E3 Is Dead – Long Live Corporate Prosaicism

As we move past E3 2017 and into the second half of the year it is starting to feel more and more like gamers are reaching a similar jaded point to movie-goers.  Then again, maybe it’s the other way around – take a look at the box office numbers for a majority of movies anymore and you will see a similar downward spiral.

No matter how you look at it, the state of video games is still strong.  I feel like the trend of indie games has finally hit a downslope as there isn’t much out there that I am hearing about to make me think of some of the big hits we experienced a few years ago.

E3 came and went without giving me much pause this year.  The Xbox One X doesn’t impress me any more than the Nintendo Switch does with portable controllers.  It’s just a lot of ‘meh’ when it comes to my needs and general taste as a gamer.  Maybe it’s because I am a bit more difficult to impress as I get older.

The few games I am looking forward to that were either covered at E3 or are simply coming out soon are:

Shadow of the Colossus –

This was one of my favorite titles on PS2.  I fought the urge to buy it on PS3 simply because I didn’t have a lot invested in the system or my game library.  SotC was one of the most beautiful games I had played simply because it felt like I was walking through a misty dreamscape the entire time.  The idea that a world was there with giant bosses to hunt down and figure out on the fly made it all the more intriguing.

Wolfenstein 2 – The New Colossus (yes, another use of the word ‘colossus’) –

The New Order truly surprised me from a story perspective.  It included a lot of humor and some unsettling circumstances that made it fun to kill Nazi’s again (it doesn’t actually get old).  Wolfenstein was announced by Bethesda while they didn’t announce anything for a new Elder Scrolls game that wasn’t MMO related or money grab related with their newname for a paid mod system.  Wolfenstein looks like another game that will be fun as hell to play through.  My only wish is that it had some sort of multiplayer along the lines of the old PC game ‘Return To Castle Wolfenstein’.

Call of Duty – WWII –

I can’t help but find myself excited to play through this campaign.  Why?  Because there aren’t going to be stupid booster jumps and wall running.  There won’t be any sort of futuristic guns that can somehow shoot plasma charges or whatever the hell they have been doing since Advanced Warfare.  The multiplayer in COD has taken a back seat for me over the last few years.  Now that I have more important things to take care of or spend time doing, I really don’t care about my place on leaderboards.  I probably won’t buy this on day one, but I will certainly give it a try.

Crash Bandicoot – N Sane Trilogy –

My brother and I used to play the Crash Bandicoot all the time as kids on our PS1.  This game really has my nostalgia more than anything.  I think it might be something I wait to buy for some time simply because there isn’t anything ‘time sensitive’ about this game in my opinion.

 

I am on the fence with one of my annual purchases…

Madden 18 – Of the many things I am hoping for, it is the continued improvement of Connected Franchise Mode.  There are so many parts of the Madden experience that can be improved for fans of franchise mode that I find myself on the fence when it comes to disappointment or content with the progress.  The new cinematic mode ‘Longshot’ seems to be playing at the desires of Youtubers and their ilk.  I must say, it looked somewhat interesting, but if I want to play a story game I am going to stick with legit RPG’s and such.  Madden needs to stick to what it is trying to do the best – and that is making a strong simulation football game.  If you want to be honest about sports games at this point you will see that they are turning into microtransaction machines for their Ultimate Team modes far more than improving the actual game.  I can’t really blame them for bending to the whims of their corporate masters.  I can speak with my wallet and to that end, I have been siding with the growing numbers of people that wait to play these games until they come down in price or get them on eBay just to keep the money out of the publishers hand a bit more.

The other aspect of Madden that has all but turned me off completely is the community that EA Tiburon has generally focused on over the last few years.  I refuse to give these guys any sort of shout out or publicity – suffice to say that they all generally gather in a specific online sports gaming forum, run YouTube Channels, are a part of the ‘Game Changers’, live on Twitter, or a mix of all of those things. They seem to think they are experts when it comes to the game of football.  They also seem to grovel at the feet of EA Sports.  They will occasionally say something to make a point of false contention, but in the end – they are in this for their own motivations and have no reason to bite the hand that feeds them (monetarily, with free games, extra access, etc.).

Obviously this criticism comes off as me either being a hater or some sort of jealousy.  I am actually proof reading what I type down and try to remain honest and critical when it comes to my work as well.  My real beef with the Madden community is that it isn’t a functional community anymore.  The YouTube crowd and Madden Tournament crowd has destroyed this community.  The idea that there is almost literally no other football game for anyone to play goes further in destroying the community in terms of feedback, conversation, and synergy.  The ongoing monopoly is hampering creativity with Madden as well as MLB The Show.  When these games both have to copy the style of NBA 2K in order to bring something new to their games it would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

Advertisements

Madden 13’s Biggest Gameplay Problems

Chances are good that Urlacher will get injured when he crushes AP… why? Because Madden 13’s injuries are broken… or random at best.

Madden 13 has a lot of potential to be one of the best Madden games every made – if not the best.  However, there are still some things that are occurring that make for a rather annoying experience.  Here are a few –

CPU Play Calling – While this isn’t truly ‘gameplay’ it is something that you have to deal with every single moment of a single player game.  It seems as if the CPU Coaching Staff was programmed to mimic Pat Shurmur.  Why is it that on 3rd and long the CPU will almost always pick either a running play or a passing play with routes that are 3-5 yards short of what is needed for a first down?  The CPU play calling AI has always been bad in Madden, but this kills the experience when you are playing in a tight game and they seemingly throw in the towel.

The CPU Running Game Doesn’t Exist – No matter what you do in Connected Careers, it is almost impossible to face the CPU without dominating their runningbacks.  This is an issue that involves bad blocking and seemingly immobile runningbacks.  It is a constant struggle to feel like you have having a legitimate experience when you end up crushing the opposition every time they try to run the ball.

