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Author Topic: Early Impressions - NFL 2k5 Football  (Read 3820 times)
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Lockdown
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« on: July 22, 2004, 10:10:00 AM »

Our Team Requests thread is getting a bit cramped, so...

Let's start, as I have lots of thoughts running around in my mostly empty head...

What I have done:  (Xbox version).  Played 2 single player games against A.I.  Played 2 single player games with my brother (co-op) against the A.I.  Played 1/2 of online game until Panzergeist had to quit for some reason.  All games played were on default All-Pro.  Started a Franchise.  Messed with every menu I could find.  Ran through all tutorials.

Initial Thougths:  Well, as far as the menus go, my initial thoughts were actually, "I am lost".  After understanding where most things are now, I think they are organized pretty well.  It took me almost 5 minutes to figure out how to accept Panzergeist's invite to his game, and I still have to search for things on occasion, but other than that, I am liking them.  Once I got into the game, my feelings on the graphics being "ultra-better" are really kinda mixed.  On first blush, they didn't seem too much better.  Those thoughts have since changed for the better.  After playing my first quarter, I thought I was going to hate the game.  It actually reminded me of Madden a little bit, and you know how I feel about that engine.  I have since warmed up to it alot.

Graphic/Animation Thoughts:  Let me start by saying the game 'looks' better than last year on the whole.  I don't see how anyone can deny this.  There are some areas where the game looks marginally better, and others where it appears to look significantly better.  But let's face it, 2k4 looked pretty darn good.  Some of the uniforms are just outstanding this year though.  Just check out the Falcons Away jerseys if you want to know what I'm talking about.  The animations, on the whole, are flat out brilliant.  Some quick things that come to mind are the throwing arcs of the football, the tackling (both individual and gang), the defensive backs interception animations, the juke moves, and the QB scrambling and sliding.  On the other hand, there are some things I have noticed I don't like.  Some of the animations are extremely rushed (at times) and look downright stupid.  When a running back gets pushed from behind sometimes by a Linebacker, through a hole, it can look like you just hit fast forward on a vcr.  There is slowdown on some of the overlays.  Someone at OpSports pointed this out and got nearly crucified for stating it.  Guess what?  He is right.  Is it a gamebreaker... of course not, and honestly, you get used to it  to the point where you hardly notice, but it IS there.  Some of the QB short throws look off also.  All in all though, a big, big improvement.  I am overthrowing Rice so often, his old slow ass is diving all over the field trying to make receptions for me... looks great!

Franchise Thoughts:  Basically, all I did was start one up so I could see the menus, and then try out Team Prep.  I love the new Contracts screen.  Charles Woodson is on drugs for what he wants after his current contract expires, but other than that, it looks like managing your salary cap is going to be a ton of fun this season.   :wink:   My initial thoughts on Team Prep (my most anticipated feature) are as follows:  Are you kidding me!!!!!  I fooled around with this thing for about 20 minutes, and didn't even get to Wednesday!!!!  Could they have made it any more ridiculously overwhelming!!!  Now, the GREAT news is, it will save your day-to-day template after the initial work is done.  But Lord in Heaven, it will take me HOURS to set up one week.  I really think it will take some time to evaluate this feature, and I have high hopes for it... but my initial thoughts are that it is a monstrous time-sink.  (and I don't want to hear, "I told you so" Fox... so don't even go there).   :wink:

Gameplay Thoughts:  Oh man.  Let me keep this short, or it will go on for pages.  For the most part, it is much, much, much better than last year.  And you guys spouting off how it hasn't changed much... are you seriously high when you say things like that?  It is insanely different.  The momentum alone makes it a different game entirely.  Maybe I am just a very deliberate player or something, cause the gameplay is way different to me.  Rather than go into a 5 page discertation on it, let me just say that everything feels more "realistic", if I can use that term for video football.  The stats I have gotten are IMMEASURABLY more real than anything I got last year, and that is almost completely due to the running game being reigned in, and the Defensive Line not being worthless this year.  Good teams are easier to play as than bad ones.  They are also harder to beat than poor ones.  I have lost 1 out of 5 games.  That loss was to the Falcons (in Atlanta), against the A.I., and Warrick Dunn used that turf to break away from me numerous times.  I got spanked.  I then played them in Oakland (rematch) on grass.  I contained him much better!  There IS a difference of player speed on different surfaces. QB scrambling with Donovan will be fun for Eagles players.  I know I enjoyed it while playing with my brother.  The Defensive End Speed Rush has been addressed.  Sacks will come by better play-calling now, rather than great thumb jockeys.  Defensive Backs can be awesome or clueless.  I have seen evidence of both.  More to come on that later.  My biggest concern right now (by far) is the button layout and the time you have to adjust your defense before the A.I. snaps the ball.  This one thing alone is INFURIATING.  I barely have time to move the linebackers and then call a double team, and the ball is hiked.  Forget adjusting my o-line, spying the QB (still can't figure out how to make this work), and picking the player I want.  I think I will need to prioritize, and choose what is most important.  But when you play with/against me, you will see I have my players moving all over the damn place before the ball is snapped.  I don't have time to get it all done this year, and I am constantly hitting the wrong buttons to zoom out, and switch players, etc... etc...  Oh, one neat thing is I am getting very close to blocking punts.  Never could even get close before.

