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Thread: Watch Out Madden

  1. #1
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    E3 News: E3 Floor Notes Part II - NFL 2k4
    Posted on Monday, May 19 @ 04:56:16 EDT byj-dawg


    Sega, with NFL 2k4, and Microsoft, with NFL Fever 2004, had the two most interesting titles at E3. If we were to hand out awards, I think 2k4 would take home Best in Show, and Fever would take home Most Improved and Most Enigmatic. The improvements and added features in both games almost put Madden 2004 to shame. More on this later. Below are NFL 2k4 impressions.

    I will have pictures up tomorrow morning by 11am EST, and videos hopefully up by noon. Videos are from a digital camera, and do not have sound.

    Also, want to throw out a big up to LBRulz, for pointing out things to look for and offering a few questions for NFL 2k4's developers.




    -Momentum exists, but not at Madden or Fever levels. You'll notice that your running back no longer feels "twitchy" when changing directions. Hitting the hole is immensely fun, as is returning kicks.

    -Sega could rename NFL 2k4 and call it "NFL 2k3: No Pet Peeve Edition". Want to switch players in both directions on D? No problem. Not sure you pulled off a special move? Watch the rings round the player light up red. Think the arrow looked dumb and that tapping the A/X button should not tire a player so easily? Tapping A is quite effective now. The list is long, as there are other big fixes. Point is, people who suspected NFL 2k3 played a great game of football but were too annoyed to find out will not have such a problem with 2k4.

    -I could not hear the crowds at E3, but judging by video of the game, it appears that the crowds are quite intelligent. Sega kept the commentary team and expanded their dialogue. According to Mr. Chau, the engine is much more intelligent when it comes to situational commentary. Not only does 2k4 understand when the game is on the line, but the engine also knows when a playoff berth is on the line. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but Chau assured me that the commentary engine knows how you are doing at the end of the season. This will be very interesting to see in action.

    -Blocking seems better, but so does d-line play. Everything begins at the line, O or D, and VC seems to understand this. You will be punished for ignoring the pocket, and likewise rewarded for using it. Playmaking ends can slip inside tackles and kill your QB, and guards can maul oncoming DTs. Also, running is all about setting up your blocks, reading them, and reading the D.

    -On the fly subs are cool and really easy. On the X-box, you press X or Y to toggle between packages. Playing as the Falcons, I was able to easily test the difference between a power back (Duckett) and the shifty Warrick Dunn by using this feature.

    -Speaking of which, you can tell the difference, and both types of player is effective in his own way. Duckett dragged a defender on one run but could not shake him, falling forward after 6 yards. I was able to use Dunn to dart in to holes, and really made good use of him by passing in to the flats.

    -There are at least two unannounced modes or special features. I spoke at length with more than a couple of the guys at VC, and no one would tell me what the new modes were. One of the developers dropped hints at what one of the features was, but he was so vague I still have no idea what he was getting at.

    -The ball was still a little floaty, but seemed to have more speed and a more realistic trajectory. Dump passes looked really cool. The passing system, and keys to success with it, seemed fundamentally the same as NFL 2k3's. Drops were less common, but still happened if you mis-timed your throws. It's a less forgiving system than Madden or Fever's, but more realistic.

    -Franchise mode was unplayable at E3.

    -Playcalling looks like Madden's now, but still uses the old NFL 2k system of choosing the line play separately from the coverage. The look is cleaner, and makes it easier to distinguish exactly what each player's role is. The play calling takes place on the bottom half of the screen in single player, and the top half of the screen is filled with a low angle medium shot from inside the huddle. It's cool, but I think Madden 2004's use of it will seem less redundant, but also slightly less immersive. I'm not sure which one I like more, but I think more people will prefer Madden's use of the top half of the screen.

    Yes folks, even the totally superficial can get a paragraph. Though looking at a huddle every time might get boring, NFL 2k4's playcalling system is the most flexible and now just as functional as Madden's.

    -Pressing a trigger button (I think the left trigger on X-Box and L1 on PS2) brings up a play overlay pre-snap. This cool feature was smartly stolen from Tiburon's Madden and NCAA 2003. Tiburon's system is still better, at least on defense--there is no color coding, so sometimes it is hard to distinguish which LB is playing man on the TE, and which LB is blitzing. A minor problem, but Tiburon's color coding system prevents this problem.

    -The cut-scenes have been much talked about elsewhere, and I must agree that they are awesome. Nothing, I mean nothing compares to the cut-scenes and replays in NFL 2k4.

    -Sega did indeed fix the grass. In fact, texture work in general seems improved at gameplay zoom. Last year, watching replays felt like watching a different game. This meant watching replays could be stunning, but actual gameplay looked barely mediocre, especially when compared to Fever, Madden and NCAA 2003. This year, both look quite nice.

    There's a lot more about NFL 2k4 worth mentioning, but this is where I'll leave the list for now. Also, I highly recommend visiting Operation Sports' forums, where Brian Krich has up his own observations on NFL 2k4. For those with patience, expect to see a transcript of my convo with Anthony Chau up by the end of the week.



