News & Updates
  • Details on More of the Visual Improvements for NBA Live 15
    Posted June 24th, 2014 at 12:45 pm 23 Comments »


    EA Sports today released a new developer blog and video detailing enhancements to graphics that have been made for NBA Live 15. Prior to E3 the company released the first image which showcased six player faces that had been dramatically improved due to the head scanning process.

    Areas that have received significant work besides the player likenesses include arena lighting, jerseys, shot clock, shoes, and LED boards.

    The poor visuals were far from the only thing wrong with NBA Live 14 but certainly presented a barrier to many that they were unable to get past – particularly as the series was built solely for the new systems where consumers were already being dazzled by other games including Live’s direct competitor. While EA has a lot of convincing to do with other areas this had to be the first step yet the wait will stretch on as first gameplay details aren’t being discussed until August.

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  • LeBron and Carmelo Taking Their Talents to Free Agency
    Posted June 24th, 2014 at 11:45 am 8 Comments »


    While Carmelo Anthony was fully expected to opt-out of his contract with the New York Knicks, there was some uncertainty about whether LeBron James would do so. Reports today are that he in fact will. The two could still choose to go back to their respective teams but a number of suitors will be hoping to give them reason to leave. Add to the mix the possibility of Kevin Love being traded and there could be some massive shifts in power this offseason in the NBA and the respective video games.

    While NY and Miami can offer the most money to them, contracts for the big name players in the NBA end up being just a fraction of what those players can earn. With endorsements and other avenues for earnings (LeBron made over three times as much last year off the court than on it) the potential that players will take less to go to a winning team or come together with friends is made even more plausible.

    Possible destinations the two will consider include the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, and Dallas Mavericks. A few other teams could also clear space to get in the mix. Where do you see LeBron and Carmelo ending up once free agency opens on July 1?

  • EA Sports UFC: Hits and Misses
    Posted June 23rd, 2014 at 2:00 pm 19 Comments »


    Hope for the future of UFC games were high when EA Sports announced the acquisition of the license just over two years ago. There was to be significant development time and investment made prior to release of the first entry in the series, it would launch on the new systems and have an opportunity similar to how Fight Night Round 3 stood out early in the previous generation, and the company was coming off a good first effort in the sport with 2010′s EA Sports MMA.

    It’s especially disappointing then that EA Sports UFC’s release has been met with a critical reception that places it well behind the efforts of recent years. THQ’s Undisputed series and even EA Sports MMA all received much higher review scores. Dedicated fans of the sport have been even harsher in regards to how well it reflects what they love.

    Designed by the same team behind the Fight Night series it should come as no surprise the company never intended to produce a true simulation. They’ve said as much publicly that they believe simulations wouldn’t have wide enough appeal.

    The result with EA UFC is something that really won’t have a defined target audience. It’s naturally too complicated for casuals and not realistic enough for the hardcore crowd. Continue on for a summary of what was executed well and what was handled poorly with EA Sports UFC in this Hits and Misses review. Read more

  • The Line Drive for June 22
    Posted June 22nd, 2014 at 12:45 pm 4 Comments »


    The Line Drive is a weekly collection of news, links, deal alerts, and updates that didn’t necessarily warrant their own postings.

    ♦A few new arena screenshots from NHL 15 have been added to the FB album.
    ♦The last roster update for NBA 2K14 went out and returns all injured players to active status.
    ♦ posted new video from E3 featuring some off-screen gameplay of Madden 15.
    ♦Some serious defensive AI issues are already being spotted from E3 Madden 15 footage.
    ♦The “All-22″ camera angle in Madden NFL 15 will be identical to NCAA 14′s Coordinator cam.
    ♦EA Sports posted some user stats from the first two days of UFC’s release.
    ♦Here are the full details on the soundtrack for EA Sports UFC.
    ♦A series of video tutorials have been posted for EA Sports UFC.
    ♦EA Sports did not allow reviewers to use their own videos or screenshots in UFC reviews.
    ♦New video tuturial demonstrates how to set up a Custom Tours in The Golf Club.
    ♦NBA Live 15′s executive producer answered some fan submitted questions following E3.
    ♦Latest Press Row Podcast discusses hands-on impressions with some E3 media attendees.
    ♦Boxes of Topps baseball cards include $5 worth of “Stubs” currency for MLB 14: The Show.
    ♦Here are the details on the July system update that’ll be coming for Xbox One.
    ♦The pre-downloading of digital games on PS4 will now start with this week’s Transformers.
    ♦Check out the beautiful Super Bowl rings the Seahawks received a few days ago.
    ♦Check out the Batman-themed uniforms recently worn by the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
    ♦Check out the uniforms that were unveiled for the Charlotte Hornets.
    ♦The NBA has moved its logo to the back of uniforms to open up space for future ads.
    ♦The price of The Last of Us Remastered for PS4 has been lowered to $50.
    ♦300: Rise of an Empire is the only major Blu-ray/DVD release this coming week.