Sound Thoughts:  I haven't messed with the music.  I have noticed that Dan and Peter are a bit wonky this year.  They will stop their sentences mid-thought from time to time.  They will fall behind the action (noticably) from time to time.  Berman, when doing his game reviews, will absolutely screw up and sound ridiculous from time to time.  Sounds negative huh?  Nah... I am just nitpicky about commentating and stuff.  All told it is great.  But don't expect perfection, it ain't happenin'.  Oh and the Suzy interviews... waste of disc space imo.    

Overall Thoughts:  The game kicks butt.  I am very critical of VC and Sega Sports games, which is why I said alot of negative things, but don't think I'm down on the game.  It is much better, (and more difficult in some ways) than 2k4.  I am really liking it in general.  I have a tremendous amount of stuff to get used to.  I am fumbling for buttons all over the place right now.  That should get better.  The #1 thing I don't like I have stated.  The #1 thing I do like is the way the game plays a more realistic game of football.  My stats have been fantastic.  No complaints at all with the possible exception of too many interceptions for me against the A.I.  Too early to tell, but I know I'm not THAT good of a def. coord.   :wink:

More later.  These are all very early thoughts and are subject to change.  Don't be surprised to find game bugs either... they added a crapload of new features, and with new features come bugs, there is no way around it.  Let's hope they are not significant.  You can be certain as I find them, I will tell you about it.  I love to praise VC, I also love to rip 'em!   :wink:  

I saw a bunch of you guys online last night.  It was cool.  The only online game I played, I was winning 17-0 against Panzergeist early in the 2nd quarter I think.  I took the Raiders, he took the Bucs.  I got lucky with a couple break-away plays and an interception for a TD.  The voice wasn't working, so we couldn't talk.  He left the game rather abrubptly though, so I figure he was either pissed off, or had to leave for some reason.  Anyway, I look forward to evaluating online play further.  I hope it' not a scoring fest though, I'll tell you that.

LD
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2004, 12:15:03 PM »

Great impressions Lockdown, and surprise...  I pretty much agree with you on every point.

I'm loving the game.  I played 2 games last night, the first was 1 on 1 against my friend, then 2 on 2 with some other friends.

The 2 on 2 game was easily one of the best sports gaming experiences I've ever had.  My friend and I lost, even though at halftime we were up by 17 points... frown

Still, it was a great game and I forsee many late nights with this game.

Bravo Sega/VC.
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2004, 12:29:35 PM »

I played naednek last night -- his 49ers versus my Jaguars -- and that was great fun.  A really close game at 14-7 for Jacksonville, but Ken's final drive didn't come through.  I love the picture-in-picture feature that keeps the action focused on the field, and I really like how strong the online play is.

He and I both had the validating roster problem, but I expect all that to be ironed out on the next few weeks from VC or MS or whoever knows how to fix it.

My first online game this year, though, was with some wank who dropped before the first quarter ended (it was 7-10, my favor).  I am all about the negative feedback when people are wanks.   But I gave Ken positive feedback on a great session  - and maybe I can catch him or another one of you guys online tonight. smile

What an awesome game.
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Graham
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2004, 04:22:41 PM »

Here is my "60-Minute Shakedown" for ESPN NFL 2K5.

I paged through the manual before playing the game.  Although the manual isn't thick, it gives the basics of the controls.  Those who have played 2K4 won't have any problems getting into the game, as they seem to be similar to last year's controls.  A more in-depth manual is apparently on the DVD, but I didn't check it out.

