Here’s my review on Madden 13. The game was praised by critics as the best one yet. However, there were some things that I didn’t really like. But first, let me go on a tangent about a few things that don’t fall into my five categories: Gameplay, Sound, Graphics, Online Play, and Features.
On the Connected Careers mode, there is a twitter feed on the side of the main career menu. This is one of the coolest things EA has ever done. There is only one problem: The tweets get repetitive and there are some big names that I would LOVE to see. For example, Skip Bayless is one of the featured tweeters. You know where this is going. EA, GET STEPHEN A. SMITH ON HERE. The arguments those two could have on the twitter feed would be A-W-E-S-O-M-E! The same can be said for some former athletes as well. Other than LaVar Arrington, get actual all-time greats such as Marino, Favre, Elway, Sanders, etc.
Also, there is two things I need to recommend to EA Sports. Both of these ideas are from my all-time favorite sports game, NFL 2K5.
First Person Football: PLEASE make this happen. That had to be one of the coolest modes I have ever seen on a video game ever. I realize that you had Superstar mode, but that is so different than having the point of view of inside the players helmet. It is one of those things that I feel went unappreciated by gamers out there.
ESPN Programming Integration: Nothing would make me happier if I could hear Chris Berman do some more video game ‘NFL Priiime-Tiiime’. Make sure he does plenty of “WHOOP!”ing as well, everyone loves that.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty now.
GAMEPLAY//This is what I agree with the critics on. This is by far the most authentic football game I have played so far in my life. There are very few moments that remind you that you are playing a video game besides the repetitive pre-game show introductions. The hits are physically possible and realistic. Play action actually works now, especially with the back out option. The kick return is a much harder thing to master as is the punt return. There are a few things I am not a fan of, one being the fact that in Career mode as a player the camera does not zoom in or compliments the player you’re controlling at all, and often makes it harder to read where you are/where you are going and what strategy to take. There also is incidents of no pass interference penalties even if you are running into the receiver or defender. Playcalling navigation is also iffy.// 9
GRAPHICS//This edition of madden has amazing life like images of players and coaches (although I do not like looking at Andy Reid in a tight pink polo for breast cancer awareness, due to the fact that his man-boobs are bigger than most women’s. Nobody needs to see him ‘flaunt it’.) The use of the breast cancer awareness is a good thing to see EA partake in, but when you have all the fans in the crowd wearing pink, it becomes kind of overkill. The grass moving and flying as the ballcarrier runs down the field is also a cool thing to see on replay, as is the smoothness of the players facial features and the playing field art. One more thing, GAMEFACE. This was awesome, with the exception that all the players eyes look like they are blind or are possessed by Satan. The hairstyle of your game face with the helmet off just looks weird to, but I guess I’m nitpicking at this point. A job well done by EA.// 9.5
SOUND//Thank you so much EA for listening to your fans and getting rid of Cris Collinsworth. His voice just ruined the game for me in years past as well as his lame-ass jokes. This is something that should’ve been done a long time ago, but better late than never. The combination of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms is pretty cool as it gives you that Sunday afternoon feel to the game. The comments can be a bit repetitive and sometimes are inaccurate, but this is easily overlooked. The soundtrack, however, really dissapointed me. Not because of the music itself, but instead it is a remix OF THE EXACT SAME SOUNDTRACK AS NCAA FOOTBALL 12! Absolutely lazy on EA’s part and the lack of effort on many things are the reason why I feel EA shouldn’t have the exclusive rights to making football games that they do. The on-field sound is pretty good, but the stadium music is extremely lacking. This is definitely Madden’s weak point.// 6
