We’re into the second round of the playoffs, and another NBA 2K13 roster update is out. It’s not a big one, with just three players being affected. Huge surprises that Steph Curry and Nate Robinson haven’t been upgraded, despite their performance so far in the playoffs.
Luol Deng (CHI): Injured, -9 (74 OVR)
Marc Gasol (MEM): +2 (85 OVR)
David Lee (GS): Returns from injury, (84 OVR)
Players still missing: Aron Baynes (SA), Ben Hansbrough (IND), Chris Johnson (MIN), Diante Garrett (PHX), Dwayne Jones (GS), Jarvis Varnado (MIA), Jerel McNeal (UTA), Josh Akognon (DAL), Julyan Stone (DEN) Justin Holiday (PHI), Kent Bazemore (GS), Kevin Jones (CLE), Kevin Murphy (UTA), Malcolm Thomas (CHI), Mickael Gelabale (MIN), Scott Machado (GS), Shavlik Randolph (BOS), Terrel Harris (NWO), Tim Ohlbrecht (HOU), Willie Reed (MEM)
The NHL 14 Cover Vote is quickly eliminating the field, announcing their final 16 candidates for the chance to grave the cover of their upcoming hockey game. Starting today, the vote shifts to a 16-player bracket format as players compete in head-to-head matchups for a spot in the quarterfinals. Over 12 million votes have been cast, up 70% from last year’s campaign.
Here’s the final 16, along with how the bracket is looking. Gotta love the Toronto/Boston rivalry is alive and well even in the cover vote:
One frustrating thing in the FIFA games is when you have a great opportunity for a pass and your teammate just isn’t in the right position to receive this. This is now a thing of the past with Teammate Intelligence. New for FIFA 14, your computer controlled teammates can now to make better and smarter decisions on both the attack and on defense.
Some notes from EA:
FIFA 14 introduces new run types to make goal-scoring opportunities even more exciting. Players will have the intelligence to break down defenses by creating space for themselves and separation from defenders.
You will notice that attacking players will watch the backline to avoid being caught offside before breaking free for a pass or through ball. Attackers will also now perform checked runs to confuse defenders.
Additionally, the center-forward will back into a defender to hold position and receive the ball, creating space to gain possession. Afterward, he will either release to another player or turn and shoot on goal.
Defenders will be better at tracking runs without over-committing. They will recognize opportunities to support and apply pressure from anywhere on the pitch. Rather than always covering the player closest to them, AI defenders will better position themselves to reduce the chance of someone being left wide-open:
Defensive decision-making will be based on multiple frames enabling defenders to continually analyze the play to search for the most dangerous player. This will improve run tracking and man marking. Smarter, tighter marking will change the way games unfold as more action is driven to the middle of the field, leading to tighter passes and a greater emphasis on strategy.
Also introduced this year is defensive pressure—teammates will recognize good opportunities to win back possession and support with tighter marking and more pressure. Previously, once a team had a lead late into a match, they would begin to slow the pace to run down the clock. Now, Defenders will recognize this and press the attacking players in an attempt to win back possession.
The big thing being touted in this year’s Madden game is the “Run Free” feature, giving you much more free control over your offensive ground game. If you’re a fan of the Madden franchise, this next piece should be a little concerning: EA Sports is also introducing a “Precision Modifier”, giving you the option of 30 different moves as a running back. You can string together these moves to create “devastating combos” (EA Sports’ words, not mine).
The “devastating combo” makes the game sound super arcade-y, reminiscent of arcade fighting games where combining combos gets you more XP. Also, while these moves look great, they really aren’t all that realistic. Here’s the video, and we’ll show you some GIFs after the vid to further illustrated the unrealistic animation.
And now for the GIFs. some of these moves are unrealistic, especially Chris Johnson’s spin.
The first of three NHL 14 Developer Diaries came out this morning, highlighting NHL 14’s new Collision Physics. If you’re a fan of the FIFA series, you’ll know about the Player Impact Engine, which provides more realistic contact between players. In NHL 14, there’ll be a new left-stick control scheme to make hitting much simpler. Check out the video from EA Sports’ producer Sean Ramjagsingh:
Plus, some GIFs showing off the Collision Physics. LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR:
One thing that’s annoying about football games is the lack of camera angles you can choose. Whether you’re on offense or defense, sometimes you want to see your entire team (or the opposing team) on the field at once. Madden recently fixed this issue by adding in “zoomed” and “wide” angles, but now, NCAA 14 is helping fix this problem with another angle: “coordinator” view. Here are the three differences.
Hopefully we’ll see all 3 in the Madden franchise as well.
The field of 64 just got cut down in half, leaving 32 NHLers vying for your votes to be on the cover of NHL 14. Each team had one candidate advance, plus two wild card candidates (Joe Thornton and James van Riemsdyk) were added to the mix. If you want to place your vote, click here to cast your ballot. The top 16 vote-getters will advance to the next round.
The rest of the schedule:
32-Player Leaderboard (April 29 – May 5): Fans vote for their favorite 16 candidates; top 16 vote-getters advance.