No stats for this one!
PS3 Trophies 10/48
I know that was fast, but it’s time to jump right into the next NCAA Football title! As expected there really aren’t a lot of noticeable differences in this game. I do think that they nerfed the QB speed a bit which is understandable. It forced me to play the game a little more like how it was actually designed instead of just cheesing along as with last time. I still schooled the computer on the highest difficulty in the game though so no matter what they can’t take away my Football mix-ups!
The gameplay is the same as with the other Football games. Basically there are two teams on the field and the goal is to score more points than the other team. You earn points by kicking a Football through the uprights of the goal at the end of the field or physically running into the end zone with the ball in your hands. As a result you’ll be playing Offense and Defense at different times. Then there’s also Special Teams which can make the difference between a win and a loss. The game does a good job of incorporating all of the different mechanics into the game and providing you with an authentic Football experience.
The graphics seem really identical here so I really can’t say that I noticed any kind of change. I’m thinking that a year just doesn’t make a whole lot of difference even if you play them back to back. Still, they hold up just as well as 09’s did and that’s no small feat. The rest of the technical aspects are on point here as well. I even tried playing a match on super windy and snowy at the same time and you can feel the difference in the gameplay. I’d say that it was definitely executed well.
Then we’ve got the massive amount of content here that equals 09. All of the usual modes are still in place like training, quick games, and franchise mode. You can watch your team and custom player grow and get better as the years progress. There is an online mode, but the servers are long gone so you’ll be wanting to get the full experience in your local mode journeys. Fear not, that’s still plenty and since you can get the game for a few bucks it’s really a steal either way.
One slight difference I noticed in the gameplay is that the defense stays a lot closer to your receivers than last time. This is mostly noticeable when you decide to take off as the Quarterback. Even once you’re approaching the line of scrimmage they won’t leave their post so you have a much better chance at breaking off a really good gain. That’s why I went back to the Hail Mary pass and once the receivers are far enough I’d dash through. There’s a lot more nuance to this than I’m saying, but you’ll understand once you get into the actual game. The camera angle also changes a bit when you’re in running mode which may take a little getting used to, but I’d say that it worked out really well.
Once again special teams seems pretty good as I returned another kick for a touchdown. The best way to do that seems to be running straight at the other team and making one guy miss. Do that and it’s off to the races! Usually your returner is the team’s fastest player so you don’t have to worry about someone catching him from behind. That’s still the worst feeling in any game. You never want someone to actually catch you once you had already been going full steam ahead.
The NCAA games really have no negatives so you may be wondering what gives the Madden games their edge over this series. Really the only substantial difference is the amount of promotions and presentation that Madden has. They give the commentators more to do and there are always a lot of interesting stats you see before the game starts that are likely dug up from the previous year in real life. As a result the whole thing feels a lot more genuine than NCAA could hope to match. Then throw in the fact that the teams are all ones that I’ve grown up with in the NFL and the bigger stadiums and NCAA is really doomed. It just feels like a smaller version of Madden. It’s still got the same level of quality but when asked which game I prefer I would be able to very quickly tell you Madden with no hesitation.
Overall, NCAA Football is another keeper. I am continuously reminded how much I enjoy these Football games. From all of the sport titles EA cranks out these are definitely my favorites. I’m gonna be sad once these are gone and I’m back to something like NHL or another sport. All of the sports are solid in their own right of course, but they definitely don’t have the same energy and excitement that Football possesses. I think it’s because even if I’m not the biggest fan of playing defense in these games at least it feels like I’m doing something. In other sports like Baseball I feel like I’m just waiting to see how many runs the computer is going to score on me. In FIFA I’m just waiting for the game to end so we can do the overtime kickoff since nobody gets to score there. Football feels the most balanced, but I am a big Football fan so take that into account.
No stats this time!