Graphics:

Nothing short of amazing.  The players look very close to their real-life counterpart.  Playing it on an HDTV does help the game to look better.  The crowd looks much better than last year's "pogo-stick" people from Madden.  While playing at Lambeau, it didn't look exactly like it, but it was close enough to feel like you were there.

The animations seem to be more varied.  The tackles definitely are more varied.  I've seen wrap arounds, single leg grabs, and arm grabs, among others.  After the play is over, the other players help the tackled player get up realistically.  Once when this happened, the player was pulled up almost too hard.  He actually was in the air for a second or two.  The ESPN Transitions also help to give the illusion of a broadcast.  The replays look fantastic too.  Touchdown celebrations, sideline ribbing, and fan participation are all a part of the game.

That being said, there are a few issues.  After the play, there can be some slight slowdown.  It didn't happen often, but it did happen.  Also, some of the players' arms seemed to be a bit thin on the character models.  Nothing significant though.

Sound:

With the ESPN graphics also comes the ESPN sounds.  Anyone familiar with an ESPN broadcast will be familiar with the sounds.  Again, these help to give the illusion of a broadcast.

There is plenty of chatter during the game.  Hard counts do sound hard, and each hit can be heard.  The positional audio is incredible, and those with 5.1 Dolby Surround will be rewarded with realistic sounding hits in the right positions.

Custom soundtracks are available to be made.  I personally can't wait to put P.O.D.'s "Boom" as part of a sack.  However, other sounds are used if you don't have them set up.  At Lambeau, the infamous "GO PACK GO" was used to rally the crowd.

Rick Berman's voice does have some problems with some fluctuations during his reports, but his voice is like that as well in real life, so it wasn't too distracting.

The banter of the announcers works well and is smooth as butter.  I never had the announcers playcalling contradict what actually happened on the field.

Gameplay:

I played using the Packers at home versus the Lions using the default settings.  Some things were instantly noticable.  The running game is much better.  Last year it was easy to run up the middle and get 7-8 yards with Ahman Green.  While he still can get large drives, the defense is much tougher.  Also, in the first half, the Lions had the ball and were driving.  They called time outs realistically.  Not only that, but you could see the player with the ball calling TO after he was tackled.

There also seems to be more variety in incomplete passes.  Last year was a dropfest with the catches.  Now the receiver can run the wrong route, or the ball can be tipped.

The amount of penalties should probably be turned up a bit from what I saw.  No holding or offside calls were made.  The only penalty I saw in the game I played was when I ran my linebacker into the WR.  The play led to an interception, but I knew that it would be called back.

After each play, the screen shows what happened on the previous play, with the key player's picture in the box.  It also gives what direction the play was made.

Those who didn't care for the playbook or the display of the playbook probably won't care for this year's version, as that didn't change from last year.  I did feel like I had to call my defensive plays quicker than I did in 2K4.

Different "celebrations" are available, and those can be changed in the menu options.  It's definitely a nice touch.  However, scoring a touchdown feels a bit anti-climatic as there isn't any scoreboard "TOUCHDOWN!" graphic or anything like that.

A training mode is available.  It is useful for getting used to the different buttons, but it still seems to be a bit lacking.  Other than knowing you did the move correctly, there isn't really a way to hone your skills.  Some kind of contest with a score would have been nice.

The Crib is huge.  Two stories to deck out.  I even got a "call" to play against David Arquette.  The game simulates his style using the VIP system.

The VIP system shows how you balance play calling between run and pass, and shows the direction you run your pass and running plays.

This seems to be a great game for $20.  It will be even cheaper next week, so it will be time to bring in those pricematches.  There is a lot of depth to the game, and the gameplay does seem to be realistic.  Admittedly, the squables with the game are minor.  It is still a great football game.  Madden will have a run for its money this year, especially since they are charging $50 for it.
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2004, 06:14:04 PM »

Anyone that wants to play around 330 est or after, email me or let me know chop chop!!
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2004, 08:37:32 PM »

My thoughts... pasted from GG so you don't have to read twice if you already read that:

I played a few more games after I posted last night and think I'm finally ready to post impressions based on about 4 hours of playtime.

Biggest Dissapointment: The weekly prep. I don't think VC could've gotten this more wrong. It was a neat idea mired by absolutely fucked up execution. If they toned it down to say... 50% of the effort (5 mins per week, max) and made it more intuitive, this could've been awesome. As it is, you can spend 20 mins working on this thing and most of the time, your team actually gets worse. I've just turned it off.

