FIFA 09 Getting Full Trophy Support by Anthony Barlow
February 12, 2009, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Gaming News | Tags: , ,

[By Anthony]

It has been revealed that with the new update FIFA 09 will be getting full trophy support. Earlier this week it was announced that a new downloadable pack, ‘Ultimate Team’, would bring some trophies to the game but now it has come to light that a full set of trophies is to be implemented in a free patch.

Downloadable Content Coming For FIFA 09 by Anthony Barlow
February 11, 2009, 9:31 am
Filed under: Gaming News | Tags: , , ,

[By Anthony]

Just after the release after the winter update, there’s more FIFA 09 news to share. Announced this morning was some new downloadable content for EA’s popular footy game and it sounds, well, kinda cool. The new ‘Ultimate Team’ mode is said to “deliver a strategic new online experience” to the game. The challenge is for the player to create or collect the best team and compete against others worldwide. This new downloadable content will also add trophy support to the PS3 version of the game, which is really cool, but why not just give the whole game trophies?

The mode is card based (wait don’t stop reading yet), players need to collect bronze, silver and gold cards. It’s not only players you’ll be collecting either, coaching staff will be available too, as well as different formations and contract upgrades.

You’ll also be able to create your own team. You’ll be able to:

” Customize everything from players and stadiums to the kits and badges, creating the world’s next great football club. Compete offline and online to earn more valuable cards or trawl the market for the ones needed to complete a winning team. Climb the league table or compete in knockout tournaments for the most coveted trophies, where the opposition becomes more difficult after each victory.”

The ‘Ultimate Team’ content will be available to download from March 19th (more than likely 20th for PS3). The press release also states that some kind of trial will be available to players, allowing them to try before they buy. Sounds, alright. No pricing has been announced as of yet, rest assured we’ll keep you informed on all the latest goings on. Hit the jump for screenshots. Continue reading

EA Sports ‘Complex’ Coming To Home by Anthony Barlow
January 8, 2009, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Gaming News | Tags: , , , ,

[By Anthony]

It’s CES, and because of that there’s some announcements. The coolest of which is little gem. Sony and EA Sports have announced that a new Home area for all EA Sports franchises is in the works. In this new space users will be able to play EA sports multiplayer games, view leaderboards and interact with other fans.

Here’s what EA Sports’ Peter Moore had to say about this new venture:

“We’re proud to support the PlayStation Home Beta with a very robust offering from EA SPORTS. As part of our continued commitment to the connected experience and the digitization of our business, the EA SPORTS Complex is a rich new online environment that presents a compelling and immersive social gaming experience for the global sports audience.”

EA have also said they plan to introduce more franchises into Home. With this, and the announcement that the Red Bull space will be appearing today too, Home seems to have become a better place to be. Hit the jump for the trailer. Continue reading

FIFA 09 Patch Petition by Anthony Barlow
October 18, 2008, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Crazy Ass Ramblings | Tags: , , ,

[By Anthony]

I would first like to point out that there was a small discrepancy with my FIFA 09 review that went up a few weeks back. I failed to mention that in ‘Manager Mode’ you are unable to change the squad numbers of players, something which has been a feature of FIFA for years.

This has obviously caused some outrage within the FIFA 09 community and members have created a petition thread on the forums, lets hope EA take notice. I said i’d plug them on here, as I think it’s really dissapointing that it’s not in there. To voice your outrage (as you should), go here.

FIFA 09 Goal Of The Week Competition – Week 1 – Ad’s by Anthony Barlow
October 8, 2008, 12:11 pm
Filed under: FIFA 09 Goal Of The Week | Tags: , , ,

[By Anthony]

I said a few months back I wanted to add a few more community features to the site and a ‘Goal Of The Month’ competition for FIFA 09 was one of them. Well it’s kicked off (sorry). This week’s goal comes curtosey of our very own King Of Comments, Ad’s.

Sorry for the crappy quality, iPhone vids converted to FLV on YouTube aren’t gonna look that great. Hopefully EA will have their EA Sportsworld service (or whatever) up and running soon enough.