My FIFA marathon is now at an end. 08 is the final game I own that I have not covered yet. It’s definitely been cool going through the years like this. I’m not sure what sport is next, but I think I’m in the mood for something super hype like Football so that’s probably gonna be the one. I’m out of Madden games (Aside from a Head Coach title) so most likely it’ll be college Football. Either way lets get back on topic. FIFA 08 is definitely not quite as good as 09 and 10 but it’s pretty close tbh. FIFA is definitely a game where you don’t see much of a difference in gameplay or graphics til we get even newer than that.
As always you’ve got a pretty good amount of options for which mode you want to play. You can jump right into a quick battle or head online. Well, the online is disabled so scratch that option. You can play a franchise mode which is honestly your best bet if you’re going to be playing this one for a long time. This way you can play a lot of games in a row and actually see yourself improve as you go through the matches. Even if you don’t make the playoffs it isn’t the end of the world as you can play more than one season. The franchise keeps on going until you decide to stop playing. In that sense the game never truly ends. There are also tutorials and practice mode to play which will help you hone your skills.
I am now confidently at the point where I can defeat the A.I. on the first dificulty level. Unfortunately after that it starts to get hairy. I fought the computer at the highest difficulty level in the game and only lost 2-0 so I felt pretty good about that. As always I am great on defense, it’s just the offensive side of the ball where I can’t really keep up. I don’t get how the players do it because it really doesn’t seem like there is any kind of opening. I really need to watch some Youtube videos or something. On defense if I play conservatively then I should usually be able to force a 0-0 game, but it gets tedious after a while so then I just start running in and hitting people. Obviously this will result in a lot of flags so it usually isn’t worth throwing the move out there without a plan. It’s fun though.
As I mentioned the graphics are basically the same as last time. The stages all look good and the player details are on point. I can’t really speak to the soundtrack much as you just won’t hear it while playing. On a technical level I also like how the celebrations are handled after a play and after a game. They’re actually pretty realistic and there are enough variations of them where you don’t feel like you are watching the same things over and over again. Having a solid selection of celebrations is about as important as having them in the first place if you ask me.
As for the gameplay, it’s pretty straight forward. As long as you know the rules of Soccer then you’ll definitely be able to get into the action here. The toughest part as I mentioned is kicking the ball. It’s hard to angle your kicks and taking the time to power them up is risky since the opponents will slide in. There’s a lot of strategy here so think of playing the game as trying to crack a code. Even if I was unable to crack the code I can definitely respect the fact that the gameplay was handled pretty well. There’s a lot of nuance here and attention to detail.
One technique I practiced a bit so I could at least say I tried to get into the deeper aspects of the game was the ball shuffle. I’m not sure what the exact term of this is, but by moving the right joystick on the controller you’re able to try and juke around the defenders. It didn’t work a single time so it seems to be about as useful as the juke in the Madden games. Usually in these games the computers just don’t fall for anything, but I do think it’ll probably work a whole lot better if I use it against real players. That’s when you know if you’ve mastered the technique or not. The only part where the human element doesn’t really come into play is the goalie so that’ll be tough regardless of who you’re playing.
Overall, FIFA 08 is definitely a fun game. There’s really no point in buying it at the moment since the later games already go for 1-2 dollars. Still, if you really want to collect all of the FIFA games then you might as well get it. Ignoring the fact that there are sequels, FIFA 08 still stands loud and proud as a solid video game. There really aren’t any glaring negatives. It’s just a very complete soccer game. There’s nothing to do but play soccer when playing FIFA 08, but why else would you get the game? So long as you enjoy playing the sport I’m sure you’ll enjoy this title.
No stats this time I’m afraid.
PS3 Trophies 21/45
25/100 Skill Points
7/18 Magnus Creatures
10/18 ??? Creatures
13/18 Merdegraw Creatures
It’s time to look at the final Ratchet & Clank game. (Not counting the movie adaption) All 4 One is definitely a very different game in the series as it focuses on the multiplayer aspect and naturally had to switch the gameplay a bit to set this up. I think they probably could have still pulled it off with the normal gameplay if you ask me, but I don’t know the full details of how that would work so it’s just speculation. Either way, while the gameplay is a bit weaker it’s still a solid all around game with a fun plot and good fundamentals.
