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Football has always been a big part of my life, from Sunday league kick abouts where my team lost every game 15-2 to playing FIFA on the Mega Drive and Pro Evo on Playstation. I’ve grown up with it and now look forward to this time of year when the next FIFA and PES roll out to get my next football fix. So with FIFA 11 out this week let’s kick off, to use a footballing Clichy (sorry) and see if FIFA 11 can improve on the already great FIFA 10.
Straight away in the arena kick about you can notice the difference, changing direction whilst dribbling feels freer and no two shots at goal are ever the same with so many new animations added. Passing is now not just a simple button press, it now needs to be thought about with both direction and power now something to be considered. This eliminates the ping-pong passing complaint from the last two FIFAs as you now have to work the ball up field. This can result in sluggish encounters however as both teams wrestle to control the ball but it is a change for the better more realistic game of football that gets easier with practice. The other major complaint was goalkeepers were too easy to lob either because they charged off their line or the lob shot was effective, this has been rectified with better keeper positioning and lob shots being very difficult to get on target.
Shank released at the perfect time, right between The Expendables and Machete, two films with excessive amounts of testosterone and a whole lot of ass kicking. Think of Shank as a lone psychopath that goes on a homicidal rampage to avenge the death of his beloved. It’s full of blood, over-the-top kills and macho dialogue.
First of all, I’m not much of a sports fan. I’ll occasionally play an NFL title, but for the past few years, I haven’t really enjoyed any. It has been a long time since there was a really good NFL-licensed football game. The last great one was NFL 2K5, which, at the time, sold for $20 brand new. This, compared to Madden’s $40 or $50 price tag of the same year, was considered one of the best deals in sports game history. You not only got a football game on the cheap, but you got a well-presented one at that.
After buying out the NFL license, and six year later, EA released Madden NFL 11. Does the game meet or exceed any of the milestones 2K Sports had done all those years ago? So far, the Madden games haven’t done so, but they were the only source for an NFL-branded simulation game for half a decade now. My goal here is to give you an idea of what to expect from this year’s Madden if you haven’t played it already.
The football season is over and the World Cup is fast approaching, which can only mean one thing; it’s time for an EA Sports World Cup game. But instead of being just 32 teams battling it out in the same tournament over and over again and not much else in the form of content, EA has tried to justify the second FIFA title to be released in a year. Adding a whole host of modes including online FIFA World Cup, Captain Your County and a Story of Qualifying mode does 2010 FIFA World Cup justify a full game price tag?
– Rain effects are impressive.
After wide spread reports that PES 2010 had failed to live up to expectations I chose to buy FIFA 10 instead for the second year in a row. Initially FIFA 10 does not feel different from 09 at all but upon a further inspection it is much better.
Need for Speed has come a long ways since its introduction back in the PS1 days. There have been many games since, 13 titles total, and many of them have a distinct theme or style. When Underground came out, the series really spun into popularity.
It wasn’t until Pro Street came out that people started looking down at the series because the game returned to it’s more realistic racing roots. Gone were the storylines and open-world cruising. The iteration, Undercover, went back to the open world racing and whatnot of Need for Speeds before it because of the critical negativity Pro Street received.
But this review isn’t about those games, this one is about the newest addition to the franchise, SHIFT. Apparently, SHIFT was supposed to have been a sequel to Pro Street originally, but due to the game’s previously mentioned less-than-stellar critic reviews, the name was dropped and SHIFT took its placed.
This is their first title that delves into the simulation aspects of the racing genre, leaving the arcade style of racing behind. Overall, this was definitely a good decision, as the game is more suited for my tastes. It’s not without its problems, though, as I will get more into detail from here.
Visually, the game looks amazing. It may not be the best looking, but it’s definitely up there! The cars are very detailed and the lighting just pops out at you. Sense of depth is very good as well and the motion blur you get as you’re speeding down a straightaway at 130+MPH really gives you a sense of speed (though, driving that fast in real life doesn’t result in that effect, but it still looks cool).
As you’ve seen from many trailers in the past, the cockpit view is superb. It really gives you a connection to the car and effectively makes it an extension of you. What’s really cool is when you do cockpit upgrades, you can actually see the roll cage and whatnot in there as well. Since it’s dynamic, the view responds to your acceleration, turning and braking so you feel like you’re actually driving it.
When you get in a wreck (and a lot of us almost definitely will), your helmet will shake violently and gray out the screen. When your senses come to, you can see the cracks in the glass and the damage done to your front end, both obstructing your view. There were moments for me when it got bad enough that I had to switch to an external view! The game also allows flipping over, so you can either cause, or be involved, in a spectacular wreck with a car flipping wildly on the road.
The tracks, a lot of them actual racetracks, are highly detailed and feel very much alive, with onlookers watching the races and photographing you as you pass by. If you’re inclined to do so, you can go ahead and snap photos of your car yourself! Some of the tracks have been modified in the backdrop slightly, so they aren’t 100% faithful reproductions of the tracks themselves, but the layouts are the same.
The visuals aren’t without their flaws, though. Occasionally, so much will be happening at once that the frame rate can drop to a very noticeable chugging. It’s not that frequent, but it is a nuisance when it does happen. The rear view mirrors also hold a few issues, as you watch your opponent behind you, you will notice a lot of pop-out in the background as things like signs and overpasses disappear. I mean, it’s not a huge deal, as you’ll be paying more attention to what’s in front of you. There is also some occasional pop-in as well, usually with billboards that feature in-game ads, but its not noticeable, as I’ve only actually seen that happen to me once.