Assassin’s Creed 3 R.E.A.L. Review

Assassin’s Creed 3 is just like every other AC game for the most part.  That is generally the idea when you are playing a game franchise like this.  However, it is still an amazing accomplishment in gaming from the aspect of a great storyline (with a twist that occurs early on in the game); As well, the relatively seamless controls for a fast-paced free-roaming game. While the controls are smooth, there are also a few issues with character movement that prove to be (at times) annoying enough to make you turn off the game out of frustration.

(Native) American Bad Ass – Connor Kenway

The attack and counter-attack system is thankfully simple but it borders on being too ‘dumbed down’.  The other issues with controls are more related to wonky camera angles and how you occasionally get caught on trees, rocks and even small animals within the cities.  This is often an issue that can be alleviated by a patch, but I wouldn’t hold my breath as this game won’t have a patch for some time (if trends continue).

The biggest surprise so far has been the quality multiplayer game in AC3.  While it is typically some form of deathmatch (what else do you expect from an assassin game?) it is challenging enough to remain fresh as you try new strategies and grow in your knowledge of sneaking around the maps and jumping your enemies in surprising fashion.

The story is decent enough and it will pull you in like the trailer from a major motion picture.  The downside to this is that the voice acting and the intelligence of some of the CPU AI is enough to make you want to stick your head in a microwave and hit defrost.  The American Revolution is a great time period for a game like this to take place, and the character development is nice (albeit obvious) as far as it goes for the protagonist(s).

Assassin’s Creed 3 is a quality game with relatively high replay-ability.  You will want to go back and try to perfect every mission as you learn new techniques.  There is also enough depth in the multiplayer for you to play it exclusively if that is your cup of tea.  If you love Assassin’s Creed as a series you should certainly invest in the $60 for this game.

This game delivers on everything it promised and the multiplayer was surprisingly addicting.

R.E.A.L. Rating = 93/100

Deductions were taken for the somewhat wonky control issues and the annoying CPU AI/voice acting.

Advertisements

Madden 13 – The Midnight Release Review

Looking for some last minute advice to help you make that release day or midnight launch decision for Madden 13?

Here it is –

You should buy this game if:

  1. You are a Madden fan
  2. You liked NFL Head Coach
  3. You want deep online leagues
  4. You want deeper offline career modes

You shouldn’t buy this game if:

  1. You prefer open player editing for career modes
  2. You prefer fantasy drafts
  3. You prefer to have Franchise Mode with people on the same console
  4. You don’t believe in performance on the field being a factor in progression or building XP

The Midnight Release Review – (yes, we have multiple reviews – more feedback and evolving reviews are better than one you read in a crappy magazine or website that doesn’t look at the game over an extended period of time)

The current grades for Madden 13 in terms of scholastic levels would be a B- or in the typical (just as subjective) ‘number’ grade it would be around an 8.3 out of 10.

The justifications for a review and score start with what was deducted and why.

Gameplay – The Infinity Engine

The Infinity Engine makes the game ‘look’ better in terms of players on the field having a wider range of motion and trying to trick your eye into not seeing the canned animations that are still there, but are more hidden due to the ‘rag doll’ effects of the new engine.  You will see players flopping and falling all over the place at times and on occasion it will make you laugh (at one point Eli Manning took a knee to end the half against my Browns and as my defense pushed through the line – the kneeling Manning looked like he got hit by a truck… no penalty was called.)

It still plays like Madden 12 if you discount the flailing.  As we stated in our earlier review of the game, it seems at times like players are running at eachother with numb arms at their sides and jumping into opposing players (and sometimes their own teammates).  If you try and picture the players up close drooling with lazy eyes it will make the game a bit more entertaining – at least for a few seconds.  (If you are saying or thinking “You’re wrong for that.”  I might be, but you can’t say I’m not honest.)

Customization – No Editing Players for Career Mode

This has been one of the most commented topics here on NTTV.  It is a fact that Madden 13 is extremely limited on editing players and rosters for career modes.  While EA has stated that they are considering the option of maybe patching this into the game, you shouldn’t hold your breath or grasp for hope and change when it comes to this – the bottom line is that EA Tiburon pushed this game in a new direction and had to leave some things behind to do that.  Customization is one of the things that I would think could be more of an on/off option but apparently they don’t see it that way and maybe my assumption is over-simplified.  (Programming isn’t often a matter of ‘turning something on or off‘.)  You can still edit players in exhibition mode but it won’t carry over to CCM (for now).

