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Madden 2012 – First Impression and Review

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment

A Review of Madden 2012

Madden 2012 Review
It’s that time of the year again when dedicated football fans get out the tailgating gear and make camp not at the stadium but rather the local video game or electronics retailer. Just like last year, fans lined up to get the first few copies of what has been the top-selling NFL game for nearly a decade. While few major changes appear each year, gamers always look forward to subtle improvements in the game-flow, controls, and realism. Another irresistible feature year after year is the downloadable roster updates that ensure the ability to crush your friends using the most current players and developing stars on the team.

While I hate to admit it, I tend to be one of those crazy fans who rush out to get the latest version of Madden as soon as it hits the store shelves and Madden 2012 was no exception. After my initial excitement, I was a little bit surprised to find that the game did not come with any written instructions. Call me old-fashioned but I like to get a quick visual review of the control options to check for changes and refresh my memory in the event that I have been playing other titles recently. The memory space needed for the required update was another area where I was less than thrilled as I am one of the few who still does not have an extra hard drive for my console.

One I got beyond the initial setup, my opinion on the game took a dramatic turn for the better. The initial player introductions that match the style of each individual team where a nice addition. There is nothing better than a little added drama to get you psyched up for a grudge match between friends who are fans of a rival team. The game play has improved considerably over Madden 2011 with many of the graphics glitches and ghosting effects ironed out. One area where the game grew by leaps and bounds was in the play of the linebackers. In previous versions, they always seemed to stay at home in the middle of the field unless you were running a specific blitz package. This version has LBs coming up to deliver devastating hits on wide receivers catching check-downs and dump off passes along with quick penetration behind the line of scrimmage to run down a half-back from behind.

The playing style of the corners seemed to improve as well matching up closely to the style of individual players. The ability to manually control a grab for the ball does seem to be somewhat diminished from previous versions. This can be frustrating when trying to go after a tipped pass of dropped catch but it is a bit more realistic than what previous versions of the game provided. I remember several games in Madden 2011 where I was able to pull down 8 picks. While this is fun at times, the new edition is closer to what you would expect to see in a regular NFL game.

All in all, the game play was smooth and the graphics more crisp and authentic than ever before. The ability to control running backs keeps getting better and better which allows the user to run a balanced offense. Mobile users can look forward to the game arriving on the iPhone and on Android powered smartphones and tablets. Look for a review to show up soon on our Android tablet homepage. I give Madden 2012 a nearly perfect review with 4 1/2 stars out of a possible 5. This is a great game that every true NFL fan should own!


Become a Gaming Legend with Resistance 3

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

resistance 3 previewWell, now there’s a new way to become a gaming legend with your friends and it doesn’t involve spending days locked away in your room mastering your shooting skills. Have you ever wished you could be a character in a hit video game?

Playstation 3 and game developer Insomniac Games are giving one lucky gamer the opportunity of a lifetime to be forever featured in the upcoming release of Resistance 3. They are asking fans to submit a picture of themselves engaging in a mock battle scene along with short essay describing why they think they should be selected. A single winner will be chosen at the conclusion of the promotion and will be provided with an expense-paid trip to San Diego where he or she and a friend will meet the development team and be inserted into a scene in the game.

Resistance 3 will be exclusive to Playstation 3 as the third title in the popular series that began with Resistance: Fall of Man. The newest installment picks up four years after the conclusion of Resistance 2 and re-connects gamers with Joseph Capelli who is in hiding with his family and a contingent of other survivors of the Chimeran occupation. As Capelli is presented with an opportunity to strike back, he must make the journey through a treacherous landscape to New York City. This action-packed shooter is set to follow in the footsteps of highly acclaimed Resistance 2 giving gamers a heart-pumping thriller loaded with upgraded weapons and intense game play. This one is sure to claim a spot near the top of the best-seller list when it is finally released!

For more information on the chance to appear in the game or to submit an entry, please visit the official competition page here. It is currently open to residents of the United States who are at least 18 years of age. Good luck gamers!

Friday Fun – Jet Pack Skier

March 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Sometimes it can be healthy to add a little something off-topic to the mix and the imminent arrival of the weekend makes for a good excuse to do just that. Here’s a fun video you can share with your friends or significant other the next time they try to tell you that you’ve lost your mind.

Anyone up for some skiing? Oh yeah, did I mention that would involve having a jet pack strapped to your back? You just haven’t experienced speed skiing until you’ve gone uphill at 47 mph while only at half-throttle! It’s difficult to watch this and not imagine what would happen if a stray elk happened to wander across his path.

Testing New Jetpack on Skis – Troy Hartman from Troy Hartman on Vimeo.

The Rise of Angry Birds

March 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Unless you live in a cave and perhaps even if you do, you already know that Angry Birds has quickly become one of the most popular games ever to hit the market for smartphones and tablets. It doesn’t take more than a quick glance at the best seller list in the App Store to see that Angry Birds dominates not only in the United States but in other countries as well. What is it that makes this game so popular and gives it worldwide appeal? That is the question that would appear to hold the key to success for future app developers. Today, we will attempt to at least partially answer that question by identifying some of the characteristics of the game that make it addictive and enjoyable for users.

angry birds


If you’ve played Angry Birds on your phone or iPad, chances are that you are already familiar with the graphic to the right. For those of you who haven’t played the game, this is a screen capture of the application as it launches and is representative of the style of game play the developer (Rovio Mobile) delivers throughout. Some of the characteristics that should immediately stand out to you include bright colors, faces that communicate emotion, and a smooth detailed environment.

Game Play

After years of dealing with game play that is more and more complex and increasingly frustrating, part of what makes Angry Birds appealing is its simplicity. The learning curve is short and controlling game functions is simple yet it still requires a degree of skill to be successful. The game is based on a story where a group of evil pigs has captured the eggs of a group of birds. The object is for players to get the eggs back by eliminating the pigs which have taken refuge in a variety of structures made of wood, rock, and ice. The birds are launched at the structures using a slingshot that taps into the touch screen functionality of the users’ mobile device. Gameplay starts with just a single type of bird and a simple set of structures. As the levels advance, additional birds that split, detonate or drop eggs are unlocked giving the user more options to choose from and requiring more skill and planning to successfully complete new levels. This kind of system where players are provided with progressive rewards has proven to be successful in PC and console based games so naturally, it translates well to mobile games as well. If you examine some of the most popular games throughout history, many of them involve this type of achievement structure.

Frequent Updates

The biggest reason players abandon a game is boredom. Once players have completed all of the levels in an average game and there are no additional challenges remaining, there is a much greater chance they will tire of the title and move on to something new. Rovio has mastered the art of delivering fresh content and new features to keep users coming back for more. In fact, a new version of Angry Birds now seems to appear around every major themed holiday throughout the year.

While this isn’t exactly a step-by-step blueprint for anyone who wants to develop the next hot mobile game app, there are some pearls of wisdom to be gathered from the success of Angry Birds. By combining some of these proven tactics with a new and creative idea, an aspiring developer can greatly improve the odds of launching a successful new game.