    I know what im getting this year and its not Madden do u know what ur getting this year?

  2. #2
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    Yes, I already got Madden and I am very happy with it.

  3. #3
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    That's old news. It's not even called NFL2k4. It's ESPN football 2k4 and I'd rather not have anything associated with ESPN if you don't mind. The truth is, 2 years ago was Sega's year...and last year was Sega's year. They're going to have to do alot more than talk about it before they dethrone the king. I just don't see it happening any time soon. I'm sure it will be a good game but come on. Madden outsold NFL2k4 like 10 to 1 last year. Do you really think they have improved that much more than Madden has? I think you know the answer.

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by huskeralk@Aug 15 2003, 05:08 PM
    That's old news. It's not even called NFL2k4. It's ESPN football 2k4 and I'd rather not have anything associated with ESPN if you don't mind. The truth is, 2 years ago was Sega's year...and last year was Sega's year. They're going to have to do alot more than talk about it before they dethrone the king. I just don't see it happening any time soon. I'm sure it will be a good game but come on. Madden outsold NFL2k4 like 10 to 1 last year. Do you really think they have improved that much more than Madden has? I think you know the answer.
    I think it has in prove more than madden watch the gameplay videos at OperationSports.com they spaek for themselves.

  5. #5
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    Madden is still the best seller.

    As much as you pimp I would swear you have stake in the company.

    I have not bought a different profootball title in 6 years. Madden could go five years without making changes and I would probably still buy it.

  6. #6
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    i've been playing the demo disc of espn football and it's pretty damn awesome.
    i'll be picking it up.

  7. #7
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    For some reason every videogame store i went to told me to wait for ESPN Football. And no im not a shareholder of Sega. I just like the best things in life and in my opinion ESPN Football is going to be the best football game this year when it comes out. It might not sell more than Madden because Madden has the market on lock and Key but its going to be better than Madden. If your a true football fan and looking for the most realistic football game on the market then buy ESPN Football. If u don't buy you owe to yourself to a least rent it. If u want to see the in game movies go to
    http://www.operationsports.com/Reviews.asp...game=nfl2k4xbox.

  8. #8
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    Click the Link and let me know what u guys think.

  9. #9
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    some things i've noticed about the espn demo:

    you can't drop back 20 yards to avoid the rush. the de's will freaking cream you if you pull this rookie move. instead you must step up in the pocket to avoid the outside rush (abe). this is amazing. i've found myself watching the passrush half the time ( big no-no).

    the drops have been fixed, but you will drop it if you don't control the receiver or if you get hit really hard. you can stick it in tight coverage now though.

    the graphics are very impressive.

    the running and tackling animations are very neat.

    you can sub your fb's, rb's, and wr's ON THE FLY !!! if your guy is getting tired there's an option to sub chrebet for moss or martin for jordan just by clicking the y or x buttons when you are picking your formation!

    the audibles are very neat. you can pick any play from the formation you are in so they are constantly changing! that too is on the fly.

    it feels a lot like madden with the momentum, but you can still cut back a lot quicker and the game speed is much faster..

    all this form a 3 minute demo. i recommend this title to everyone here. at the very least it deserves a rental.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by chops44@Aug 15 2003, 09:56 PM
    some things i've noticed about the espn demo:

    you can't drop back 20 yards to avoid the rush. the de's will freaking cream you if you pull this rookie move. instead you must step up in the pocket to avoid the outside rush (abe). this is amazing. i've found myself watching the passrush half the time ( big no-no).

    the drops have been fixed, but you will drop it if you don't control the receiver or if you get hit really hard. you can stick it in tight coverage now though.

    the graphics are very impressive.

    the running and tackling animations are very neat.

    you can sub your fb's, rb's, and wr's ON THE FLY !!! if your guy is getting tired there's an option to sub chrebet for moss or martin for jordan just by clicking the y or x buttons when you are picking your formation!

    the audibles are very neat. you can pick any play from the formation you are in so they are constantly changing! that too is on the fly.

    it feels a lot like madden with the momentum, but you can still cut back a lot quicker and the game speed is much faster..

    all this form a 3 minute demo. i recommend this title to everyone here. at the very least it deserves a rental.
    im glad u enjoyed the game so far

  11. #11
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    All I know is I have Madden 2004 sitting in front of me right now and am more than happy. I MIGHT go rent ESPN but that remains to be seen. After playing Madden from the beginning, I am more than a little sceptical that ESPN is going to bring me anything that I will dump Madden for. Sorry, BOOYA!! and WHOOP!!! just don't cut it for me.

  12. #12
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    i love madden 04 much like Chad Penny the intangibles are awesome

  13. #13
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    I just can't get into these games. My kid beat me so bad when I tried one time, I thought I'd quit while I was ahead.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by killkleckokill@Aug 16 2003, 03:07 AM
    I just can't get into these games. My kid beat me so bad when I tried one time, I thought I'd quit while I was ahead.
    Play the game on Rookie until you get familiar and reasonably good and then progress. Madden, IMHO, has the best progression in difficulty levels. For instance in the FIFA game, I crush on the amateur level and then get absolutely crushed on the next level.

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