 Pro Packs and a Playmaker Pack.

For a full collection of new screenshots check out easports.com.

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EASHL returns in NHL 16; more information released

After going into its release with great expectations, NHL 15 struggled to deliver on what many expected of the 2014 Best Sports Game winner (E3 Critic Awards). The game failed to give players the full selection of game modes that had been a crucial aspect of the franchise for the previous seven years. Now, EA Sports is coming back with a new focus in NHL 16 as they look to build a great game around the fantastic gameplay that’s already in place.

The most notable game mode to return is the beloved EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL) and its 6v6 gameplay offering players the opportunity to create their own character and take him or her online as a part of a club. While EASHL and the other game modes were incorporated into previous generation versions of NHL 15, the new generation was left with little variety in the ways players could play. This year of NHL looks to offer everything that should have been there since the last NHL release.

Outside of the online team focused mode, the Be A GM mode that is apparent in all EA Sports games in some fashion is also getting some fine-tuning a minor additions. A new “Player Morale” aspect is being incorporated giving each player on a team a designated personality that needs to appropriately meshed with the team as a whole. GMs can now call team meetings or adjust the roster to ensure that player performance is at the highest level it can be.

Another major drawback to NHL 15 was the extremely toned down Be A Pro mode. Now major features are again returning like a progression from CHL to NHL, and the ability to sim to your next shift rather than wait on the bench.

Gameplay wise NHL 16 will add improved skating techniques for “refined movements with your skater” and seamless puck pickups create quicker and more fluid animations “giving you more time and control to make your next move.”

And how about some more dynamic beard growth?! NHL 16 will add accurate representations of beard patterns, length, thickness, and growth rates for individual players.

NHL 16 is expected to release in early-to-mid September only on Xbox One and PS4 as the development team drops support for the old generation.

For a full list of new features check out EA Sports’s official release.

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What hockey fans need from EA Sports’ NHL 16

After so much promise from their new generation iteration of the NHL series, EA Sports ultimately failed to meet the expectations of NHL 15 for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

With major game modes like EA Sports Hockey League and GM Connected (Online Franchise) omitted from the game, EA produced an excellent game based on the gameplay, but left out the variety that kept NHL an exciting game for hockey fans.

Before the official reveal of the game modes just weeks before NHL 15’s release, this year’s game was shown to be incredibly promising after winning the E3 Critic Awards’ Sports Game of the Year.

The award to EA was certainly not understandable. The base of the game is fantastic as the visuals took an incredible jump from the previous generation games. Along with fantastic new commentary and smooth gameplay, it seemed NHL 15 was going to be the best upgrade to the series in a very long time.

But now that the core of the game is set, and the resources allocated to development should be able to handle the addition of the game modes and fine-tuning the rest of the game to make NHL 16 a worth-while product.

Here’s what needs to happen for NHL 16:

  • The return of EASHL and GM Connected. A club mode with all the features present in the last NHL game’s rendition present. EA Sports Hockey League and GM Connected are crucial components of the NHL series since their launches in NHL 09 and NHL 13 (respectively). The removal of these modes in NHL 15 was unacceptable for the majority of fans.
  • Implementation of EA’s “Game Face” technology with the NHL series would be greatly appreciated. The FIFA and Madden series have long incorporated the more personalized touch to their online game modes and its certainly time for NHL to do the same. While there was some customization to faces with scars, complexion modifications, and eye color offered to be edited and changed, NHL 15 removed the bulk of this customization and left players with a single list of preset faces.
  • More detailed customization of EASHL team logo and jersey designs. Since EASHL’s advent in 2008, virtually zero upgrades to team personalization have been added. Coming up on the seventh year later, there is little reason for such a meager assortment. With other games like GTA, and Call of Duty promoting very customizable (albeit small) options for gang symbols, weapon decals, and logos, NHL currently offers nothing that can be compared to the level of detail permitted in these other games.
  • Tune down the jersey flutter. Adding the layered player models to the game looks fantastic upon first glance, but after repeated play, many gamers will notice the absurd amount that the jerseys dance with the nonexistent wind.
  • Slow down the dekes. The one-touch deking system is another great addition to the game to create smoother looking movement on the ice, but when players like Zac Rinaldo can seemingly cut and maneuver in the same vein as Vladimir Tarasenko there is a definite problem. Greater variation in how the “deking” stat is attributed to players is needed.