Review: FIFA 09 (PS3) by Anthony Barlow
October 7, 2008, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

[By Anthony]

As many of our readers will know I have been a champion of the PS3 releases of EA’s footy sim for some time, and these whole hearted recomendations have been met with some hostility. On occasion I have been refered to as a ‘FIFA fanboy’ by some of our commenters, which is why I was reluctant to review the game at first. I would first like to dispel any talk of fanboyism and bias and want to let the readers know that nothing of the sort is ever published here on XeNonX and, although I love the FIFA franchise, this, like all of my reviews, are taken seriously and are not in any way compromised by my fondness for a franchise and/or developer.

Thankyou, Anthony. Hit the jump for the review. Continue reading

Second Impressions: FIFA 09 by Anthony Barlow
September 14, 2008, 5:20 pm
Filed under: Impressions | Tags: , , , ,

[By Anthony]

With the release of the FIFA 09 demo on the PlayStation Store on Thursday/Friday it gave me a chance to try out an updated build of EA’s latest offering from the football world. I began to notice the differences imediately: textures looked better, player models had been updated and the whole game looked a lot more polished. Of couse there were still a few bugs in there (i’ve noticed a few anomalies with the opposition A.I.) but this is more than likely the build that was shown off at Lepizig earlier this month.

Gameplay seems more fuild and fact paced than the last build I played, in fact it’s faster than many of the past FIFA games. Don’t let this put you off this new found speed adds a lot to the gameplay and surprisingly makes the game more tactical.

The demo also gave me a chance to muck about with the improved trick system a little more and, although it might not seem like it at first, it’s a lot more diverse than in previous itterations. One of the biggest features is the ability for players to set themselves up for shots by juggling the ball, kicking it into the air, and volleying the ball at the goal. This might not seem too significant, but it could help get your team the winner in the closing seconds of the game.

There’s 250 new features added to the game and they definitely improve upon a greatly improving franchise. Watch out PES, it looks like FIFA’s coming back for it’s crown.

FIFA 09 Demo Drops Tomorrow by Anthony Barlow
September 10, 2008, 8:27 am
Filed under: Gaming News | Tags: , ,

[By Anthony]

Just posting to give all you footy fans a heads up that the demo for FIFA Soccer 09 will be hitting the PlayStation Store both sides of the pond tomorrow. I played the demo back in August and I have to say the guys at EA Sports seem to have a good thing going with their last three footy games and are pretty much on couse to beat PES 2009 and reclaim the footy crown.

FIFA fan or not get the demo and try it, all those PES fans who haven’t played the last few games are in for a bit of a shock. Oh yeah and the image topping the post is the official UK cover art, nice.

The full game is released on 3rd of October. Check out my M Festival preview of the game here.

[Update] – C.B mentioned that PES fans should turn the passing assists to ‘manual’ and shooting assists to ‘semi’ if they want the true FIFA experience. The game is much better then.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 review by Steve
September 4, 2008, 8:40 pm
Filed under: General Gaming, Reviews | Tags: , , ,

[By Steve]

Sex and golf, two activities you don’t necessarily have to be any good at to enjoy, or so they tell me.  To me golf isn’t just an obsession, it’s definitely more serious than that!  I live and breath the game, so in reviewing the great ones latest outing courtesy of EA Sports, I’m judging it not only as a piece of video game entertainment, but also also as a simulation of the game I love, and at times hate in equal measure. Continue reading

FIFA 09 Will Not Support Trophies by Anthony Barlow
August 31, 2008, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Gaming News | Tags: , , ,

[By Anthony]

Laugh if you will, but even with all the major AAA titles coming out on the PS3 this year it is EA Sports’ ‘FIFA 09’ that I am looking forward to most. I was hoping that EA would implement the PS3’s new trophy system into their footy sim, sadly that isn’t the case. Hit the jump to find out why.

Continue reading

FIFA 09 To Get Weekly Stat Updates by Anthony Barlow
August 21, 2008, 1:04 am
Filed under: Gaming News | Tags: , , ,

[By Anthony Barlow]

At first this might seem VERY over the top but, to me at least, it makes a lot of sense. EA announced today at Leipzig that FIFA 09 would be getting stat updates weekly to reflect how players are doing in real life as well as in the game.

The ‘Addidas Live Season’ add-on will use a network of people to compile stats and rate player performances per week, hopefully adding a new depth to online games. At the moment the feature will only work for the Barclay’s Premier League, Spain’s League BBVA, France’s Ligue 1, the German Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A and the Mexican Premiera Division.

