Today Madden 08, the latest installment in the perennial bestselling series from EA Sports, hits stores around the country. It’s available for pretty much every system you can think of, although naturally the big contenders are the technically superior Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. A lot of press in the weeks leading up to this release has noted the framerate differential between the two: the Xbox 360 version runs at 60fps, whereas the PS3 version runs at 30fps. Some might argue that the human eye can only register up to 24fps, so this is a moot point, but many FPS fans swear by blistering framerates and therefore would say that the difference is huge. Whatever side you may take in that debate, word on the street says that the PS3 game does indeed look choppy at times, although it’s not a dealbreaker.
The new Madden showcases a big new feature that designates top players at all positions as “Weapons”. You might have a fast receiver, a big hitter, and a smart QB, all of whom can outperform their competition in certain areas and are capable of some awesome plays. These designations go a long way toward rendering each team unique, a far cry from old school games where you could only tell an Pro Bowler from a rookie by the number on his jersey. Aside from this new feature, classic Madden gameplay has been tweaked and tightened up based on praise and complaints about previous incarnations to give us more of what we want.
If you’re looking to pick the new Madden up soon, take a look at Toys R Us, where you can get any other game in the store for 50% off if you get Madden on the same receipt.
Read More | Gamespot
GameVideos compiled some footage of Madden NFL 08, which you all know by now has one distinct difference between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions – the PS3 version will run at 30 frames per second, while the 360 version will run at 60. The above allows you a pretty good look at seeing what the difference is.
Personally, I really notice the difference at 100%. That could be because I spend a ridiculous amount of time playing sports games and that sort of thing catches my eye, though. It becomes extraordinarily apparent, though, when they slow the video down to 50% and 25%. Now, you could argue that it doesn’t matter what the game looks like at those speeds, but it really illuminates the difference of what you’re actually looking at.
People always ask, “Why buy the newest Madden game? They’re all the same.” Well, here’s one very cut-and-dry reason you can use to explain: because, eventually, these game’s servers get taken down. EA is planning to take down 42 games’ servers on September 1 (although many of these are the same game across multiple platforms), and an additional seven on November 1. This isn’t a new trend, as there’s a sizable list of servers for EA games that have gone offline over time.
Apparently there really is a reason to pick up that newest Madden.
September 1, 2007 Online Service Shutdown
- Arena Football for PlayStation 2
- Arena Football for Xbox
- FIFA Soccer 06 for Xbox 360
- FIFA Soccer 06 for PC
- FIFA06 for PC
- FIFA Soccer 06 for PlayStation 2
- FIFA Soccer 06 for PlayStation Portable
- FIFA Soccer 06 for Xbox
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for PC
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for PlayStation 2
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for PlayStation Portable
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for Xbox
- Fight Night Round 3 for PlayStation Portable
- Fight Night Round 3 for Xbox
Check out the full list of September and November shutdowns after the break.
GameVideos has posted a video of an interview with Sony Computer Entertainment’s Phil Harrison, head of worldwide studios, which took place during this year’s E3. 1UP.com’s Sam Kennedy and EGM’s Dan Hsu talk with Phil about Home, LittleBigPlanet, Madden’s 30 FPS woes, the Wii’s success, and more.
Be forewarned that if the pronunciation of the word “beta” as “bee-tah” irritates you, you may want to skip the portion pertaining to Home.
Xbox360Achievements.org has the full set of achievements for this year’s Madden – and the game doesn’t release until next month. Plenty of time to study up and plan strategies to get them all as quickly as possible. To me, these achievements are much better than last year’s insanely time consuming offering, and obviously better than the gimmes that we saw in Madden 06. But I really wish they had put some requirements on more of the achievements – 100% pass completion for a game won’t be that hard if you only have to throw it once on the easiest difficulty setting.