FEATURES// I am not going into Madden’s online play right now due to the fact that I haven’t really played enough of it to give you an in-depth opinion of it. I will put in the current score I give it at the summary at the end. While in very good faith, I do not like the elimination of Superstar and Franchise to create the connected careers, mainly because of the necessity of being online to get the most feel of it and the awful loading times it has. The menu navigation is also a big beef I have with this edition. I’m all for change being good, but you can’t expect to completely do a 180 on something so familiar and expect people to adapt to it well immediately. The madden moments are also very cool, but I would LOVE to see them take the path that the NHL game did and do some historical situations as well. The ratings system this time around is pretty fair and I do not see a whole lot of ridiculous ratings, all of them are at least good enough. Ultimate Team is also a bit more fun now that it isn’t impossible to build a great team without spending money and the better feel of contract length. Prices on the packs remain a bit silly as does the auction feature, but much better than when I last played it. The addition of the online pass like they have in years past really bothers me. We are paying sixty dollars a year for a roster update and bug fixes. This year I can understand the online pass due to the massive overhaul the game took, but still EA just comes off as greedy doing it.// 7.5
ONLINE PLAY: 8/10
Hey everybody! I’m sorry I broke my promise to you guys about doing other stuff, but now that’s going to change. I will still have the quick link to the bracketology update as always and in addition I will put up tabs about hot topics I will be talking about frequently. I hope all of you can come back and enjoy yourselves yet again, because I will be putting up the preseason bracket momentarily! Hooray for unhealthy obsessions! Also, coming soon, long overdue reviews of Madden NFL 13 and NHL 13. Hooray for MORE unhealthy obsessions!
P.S. Although my mother warned me I have a face for radio, I will be putting up some videos of yours truly giving you the lowdown on the sports world each week, with special guests such as Kyle Martin, Dalton Scantling, and hopefully an interview or input from Maryland starting RS Freshman Guard Andrew Zeller!
Love (No Homo),
John W Stitz
I got EA’s NHL 13 the day it was released, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. Kind of.
GAMEPLAY// The gameplay has gotten some very mixed reviews by my fellow gamers. The skating dynamic of the game went through a major overhaul into a more realistic physics-based engine. This has made some players angry because they can no longer go full speed in two strides, skate full speed with the puck, make quick turns without losing speed an making turns 180 degrees without really slowing down. I, on the other hand, really like the effort the team put into this. It’s realistic, crisp, and the best part is it slows down the cheesers (more commonly known as ‘glitchers’).
The goaltending AI has been vastly improved. Unfortunately, just like EA always does, they fix things too much to the point where you have a problem elsewhere. Remember how you could score on 90 percent of cross-crease passes in 09, about 70 percent in 10, 50 percent on 11, and about 25 on 12?
Yeah, try ZERO in NHL 13. The cross-crease pass is a very real part of the game and is something that gets many teams in real life their scoring chances. These saves and reaction time that goalies now are displaying would make Hasek look like Rick DiPietro. Overkill yet again on EA’s part here.
Of course, the number one complaint for me from last year was the Defenseman AI equal to that of a Lemming with dyslexia. Every goal I gave up playing goalie were due to a result of the Defense giving the puck to the other team and just standing there when the puck was right under their feet, leaving me to try to make a second chance save every single time the opponent fires a shot. They basically gave the Goalie players the middle finger on this one, and then some. Now the goalies that are user controlled are letting in just ridiculously awful shots and the movement is just as terrible.
I like the idea of the team at EA to make a back out penalty to speed up matchmaking for the Online Hockey league, as well as making it a bit easier to get some good cards in the Ultimate Team Mode as well as scrapping the career lengths of players all together. One thing they did that irked me and a lot of HUT fans off is the change to make training last one game.
One more thing I have to complain about is how a players stick can magically go through a goalies pads when taking a shot or through the net when picking up the puck. Even the Goalie can go through the net as well. It’s moments like these that EA reminds me that it’s just a video game. The simulation results also become a joke. // 8
GRAPHICS// The graphics this time around are yet again improved. There are some really cool things they have added in like more accurate faces and the gameplay itself looks so close to being life-like. Sadly, there are some moments that remind you that it’s a video game. Online jerseys still look like that pixelated stuff you put on a streakers junk as they run down the field. Crests on vintage jerseys stretch when the player moves. When the glass shatters, the glass falling on the ice looks awesome falling down, but the way the glass breaks just looks silly and the pattern in which it breaks is the same each time, with none of it going into the crowd, but just mainly straight down.