Human Pass Rush Is Unstoppable – I am currently playing a single player online CCM with the Browns.  Jabaal Sheard has 23 sacks through 12 games.  Chances are good that he will finish the season with over 30 sacks and this is without ever controlling him.  The funny thing is that I picked up Shawne Merriman in the pre-season to play RE (opposite of LE, Sheard) and he has zero sacks.  Sure, he is constantly facing the opponent’s best blocker, but to have ZERO sacks is almost laughable.

Left Ends Are Beasts – For some reason EA Tiburon has had a major problem programming the blocking in Madden.  This was something that was pushed strongly for by the community for Madden 13 in the new Infinity Engine.  It never made it into the final build and the interactions between lineman are still showing this lacking development.  If you have a somewhat decent Defensive Left End – prepare to dominate and set records almost every year.

WR Drops Are Infuriating – In one game I counted over 14 drops by my receivers.  This was a major issue in the demo and seems to still be a major issue in the game.  While these dropped passes might not keep you from defeating a seemingly stupid CPU AI Opponent, they can ruin your experience as you are being artificially prevented from having great games (even if they aren’t ‘sim’ with your receivers).  You can move the WR Catch slider but you shouldn’t have to do this.

Injuries Are Random and Silly – After crushing Mike Vick in week one with D’Qwell Jackson it was Jackson, not the injury-prone Vick that ended up on the injury report with a torn achilles.  What makes it better is that his foot never really hit the ground as he made the tackle.  Vick on the other hand was twisted up like a pretzel and was smashed into the ground.  He got up… Jackson didn’t.  Please, for the love of all things football – fix the injury system in Madden!

Making Madden Better – Volume 1 – Ending Games

No matter which form of entertainment you choose – gaming, movies or books, if the ending is bad you will consider it either a waste of your time or sit there for a minute wondering if that really is all that happens.

Madden has a few issues in this department and no where is it more noticeable than at the end of a big game.  We are starting a new series of videos dedicated to helping make Madden a better experience.  These are primarily meant to catch the eyes of developers at Tiburon; however, if you have other suggestions for things we haven’t covered please comment below, send us a message on YouTube or email us at officialnoobtubetv@gmail.com.

Again, the content we provide is meant to be used as constructive criticism in order to improve the game.  There is no reason to point fingers or say anything in an unprofessional manner.  You will get nowhere fast if you think bashing something or someone will make it or them change.

Keep hitting that F5 key as NoobTubeTV is starting to grow more popular we will be posting more often.

EA Game Changers – The Gaming Equivalent of Congressmen (With Advice On How To Interact In Your Online Communities)

Over the past couple years we have seen tremendous growth from EA Sports’ Madden Franchise.  Some people like to attribute this growing quality to the inclusion of what EA Sports is calling Game Changers from the EA Gaming Community.  A few days ago NoobTubeTV covered some of the biggest issues between non-Game Changers and the Game Changers on an interactive level through forums, Twitter, etc.

The Game Changer program is a fantastic idea that seems to have improved EA Sports games.

After scouring message-boards/forums, news and fan sites (many of which are owned by Game Changers) it is evident that they care deeply about the product they have all but devoted their lives to playing.  It is impressive to see many of these sites talk about the intricacies and details that are either present or missing from some titles.  These dedicated gamers eventually gained such a large audience or member-base that their opinions were held in high regard by EA.

When they first made their trips down to EA to visit the studio and get a first glimpse of the game they were pretty limited in what they got to see.  It was all but a finished game and they got to give some feedback but anything else was off the table until at least the next year.

This year, the Game Changers got a few chances to visit EA Sports and watch as the game made it through Alpha and Beta stages.  They also got to give input and suggestions.  In the process of these visits they aren’t allowed to divulge any information that EA doesn’t give them permission to express to the public.

Power (even a little) can make people change for the worst.

This puts Game Changers into a de-facto position of power.  For many of them, it is something they take with humility.  For others, it seems to be going to their heads and it is starting to leave a sour taste in the minds of many community members.  The issue at hand is that many of these valued members of the community are given a ‘a longer leash’ and sometimes no leash at all (especially on their own personal sites).  You will find that some (a minority really) of the ‘premier’ community leaders (aka Game Changers) choose to take things personally and/or respond to commoners in a rather snarky fashion that would often equate to a warning or ban from forums.  This is a problem that was really bound to happen as it isn’t dissimilar from people voted into political offices of power.  They are given power and then they exploit it with little or no recourse to the people they are supposedly representing.

It is important for all of our readers to remember a few things when it comes to taking an active role in the games and game communities in which you are involved.  Below are some pointers for how to better represent yourself and your views when taking an active role in forums.

  • Be Polite and Professional – many sites have TOS (Terms of Service) that spell out how you should act and which types of interaction and comments are allowed.
  • When In Doubt, DON’T PRESS SEND – If you value your membership in a forum/community and you get angry or annoyed with a fellow member or even the game in general you need to think before you submit some sort of choice words.
  • Choose Your Words Carefully – It is vital that a member doesn’t call anyone out or put them on blast by pointing fingers.  This is often how digital fights of words begin and you better bet on community leaders getting the benefit of the doubt over a common user such as yourself.
  • Don’t Be A Troll – If your mission is to go and instigate other members of the community, you might as well refrain from registering from the site to begin with… but who are we kidding?… You are probably getting ready to submit a rude comment here on NoobTubeTV.  The real problem you will find is that by doing that (on here, at least) your comment will be approved and then it will be responded to in a polite and professional manner – therefore making you look foolish.  Again… don’t be a troll.