Madden 19 First Thoughts…

We are getting close to the start of the NFL season, and that means madden is here! Myself and Manny got our hands on the Hall of Fame edition of the game nearly a week ago, and so far we have had a very good time. I have always been a huge fan of the madden franchise where on the other hand Manny hasn’t purchased a current Madden since Madden 13 and hasn’t played one since Madden 16.

I have to say, this is the most fun I’ve had in Madden in almost 3 years now. Last year really fell short for me and I quit playing after only about two months of being released. Where most Maddens I continue to play until after Christmas. I have always been a huge fan of Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) for the excitement of pack openings and the grind to make your team better throughout the season and different holiday events that pop up through the year. So, I will admit ALL of my time spent on the current Madden has been all in MUT over the past week of the game. I really enjoy the different aspects this year to make it much easier to figure out what you want to do and the game is much more straight forward for MUT. This is my first time ever playing MUT Squads (a new game mode that was implemented in last years Madden to allow you to play MUT with your friends.) Manny and myself have played a few matches so far and overall it has been really fun to play with your friends in this game mode. We did a huge pack opening the first day of launch and it was incredibly fun we got some amazing cards in our packs. Manny even pulled a 90 overall Legend card which blew my mind. There is a new addition to MUT this year that I’m sort of having a bit of a love-hate relationship with currently. That is the new upgrade progression system. Now there are cards in the game that you can upgrade with new tokens. Which yeah is really cool and all but at the same time I feel like it makes it so much easier now to get a really good team, which is something I always loved about the grind it meant a lot when your team’s overall was around an 85. Well, after the first week my team overall is already a 79… which usually took me about a month to achieve, and I know if I spent more of my tokens I could probably break the 80 overall threshold. Which scares me because the grind is what always kept me around playing Madden to get my team as close to a 90+ as possible, and I have a feeling I may hit that in the first month if I keep grinding like I am. All in all the Madden Ultimate Team is very fun again this year like most. Now for the gameplay.

This years Madden has the smoothest gameplay I have ever felt in a sports game. Most of you are probably thinking “shouldn’t the newest game always feel smoother then the last?” Well yes it should but honestly Madden 18 felt clunkier then 17, and others have felt worse then previous years. This one has it all so far. The passing and running are very fluent while the new player movement system is fantastic and really allows you to combo different special movements with the ball carrier. Also hit sticks on defense seem to make a much bigger impact, but are also way harder to land now. You pretty much either force a fumble, or you are giving up a huge play. I really love that they have fixed a lot of the gameplay issues from last year. The only thing that is bothering me when it comes to actual gameplay is when you begin running on a play the ball carrier or defender doesn’t accelerate like old maddens. It’s very slow, and feels kind of weird. The two best parts about the new player movement system in Madden 19 has to be the celebrations and the fact that different players are slower then other players. To touch on this first, in most Maddens my 90+ speed running back would get caught by a 67 speed Defensive lineman running down the sideline, which was super unrealistic to me. They have finally fixed this problem! The second portion the statement previously… touchdown celebrations are in the game and they are so fun and exciting! Everytime you score now you just get so excited to see which celebration your character will go with after you choose. It really makes scoring feel even better now in Madden 19!

I am going to give Madden 19 an 8.8 out of 10. The MUT is extremely enjoyable, and from what Manny has told me about franchise you have so much more control this year as a player with bonus rewards mid game and different goals throughout the season. The only things so far holding me back to give the game a higher rating is the MUT progression system, MUT Squads not allowing you to play with just 2 players, and the acceleration aspect of the game. That being said the game has some amazing new additions with player movement, and prior to Madden 19, the highest I would have scored another Madden would be around a 8.2, so this game takes the cake with the new motion system! Let us know why you thought of the article and your options of Madden 19 in the comments! Make sure to hit the star so we know you enjoy the article! Untill next time.

-Brandon Maj

Black Ops 4 Beta First Thoughts…

It’s that time of year again… our annual Call of Duty is coming in just over two months. Some of got our hands on the beta this last weekend, and it was good to see what the latest installment has to offer. Personally i enjoyed the beta, but I am also a hard core Call of Duty fan boy, but I also did have my issues with the beta as well.

Pros: All in all the game felt very smooth. If you would have told me this is the full game I would not have been upset for the fact the game ran very well. I didn’t run into any sort of bugs or ridiculous problems. Graphically the game was gorgeous. This Call of Duty felt like a major step in the graphics department from last year. The game has its very vibrant maps and locations that really make you want to take a second and inspect the surroundings. The guns already had a pretty decent balance, so there wont be a whole lot of tweaking into the second weekend of the beta, most likely a small nerf to SMGs if anything. The pace of the game was very solid. I was pretty nervous when they announced that standard game modes were going to be 5v5 instead of the original 6v6, but it really worked out for the better. The game still felt very fast paced, and it honestly was probably for the better that the changed it to 5 player, or the matches would have felt way to cluttered. Three of the maps in the beta were genuinely spectacular, those maps being Frequency, Seaside, and Payload. The maps all played super well, had a very good layout, and were very stunning maps. I was very surprised how  much I enjoyed the new healing system in the game. It brought for many different ways for gun fights to play out, from attack your healing opponent or run and heal to fight another day. So it really did give a little new flavor to the combat of Call of Duty which was extremely refreshing. Another very interesting implement to the game was the fact that there are different attachments per weapon class. Not only did different classes have different attachments, but even some weapons in the categories had different attachments. This really made the guns unique which has always been a pretty big complaint in the COD community.