While there are certainly other issues and problems that fans can gripe about like there is every year, EA must take an intrinsic focus to ensure that the continuation of NHL on the new generation not only optimizes the bugs and minor issues, but also deliver on the players’ expectations for fleshed out variety of game modes and immediately noticeable improvements.

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EA Sports reveals content release plan for NHL 15

NHL 15 Online Team-Play to return in a planned October update.
NHL 15 Online Team-Play to return in a planned October update.

After having a hefty backlash from the lack of game modes that will be included in the Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions of NHL 15, EA Sports now has a plan of action to bring some key features and game modes back in two monthly updates.

While most all the features being added in the next few months for NHL 15 have been in previous games, there will be two new components to the series as well — “Playoff Mode” and “GM Draft.” (Some small improvements will also be coming to Hockey Ultimate Team.)

Playoff Mode, due to come in the September update, will allow for custom tournaments with up to 16 teams from any league in game. While this mode seems perfect for online play, it will only be available offline. Minor layout changes and new animations will also be coming to the Hockey Ultimate Team U.I. in the September Update.

Coming in the October update, GM Draft adds some more immersion to the NHL draft experience. General Managers will be able to trade players while the draft is occuring and will have the pressure of a time-limit to get their picks in in-time. The mode will likely resemble that of Madden’s drafting gameplay.

Returning Features

(September Update)

  • Coach Feedback – Coaches will once again give players insight on their play in Be A Pro.
  • 3 Stars – It seems like a given that this would have been included in the initial release, but you’ll have to wait a few more weeks before you’ll be able to see the three stars after each game.

(October Update)

  • Online Team Play – This was a massive omission for fans of the popular EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL), but don’t expect it to be the same as it has been in the past. Gamers will be able to play on the ice with up to nine others as they each control one individual player, but the ability to play as their own custom character is still not incorporated.Among the other handicaps to the mode
    – Goalie mode will not be included. (5 v 5 only available)
    – Lobbies are not yet available. Random matches will be the only way to play this mode.

EA is clearly responding to the backlash, but it’s unclear whether these efforts will be enough to appease their fans.

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Hilarious Madden 15 glitch turns player into 10-inch tall defender

The reasoning behind the glitch’s occurrence is not known, but that doesn’t make it any less funny.

Brought to light by youtuber, TheChaosBeast, a certain mistake by EA Sports has been found where a Tennesse Titans’ player is morphed down to 10-inch tall defender in Madden Ultimate Team.

The cause of the glitch isn’t exactly known, but so far it seems like it only occurs with the single team’s (Titans) linebacker in the Ultimate team mode on Xbox One.

It might be difficult to see in the video, but the linebacker can be seen lined up roughly five yards back from the right guard. The only thing that could make this bug any better is if a high-pitched voice was overlayed onto the player.

Check out my Madden 15 review here! (Unfortunately I didn’t run into the hilarious glitch during my review.)

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Madden 15 brings football to life in the new-generation | Review

EA Sports brings the football field and more to life in Madden 15.
EA Sports brings the football field and more to life in Madden 15.

The 26th year of Madden Football has found an excellent transition to the next generation of consoles.

Madden has never been known for noticeably significant improvements. It’s almost always been a slow transition with each game, each year adding a collection of small features to enhance the gameplay experience. While it would have been nice to see Madden take a more significant jump regarding the aesthetics (like the NHL series seems to be doing with NHL 15), the improvements to the franchise will certainly not go unappreciated.

Visually the game looks great and the improvements to the player models and presentation make the game look fitting for the graphical power the Playstation 4 and Xbox One provide.

The player models look much slimmer when compared to the last few Madden games.
The player models look much slimmer when compared to the last few Madden games.

