Looking at EA’s upcoming Wii releases

Posted July 1st, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Joystiq recently gave hands-on impressions of the EA Sports “All Play” titles coming out in the near future on the Wii. Included are the 09 versions of NCAA Football, Madden, Tiger Woods, NBA Live, and FIFA. Here are some excerpts as well as my thoughts on the potential each one has. While the “All Play” concept should result in better quality products that have wider appeal it looks like how successful that will be in year one will vary.

NCAA Football 09
The first release incorporating “All Play” in theory should’ve been appealing to gamers. The idea of running the option with the Wiimote sounds great. However it certainly doesn’t look like the game is going to deliver on much other than oversimplified gameplay and cartooney visual additions. NCAA is also the only game of the bunch that doesn’t have any form of online play. Despite being the first one to release the game was not available for hands-on which is a bad sign in itself.

Tiger Woods 09

Tiger benefits most from Wii’s unorthodox method, and the dev team has focused much of its efforts on improving last year’s already lauded swing technology.

Probably EA’s best received franchise on the Wii to date is Tiger and it looks like it’ll offer some good improvements this year. How precise can the Wiimote be? Well this year they’re claiming a one-to-one swing mechanic. Online play is added this year and it’ll have have the same simultaneous play that the other consoles get and that should result in an enjoyable experience.

Madden 09

Wii’s best exclusive feature “Call Your Shots,” where players can redraw their receivers’ routes at the line of scrimmage.

Madden seems to be much better than NCAA. “Call Your Shot” looks like a great addition and the five on five even looks fun. The mention has been made that Superstar mode is in which could really fit well for the Wii experience. Essentially that would represent the “All Play” ideal in a more natural way. Lets just hope that someone recognizes how embarrassingly lame that dancing for celebration thing is though.

NBA Live 09

The games certainly show the age of Wii’s processors, especially NBA Live, which was totally not-love at first sight.

Live looks to be the worst off of the Wii titles. They’ve basically decided to go the distance and make it a full on arcade game where the other titles still retain sim elements. Graphically it is worse than expected which is frightening considering the inclusion of WNBA player models. As with every other version of a basketball game a Superstar mode would be a natural fit, but the best they’ve done here is add a two on two mode. Also a newsflash…Kevin Garnett changed his number when he joined the Celtics.


FIFA’s also got a simplified “8 vs. 8” game, which is the only mode across the entire All-Play lineup we saw to get Nintendo’s coveted thumbs-up for Mii usage

After how well liked PES was for the Wii last year FIFA has a lot to live up to but it sounds like it’s on track from the early media impressions. It appears they’ve taken some of what made PES so enjoyable to improve the experience in FIFA.