Cons: Something that I genuinely enjoyed from Black Ops 3 was the specialists that they decided to include in the previous game. I have been a pretty big fan of special characters having their own ability or weapon ever since I got into Overwatch. I really enjoy the fact they brought them back for Black Ops 4, but I feel it is SOOOOOOO lazy that they gave us so many of the same specialists, but with a tiny change to the character (Firebreak, Ruin, Seraph, Tempest, Battery) they also brought back the Nomad, but I will give them that they did completely rework him. It just seemed lazy to keep 6 of the 10 characters to be the same person same abilities, and a 7th character has the vision pulse of an old character from Blops3. One of the maps was absolutely horrifying to play on (Contraband) where half of the map was just water where people had high ground on you, so it was absolutely pointless to go anywhere near that side of the map. A very annoying addition to the specialists is Torgue a specialist that promotes camping. Not only does this man get a huge barricade, but he also gets a very strong set of barbed wire. Any time someone was running this specialist in the beta you bet you could find them in some building with the barricade in front of them for extra cover and the barbed wire covering any sort of way in for enemies. The most adventurous aspect that you might see from them is finding a main corridor to put the barricade in front of and camp the main objective or entry way for enemies. This was extremely sad to see them add this to the game especially after years of games finding ways to fight campers. Something that I really hated from the past call of duties is back in a new way… Juggernaut is back just in a fake name… body armor. It was pretty annoying to have something in the game that you pretty much had to run. If you didn’t have body armor on most of the time you were going to lose the gun fight even if you had the jump on them. I hope to see them either remove this from the game or nerf it a good bit before launch.

Thankfully we will get a little bit more of a look into Black Ops 4 with the second week. Let us know what you thought of the first weekend of the beta! if you enjoyed the article make sure to hit the star to let us know!

-Brandon Maj in collaboration with Adam Kovak

Venom Trailer #2…

After having a few hours to collect myself and watch the trailer numerous times… It’s time to give my thoughts on the upcoming horror/anti-hero movie trailer that dropped this morning… It was absolutely exhilarating. I feel as if I was one of the few who thoroughly enjoyed the first trailer, with basically no complaints. This trailer though… blew my frickin’ mind. I have always been one to get pretty hyped for anything Marvel or DC, but this is such a new taste for the superhero genere.

The trailer starts out with Eddie Brock giving a little idea of who he is. He is a reporter who believes the goverment is missing some very important/dangerous events in the world, and that he has found “something really bad.” Following that introduces the beginning of the tear between Eddie and Venom. The trailer then cuts to the main antagonist of the film Dr. Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) stating why he is trying to learn more about the symbiotes which is for finding a way to combine man and symbiote to start a new evolution of man-kind. This trailer does an extremely good job of giving a glance into the intentions of the two main characters of the film.

Then… we get some action of Venom…
Eddie and Venom have some back and forth showing the difficult time Eddie is having controlling the symbiote to use it for only good. I’m sure this will be a struggle we will see at the beginning of the film when they are converged into one-being: the malicious intent of venom and the good guy of Eddie Brock. This will give us a fun roller coaster to keep our eyes on throughout the film. We get some more direct dialogue from Venom when he has captured the enemy from the first trailer, where he begins to describe the human body, “Eyes, lungs, pancreas so many snacks so little time.” This line gave me a rush of chills down my spine. This is where the R rating is going to come from. They seem to be wanting to portray the very maniacle/cannibal side of Venom which is going to give an extremely interesting characteristic for a character we are rooting for.

To touch on the special effects of the trailer we got an amazing look at the full standing Venom! This was something I was petrified about because in the first trailer Venom didnt seem to be THAT big… Well Sony has eased our hearts revealing a monstrosity that is Venom, a solid 7/8 foot or so standing creature that will terrify all oncoming foes. Speaking of foes of within the film, we got a more improved look at the enemy symbiotes in the film mainly Scream/Donna Diego (Michelle Lee) and what looked like Toxin/Patrick Mulligan (Reid Scott). It is really exciting to see what Venom will be potentially up against in the upcoming film!

All in all the trailer was super satisfying to have a peak at the story, giving some light to the villains of the film, and the amazing special effects. What did you think about the trailer? Please let us know in the comments below! Are you excited to see Venom? What do you think about a horror/super hero film? If you enjoyed the article hit the little star to let us know you enjoy our work!

-Brandon Maj