Always one of the most anticipated Press Row Podcasts of the year is here as the latest MaddenÂ goes under the microscope! The full panel discussion runs for nearly two hours and even then there was no way to get to everything Madden NFL 15Â has to offer.
The variety of opinions on this year’s product, and breakdowns ofÂ what it has done well and where it still needs vast improvement, will make it a compelling listen for anyone that has interest in the series and where it needs to go in future.
NHL 15 looked as though it was going to contend for “Sports Game of the Year” status and it even pulled in some awards from its showing at E3. Extra development time was said by EA to be of benefit due to the ability to focus more on features. Unfortunately that turned out to be false as EA Sports Hockey League, GM Connected, and some other features won’t make it over to the Xbox One and PS4 version this year.
Over 7200 people chimed in by responding to the poll on how this will affect their purchase plans and the results suggest that NHL 15 is going to struggle to regain traction due to theÂ decisions made during development.Â Read more
Having spent considerable time now with both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Madden NFL 15 there are some slight differences of note between the two.Â Last November at the launch of the two systems I discovered a slight preference with the XB1 for Madden NFL 25 despite settling on playing PS4 for the long-term.
That hasn’t changed with Madden NFL 15 in either regard. The games are practically identical but the Xbox One version gets the nod in a couple areas that wouldn’t really be identified without trying toÂ make judgments between theÂ game on one system vs the other.Â Read more
While EA Sports continues to investigate Madden NFL 15 issues in Connected Franchise mode related to head-to-head games not reporting results and sim stats being off, a server-side update has already been rolled out to address other areas. The changes made will only apply to “online” franchises while a patch will be needed to get to those which are started offline.
– Speed and Hit Power costs have been fixed.
– Cost of scouting speed for O-Line and D-Line has been fixed.
– Added a game prep activity all season for XP for anyone on the team.
– Added the ability to progress Power Moves for OLB and MLB.
It’s encouraging to see improvements being made so soon following release and not having to wait for a patch to realize them but those main areas of concern need to be taken care of as soon as possible in order to make the mode a satisfying online or offline experience.
Having spent $35 on The Golf Club, a fairly heavy price for an unlicensed digital download title, some consumers on the PS4 wereÂ met by a game that was virtually unplayable. As mentioned in the article about The Golf Club going out on PS4 a problem had been occurring for anyone with a fairly large friends list on PSN that caused the game to skip severely. Dodd Scientifics was the first to note the serious issue.
On Twitter the official account for The Golf Club responded by saying a patch was ready for release but they didn’t have control over when Sony would push it live. While it was first stated the problem affected those with 150+ friends on PSN there were reports from users with fewerÂ than that experiencing it as well.
That patch has now gone out for The Golf Club on PlayStation 4 to addresses the problem. Having experienced it myself first hand last night when I first attempted to play it, I can confirm the skipping is gone and now the game is in a playable state.
In what will hopefully become a trend in attending to consumer concerns, EA Sports now has a status page that lists some of the most pressing issuesÂ people are having with Madden NFL 15 in its first few days of release. The company is acknowledging the problems and state that they will update with information when they have more to share.
Right now those include user-vs-user games not recording results in Online Connected Franchise mode, a message some are seeing regarding EA Servers being down, and the inability to redeem the pre-order bonus Ultimate Team packs. All three would presumably be fixed with server-side updates rather than necessitate aÂ patch that would take much longer to address them.
Mobile games these days are largely dominated by free-to-play offerings that pressure users to spend money. Often it’s about spending money just to be able to continue playing the game rather than the more traditional paying for optional upgrades or bonus content. This has resulted in a reliance on “whales” – the incredibly small percentage of users that account for the majority of the revenue – and creating a game that will hook them. They’d rather do that than make the game fun and inviting with the beliefÂ that satisfied users will be more likely to spend money to expand their experience due to a desire to play longer while recognizing the value.
This is where Tap Sports Baseball gets it right and those involved in making those design decisions should be applauded. The game is free to download and really is free to play. At no point will you be stopped from playing because you have to buy the right to continue. Plus you can succeed and field a strong and constantly improving team simply by playing more! TSB is primarily turn-based (you only hit but there are ways to improve your pitching) against other users but there are also games that can be played against AI opponents.Â Read more
While it released last week on Xbox One, and has been available through Steam since mid-April, The Golf Club has made its way to the final platform. The game can now be downloaded on the PlayStation 4 in addition to XB1 and PC.
The Golf Club is unlicensed (no real golfers or courses) and features an extensive course creator and the ability to share courses with all regardless of platform, no loading times between holes, and online Tours and Tournaments. Itâ€™s a unique entry into the space for many reasons that include being self-published, all golfers possessing the same abilities and the complete lack of microtransactions. The company plans to update and evolve the game over time without charging more for the improvements or new content.
An issue has been identified regarding a gameplay stutter for those that have 150+ friends on PSN. According to the official Twitter account for The Golf Club an imminent patch will take care of that problem. [Update] I can now speak from first hand experience that this makes the game absolutely unplayable right now.
For those possibly looking at making a decision between buying on one vs the other the game runs at a higher resolution (1080p vs 720p) on the PS4 vs Xbox One. The Golf Club is only available as a digital download and is being sold for $35.
Press Row is on location with a once-in-a-hardly-ever-maybe-never-again-really event. Richard Grisham will be at my house tonight and we’ll be streaming Madden, chatting along with viewers, and playing other familiar personalities online! Join us for the live stream which we anticipate to begin around 1145ET/845PT. That’s of course if Twitch is up and running which right now appears questionable. Follow on Twitter for updates and on Twitch as well.
[Update] The archived event can be watched below! Presented in two parts.
It may be practically dead at this point but it remainsÂ important for EA Sports to support the UFC title that launched in June. Having opened to weak sales, and dropping off the map since, the goal isn’t necessarily to capture new consumers (the damage has already been done, interest waned and competition too fierce now) but display a commitment to what is hoped to be a long-running franchise.
The changes that have been made since release in now two patches demonstrates the company has identified why the game wasn’t successful. Unfortunately the reasoning was obvious all along, and they chose instead to design and promote it in a manner that led to its downfall, but if the lessons have been learned that could lead to a significantly improved product when the next iteration arrives likely in 2016. Continue on for the details of the latest patch and who has been added to the roster in the update.Â Read more