  • Press Row Hangout: Reviewing EA UFC
    Posted June 21st, 2014 at 12:45 pm 10 Comments »


    The launch of the EA Sports UFC franchise was highly anticipated but has been met with disappointing reviews and fairly poor consumer word of mouth. Check out the 74 minute segment from last night’s live Press Row Hangout where I’m joined by Rich Grisham and T.J. Lauerman to break down our experiences with and assessments of the game!

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  • Madden NFL 15 Cover Prominently Features Equipment Not in the Game
    Posted June 20th, 2014 at 1:45 pm 50 Comments »


    The official cover art for Madden NFL 15 made its way to retailers yesterday. Putting aside that the cover art is awful – hopefully the petition and lobbying from Sherman to get the entire LOB on the cover will lead to a change – it features front and center Vapor Jet gloves and shoes that still have not been added to the series. Nike took over the license two years ago yet those items have yet to replace the old Reebok equipment. Screenshots and videos have shown that they aren’t included this year and EA Sports has refused comment on why that is the case.

    It’s one thing for the latest equipment to not to be included in the game even after two years. While that affects authenticity the majority of consumers may not notice or really care. However one would think Nike and the NFL would be on EA about taking care of it, especially when they’ve been placed on the cover in a manner which attracts attention to them. While not as embarrassing as having an intro video that features a crucial surprise onside kick in a Super Bowl, and not having surprise onside kicks in the game, it certainly still reflects poorly on them.

  • NHL 15 Exits E3 In Strengthened Position; PGA Tour Sunk By Its Appearance
    Posted June 20th, 2014 at 11:00 am 7 Comments »


    While E3 last week predictably offered no bombshells EA Sports rolled out the first looks at four upcoming titles and offered some additional information on each. Nearly 4,000 voters chimed in on each poll that was posted following the event regarding the games that most and least impressed them with their showings.  Read more

  • EA Sports Hopes To Make College Football and Basketball Games in the Future
    Posted June 19th, 2014 at 5:15 pm 24 Comments »


    In testimony earlier this week in the Ed O’Bannon case vs the NCAA, an Electronic Arts representative expressed the desire the company has to develop college-based video games in the future. Joel Linzner, EVP of Business & Legal, stated EA would be “very interested in acquiring the rights” of players to use in the games.

    Of course this would require the NCAA to remove most if not all restrictions on the “amateur” status of athletes which is what the class action suit is attempting to force. The testimony was highlighted by the plaintiffs to demonstrate that there is a legitimate marketplace for the names and likenesses of college athletes – which everyone knows is true but the NCAA contests.

    At this point it appears likely the O’Bannon class will win, with some experts noting that it seems the NCAA is building arguments for appeals more so than to win at this stage.

    The appeals process could stretch on for a number of years so regardless of the upcoming outcome – even if it opens up the possibility of college games returning – it won’t be soon and there is no guarantee it will make fiscal sense to develop and publish them.

    What would the rights to each player be worth? Would they be negotiating on their own, opening up the possibility of some asking for excessively lucrative deals or sitting out of the game, or would there be a union similar to the NFL and other professional sports? In the end it will always come down to whether the game can be produced and generate a profit when considering potential increased sales from spending that money to acquire player rights.   Read more

  • Guest Review: EA Sports UFC
    Posted June 19th, 2014 at 11:15 am 12 Comments »


    by Dylan Favorite
    I have been eagerly anticipating the release of EA Sports UFC since it was officially announced two years ago. Unfortunately, after spending a good chunk of time with it, I can say that it is considerably flawed. I have enjoyed all of the past UFC games from Undisputed 2009 to EA MMA. I would consider myself well versed in both the games and the sport. This version just falls flat in some key areas. Read more

  • RBI Baseball 14 Releasing Next Week on Xbox One and PlayStation 4
    Posted June 18th, 2014 at 5:00 pm 5 Comments »


    Few will care at this point but the Xbox One is about to get its only baseball game. RBI Baseball 14 is set to go out next Tuesday, June 24, on XB1 as well as PS4 for $20. What has been long advertised for spring release will fall outside that window but by only a few days.

    While RBI initially generated some excitement when announced early this year that quickly dissipated when the game was essentially never promoted (no information or video) and then released overpriced and to extremely poor reviews on consoles and technical issues on mobile. It’ll be even harder to convince anyone the game is worth $20 on the new systems given it looks nothing like a next-generation game and offers nothing of note over the other versions.

    A patch released by the end of July is said to deliver online multiplayer functionality and updated rosters to the XB1, PS4, 360, and PS3.

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