To go along with customization, you also won’t have the ability to run a fantasy draft for your connected careers.  It is unfortunate and somewhat confusing if you consider the fact that it doesn’t involve editing players and you can trade and pick up free agents in CCM.  My best guess is that it would screw up a lot of the commentary, storylines and twitter feeds if someone suddenly had a team with Peyton Manning, Trent Richardson and Ray Lewis.

Playing CCM With Friends On the Same Console

Perhaps the second most infuriating issue with our readers is the fact that you can’t have a league where you are competing with a friend, sibling or roommate on the same console.  This is one of the most confusing issues I have come across.  It really doesn’t make a lot of sense if you consider the fact that people have had this ability for years.  It follows the same lines of logic as player editing, but really – this is flat out ridiculous.  If you consider the release date of Madden you will see that it often coincides with the start of college classes and students returning to campus.  This is where most of my sports league gaming with friends happened back in the day and now it is gone.  To this, all I can say is that I hope you held on to Madden 12.

The Reasons You Should Buy This Game Today

Now that we have given you the reasons why this game had the deductions, we will further enlighten you with the reasons why this is one of the best Madden games ever released.  We have already given a couple reasons why this game is awesome.  If you want a few more reasons to buy Madden – here you go.

The Deepest Career Mode Ever

Madden has had a tough time over the past few years trying to push a better franchise mode.  Madden 12 was decent but it lacked logical CPU teams and it also lacked intelligent contractual negotiations.  This year they have gone above and beyond what they had in the past and that is the primary reason I chose to get this game with the Season Ticket… I had to see Connected Careers with my own eyes.

You will see storylines from college recruits that have had violations, injuries and even breakout seasons.  They will climb and fall on the draft boards and you will feel the pressure to find the diamonds in the rough and avoid the potential busts.  The scouting in this game will make you think more than Madden 12 did with simply picking a player and getting information given to you.  You will have to pay for information and if you want more specific scores you will have to pay more.

Players will want to negotiate extensions of their contracts through the year and you will have to make decent offers when you are given the chance, otherwise they will stop negotiating and test free agency.  It is yet another small detail that makes it stand far above Maddens of the past.  To go along with this new contract approach you will have to start determining how you want to build your team.  If you are creating a new coach and want to change the schemes and mindset of your team it will take time for you to find the right players and personnel that fit what you want to do.

If you decide to be a player you will have other things to worry about – namely, your player’s storyline and how he will progress throughout his career.  You will have to earn XP and put it into the right areas if you want to become a superstar in terms of OVR ratings and such.  The bottom line is that your performance will dictate almost everything.  If you come in and stink it up, it might be a quick career for your version of JaMarcus Russell.

Progression Is Based On Performance and Development Ability

Making your players better whether it is as a coach or as a single player will depend on two things.  You have to perform well on the practice field and in game situations when you get the chance.  Some people are obnoxiously pissed about this for some reason, thinking that ‘potential’ should be the sole factor in how a player progresses.  This is a common misconception that people make when they want to determine whether a game is being realistic (hopefully you can see the irony there).  If someone works a job and busts their hump to make their quotas and they go above and beyond whether they have good potential doesn’t matter.  The same goes for people or players (see JaMarcus Russell, Vince Young, Todd Marinovich, Vernon Gholston, the list goes on and on) that have all the talent and potential in the world and it goes to a waste due to laziness, purple drank or factors beyond their control).  This is why the development rating is so important.

Development will determine how much and how fast a player can gain XP.  If you want to increase this trait you will have to pay for it with, you guessed it – XP.  It isn’t like running for 500 yards every game on Rookie Difficulty will make it easier to get a player to some sort of inflated rating.  Well, in that extreme case – it might.  Either way, it will cost you 50,000 XP just to take someone from the ‘Quick’ Development Trait to ‘Superstar’.  If you consider the fact that it could take you an entire season (or two) to get that many points it suddenly becomes clear that some players might only progress to the mid-80s for an OVR, but the best part is that you will have groomed them on your own (if you want).  If you prefer the hands-off approach you can also set player progression to automatic and let them grow as the CPU sees fit.

The Infinity Engine

Yes, this was one of our downsides, but the fact of the matter is that this game looks so much better with players that move due to reaction to other people and objects.  That is after-all what physics pretty much revolves around.  You will see players moving in a slightly more realistic fashion (especially if you play with game speed set to slow or very slow).  You will also notice that momentum is a bit more prevalent in this game and you won’t be able to stop and move on a dime.  It will be more like stopping and moving on a… quarter.