Favorite Feature: Oddly enough, I'd have to say the halftime shows and post game wrapups. Despite the sometimes bad syncing, just viewing your highlights from each half is neat even without any Chris Berman audio.

Most Useless Feature: The Crib. I don't give a shit about any of this. Stop bothering me with it.

A word on the graphics: They kick ass. Period... this game looks better than Madden even with Madden running 1280x1024 on my PC. Of course, that's Madden 04... maybe 05 will look better. The ESPN presentation is nicely done, if not a bit repetitive. I've seen the one overlay of passing breakdown per portion of the field up to 4x in one game. That's pretty annoying.

A word on the sound: Maybe I'm just spoiled by NCAA, but I'm completely underwhelmed by the sound in this game. The commentary is good enough (equal to NCAA's, both of which are far superior to Madden), but the on the field sounds are lacking. I want more crowd noise. I need more crowd noise. I'm also horribly disappointed with the personal soundtrack feature, as it usually sounds like garbage.

Franchise: A lot of positive strides, but still doesn't quite hold up to Madden. Things that are in Madden that I'd love to see implemented in ESPN:
* Realistic trade AI. The computer AI trades too often (compared to real life), and some of the trades are just mind boggling.
* Player personalities. I'd love to see a guy refuse to resign with a team, or something along those lines.
* Franchise Tags. Would obviously only work with player personalities, but would still ultimately be nice.

Gameplay: Far better than previous years. Easily on par with Madden's and personal taste wil dictate which you think is better.

I think Madden plays a better running game, but that's probably because I really dislike the whole tap A/Hold A mechanic. You still can bounce off the ballcarrier a bit too much, but it's not nearly as bad as last years and certainly not a gamestopper. My other issue with running is that I think the whole "change of direction" animation is a bit exagerrated. It appears to either be all off, or all on. I liked NCAA's handle on that a bit better. All in all though, the running game is good.

As far as the passing game goes, I think it's pretty good as well. My only complaint is that it's too easy. I'm playing mostly default All Pro sliders (bumped up the AI's ability to run, since at the default level it can't run any better than a 4 year old could), and I can rack up completion after completion. I had Carson Palmer (82 rating) drop 340 yards of passing on the Iggles, which honestly just seems wrong. I hate the Eagles as much as the next guy, but their pass D isn't that bad  . I'm pretty sure some slider tweaking can fix this though. Again... I enjoy this more now that I've gotten used to it, and I personally do think this is superior than the Madden engine's passing game.

Defense: Pretty good, definitely a coin flip with Madden's, but the damn need to charge up for every hit annoys the holy crap out of me.

Special Teams seems good, but is definitely affected by the toggle-switch like quality of the runner's momentum. Oh... and I really fucking hate the moving kick aim. God I hate that.

The Coaching AI also seems to now have half a brain, which is awesome.

Online Play: Haven't done it yet.

Bottom Line: The game is good. I don't hate it, but I certainly don't love it. It does some things better than the competition, but it fails in some areas as well. For $20 though, you absolutely can't go wrong. For me, I'll probably still play more Madden when it comes out, since it's franchise mode is just top notch. ESPN will tide me over nicely until then, however.

Final Score: 8/10.

Oh... and in case anyone was wondering so you could calibrate your tastes with mine, if I had to build the perfect football game, it'd be as follows:

Graphics/Presentation: ESPN
Commentary: ESPN or NCAA
Running Game: NCAA
Passing Game: ESPN
Defense: Madden (would be ESPN if I didn't have to charge to tackle someone)
Special Teams: NCAA
Franchise: Madden

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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2004, 01:02:23 AM »

Gellar are you playing NCAA on the Xbox?  Just curious.

If so I completely disagree with you about the running game.  To me the running game on NCAA feels unbelievably slow.  Especially online.  If your Oline is even a little inferior to the Dline, especially on the road, forget running between the tackles.  And running outside becomes an exercise in spin moves and jukes, because the offensive linemen are still to slow to get out there.  I haven't found that you NEED to charge tackle this year.  It does help a lot to charge up when going for an interception though.  I am sure that I will buy Madden.  But it will have to be very improved over last year to beat ESPN IMHO.
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2004, 01:08:06 AM »

here are my impressions..

