Tag Archives: EA Sports

NHL 18 Review

“EA’s NHL remains the best of the publisher’s sports franchises in terms of its simulation, even as its slow pace of growth becomes increasingly hard to ignore. FIFA’s authenticity fluctuates, Madden plays safe, and NBA Live comes and goes. NHL stays consistent. Frustrating as off-the-puck AI can be (players too frequently seem blind when the puck is loose), in motion, it’s hockey bliss. It’s also apparent that a lack of updates and changes year-over-year is beginning to stagnate things.”

Read my full review of NHL 18 at Polygon

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On Madden 17 and Ultimate Team

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“Beginning with FIFA 2009, the Ultimate Team feature quickly escalated into a mainstay, the result of that dream-like, pretend billionaire culture. It’s a distinctly American thing in terms of pro football, if seemingly stronger post-recession when this all took off. Built on the idea of artificial scarcity and tantalizing reward screens, Madden 17’s Ultimate Team reaches a crescendo. Pyrotechnics flare when menu surfing. There are flashing lights, tempting countdown clocks and shimmering gold borders, all reaching maximum gaudiness in Madden 17.”

Read my full thoughts on Madden 17 via Paste Games

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Madden NFL 16 (PS4) Review

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“This yearly iteration again includes the stadium and ticket price feature in franchise mode. That’s where stock photos of smug, smiling businessmen claim $7 for a plain hot dog is too cheap, and a $150 shirt made in China (with $12 in materials) was just right. It’s a mere sense of the NFL’s seemingly impossible profit margins. The league is worth $45 billion, after all. They have a high-class image to maintain. That’s what Madden has been designed to do.

Nothing happens off-field in Madden. Ray Rice doesn’t punch his wife in an elevator. 49ers player Aldon Smith won’t be arrested for a hit and run DUI. The Seattle Seahawks won’t cover up a domestic assault from their draft pick, Frank Clark. Dealing with a PR crisis may stain someone’s image.”

Read my full review of Madden NFL 16 at GameSkinny

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Rory McIlroy’s PGA Tour’s Expected Blunders

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“EA’s bungling of NBA Live is even more remarkable, a stop-and-restart, cross-generational saga of stumbling releases leading to the late cancellation of a hyped rebranding—NBA Elite 11 was recalled days before fully shipping to stores. The full NBA fiasco, finally sorted by 2014, eventually led to an apology from the developers. “We fell short,” wrote Executive Producer Sean O’Brien—this after promotional teasers sold the next-gen basketball rebirth as “ultimate” because “science.” Falling short—and realizing it only in preparation to sell the following year’s iteration—has become EA Sports’ most enduring tradition, and Rory’s debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is just upholding it.”

Read my full piece on Rory McIlroy’s PGA Tour on Playboy.com

 

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NBA Live 15 (PS4) Review

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“It’s a brand-over-player approach. The young Trailblazer star may politely reinstate EA Sports troubled NBA Live with his voice work, however the camera is drawn toward logos. Half court practice arenas are swallowed by the light emanating from Adidas’ background iconography. Scoreboards burn from the punishing white contrast flooding in from those three angular stripes. Then it pans down, not to Lillard, but his shoes. Turns out, it is the shoes to EA.”

Read my full NBA Live 15 review at Gameskinny

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Madden NFL 15 (Xbox One) Review

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“The developer follows a scripted pathway as enforced by the NFL in co-beneficial nepotism, which tends to sidestep reality for the betterment of their own PR campaigns. Scandals, off-field idiocy, abuse; you won’t find these seemingly weekly examples of spoiled millionaires cruising from their course of luxury. Madden is just the football for the sake of its simulation as much as it is a promotional tool meant to convey an image of glossy perfection. By default, Madden rarely exhibits penalty calls lest these players be seen negatively.”

Read my full review of Madden 15 at Blogcritics

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NBA Live 14 (PS4) Review

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NBA Live has nothing to hinge on outside of its ESPN license, draping halftime shows with stuttering (if impressive) technical touches such as Wired coaches spouting advice in their timeout huddles. On the court, it’s a mashed up mess of weirdly darkened lighting and plasticine-skinned players. These stadium interiors mimic Division III colleges with budgetary cuts to bulb purchasing. This never looks like professional basketball let alone an interactive representation of the sport. EA “ignites” nothing, not even the light bulbs.”

Read my full review of NBA Live 14 at Blogcritics

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