Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Mole: A quick out of town update

Greetings from Chicago! I'm in the Windy City for a family event and finally found some free time to cruise the web when I realized I hadn't updated the blog since Wednesday...oops. The last few days have been filled with Cubs games, relatives and watching my beloved Red Sox get pounded by the Yankees so its been a mix of fun and lots of yelling at any TV I can find. Enough about me, here's the skinny on a few upcoming games.

Still anxiously awaiting Cyberball - Microsoft has announced its upcoming Xbox Live Arcade titles for the next few weeks with no robots playing football game in sight. Texas Hold'em comes out this Wednesday but is free for the first 48 hours of its release, then it sells for a whopping 800 points ($10). Personally, I feel all arcade games should be capped out at 400 points, no more. One of the nice things about Texas Hold ’em however is it offers multiplayer support for up to eight gamers, three modes of gameplay (Standard Games, Scenarios and Tournaments), Achievements, extensive online leaderboards and statistics. So it might be worth it.

Time Pilot (August 30), a Konami fighter pilot game and Scramble (September 6), a side-scrolling shooter also from Konami will cost 400 points.

Something for free? - Sierra announced late last week that FEAR Combat, the multiplayer component of the PC game FEAR is available for free. If you're interested, go to for a free download. Included are 10 multiplayer game modes, 22 maps and 12 different weapons.

FIFA Soundtrack full of bands I've never heard of - I would prefer my video games to have music I actually like instead of using me as a guinea pig for a bunch of no name bands with music I could care less about. Unfortunately most gaming publishers (except Rockstar) don't feel that way. I think they see it as trying to be forward thinking and bringing hip new music to the masses. Well prepare yourself with more of this stuff as EA has given an international feel to its new FIFA game. Here's a song list for FIFA 07, I've never heard of any of them but I guess that doesn't really mean anything because my favorite band is still the Beatles and their last album is over 30 years old.

Angélique Kidjo - Wele Wele - Benin Belasco - Chloroform - UK Bersuit Vergarabat - O Vas a Misa… - Argentina Bitman & Roban - Get On The Floor - Chile Blasted Mechanism - Blasted Empire - Portugal Boy Kill Boy - Civil Sin - UK caBas - La Cadena de Oro - Colombia Carlos Jean - Get Down - Spain d.o.c.h.! - Was in der Zertung Steht - Germany Elefant - Uh-oh Hello - USA Epik High - Fly - Korea Fertig, los! - Sie ist in mich verliebt - Germany Infadels - Can’t Get Enough (Mekon Remix) - UK Keane - Nothing In My Way - UK Malibu Stacy - Los Angeles - Belgium Mellowdrone - Oh My - USA Mobile - New York Minute - Canada Morning Runner - Gone Up In Flames - UK Muse - Supermassive Black Hole - UK Nightmare Of You - Dear Scene, I Wish I Were Deaf - USA Outlandish - Kom Igen - Denmark Paul Oakenfold - Beatiful Goal - UK Persephone's Bees - Muzika Dlya Fil'ma - USA/Russia Plastilina Mosh - Peligroso Pop - Mexico Polysics - Tei! Tei! Tei! - Japan The Prototypes - Kaleidoscope - UK Ralph Myerz and The Jack Herren Band - Deepest Red - Norway Seu Jorge - Tive Razão - Brazil Shiny Toy Guns - You Are The One - USA Stijn - Gasoline & Matches - Belgium Suferosa - Royal Uniform - Norway Tahiti 80 - Big Day - France The Feeling - Sewn - UK The Pinker Tones - TMCr Grand Finale - Spain The Sheer - Understand - Holland The Young Punx - You've Got To… - UK Tigarah - Girl Fight - Japan Trash Inc. - Punk Rock Chick - Lebanon Us3 - Kick This - UK Young Love - Discotech - USA

Madden Update - My review of Madden 07 comes out this Friday (the game comes out Tuesday) and I wanted to make one thing very clear before anyone goes out and buys it - the PS2 and Xbox versions are better than the 360 version. Because of limited space, I don't really get to get across all of the points I'd like to in a review, if I did they'd be 3 times as long. Because I wanted to focus on the features and not the differences in the console versions, I don't really get a chance to tell you why the PS2/Xbox versions are better but here are 3 reasons why - the create a player mode, the Hall of Fame mode and the audible system are not the same on the 360 as they are on the PS2 and Xbox.

In the PS2/Xbox version you can make a created player with skills as high as you want. In the 360 version, you have to do these mini-games (which are pretty tough) to earn skill points for your player. I ended up with a guy with a 30-something overall rating. Not good. In the 360 version of Hall of Fame mode, you only play as your player, you don't play defense or control anyone else. You also have to throw the ball (if you're created player is a QB) from almost field level, making seeing recievers very hard. In the PS2/Xbox version you play just like its a real game. In my review I rave about the audible system, which I think is fantastic. Unfortunately, the audible/hot route system in the 360 is essentially the same as last year.

Now some gamers may like these differences but I didn't. I was very disappointed to see the cool new audible system not in the 360 version. I was surprised by the difference in the Hall of Fame scheme but the jury is still out on whether its a good or bad thing. I need to play with it a little more. But where I'm most disappointed is in the create-a-player mode. It brought back memories of Madden 96 when you had to do the same thing. I get the gimmick of doing mini-games to rate your player but they should be optional. If I spend money to buy the game, I should be able to rate myself however the heck I want. I worked to buy the game, I shouldn't have to work to rate myself.

Don't get me wrong, both versions of this game are really good. I enjoy them both. But the PS2 version was my favorite.


JohnX said...

Hey! Fear multiplayer is free? How about that. Too bad it sucks. That's like going "hey here's a bowl of rotten cabbage...and because we love you so much, it's free!!". Some people like rotten cabbage though.

Terry "coloradojoe" Terrones said...

Mmm...rotten cabbage. FEAR online may suck but since its free, somebody will take them up on it.

JohnX said...

I take it all back. FEAR Combat is a great game. We played it at the Air Force Academy LAN most of the day yesterday and it was a ton of fun!