I absolutely loved ESPN 2004. I thought it was better than Madden even with the terrible running game and bad CPU AI (clock management).  It just gave games a breath of fresh air, madden was getting stale.  I was extremely excited for this year's version.  All they had to do is to build off of the previous year, since they already a template to go by.  From what I hear, they went beyond from just updating last year's version, they made a new engine that takes advantage of the xbox console system rather than going the Madden route building it for the lowest common denominator in mind.  It's about time developers reward people who spend the money on new technology.  So with that said I was looking forward to this year's version especially watching the videos.

Unfortunately I think I watched too many videos, and gave myself a sense of false expectation.  Kind of like when Star Wars I came out, I read the book and visited the fan sites before that move came out, and when I went to watch it, I walked out fairly disappointed.  That's kind of how I feel today with ESPN.  The excitement never came.  I felt it when I bought it and put it in the xbox, then **poof**, gone.

I played two quick games, 1 online game and 1 preseason game from franchise last night.  Unfortunately I forgot to save my franchise so I have to start over.... no big deal.  Anyways since I've stopped playing I've sat down and thought about why I feel disappointed, and unenthused.  I also read the Impression's thread (since I don't have internet access at work right now, I had a friend email me the thread) and I find that agree with a lot of points that people have already pointed out.  So here are my thoughts...

1st Playbooks

Having a variety or lack of variety of plays makes or breaks the game.  Madden had a decent playbook that had an intense variety of plays you can choose from.  Unfortunately with ESPN 2K5, that's not true.  Their playbooks are exactly the same as last year and they were terrible back then too.  In ESPN 2K5 you have many types of formations (4-3, Bear, Nickel, Dime and others) in these formations you have different packages that you can choose from, this is where things start to feel the same.  Each package will have separate categories based on where you want your defenders to move.  For example you might have Twist Left, Twist Right (depending on where you think the play will be moving to)  when you select that package you get to choose which play you want.  Granted there are quite a few to choose from, but when you from Twist Left to Twist Right, it's the same plays from Twist Left, except everything is to the right.  That makes sense, but when you change formations to Nickel, those same plays start to appear.  Sure some personnel might be different but overall it's pretty much the same.  There is also a lack of variety of types of plays (Zones, Coverage, Blitzes and so on).

It seems to me from my initial impressions that most defensive plays are either Zones or Blitzes, and rarely any man coverage.  I had 3 big beefs with last year's game, and this was one of them.  I find the offense side is fine and offers enough variety, but the defensive side surely needs to be addressed.  And they failed to do that this year.  I often find myself not giving a rat's ass on which play to call.  This is one reason why I feel bored playing.

Another thing I don't like, and I took noticed then when I was playing as the 49ers (or the San Francisco Seahawks Tongue) The playbook always started at the Triple WR formation and I would have to scroll up or down to get to the I-formation or some formation that doesn't use all those Receivers.  Why can't it either remember where I left off, or set it to a decent formation so I don't have scroll like crazy.

2nd Weekly Prep

While the weekly prep in franchise is a cool idea, it's cumbersome, and repetitious.  You have to make a schedule for what you want your players to do, whether it be, working out, studying film or doing yoga.  That in it self takes a long time because you have to do make this list for the positions you want to have trained, and then decide what days do that.  So if you are like Bill Parcells and have no mercy in your aging bones, you would make them work out every day of the week.  Now I've heard that when you play the next game the schedule you made from the previous week will still be there.  So you can choose to have them do the same thing, or you can edit the type of training you want them to do.  However this is still time consuming.

They should have put in a template.  Or let you save configurations.  It's just too time consuming, and gets old quick.  Cool concept, something I've thought about many, many times in the past.

3rd, Graphics

Graphically, it looks good but there's not much difference between last year's version.  I really do not see a huge difference from the previous version.  Even my brother (who has watched me play several games last year) walked in my room and commented that it looks the same as last year.  But how much different can you make a game look, especially a sports game, those will always look the same.  I think that's one reason I loved ESPN over Madden last year, it was something new, the presentation was far different from what I was used to, everything else I adapted to.  But from what I saw on the videos and read from forums it didn't meet my expectations.

However, I will say the animations and the details have greatly improved on a game that excelled the previous year.  You really can see the veins in player's arms, and the new tackles, and overall feel of actually watching a game on TV.  You can easily see how much work they put into it.  But I keep thinking, did they spend all their time adding to the presentation and forget things like the playbooks and customizing the weekly prep?  I don't know, maybe next year those things will be worked on to make it a better experience.