The updated player models look slimmer and more realistic, the coaches show more expressions, and the refs move much more fluently, but some minor outstanding surroundings still hold back the true immersion of a football simulation.

The fans still look bland like the previous iterations of the franchise, and their character models are plagued by identical animations throughout the games. EA has shown efforts to improve the aesthetics though. The sidelines are now a bit more active, with actual characters that are solid entities with enhanced reactions and animations.

The presentation overall is much better than that of Madden 25. New segue scenes to the opening kick-off and second half bring a more detailed overview of the players involved and how each team is doing. With player comparisons occurring in a grander style during the long breaks, smaller updates are shown more often at the top score-bar as you play with stats like yards allowed, yards gained, and individual player stats giving you some extra info on how the game is progressing.

While the visuals of the game are improved, the gameplay itself is where the true positives come into play. With plenty new defense-oriented additions and a variety of new camera views and animations, the game itself is just more fun. Defense has undergone the most significant change they’ve received in years with a the new “tackle-cone” and a more in-depth timing aspect that gives players a boost when rushing the QB.

The tackle cone gives a more visual understanding of your player’s tackling capabilities as it highlights the best areas to position their player and the most fitting tackle to perform on the ball carrier.

When you’re not the one controlling the players themselves, the players also behave more appropriately due to Madden 15’s “Player Sense 2.0” and the improved A.I.

Madden 15 introduces a whole new perspective to the defensive side of the ball.
Madden 15 introduces a whole new perspective to the defensive side of the ball.

Safeties look to jump routes more, corners recognize the proper maneuver to defend passes more, and greater pursuit to the ball from all defensive players make the computer controlled defense a more competitive foe for the human controlled teams to take on.

With a new camera angle as well, players get a greater look at the game between the trenches and in the secondary as the camera zooms and moves to fit your placement as you defend.

Now when you take down the smarter A.I. defenses it makes it all the more satisfying as the game encourages more realistic plays and pace of game.

For those who pick up Madden that are not quite as informed about the intricacies of the game, EA Sports was sure to make the complex style more approachable with the new “skill games” that teach new players the basics of the game.

Learn the best play-style approach for each defense and the best counter to each offense as the gamemode details information regarding coverages, routes, jukes, and QB ball-placement on throws.

Even if you’re experienced with the franchise, the game modes still offer a good change of pace with some mini-games that are at worst pretty good time-killers.

EA Sports managed to create a more complex, yet more approachable experience to give all users an enjoyable experience in Madden 15.

The more in-depth gamemodes stay at their core the same. The highly popular Ultimate Team operates in about the same way it has in previous games, but some small additions look to streamline the experience. Your best possible line-up can now be activated at the touch of one button to create a quick and easy way to get straight to the action.

Confidence adds a new element to Madden that creates more realistic roller-coaster seasons.
Confidence adds a new element to Madden that creates more realistic roller-coaster seasons.

The most popular gamemode, Connected Franchise (which includes everything from franchises, single player campaigns, and shows some fairly remarkable changes to the pre-game play. Now included, the new “Game Prep” mode eliminates the previous practice mode and instead incorporates a new progression system that has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Game prep allows you to have a greater control over which focus you’d like your team to improve upon by giving you a limited amount of hours to spend on each individual player. You’re able to improve your team or character in two ways this time around — either with the standard experience points or the new confidence statistic.

The new confidence rating influences players’ overalls with the rating changing based on recent games, playbook familiarity, and the game-prep before each game. Teams on a winning streak or coming off a big win will have their entire team riding high with a significant improvement to their overalls and the opposite end of the spectrum occurs with losing streaks.

While the greater control is fantastic as you monitor each player’s development, the limited time per week can obstruct improving the team as a whole. Individual players get the attention, but making general team improvements isn’t quite as simple as there is no way to improve an entire group like all offensive-line starters or all defensive backs. Not a major gripe, but it’s notable nonetheless.