However, overall I think it is an improvement. // 8.5
SOUND// The soundtrack yet again disappoints me. The NHL 09 soundtrack was amazing, but all the ones ever since lack that same feeling. The addition of a rap song as well as a dubstep song really made some people mad (I didn’t mind the rap, but the dubstep really pissed me off). The commentary was the exact same as last year, which makes me want the PS2’s version Jim Hughson back into my games. The sound of the collisions on ice and the game itself failed to disappoint though. // 7
Intangibles// Another beef I have with this game is the lack of vintage jersey selection for some of the teams. On top of this, the menu navigation took a huge turn for the worse as well as the ability to change strategy on the go in the game. The ratings that are given to some of the players are, putting it nicely, off. The camera angles are often iffy at best and instant replay is a pain. Also, the prices of all the add-on stuff just ticks me off. We’ve paid you 60 bucks for a roster update and one or two bug fixes, we should be getting a better deal on HUT packs than 10 dollars for a chance at getting a decent first liner. The game also has a problem with freezing yet again. I have never had this kind of issue with a game except for all games made by EA. I sincerely hop the NHL and NFL stop giving these guys exclusive rights if they keep putting out a faulty product// 6.5
Online Play: 7.5
OVERALL GRADE: 7.5/10
I will no longer be making posts on the home page that a new bracket is up. The tab for the bracket will now list the date and time that the bracket was last updated. The same goes for the Bubble Updates tab that will be added later today. All times of updates are Eastern Time. Enjoy and thanks for reading!
First off, I want to thank all of our viewers and readers for getting us view number 1,000! So now for what we will be doing for you after selection sunday.
After the tournament field is selected, all readers are encouraged to make their picks for the tournament via poll. The popular vote will decide who moves on to the next round in the projection. We will have a special edition of a bracket pdf with all the selections made before the first day of the round of 64.
After this, I will be offering Stanley Cup coverage as well as possibly a NFL mock draft or an NBA mock draft. I’m not quite sure yet but one of those drafts will be covered.
Also, I will be posting an opportunity for readers to submit their own articles to the site and become part of the smssportsreport team.
That’s all the plans I have for right now. Enjoy the bracket, which will be updated in about half an hour or so.
P.S. Birthday shoutout today to a close childhood friend of mine. Happy 19th birthday Emily!
More good news everyone! There is now a seperate tab designed specifically for bracketology updates! So if you’re tired of hearing anything else and just want to get to the good stuff, then head on over. From now on I will now notify you of any updates on the home page!
And the last set of good news!, I will now be listing the teams onto the webpage itself so no more link clicking! YAY!
I’ve made contact with Dalton Scantling and he will be joining me very soon! You will be updated on what he will be covering for us and who “the grizzly” really is!
As it seems that my cohorts Kyle and Dalton are not ready to begin writing yet, I am in need of some bloggers!!! If you like sports and you don’t care who knows, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, where you’re from, when you can write, and what you can write. No experience is necessary, but it is preferred. Also a massive knowledge of sports is needed, as well as a sense of humor. Hope to hear from you soon! Peace.
P.S. No, you are not paid. However, this is a good start for anybody looking to get into journalism and it is a great place to vent and place your opinions out there.
Welcome to the launch of smssportsreports.com, the new site for sporting news, opinions, and other goodies for you to have access to. My name is John Stitz, and I hope you all enjoy the news and articles that this site gives to you. Joining me in the near future will be Kyle Martin and Dalton Scantling. As for me, look for me to post updates related to the NHL, College Basketball, and some sports product reviews. More information will be coming soon! Enjoy!