4th, Sound

Granted I do not have a 5.1 speaker set up.  Where I'm located it's not really practical at the time.  However, just playing on 2 speakers I noticed the game doesn't sound much different from the previous year.  I absolutely hate hearing the QB's snap counts over the PA system or whatever it's coming out of.  It's too distracting and doesn't really match.  I know when I go to the 49ers games at Candle Stick Park/3Com, they don't broadcast that.  I'm not sure why it's like that in this game.

The stadium music isn't working, the music is too loud and drowns out the announcers, and I still can't figure out how to lower the volume.  It looks like you can't.  So it's broken right out of the gate.

However the ambient sounds are pretty cool and it's fun to hear what coaches and fans have to say.  During one cut scene I watched my coach (supposedly me) give a pep talk to some players sitting on the bench.  I thought that was cool, and I look forward to see things like that as I play along.

5th, Game Play,

After playing ESPN NFL 2K5, it doesn't really feel any different from last year.  The running game is much harder and more realistic, but everything else, feels exactly the same.  Last year, probably because it was my first time with ESPN, it gave me a fresh experience.  Because I'm seeing the same plays in the playbook, hearing the announcers saying the same play calling, everything feels like I've done this before.  I don't know why I'm thinking this would be a new experience, but from the people at espn were saying, they had me going smile

Difficulty

I realize it's early and there's plenty of time to adjust that sliders and get a better feel on the difficulty level, but Pro is too easy, and All Pro is hard.  I'm going to have to fiddle around the sliders

VIP

I like the VIP idea, I haven't had the chance to fiddle around with it.  But the possibilities for this is going to be great, and it's a great innovated idea that VC made and we'll probably see this as a standard feature in future sports games.  It is a truly an innovated idea.  This feature and the Weekly prep had me excited from the day I heard about it.  Unfortunately the weekly prep didn't turn out.

Bugs

There's a huge bug that was just confirmed regarding the clipping penalty.  Who knows if they waited the 2 weeks they might have found it.  Hopefully a patch can fix it.

Conclusion  (insert applause)

As I said before I loved last year's game.  You can ask Gellar and others on irc, we would have many arguments on why ESPN was better than Madden and vice versa.  This year I was excited for both, both games looked like they added enough to it to make it feel new.  However after playing a few games, I feel disappointed and during some games I was bored.  To me, it feels like all they did was focus on presentation, and kept the game play basically the same.

Even with the bad playbooks I'm still going to give it more time.  I think it will grow on me.  Besides the PC Version of Madden doesn't come out till Sep so I have plenty of time to fool around with it.  Maybe my expectations where higher and I fell under the Hype disease.  I can certainly see why people new to his brand are enjoying it, it's a whole new experience.  I think I shared your experience when I played ESPN NFL 2004 for the first time.

I'm going to keep at it.  Maybe it will grow on me.  But I felt pretty bored playing it.
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2004, 01:19:13 AM »

Quote from: "Driver"
I played naednek last night -- his 49ers versus my Jaguars -- and that was great fun.  A really close game at 14-7 for Jacksonville, but Ken's final drive didn't come through.  I love the picture-in-picture feature that keeps the action focused on the field, and I really like how strong the online play is.

He and I both had the validating roster problem, but I expect all that to be ironed out on the next few weeks from VC or MS or whoever knows how to fix it.

My first online game this year, though, was with some wank who dropped before the first quarter ended (it was 7-10, my favor).  I am all about the negative feedback when people are wanks.   But I gave Ken positive feedback on a great session  - and maybe I can catch him or another one of you guys online tonight. smile

What an awesome game.


I had a blast driver, that was my first real game, and after play NCAA all week, I was still getting used to the controls.  In fact, I'm still am.  

I was hoping you would put on your mic.  It's more fun talking, and I haven't talked to you in a while.  

Tomorrow I have my written and physical test for the sheriff, but the weekend I should be free.
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2004, 02:29:39 AM »

Well, the bug reports are beginning to fly in.

I am depressed.

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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2004, 02:43:29 AM »

Quote from: "denoginizer"
Gellar are you playing NCAA on the Xbox?  Just curious.

If so I completely disagree with you about the running game.  To me the running game on NCAA feels unbelievably slow.  Especially online.  If your Oline is even a little inferior to the Dline, especially on the road, forget running between the tackles.  And running outside becomes an exercise in spin moves and jukes, because the offensive linemen are still to slow to get out there.  I haven't found that you NEED to charge tackle this year.  It does help a lot to charge up when going for an interception though.  I am sure that I will buy Madden.  But it will have to be very improved over last year to beat ESPN IMHO.