That said – the game still plays like Madden.  You can move players without some sort of strange delay like on 2K football or something like that, so don’t get scared off when people talk about momentum and real time physics.  Also, you will notice that the big hits in Madden 13 look and feel bigger than any Madden during this console generation.  A lot of this has to do with the infinity engine and how the players react to different speeds of play and how they are positioned.

We will have more coverage of Madden 13 over the next days, weeks and months.  Hopefully this more detailed review will help you decide whether or not to go out and spend the $60 on Madden today or this week.

As always – Happy Gaming!

Madden 13 Review Coming Soon

As it happens, EA Sports is allowing XBox Live and Playstation Network users to play their sports games early.  It is in this spirit that we are going to try and help you decide whether or not to buy or pre-order Madden 13.  You will still have ample time to make an informed decision before the game is released on August 28.

To call it a review is a misnomer – we will be featuring a series of reviews over the next few days that will cover everything from gameplay to specific modes and even the online experience.  If you have any questions or requests please post them in our comments section or hit us up on Twitter – @NoobTubeTV. 

Stay tuned to NoobTubeTV for reviews and updates on everything Madden 13 over the next few days.

For a full run-down of how we review games please check out our R.E.A.L.© Reviews  section for a description.

Click The Picture Below to Pre-Order Madden 13 from Amazon!

Black Ops 2 Multiplayer Trailer – Does It Impress You?

While it is always nice to have a change of pace from time to time, there is also something to be said for a game that withstand the test of time.  Call of Duty isn’t one of those games.

Black Ops 2 looks good from the graphical perspective and will most likely ‘handle’ just like every other COD game.  You can always expect tight, fast and precise gameplay from Call of Duty titles.  The great part about the trailer is that it shows us exactly what we were expecting.  The terrible part is… it shows us exactly what we were expecting.

The use of the ‘Guardian’ technology around the 36 second mark should make you think back to the 60 Minutes report on a ‘ray gun’ –

This is cool.  No doubt about it – amazing technology is being developed by our government (and others).  However, this is also one of the downfalls of Call of Duty games.  They constantly push out ‘cool’ and ‘amazing’ weapons that while they might be real, tend to make the game into an annual BFG-Fest.

Between killstreaks and other numerous things that make Call of Duty the game we all love to jump on and play for hours at a time there are also some rumors out there that they are getting rid of one thing that many people have become rather annoyed with during their time with Modern Warfare 3 – Aim Assist (especially with sniper rifles).  Go ahead and throw a party – you know you want to.

It is going to be a great autumn and winter for gaming  and we can’t wait!

The Best Time To Be A Noob = Quarter #1

For those that are new to gaming it is vital that you learn a few things about how the schedule of a hardcore gamer works.  This will allow you to understand much more in gaming than simply how to play a certain game, but when to play a certain game.

The first quarter of a new year is usually the most dead time of the year for any game to be released.  It is easily observed that most of the biggest titles to be released come some time in the months leading up to the celebration of commerce we commonly know as Christmas.  Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Arkham City…the list goes on.  However, there is a nice part about this for people that are casual gamers or maybe even what we (super-nerdy, ‘hardcore’ gamers) call Christmas Noobs (people that just got the game for Commerce Day and still don’t fully know some of the important factors of the game —– aka, NoobTubeTV’s Target Audience)

With the lacking amount of top-tier (popular) titles being released during the worst retail months of the year (January-April) you will have a lot of time to learn how to fine-tune your skills in games like Call of Duty.  Not to mention the fact that these are typically the worst weather months of the year as well and you may have some other reasons to hang out in the recliner, couch or sticky bean bag chair in your dorm room.

Just remember, it isn’t a crime to be a noob and like Will Hunting – it’s not your fault… it’s not your fault… it’s not your fault.

Attention Noobs - Its Not Your Fault

If you aren’t crying like Matt Damon right now, please keep your attention on NoobTubeTV.com for more updates on games and what we are referring to as Gamer Etiquette – the one thing lacking so much online that it is a pandemic that has infected 85% of online gamers.

Happy Hunting

Quick-Scoping Revisited

A few weeks ago we talked about the concept of quick-scoping and the whole idea behind the ‘great mystery’.  Today we have released some videos that cover exactly how to do it and also a bit of feedback on why it isn’t the best strategy to use if you want to win matches in Call of Duty.  The first video is a walkthrough of the concepts behind quick-scoping (including aim-assist) in Call of Duty.

The second video is a brief montage (without awesome music). It is followed by an explanation of how and why quick-scoping isn’t effective for much more than making a show. While montages are pretty awesome (we have our own here, and will continue to make them), there is also the goal of ‘winning’ when you play a game and that should supersede any sort of desire to look cool when your KDR is less than 1.00.

