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

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Black Ops 4 Beta Dates

The dates have finally been announced when the beta will drop for Black Ops 4, the upcoming installment for the Call of Duty franchise. It has been a sigh of relief the last few years when the developers have allowed us to indulge on early gameplay for multiple reasons. The biggest of course is for the not so hardcore fans to know if they will be interested in the newest Call of Duty. Then another benefit for the hardcore fans is they will be able to express their opinions of different gun balances pre launch. Even though some people may view the Call of Duty as a second evil to EA with their microtransactions, it really has been much appreciated that we have been getting betas for the past few games. Yes, for most part the franchise has become stale, but I will argue that the recent Call of Duty installment betas have lead to a much more polished game release.

Multiplayer Beta Dates:

Playstation 4 (First Weekend):

Start: August 3rd 10am PT / 1pm ET

End: August 6th 10am PT / 1pm ET

Playstation 4 and Xbox One (Second Weekend):

Start: August 10th 10am PT / 1pm ET

End: August 13th 10am PT / 1pm ET

PC:

Start: August 10th 10am PT / 1pm ET

End: August 13th 10am PT / 1pm ET

Black Ops 4 Blackout Beta: Classified

There are a plethora of different elements the community is eager to get their hands on in the beta. Black Ops 4 is trying it’s best to make Call of Duty feel innovated again, but this could be its ultimate downfall. As much as the community complains about Call of Duty being stale by not taking risks, these same people lash out when the game does change (jet packs). There is potential for a pivotal year for Call of Duty with the addition of new combat changes such as self healing, medics, five man matches, and BATTLE ROYALE… this could be a huge turning point for the franchise. If pulled off correctly, fans will find their love for the game again. But if the additions lack, it could be the final dagger to the heart for the franchise. As a long time Call of Duty lover… I really hope this could be the change we are needing.

Let us know what you think about the upcoming Call of Duty game, Black Ops 4. Are you interested with the changes? Are you buying in on a AAA title making a battle royale game mode? Are you excited for a possibly new tactical game play with self healing? Or do you just want Call of Duty to die already?

-Brandon Maj

Don’t Let Your Dreams Be Dreams with Dreams

So in the past couple episodes of the podcast you guys have heard me going crazy about Media Molecules current project Dreams, but I wanted to take some time here to sort of expand on why I am so excited to get my hands on this game. Since the game was announced back in 2013 everyone has been curious as to what this project entails. Now with E3 in the rear view mirror we finally have a pretty good grasp of what we will be getting from Dreams and that is literally whatever we want.

This is the first reason I am so excited about this game. It gives you the tools to do whatever you want. If you want to play a unique story, it has three different stories to play through. Have you always dreamed of making your own game? Have you ever felt you could make a good narrative with a phenomenal story idea? You can actually make a game from scratch. You design the levels, the characters, the items/weapons, the animations, create the voices, and even make the music all yourself.

The music creation tool is another thing that has me all sorts of excited. One of our news stories on the podcast was about the show that the Molecules put on to wrap up E3 and it was incredible. It did a tremendous job of showing off the extent of detail in the music creation tool reflecting well on the entire game. Just thinking about being able to perform a concert with friends on a PS4 is mind blowing. Whether you want to be the next Skrillex or Metallica, the video game allows you to create any style of music. Music is just a small piece of the puzzle within Dreams.

The beauty of it all is that the puzzle can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. If you just want to make a fun platforming single level you have all the tools to do that. If you want to make the next Witcher game with a full score and set of voiced characters you can do that too. Dreams truly gives you the freedom to innovate and create how you would want. To top it all off, it streamlines all of these features for ease of use. In their E3 showcase, the presenter of the demo explained how quick and easy it is to animate an object you create in the game. He completes the whole process in less than a minute which would take an actual game animator a full thirty minutes. The fact that they have managed to make this game creation tool so user friendly is astounding.

I know many people who have watched how the game creation tool works and have said “that looks cool and all but I don’t have interest in making a game so it’s just not for me.” Well, for those people consider this; even if someone doesn’t want to make games in Dreams, they still have the opportunity to play other people’s creations. So you can have a shooter, platformer, and RPG all in one experience with Dreams.

Just from the demos shown on it this far, I can tell that Dreams is going to be an incredible experience not only for creative types, but for everyone. I for one, cannot wait to see what things I can dream up with this ambitious project. There is no word on a release date for Dreams sadly, but Media Molecule has already stated that they are going to be releasing a beta for the game before the year’s end. Be on the lookout for that, and be sure to share your awesome creations with us when Dreams does come around!

Call of Duty WWII???

Every year a new game to the Call of Duty franchises drops. Some years it’s a hit and others it’s a very sad miss. Over the last few years the Call of Duty games have seen some struggle in pre sales, overall purchases, and players sticking with their product. Ever since Call of Duty has made the shift to next-gen, the franchise has began to take a dive. Some people were recently happy with the 2015 Call of Duty Black Ops 3 that was released. Due to the games much slower game page then Advanced Warfare and great Call of Duty Zombies story arcs, the game showed some promise. 

This last year the companies tried something new by releasing a new title (Infinite Warfare) and a remake of a fan favorite (Modern Warfare). This did show to help the company with the remake, but at this point most users are only on the remake. With all of the jet packs in the currents CODs the popularity of the games has shifted. So it is sad to know the games the company works to put out people don’t care for anymore. 

There is a saving grace… Possibly. It has been announced that we may be getting a World War 2 based Call of Duty. Which we would guess this means boots on the ground. No jump packs or anything in that mobility. This most likely will help the franchise quite a bit. We will have to see when the game drops later this year.

What do you think about Call of Duty 2017? Does this mean anything to you, or is Call of Duty dead? Let us know @TheNerdChambers on Twitter!

-ShadowGhoul (Brandon)