Overall, Madden 15 shows ample improvements that put it in a great place on the Xbox One and Playstation 4. The minor issues regarding the bland fan atmosphere and pedantic in-game issues are entirely eclipsed by the easily-approachable style, improved A.I., and fine-tuned gamemodes that make Madden 15 a must-have game for football fans, and an extremely enjoyable game for gamers in general.

8.9/10

 

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NHL 15 overhead gameplay trailer

With an NBC Sports style presentation and extremely fluid animations throughout, the new look at the gameplay of NHL 15 shows very good reason for it to be the 2014 E3 Critics Awards’ Best Sports Game.

Now with actual video incorporated into the opening of games, Doc Emrick and Eddie Olzyk not only commentate the plays well, but they also bring the opening of the game some much needed life.

This first full look at NHL 15‘s gameplay trailers shows some major improvements to the flow of action on the ice. Dekes are quick, but reasonable, physical play is more involved, and pucks bounce appropriately when dumped into the zone.

Though it’s difficult to judge the A.I. right now,  they do seem to maneuver a bit quicker to open areas.

One of the most notable changes that NHL fans will notice, is the new commentary. It shows a much greater amount of diversity and detail to the actions on the ice. In previous games the announcer would simply state who received the puck.

Now, we see Doc noting where players are, when plays are heading to high scoring zones, and how players are doing throughout the game.

The additions certainly bring a very next-gen feel to the gameplay. It is by far the most significant jump that the NHL series has undergone since the transition from generation two consoles to generation three.

NHL 15 and all the improvements are coming to Xbox One and Playstation 4 September 9th. The game will also be releasing for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, but will be stifled in regards to new features.

(A side note for some NHL fans who believe EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL) and other game modes are not coming to the next-gen consoles — While it isn’t technically confirmed, all game modes from the previous NHL installment will almost certainly be included.
EA’s community manager on the official EA NHL forums stated that the company has been primarily focusing on the new features for the Xbox One and Playstation 4. They have not yet expressed any changes coming to the game modes, but will release more information next week.)
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The crowd comes to life in the new NHL 15 gameplay trailer

NHL 15's new AI promises a greater diversity to offensive play.
NHL 15’s new AI promises a greater diversity to offensive play.

The atmosphere of a hockey game is realized in EA Sports’ most recent iteration of the NHL series.

NHL 15 presents one of the most incredibly immersive sports games ever released. The authentic arenas display oustanding authenticity and the active crowds that include super-fans, taunting opposing crowds, and a great variety of distinct animations, make the feeling of a digital hockey game grow beyond that of arcade hockey.

Beyond the improved atmosphere of the arenas, the gameplay is looking sharp and the visuals look spectacular.

Check out EA Sports’ latest Gamescom trailer below –

NHL 15 will be releasing on Xbox One and Playstation 4 September 9th, this year. It will also be releasing on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, but not quite at the same level of visual presentation.

Get an early look at the gameplay as EA will be releasing a demo August 26th.

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EA reveals a new Xbox One exclusive subscription service — EA Access

NHL 15 will be on of the first games eligible for a 10% discount on EA's new service.
NHL 15 will be on of the first games eligible for a 10% discount on EA’s new service.

For just $5 a month (or $30 per year), Xbox One players who subscribe to EA Access will receive 10% discounts to new games and access to the EA Vault –  a collection of previous popular EA games.

You’ll be able to purchase EA Access straight from the Xbox One consoles, or a downloadable code that can be purchased at Gamestop. If you elect to cancel the service game progress and achievements will remain, but the game itself will be revoked.

The service itself is reminiscent of the EA Sports Season Ticket service, that gave players similar early access to games and discounts. Though EA Access just expands that past just sports games.

The service is currently in its beta stages, and those who are part of the beta will receive the first four games of the EA Vault  — Fifa 14, Madden 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4. While all games will be fully available, unfortunately it seems no DLC will be included with any of the titles. New games will be added in the future, but EA doesn’t give a specific time-frame of exactly when that will be.

You'll be able to view all the included services through an app available on the Xbox Store.
You’ll be able to view all the included services through an app available on the Xbox Store.

Those who subscribe will also receive free-trials of games up to five days before release, along with the 10% discount on the full game.