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E3 Preview: Hands On With EA Sports

Yodapollo
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Posted June 23, 2008 - By Yodapollo

G4 recently attended a event at EA where we were allowed some Hands On time with some of the most anticipated games EA would be announcing or showing off at E3. Some of them, we can't talk about yet. Others are free and clear and this is just one of several posts today, chronicling some the games we were able to demo at EA's E3 2008 preview. Here, we're looking at the lineup for EA Sports, including Madden NFL 09, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, and EA's All-Play lineup for the Wii.

It goes without saying that, of course, EA Sports out in full force at the event, giving us glimpes of their entire 09 line-up. For today, we're going to focus on the Madden and Tiger Woods franchises. Each of the games offered multiple new features designed to entice sports fans to make that yearly purchase once again.

MADDEN 09

Madden 09 celebrates the 20th Anniversary of videogame's longest running yearly franchise. At the same time as serving a s reminder of what it has done right to earn 20 years of gaming success, Madden 09 also offers up a monumental first for the series: Online leagues.

For years now, people have been begging EA to include this feature in it's Madden franchise. The ability to create a league with friends is something that we've always enjoyed doing, though it's become quite inconvenient and impractical since moving out of the dorm. Well, now it's here and nothing could be more exciting.

The gameplay itself continues to impress and upholds the high standard that Madden games have set for themselves. The stadiums are more realistic and crowd is as alive as ever. Other extra features include a practice mode that feels like you're playing football in a Tron world, with digital red and blue holographic characters duking it out on some computerized gridiron.

Overall, Madden 09 will once again prove a resounding success and G4 would not be surprised to see it out perform last year's installment by a substantial margin.

You can check out the Madden NFL 09 gallery here.


TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 09

This year's Tiger Woods installment is all about improvement. You see, this year, Tiger just doesn't want you to play, or even only to win. He wants you to get better. That's why this year's Tiger Woods comes complete with swing analysis by Tiger's own swing coach, Hank Haney.

When you first embark on a tour or create your own golfer, you'll be evaluated in four categories: Power, Accuracy, Short Game, and Putting. You're rated from one to ten and given critiques on how you can work your way up the scale. The ratings you receive will continue tio improve and even decline based on your play throughout the tour. Following each round, you'll be able to review your four worst shots and Haney will offer analysis on how not to make the same mistakes twice.

The Tiger Woods series is always a lot of fun and 09 is no exception. But will improved teaching and instruction be enough convince someone to put down 08 and shell out another $60. We'll have to wait and see on that one.

The gallery is here for your perusal.

ALL-PLAY SERIES

On top of their standard lineup, EA Sports also unveiled a special version of the franchises, designed specifically for the Wii. It seems that EA has decided that their previous Wii versions of Madden, NBA Live, and Tiger Woods not quite casual enough for Wii gamers. At the same time, the games were too casual casual for hardcore gamers who would just as soon play Madden on the 360 with its 60 fps frame rate. Their games were in a No Man's Land of design. It appears that the All-Play series is their answer.

When it comes down to it, the All-Play series is meant to be for everyone. EA Sports has seen what the Wii can do and they want to try and get grandma and grandpa to enjoy Madden and Tiger Woods just as much as they like Wii Sports and G4's favorite, Carnival Games.

The All-Play titles offer a more "family-friendly" and "party-like" atmosphere as compared with their regular titles. For example, NBA Live 09 All-Play offers three types of gameplay: 5-on-5, 2-on-2, or Party Mode. What follows is an arcade-like game where the player can actually control as much or as little as he or she wants.

Normally, the game would control just a regular NBA live game would. However, if you choose to implement All-Play controls, much fo the guesswork of thegame is taken out for you. You don't need to move your players or really do anything at all, aside from pressing "A" to pass or flicking your wrist to put up a shot.

EA really wants to create an atmosphere where anyone, regardless of how familiar one might be with sport, can pick up a controller a play. After playing some Tiger Woods and NBA Live All-Play sessions, we can say that the effort is noble and we honestly hope that these titles will get people to pick up and try some sports they might be entirely familiar with, but we also fear that any fairly hardcore gamer who has chosen to follow the franchises to the Wii might finally find cause to jump ship with this "casualizing" of their favorite sports.

Here are the accompanying galleries:

NCAA Football 09 All-Play Gallery

Madden NFL 09 All-Play Gallery

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 All-Play Gallery

E3 Preview: Hands On With EA Sports
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