3 Up/3 Down: NHL 16’s Feature Reveal

3 Up/3 Down is a new type of article feature here at Stat Box Stories which analyzes aspects of upcoming or already-released videogames for their strengths and weaknesses.  Today we take a look at the recently-announced feature reveal for EA SPORTS NHL 16.

Last year’s release of NHL 15 for the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One was a rare misstep for the franchise, a franchise which long basked in Sports Game of the Year awards and was viewed as one of–if not the most–steady and solid franchise in the entire genre of sports video gaming.  Whatever reason it was that the development team at EA Canada had to ship without so many features compared to past versions of the game, it led to great disappointment at launch, disappointment which overshadowed the fact that the game had improved so much in on-ice gameplay and the implementation of a brand-new broadcast presentation using NHL on NBC.

As a result, fan requests have taken center stage for feature implementation in NHL 16, and transparency has become paramount as the official title site for the game features an “Ask EA” landing page where players are encouraged to ask questions of the developers and can even see them answered.  A title which had been a perennial winner faces the unfamiliar situation of having to prove itself this year, and all eyes are on the game to see how it reacts.  Features can be reviewed at the NHL 16 title site here and a full list of included game modes can be found here.  Read on for my 3 Up/3 Down take on the feature reveal of NHL 16:

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3 Up/3 Down: FIFA 16’s Womens National Teams

3 Up/3 Down is a new type of article feature here at Stat Box Stories which analyzes aspects of upcoming or already-released videogames for their strengths and weaknesses.  Today we take a look at the recently-announced Womens National Teams in EA SPORTS FIFA 16.

Opting to go the more traditional route and save much of its feature reveals for E3 2015 starting on June 15th, the only morsel of information that soccer/futbol fans have received so far regarding the upcoming EA SPORTS FIFA 16 is that the game will, for the first time in its history, feature female players.  With the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup beginning this month in Canada, it’s no surprise that this would be the lead-off feature reveal for this year’s title.  The full news reveal, along with a debut trailer featuring the new women of FIFA 16, can be found here.  Read on for my 3 Up/3 Down take on the news:

Continue reading 3 Up/3 Down: FIFA 16’s Womens National Teams

3 Up/3 Down: Madden NFL 16’s Connected Franchise Mode

3 Up/3 Down is a new type of article feature here at Stat Box Stories which analyzes aspects of upcoming or already-released video games for their strengths and weaknesses.  Today we take a look at the recently-announced Connected Franchise Mode details of Madden NFL 16.

Say what you will about the Madden NFL franchise from EA SPORTS–and plenty of people have and will over the years, particularly since the exclusive deal with the NFL effectively shuttered the doors on legitimate competition–but in the world of sports video games today, its Connected Franchise Mode is one of the best examples of a built-in competitive league experience, even acknowledging its shortcomings.

Since the franchise made the move to the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One with Madden NFL 25, a concerted effort has been made to return many of the “legacy” features from past career efforts which were largely absent from the series on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 titles.  In an unexpected and bold move, this year the details of Connected Franchise Mode for Madden NFL 16 have been explored through a deep dive blog even before the annual appearance at E3, where such information is usually shared.  Full details can be found in a blog from EA SPORTS here.  Read on for my 3 Up/3 Down take:

Continue reading 3 Up/3 Down: Madden NFL 16’s Connected Franchise Mode

3 Up/3 Down: EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR’s Tour Pro Mode

3 Up/3 Down is a new type of article feature here at Stat Box Stories which analyzes aspects of upcoming or already-released videogames for their strengths and weaknesses.  Today we take a look at the recently-announced Tour Pro Mode of EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR.

After a year off spending time in the driving range and on the putting green, EA SPORTS’ golf development team at the EA Tiburon studio will return to the virtual links in July 2015 with the debut of the newly-titled EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR for Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One.  Last year, The Golf Club stepped in and assumed the mantle of the first golf simulation title released on the new console generation, earning a solid fanbase on the strength of an in-depth course creation system, despite being–in many ways–a bare-bones first effort.  The sudden appearance of competition in the simulation golf gaming world makes this year even more important for EA SPORTS to get it right and make a solid first splash of their own in the new and more powerful home consoles.

One of the first major modes detailed for EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR is the introduction of Tour Pro Mode, the new name for the career experience of past titles under the EA SPORTS Tiger Woods PGA TOUR moniker.  Full details can be found in a blog from EA SPORTS here.  Read on for my 3 Up/3 Down take:

Continue reading 3 Up/3 Down: EA SPORTS Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR’s Tour Pro Mode

Returning to the Game

After a few years’ hiatus from this website, Stat Box Stories is back!

In the time since there was last a new posting here on the site, I’ve put in significant time and energy on sites like Under The Code and GoodGameBro.com, where in both cases I was fortunate to work with a staff of talented and passionate people talking about sports video gaming and the other gaming genres that they loved.

Working the news lines for multiple years (while holding down real-world employment and making time outside of work) comes with consequences, however, especially with regard to it being entirely too easy to get burned out and look at something which was once a refreshing break–the act of writing about gaming–as a chore, as an empty box which needs to be ticked.

Even towards the end of Stat Box Stories‘ previous run of activity, the act of recapping games was something of a slog, especially with my own insistence to myself that every day of the week see some new piece of content coming down the pipeline.

The return of the site is meant to be a return to thoughtful, insightful writing about video gaming and elements of the industry and its communities.  If you’ve been anxiously waiting for something new, I hope you’ll join me in this return!

Both Sides Story: 2013 AFC Championship Game

Here at Stat Box Stories, we traditionally play as the underdog (or as a favorite team) when we put together articles using sports video games.  For this weekend’s NFL Conference Championship Games, the decision was made to introduce a new type of article: Both Sides Story.  With the games of such importance this weekend, instead of playing the game once, each game was played twice: once as each team involved in the match-up.  Both playthroughs had full stats recorded, along with screenshot and video highlights; read on to find out how the Both Sides Story played out for the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots in the 2013 AFC Championship Game!

Stat Box Stories -- AFC Header

Continue reading Both Sides Story: 2013 AFC Championship Game

Both Sides Story: 2013 NFC Championship Game

Here at Stat Box Stories, we traditionally play as the underdog (or as a favorite team) when we put together articles using sports video games.  For this weekend’s NFL Conference Championship Games, the decision was made to introduce a new type of article: Both Sides Story.  With the games of such importance this weekend, instead of playing the game once, each game was played twice: once as each team involved in the match-up.  Both playthroughs had full stats recorded, along with screenshot and video highlights; read on to find out how the Both Sides Story played out for the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons in the 2013 NFC Championship Game!

Stat Box Stories NFC Championship Header

Continue reading Both Sides Story: 2013 NFC Championship Game