Read More | Xbox360Achievements
Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Activision, Bungie, CAPCOM, Driving, E3, Eidos, Electronic Arts, Fighting, Games for Windows, Games for Windows Live, LucasArts, Microsoft, Namco, PC, Puzzle, Release Dates, Retro, Role Playing Games, SEGA, Special Editions, Sports, Strategy, Take2, Third Person Shooters, THQ, Ubisoft, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox Live Arcade
Over on Gamerscore Blog, a list has been posted with all of the games being shown at E3 that will be available this year. Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live Arcade games, Games for Windows-branded titles, and Games for Windows Live-enabled games. It’s a lot to digest, and with big name games like BioShock, Halo 3, Mass Effect, Guitar Hero III, Sonic the Hedgehog (the original, don’t worry), Puzzle Quest, Company of Heroes: Opposing Forces… let’s just say there’s something for nearly everyone.
Read More | Gamerscore Blog
It always seems a bit silly to declare a “winner” of E3. It’s just so juvenile. This is a complex industry that can’t be distilled down to the simple question of “who beat whom.”
But we just can’t help it, can we?
Comparing the three keynotes this year, however, really is a grab-bag of possible outcomes. All three offered something interesting, and picking a single “winner” this year more than ever depends how you define “winning.”
My rundown is after the break.
Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Accessories, Action, Activision, Adventure, Bungie, CAPCOM, Casual, Corporate News, Driving, E3, Electronic Arts, First Person Shooters, Hardware, Microsoft, Party Games, PC, Puzzle, Release Dates, Retro, Role Playing Games, SEGA, Simulation, Special Editions, Sports, Strategy, Survival Horror, Take2, Third Person Shooters, Trailers, Ubisoft, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox Live Marketplace
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend E3 this year – instead, I’m on vacation in Cape Cod, using awful hotel Wi-Fi to watch streamed press conferences. Not the most glamorous way to take it all in, but exciting announcements, great games and new details are welcome no matter how you hear about them.
Here’s my personal transcription (in very brief form) of all the announcements and showings, along with some reflection on what Microsoft had to show.
Most gamers that play sports games, either casually or hardcore, have certainly run into the problem of attempting to explain complex controls to a friend – which usually results in your friend QB scrambling or shooting half court jumpers each time he or she gets the ball. But the new Family Play feature, which is debuting in this year’s Wii versions of Madden 08, NBA Live 08 and FIFA 08, is aiming to make it easier for youngsters or game novices to jump in and play against friends and family who would otherwise wipe the floor with the competition.
When playing, you can choose either Advanced or Family Play. The former allows you to make use of both the Wiimote and Nunchuk, while the latter assists the player in-game and requires them to use only the Wiimote. Family Play users will control only the key actions, like shooting, passing, throwing, etc. And by simply plugging in a Nunchuk, someone playing with the Family Play style can easily try out Advanced mode.
This sounds like a truly fantastic idea – sports games have a huge market, especially Madden, and by opening the floodgates and allowing for an otherwise complicated game to be played by most anyone, EA Sports is poised to make quite a bit more money, while also allowing gamers to begin experiencing a new genre.
1UP is reporting there’s a pretty major discrepancy between the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of All-Pro Football 2K8, Madden NFL 08 and NCAA Football 08 – the 360 versions will run at 60 frames per second, while the PS3 versions will do just half that. Especially in a football game, that’s a major issue, as minor animations are what really make the on-screen action gel. And this isn’t just an issue one developer is having – EA Sports is the developer of Madden and NCAA, while 2K Sports is behind All-Pro 2K8; clearly, there’s some issue to be had.
“We have already proven that sports titles can run on the PlayStation 3 at true HD with 1080p output with NBA 07,” says Dave Karraker, Sony CEA’s senior director of corporate communications. “If you have questions about specific third-party games, you should speak to those publishers.”
1UP went ahead and did just that. 2K gave a “no comment,” while EA exec Todd Sitrin chose to reply.
“We want to make sure that we give the best experience we can on each platform. In designing a game, there are all sorts of tradeoffs that include frame rate, visuals, features, AI, etc. Football is an extremely challenging sport to replicate because of the number of people on the field, their interaction, and the scope of the environments. As you can see, every company making a football game this year made a decision that the best experience for the Xbox 360 included 60fps whereas the best experience for the PS3 was 30fps. We certainly believe that both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are our football products are outstanding experiences and recommend that each gamer look at the entire experience, not just one aspect. We think they’ll be very happy no matter which version of the game they play.”
Head over to the 1UP story for the full scoop and some further analysis on what might be behind all of this.
Read More | 1UP
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