Happy Hunting!

Noob Patrol – Battlefield or Call of Duty?

In the annual iteration of holiday shooter games, this year we have two main competitors.

If you are trying to decide which game to get this holiday season this is going to be a quick run-down of how you can break down which game is more to your taste.

Single Player/Story

Both games revolve around the current struggle against terror networks.  That said, both are very linear (not much adventuring around other than going exactly where they want you to go).  The difference comes in the actual ‘length of the game’ –

Call of Duty (on Veteran Difficulty) took me 8+ hours of gameplay to beat.  Probably closer to 12 if you include the multiple times I turned off the system without properly using the ‘Save and Exit’ option in the Pause menu.

Battlefield (on Hard) is quite a bit shorter and doesn’t leave a lot of room for the player to do anything than go to a new waypoint.

– Story Winner = Call of Duty

Multi-Player (Online) – (Please note, Battlefield 3 (if bought used) needs a $10 online pass for multi-player/online play.  If bought new, it should come with a code to be entered without further charge)

This is the dividing factor amongst ‘hardcore’ gamers.  Each game is so drastically different in it’s given modes that they really can’t be compared fairly in that manner.  The best way to describe the differences is by using an automobile analogy.

Call of Duty MW3 – is a flashy, high-end sports car that takes corners as fast as possible in hopes of getting every ounce of juice out of the engine.  That said, it is simply FASTER than Battlefield.  If you don’t like having to make snap decisions (in which I really mean reflex responses) you won’t like CoD multiplayer – simple as that.

Modern Warfare 3 has multiple game modes that offer you all sorts of different objectives.  While most of these modes devolve into glorified ‘Deathmatches’ you can usually finish a couple rounds in less than 10 minutes.

Battlefield 3 is a luxury car that is meant to be driven methodically and with care.  Everything about this game (minus the vehicles) is slower than Modern Warfare 3. It starts with game modes.  There are many fewer modes to choose from in BF3 than MW3.  However, where they lack in modes they make up for in depth and scale… these maps are HUGE.  This means you have a lot of options of how to approach each match, but you better be ready to invest 25-30 minutes for each match.  Depending on who you are playing with/against it could take even longer to get a match finished.

BF3 doesn’t depend as much on reflexes as it does on well planned strategies and mastery of your favorite weapons/vehicles.  If you noticed in the MW3 write up, there aren’t any vehicles for you to get into and do with what you will.  There are kill streak rewards that can last upwards of 30 seconds, but BF3 has something much more intriguing, vehicles from the start.  You can drive a tank, fly a helicopter or even take an off-road trip around the map running enemies over.  In the words of the movie Scarface, “The World Is Yours”.

Handling

Battlefield 3 – While it might sound strange, these games actually ‘handle’ differently.  When aiming a weapon in Battlefield, it feels like you are actually lifting a weapon that has some sort of weight.  It is slower and actually incorporates what I call ‘momentum aiming’.  It doesn’t take a long time to get used to this style of aiming, but it will feel show to those that are more accustomed to Call of Duty games.

Battlefield also incorporates a form  of animation that adds realism but takes away from overall speed when playing the game.  You tend to get stuck on corners and walls in close quarters in BF3.  You also hurdle and climb things more slowly, albeit more ‘realistically’.

Modern Warfare 3 – Guns aim where you move them to and if you use high sensitivity controls you will be able to move and aim so quickly it might make you go into some sort of epileptic seizure, or just throw up from motion sickness.  However, the guns don’t seem to have as much weight as BF3.  You can aim and shoot a .50 calibur sniper rifle as quickly as a sub-machine gun.

If you take into account the motion and movement as well, MW3 tends to have much less, if any vertical movement when running.  As far as jumping over walls or barriers, it is more like you simply ascend them with no hurdling animation – this makes movement much faster.  If you include the ‘Perk’ system, it adds a much more arcade feel to this game where your character is more powerful in certain ways.  This includes running faster, aiming faster and being more accurate.

OVERALL

These games are so different for being about the same type of modern combat but if you know three things about your gaming preference, you can make a decision before you even play a single second of either game.

  1. Do you prefer fast (MW3) or slow (BF3) gameplay?
  2. Do you prefer long, objective-based(BF3) or short, deathmatch (MW3) matches?
  3. Are you more invested in single-player (Call of Duty) or multiplayer/online (this is really a toss-up because MW3’s online community is so vast)?

Happy Holiday Hunting!