I'm playing the Xbox version.  I haven't seen any slowdown... though yes, it is generally slower than ESPN.  And I haven't seen those issues with the running game you describe in NCAA, but I have the sliders pretty tweaked out and USC has an amazing pair of backs (Bush and Walker).  I just like the momentum in NCAA better, and the fact that you can run at more angles than 8.

gellar
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2004, 02:51:02 AM »

Quote from: "Lockdown"
Well, the bug reports are beginning to fly in.

I am depressed.

 frown


Wow... no kidding.  It looks like Franchise mode is completely and utterly broken.  

The trade AI is useless and the AI makes unrealistic trades.

Worse yet... the AI also seems to like to release injured stars just because they happen to be injured?!

God... way to ruin an otherwise good game.

Looks like this game is going on the shelf other than for online play.

Way to fuck it up one more year, VC.  If it wasn't $20, it'd be going back.

gellar
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2004, 02:51:04 AM »

Naednek:
"  Having a variety or lack of variety of plays makes or breaks the game.  Madden had a decent playbook that had an intense variety of plays you can choose from.  Unfortunately with ESPN 2K5, that's not true.  Their playbooks are exactly the same as last year and they were terrible back then too.   "


-----The thing about Madden is there were only 6 defensive playbooks total last year, and most everybody used either ballanced or cover 2.   ESPN has a different playbook for each team.  In my opinion there are way more useful defensive plays in ESPN than in Madden.  

Naednek:
"  ESPN 2K5 you have many types of formations (4-3, Bear, Nickel, Dime and others) in these formations you have different packages that you can choose from, this is where things start to feel the same.  Each package will have separate categories based on where you want your defenders to move.  For example you might have Twist Left, Twist Right (depending on where you think the play will be moving to)  when you select that package you get to choose which play you want.  Granted there are quite a few to choose from, but when you from Twist Left to Twist Right, it's the same plays from Twist Left, except everything is to the right.  That makes sense, but when you change formations to Nickel, those same plays start to appear.  Sure some personnel might be different but overall it's pretty much the same.  There is also a lack of variety of types of plays (Zones, Coverage, Blitzes and so on)."


------To me the beauty of this system is that if you want to slant your Dline left and run nickle cover 3 you can.  In madden there is no way to run cover 3 and slant your line left becuase there is no play set up to do that.  Calling seperate fronts and coverages offers much better playcalling strategy in my opinion.


" It seems to me from my initial impressions that most defensive plays are either Zones or Blitzes, and rarely any man coverage.  I had 3 big beefs with last year's game, and this was one of them.  I find the offense side is fine and offers enough variety, but the defensive side surely needs to be addressed.  And they failed to do that this year.  I often find myself not giving a rat's ass on which play to call.  This is one reason why I feel bored playing."

----I 'm not really sure what you mean here.  There are really only 2 kinds of man coverage.  Man 2 or man 1.  If you are playing some other kind of man coverage (man 0)you are probably blitzing.   Plus you can shade your secondary in or out in the man coverage in ESPN, which again adds more to the playcalling in my opinion.  How many different types of man coverage should there be?


"  Another thing I don't like, and I took noticed then when I was playing as the 49ers (or the San Francisco Seahawks Tongue) The playbook always started at the Triple WR formation and I would have to scroll up or down to get to the I-formation or some formation that doesn't use all those Receivers.  Why can't it either remember where I left off, or set it to a decent formation so I don't have scroll like crazy."


----There is a favorites section in the playbook where all of the plays which you have used in the game are displayed.  Also if you press in on the right thumbstick it will display an overlay of the stats for each play.  Times run, yards gained, etc.
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2004, 02:57:16 AM »

I've never really understood the reason why people say bad trade AI ruins football games.  How many trades take place, especially during the season, in the NFL?  As long as the computer teams draft competently, and manage free agency well, I am happy.  There just are not that many trades in football.  Granted I haven't tried the franchise mode in ESPN yet.  Lockdown interupted my draft with a game request  :wink:
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gellar
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2004, 03:14:11 AM »

Quote from: "denoginizer"
I've never really understood the reason why people say bad trade AI ruins football games.  How many trades take place, especially during the season, in the NFL?  As long as the computer teams draft competently, and manage free agency well, I am happy.  There just are not that many trades in football.  Granted I haven't tried the franchise mode in ESPN yet.  Lockdown interupted my draft with a game request  :wink:


That's the point... there aren't a lot of trades during the regular NFL season.  In the ESPN season, however, there are a shit ton of trades, and the majority of them are bad.  The AI makes bad trades WITH ITSELF FREQUENTLY.

gellar
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denoginizer
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2004, 03:36:22 AM »

Can you turn off trades?
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2004, 03:52:26 AM »

Quote from: "denoginizer"
Can you turn off trades?


