videogames
 
 




Mike Alonso Left a Major League Legacy at Upland

Video Game Review: Madden NFL ‘16

September 4, 2015 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Madden NFL 16The catch that changed everything…

If you’ve watched even a moment of NFL analysis the past several years you’ve no doubt heard it called a “quarterback-driven league” or a “passing league,” or some variation. Well, apparently EA Sports was listening because Madden NFL ‘16 has added significant depth to the passing game while also making individual quarterbacks feel unique from one another. It’s a positive step for the franchise, and one that football fans should embrace.

CONTROLS (4.75/5)

Let’s get right to it: the passing game has never been better in Madden. For years, quarterbacks have thrown bullet passes or lobs. This year EA has added three new types of options to choose from. There’s the touch pass (double tap) for dropping balls in between coverage, the high throw for exploiting a size mismatch and a low ball in which the receiver can shield off defenders — the latter is especially useful on short routes in traffic and curls.

In addition, you can now immediately switch to receiver control after the ball is released and instruct them to attempt one of three catches. There’s a possession reception, which creates a higher probability of completion at the expense of post-catch yardage, and a RAC (run after catch) in which you’ll try to snatch the ball out of the air in stride and turn up field, but this creates more drops. The last one is the aggressive catch, in which you basically put the ball up and let your man go get it.

Everything about this new setup is enjoyable, though it’s worth mentioning that at this point there are far too many completed bombs in which receivers will make obscene catches in traffic. The new defensive options — play the man and make a sure tackle, or play the ball and try to break it up — are supposed to help counter this, but right now it’s too heavily skewed in the offense’s favour.

Running the football feels as good as ever, and the blocking A.I. seems to have taken another step in the right direction as linemen are generally assignment sure in their pulling and trapping. Like the QBs, the running backs definitely feel different from one to the next with superior runners making better cuts and shedding more tackles (sometimes too many).

Lastly, and maybe it’s just us, but we had some trouble directing our punts accurately. We’d line things up to kick left, pull down the stick and then just shank it far to the right. There’s no outward sign that anything has been changed from last year, but our success rate was poor. Making it even stranger, the same issue was nowhere to be seen on kickoffs and field goals.

GRAPHICS/SOUND (4.5/5)

In many ways this section has become almost a copy-and-paste affair with praise and criticism pretty much ending up in the same places year after year. Even compared to last year, Madden is noticeably improved with smooth animations and tremendous lighting. Outside of the in-game stat overlays it’s not the type of improvement that’s going to jump off the page, but it’s there. If there’s a weakness here it remains the ragdoll physics when gang tackling. It just looks a little off.

Commentary is still the shakiest part of the series’ presentation. It does seem a little better than last year’s efforts, but there’s still no situational awareness. Big plays in big moments should be treated as such, and here everything feels the same whether you’re steamrolling someone in Week One or fighting for your playoff lives in the NFC Championship Game. On the field, the cracking of helmets, calling of audibles and more remain very good, while this year’s soundtrack is solid.

GAMEPLAY (4.5/5)

Beyond the every-down improvements to actual in-game action, Madden NFL ‘16 also delivers a brand new mode, which is essentially hybrid Fantasy football. Dubbed Draft Champions, you’re provided with a baseline team of JAGs (scouting lingo for “Just A Guy,” not the Jaguars) and then allowed to select a coach and draft 15 additional players. Each round offers three players to select, and it’s up to you how you want to build your team.

Once your team is assembled you take part in a three- or four-game series based on whether you’re playing against the CPU or other people. It’s a decent addition, but it lacks depth. Team building, while quick, is largely luck of the draw, and since you never know who’ll be available from one round to the next, you pretty much have to guess when to address a position — take Alfred Morris now or hope someone better comes available in a subsequent round.

It’s also odd that finishing Draft Champions rewards you with packs for Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) rather than boosting your next squad. That makes the whole thing feel like a feeder system designed to steer you toward MUT.

Madden’s card game is back and improved with more challenges that feel like they’re worth completing. They’ve also added Ultimate Moments, in which you reenact key situations. It’s all positive movement for MUT, though if you’ve never bought the core concept nothing here is going to change your mind.

Franchise mode also received a significant new feature this year with dynamic drive goals. On paper, the thought of accomplishing specific criteria to “set the tone” — like scoring points on your opening drive or forcing a three-and-out — and build momentum sounds intriguing.

In practice, however, it needs tons of work because they’re far too arbitrary (and in some cases, counterintuitive). They should work in tandem with game situations and not simply ask you to pass for a touchdown rather than run or call specific types of plays.

OVERALL (4.5/5)

In terms of providing the on-the-field product of NFL football, Madden NFL ‘16 might be the best we’ve seen from the series, yet. There are nits to pick, and none of the mode additions/tweaks are great, but this is still an excellent representation of the sport.

Share
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

2015 RotoRob NFL Draft Kit: Running Back Rankings

August 29, 2015 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Charles is the main force that powers the Chief offense. If he stays healthy this year, he should surpass his yardage total from 2014. Last year, Charles missed one game for the second straight season, but he managed to stem his sliding average carry. He’ll definitely need to put up more first downs this year if the Chiefs are going to get back to the postseason. Simply put, he’s the most vital player in K.C., so needs to continue to be a stud for this team to be successful.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

2015 RotoRob NFL Draft Kit: Quarterback Rankings

August 21, 2015 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
The Colts are pretty much guaranteed to be a solid team as long as they have franchise QB Luck. He gives them a chance to win every week and the durable signal caller just keeps getting better every year. Last season, Luck set new personal bests in completions, pass percentage, yards and touchdowns — reaching the 40 mark for the first time as he paced the league.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

NFL Draft Fantasy Rankings

April 29, 2015 | by McCade Pearson | Comments Comments Off
With the NFL draft starting Thursday, there is a lot of excitement for fans and players everywhere. Who will your team draft? What draft day trades will be made? And of course, where will players end up? We’re examining the draft from a Fantasy perspective, so purely looking at what Fantasy studs are coming this year and which ones will make an immediate impact.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

2014 RotoRob NFL All Pro Team

February 17, 2015 | by Nick Wagner | Comments Comments Off
After finalizing our All Pro list, we here at RotoRob.com noticed the high number of teammates who were awarded and briefly considered swapping a few names out; being named an All Pro is after all an individual honour. After careful deliberations we decided that since all our winners have the stats to back up their nominations we should reward the fact that they were good teammates and didn’t complain when it was their teammate’s time to shine.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow