News Post

OK, so I feel a little guilty because I know you guys all want the goods, and I want to deliver them. But, I'm pretty much a wreck after about eight hours on the E3 show floor today.

I captured a ton of footage, played a ton of games, and was just running around trying to cover as many bases as possible, and I think I succeeded on that front -- I played NHL 10 for about an hour (embargoed until June 16), FIFA 10 for about an hour (embargo is now up but I will not write about it until this weekend), I saw Backbreaker (embargoed until June 15), captured a ton of Madden NFL 10 footage, captured a ton of NCAA Football 10 footage, and captured some Fight Night Round 4 footage as well.

That being said, I have to get up early tomorrow and do it all over again. I'll be on the show floor for the whole day, and then I'll head on over to LAX for a 10:30 p.m. PST flight and get back into Philly at 6:30 a.m. EST. (I'll have a nervous breakdown somewhere along the way as well.) But the flight is set up that way because I wanted to have another full day on the show floor to get some more hands-on and snag some more videos and screens.

So, I cannot wait to do it all over again in the morning because I want you all to get as much out of this event as possible. I have an interview with Peter Moore in the morning, and then after that I will be trying to capture some footage of some racing games, before trying to capture some more football footage and find some off-the-beaten path sports games.

Returning to the original point, though, while I'm not going to write any detailed impressions tonight, I have to give you guys something, right?

Madden NFL 10

-I see that a lot of people like the new Ray Lewis video. My understanding is that there are not a ton of those types of signature player intros in the game, but there are over 10 signature stadium intros. I'm pretty interested to see all of them once August rolls around.

(On another note, I see a lot of people complaining about the highlights within the halftime show. While I understand some of the complaints, I want to be clear that the reason the highlights are bad is because I Super Simmed to get to the halftime show quickly. When you Super Sim, the game does not create manufactured highlights from the simmed plays. In other words, the game only had a handful of plays from the half to choose from, so you saw things like a 4-yard run and so on.)

-In-game saves are not in the game.

-You can user control all 32 teams in offline franchise mode, and you can also edit every player on every team within the franchise mode. So if you don't like how a rookie was rated on so-and-so squad, you can change everything about that player's rating within the franchise mode.

-When you put a player on IR within franchise mode, you do get cap relief.

-Within franchise mode, there are still 53 players on a roster during training camp.

-There was a lot of talk about the lack of a salary cap in online franchise mode -- at the very least, it will not be there at launch. While that is a bummer, it's not a total loss. Since the commissioner can control every single move in an online franchise, it would be very possible to create "house rules" for who can sign what player and so on. Many people (including myself) play in things like fantasy baseball keeper leagues where you have house rules in place to figure out what players you can sign from free agency and so forth. It is more legwork for sure, but at least there is a way to get around the lack of a salary cap.

-Either way, you will want the commissioner to have full control over what moves happen throughout the online franchise mode, because any AI teams that are in the online franchise mode lack trade logic. If commissioner control is not on, you could hose any AI team in the trade department. Once again, house rules will be in effect here. Personally, the house rule I would enact would involve showing the whole league a trade you want to propose to the AI; then the league votes on the trade, and it either gets accepted or rejected.

Grand Slam Tennis

The game comes out next week, but I know some people were wondering what was going on in the "career mode" department.

First a couple little details:

-The career mode lasts 10 in-game years.
-Your player will be rated on a five-star scale.
-You create your own tennis pro before hopping into this mode.

OK, so within this mode you will only play at the four Grand Slam venues, but there are different courts within each venue. So you won't be playing on center court when you are a one-star bum, but you will be playing on it when you are a five-star stud.

But just because you are playing at these Grand Slam venues all the time, you are not actually in the French Open or Wimbledon tournaments at the start of the mode. Instead, you will be playing exhibition matches against generic players, rather than Nadal or Sampras. As you get better, you will unlock stuff (see: apparel) and eventually you will qualify for the Grand Slam tournaments.

At this point, you will then be facing off against some of the legends and some of the best tennis players in the world. In addition, if you beat someone like Nadal at the French Open, you will also acquire his speed ability. Simply put, if you beat the best players, you get their special attributes. Basically, it seems like your created pro will be like a sports version of Mega Man.

Member Comments
# 1 Hawaii_Stars @ 06/04/09 01:56 AM
Thanks for the info. Hopefully they can add a salary cap with a patch.
# 2 bigdfan76 @ 06/04/09 02:03 AM
Good info thanks. I must admit I am glad online franchise is finally here but I think I'll mainly stick with offline franchise. The fact that I can't import draft classes is kind of a big deal to me. I hope they polish up this online franchise in the future to include some of these things like sallary cap and draft classes. But it is still VERY exciting to see EA taking new direction with this mode. Oh one question. Are the games played with the flex scheduling or is it more like NCAA week to week version?
# 3 Step2001 @ 06/04/09 02:45 AM

Thanks for the follow up on the questions.

"When you put a player on IR within franchise mode, you do get cap relief."

BIG Question here: You get cap relief when placing a player on I.R. BUT do you get the important roster spot opened up as well?

# 4 boritter @ 06/04/09 03:46 AM
Please give us in-game saves!
# 5 CM Hooe @ 06/04/09 08:32 AM
This. While the cap room is useful, it's the roster spot not opening up that's been the main issue if I recall correctly.

The information regarding the workaround to no cap in Online Franchise is useful and very much appreciated.
# 6 TreyIM2 @ 06/04/09 11:29 AM
Thanks for clearing up the Halftime deal and I really hope they can squeeze in the in-game saves feature. I miss that...
# 7 allBthere @ 06/04/09 01:38 PM
about backbreaker; was there reason in your eyes for the embargo/nda? Did you see gameplay? If so, maybe I can understand, but I'm sure you can let us know if it's worth paying attention to backbreaker info when june 15 rolls around, or if it's just more non-gameplay or features fluff.

so a) did you see gameplay

b) do you understand or sympathize with the whole embargo/nda thing- does it make sense.
# 8 GlennN @ 06/04/09 02:15 PM
Yeah, I have to join boritter and TreyIM2 in the disappointment with missing in-game saves. Life doesn't often give me hours on end to play videogames. It is not like they don't know how to put this feature in - what is the possible motivation to keep it out?
# 9 texasgmr @ 06/04/09 03:28 PM
Thanks for the info Chase! Madden is looking to be the best it has been in years.

Can't wait to see some more vids!
# 10 ChaseB @ 06/04/09 04:43 PM
It's hard-capped at 55 players per roster, even with the IR spot. There is not enough memory to have more spots, so yeah, 55 players is the max regardless.
# 11 ChaseB @ 06/04/09 04:47 PM
a) I did see gameplay, yes.

b) I understand embargoes in most cases. When it comes to not talking about something until a certain date, that is fine with me because a company is inviting you in to see the game in a private environment. It's not like you're doing something journalistic by going in to an event you were invited to, and then spilling all the beans after seeing it. There was nothing "undercover" about it etc. it's just being a douche.

Now, everyone makes mistakes and will probably let something slip before the time is right here or there, but that's not the end of the world either.

Now embargoes like the MGS4 review one where you can't mention certain things in a review, in that case I wouldn't sign on the dotted line for something like that.
# 12 43Chargers4Now @ 07/02/09 11:47 PM
The franchise mode has gotten a great upgrade. Can't wait to test it out myself.

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