Not that I've seen... and I've been looking.  I've seen a few work arounds though.

I'm more worried about the AI releasing players when they're injured.  There are no workarounds for that.

gellar
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2004, 08:15:19 AM »

Okay, second day impressions.  Still impressed by the animations and such.  Everything looks fantastic.  I like the running game.

Still having a hard time with defense.  I can't switch to the person I want to all the time and end up giving up big plays more than I'd like because of blunders.  Perhaps it's because I'm relatively new to an xbox controller, but it's hard to think about that little black button and hit it without looking down, lol lol.  

I did manage to FINALLY beat the comp on all-pro...I beat the Texans by 3.  YES.

I have yet to see a fumble in about 7-8 games or so.  I've seen an incomplete that was called a fumble, but I have not seen a runner get hit so hard the ball squirts out.  Maybe I'm tackeling wrong?  I've used the QB evade stick once or twice, but it's hard to concentrate on the receivers and who's coming down to smash you.

I'm still very much digging the game.
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naednek
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2004, 11:40:35 PM »

After playing it my 2nd day my impressions have change quite a bit. I like it better. I'm getting used to the controls, and not focusing on things I don't like as much. I still hate the playbooks the most, it's hard to ignore that
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Driver
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2004, 06:56:21 PM »

I really love this game, but the problem with online is that same as the problem with online last year:  people pick the cheese team.  Last year which team was it that everyone picked?  The Bucs?  I can't remember but at the time I avoided players who choose that team.  This year, it's obvious that people are picking the Eagles simply for their overrated roster.  I'm all for people being fans of a team, but I hate it when people enter as one team then cheese over to the overrated one.  

Why are people more obsessed with winning being shitty than losing ina well played game?
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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2004, 07:03:05 PM »

Quote from: "Driver"
I really love this game, but the problem with online is that same as the problem with online last year:  people pick the cheese team.  Last year which team was it that everyone picked?  The Bucs?  I can't remember but at the time I avoided players who choose that team.  This year, it's obvious that people are picking the Eagles simply for their overrated roster.  I'm all for people being fans of a team, but I hate it when people enter as one team then cheese over to the overrated one.  

Why are people more obsessed with winning being shitty than losing ina well played game?


It's funny you bring this up, Driver.  I've been a fan of the Patriots for a long time and I always enjoyed playing as them because they were the underdog.  Lately though, it hasn't been the case smile  I've only played Stiffler and Pbob online, and they haven't picked the Eagles (they've picked teams they like), so I can't imagine how unfair it must be to go up against them.  

I do feel bad about playing as the Patriots with their high rating, to tell you the truth.  Granted, their WR's are pretty crappy, their D-line (with the exception of Seymour) is lacking, their fullbacks need help; but the rest of the team is SOLID.
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2004, 07:14:00 PM »

Last year the Raiders and Dolphins were abused.  This year it looks like its the Pat and Eagles.
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Driver
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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2004, 07:26:59 PM »

It's a bummer is all.  I don't mind if people play their favorite teams, or if in a Tourney they call the powerteam - that's fair game.  Last year I played often as the Titans, who I enjoyed for being an above-par team.  But I suspect there are too many people who want to win versus those who want to play a fun game.

Real sportsmanship seems harder to find - which is sad since we've got the technology to play some really awesome games online now.

Hopefully one of you CGers will be on tonight and I can dust of my lowly Jaguars for another go 'round.
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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2004, 08:27:59 PM »

I come back from Vaca and take a look at this thread first...Pretty much how I imagined it.

I'll be using the Eagles EVERY chance I get and it has nothing to do with ratings. I'm an actual fan. Good to see that they get over-rated this year! smile

Do running QBs get hurt all the time this year too? Little Randal was out for the game after about 2 rushes last year and it really changed my Eagles offense (or lack of!).

Maybe I should just get my ass to EB and pick up my copy...
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