Ratchet has retired from the hero gig and Qwark is now the President so everyone has achieved their goals. This is all thrown out the window though when the planet is invaded by an army of robots. Ratchet & Clank must get back out there in order to save the universe and Qwark tags around to help give his approval ratings a boost. They are even joined by their old enemy Dr. Nefarious who is only working with them for now. He warns the heroes not to get the wrong idea. Who can possibly stop this group of all stars?
The gameplay is your classic 3D blasting platformer. You are given an array of guns and other weapons to use as you rampage through the various levels. You’ll gain many weapons through the game by going to the shop and purchasing them. There aren’t a whole lot of weapons this time so you should have enough money to buy em all well before the final level. It also won’t take a whole lot of grinding post game to get the rest of the upgrades to be honest. The main difference here compared to usual is the team gimmick as I mentioned. There are a bunch of obstacles in the level that you can’t get by without a partner. If you’re playing by yourself then the A.I. will help you but it’s probably one of the worst A.I. I have seen in a very long time. Clank will literally jump off the stage to intentionally die just to make sure you lose.
You don’t actually lose a life unless both characters die, but with a computer ally more times than not that means both of you will die if you do. The game isn’t all that difficult and there are save points constantly so that’s not a big deal, but it will get annoying when you’re counting on your partner. Some parts of the gameplay are also just a little less polished than usual as well. For example, switching between weapons can be pretty rough as you need to cycle through 2-3 screens to get to the one you want. Sometimes it will result in you picking the wrong weapon as well. Then you’ve got the target aiming which will actively switch targets on you if there are a bunch of enemies. Small things like that keep it from being quite a solid as some of the others. It feels a bit more like a cash-in.
That being said, making the game multiplayer is no small feat. It’s definitely always a great idea to have that as a feature and in this title’s case you can team up with people online or offline. Your character also gains levels throughout the game so for example I got Ratchet to level 7. I’m actually not sure what the levels do, but they must have some kind of benefit I’d imagine. There are 9 chapters in the game and each one can take close to an hour or so. It’s a pretty good length for the title and nowadays you can get the game for cheap so you’re getting good value for your purchase here. Only thing to watch out for are glitches. They happened to be twice where I had to die to get the boss to appear again after he vanished. Definitely an odd one.
I also definitely did enjoy the story. The series never fails to deliver on that front with a lot of crispy dialogue. It’s one of those games where characters are constantly talking. There are big cutscenes after every chapter, but with all of the mini ones thrown in there the game stays very cinematic like the rest of the series always is. The plot may not be quite as long or deep as previous games (particularly the time travel trilogy which got real serious) but it still brings across the ole charm of the series. Seeing Qwark and the gang is always fun. Nefarious is probably the weakest member of the group when it comes to the humor, but he rarely gets to be part of the team so it was nice to see him. Ratchet also finally remembered why he became a hero in the first place so I expect that development will probably stick for the sequel. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how the story goes in that one. The only boring part of the story would be the main doctor villain and his good counterpart. They don’t add a whole lot to the story although the twist about who the real main villain was definitely worked really well.
The soundtrack isn’t all that memorable, but I did like the credits theme. That one definitely worked really well to wrap the game up. The graphics also look real good, especially the cutscenes. It holds up really well over the years and I think it will continue to look good many years from now. While the gameplay may not be the sharpest in the series that isn’t to say that it isn’t good either. It’s still very good and I love this style of gaming. Mixing 3D platforming with gun skills is always a recipe for success. Just look at Fortnite or Star Fox Assault!
Overall, All 4 One is definitely a title that I would recommend. Naturally you’ll enjoy it the most if you’re actually playing as a full group, but you’ll still be able to progress through the game very smoothly on your own. The fact that there are save points every minute or so is always good since you won’t feel like you lost a lot of progress when you die. I’m pretty surprised that we haven’t gotten an announcement for another game in the series by now. I thought they always sold really well so Sony would want to have it back soon. Maybe they’re just waiting and are going to unveil a huge sequel one of these days. Either way, I can definitely say that the series had a great run.
No stats I’m afraid. Couldn’t even nab 1 trophy.