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:

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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:

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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:

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Wisconsin @ Oregon in NCAA Football 13

Back at the beginning of the year here at STAT BOX STORIES, the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL used NCAA Football 12 to stage every game of the Bowl Season, including the 2012 Rose Bowl between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Oregon Ducks.  In that playthrough, I elected to take control of the lower-rated Badgers and ran my way to a 38-20 victory, though the real-life result proved much less successful for the Big Ten Conference Champions.

On this day of the retail launch for NCAA Football 13, a Rose Bowl Rematch is being played.  With each team seeing the departure of key players after last college football season came to a close, the Badgers are now the higher-rated team; as a result, I’ve taken control of the Ducks—in their shiny chrome helmets that they used in the real-life 2012 Rose Bowl game—setting out to see how the game will play out this time around.  Click the link below to find out!

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TCU @ West Virginia in NCAA Football 13

Perhaps no conference exemplified the ever-changing face of college football quite like the Big XII Conference over the past few years.  The conference—in just over a year’s time—went from nearly being dissolved completely to where it is now, bidding farewell to Texas A&M and Missouri as they move on to the SEC and welcoming TCU from the Mountain West Conference and West Virginia from the Big East Conference to return the conference to ten members.  It is this most recent realignment which sets up today’s game here at STAT BOX STORIES; a showdown between the Horned Frogs and the Mountaineers, new conference rivals.

After perhaps the craziest game I’ve ever played in any NCAA Football title yesterday between Miami of Ohio and Ohio, the hope was for today’s game to feature much more defense and strategy.  Would these two schools be up to that task?  Click below to read on and find out!

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Miami (OH) @ Ohio in NCAA Football 13

When it comes to conferences in the college football landscape, the Mid-American Conference or MAC often receives little respect as a result of the size of its member schools and the comparative quality of its football programs compared to the likes of the Big 10, Big XII, Pac-12, and SEC.  For today’s NCAA Football 13 entry at STAT BOX STORIES, however, we are embracing the “MACtion” for a rivalry showdown known as the “Battle of the Bricks” between the Miami University Redhawks and the Ohio Bobcats.

It’s safe to say, however, that I had no idea exactly what I was getting into when I booted up this rivalry game in this year’s edition of the college football franchise.  The MAC has become known in recent years for having wild shootouts, but I’d never seen anything happen in a video game to approach what can happen in real life.  That is not the case anymore, after this game; click the link to read on and find out exactly how the game played out!

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