Andrew Wilson from EA said:

“The game will feel and play differently each week. With Adidas Live Season if Ronaldinho has a great match on the weekend you’ll feel the difference when you pick up the controller as his in-game attributes increase.”

This is sweet and should definitely add some depth to online games. It’d be nice, i guess, if it worked in the ‘Manager Mode’ but I think it’ll affect the online games much more. This is not the PS3 exclusive feature that was announced a few months back, but I was told that the mode would be announced at Leipzig so hopefully we’ll find out some news on it soon.

North American FIFA Cover Change? – The Update by Anthony Barlow
August 17, 2008, 9:27 pm
Filed under: Gaming Rumors | Tags: , , , , ,

Yesterday I posted about how EA might have another cover change on their hands if Maurice Edu’s transfer to Glasgow Rangers goes ahead. Well it looks like it might happen, well the transfer anyway.

BBC Sport (via various sources) have today made claims that Edu (along with Fulham’s Steven Davis) could make the switch to Ibrox.

Rangers are set to complete the signings of Fulham’s Steven Davis and American international Maurice Edu. (Various)

Looks like EA have definitely got another cover crisis on their hands. I’m wondering if they’ll even bother replacing the cover because of the small number of people who buy the game. Nontheless it’s only right to do so.

I still haven’t been able to contact EA for a comment on this yet, but I will carry on trying.

Another Cover Change For EA? by Anthony Barlow
August 16, 2008, 11:41 pm
Filed under: Gaming Rumors | Tags: , , , , , ,

It looks like EA could have another problem with one of their sports covers. This time with one of the cover stars on the North American version of FIFA 09 (image above).

The cover star in question is young up and coming USA and Toronto FC player Maurice Edu. XeNonX has learnt that there is some speculation about Edu’s future and that it is possible that the player could transfer to Scottish team Glasgow Rangers (for a fee of around £2.5m if anyone’s interested). More after the jump. Continue reading

Madden Cover Wrong, EA Says Print Your Own by Anthony Barlow
August 16, 2008, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Gaming News | Tags: , , , ,

EA had a bit of bad luck recently (Madden curse?) when it was revealed that Brett Favre would be coming out of retirement again and would be playing for the New York Jets. Favre was the cover-‘boy’ of EA’s exremely popular American football game Madden NFL 09 and was wearing his Green Bay Packers (the team he played for pre-retirement) jersey. EA have now released another official cover for the game featuring Favre in a Jets uniform, which users have to print off or get printed themselves.

I personally feel that EA should have issued the covers to gamers rather than them having to print it out. I wonder if the next batch of the game will have the new or old cover?

Preview: FIFA 09 by Anthony Barlow
August 14, 2008, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Event Coverage, Previews | Tags: , ,

[By Anthony]

So here’s the first of the M Festival goodness and we’re kicking off with FIFA 09. Surprisingly this is one of my most anticipated games of the year when you guys play it I think you’ll see why. It might not get the big launch party that Madden gets in the U.S. but it has to be EA Sports’ finest title. FIFA has improved imensely  over the past few years and this latest game looks like it could be the jewel in EA’s relinquished footy crown.

The graphics have always been EA’s strong point and this game doesn’t disapoint. The build I played was six weeks old and I was told that the latest build of the game would be at Leipzig next week. Hopefully i’ll be able to bring you guys some HD footage. Anyway, back to the graphics. As A Manchester United fan I was really impressed with the attention to detail that EA have put into the star players. I have wondered in the past if the team had looked at the players when creating their models but now everything seems in order Tevez looks like Tevez (he even has his scar) Ronaldo looks like Ronaldo (and acts like him too) and from what I saw all of the star players seem to have the right looks and traits to make the game even more realistic.

Speaking of realism, the passing definitely seems more fluent especially with manual settings turned on. The animations for passing, crossing and shooting have all been updated with many of the animations being contextual. For example players will rush passes and crosses when they’re under pressure from the opposition which usually results in a bad pass and missed opportunities. It’s another big step forward for the EA sports footy franchise(s). The animations always get a lift with each iteration of the game, some of the old ones being updated as well as some new additions. I did see that they’d worked on the annimation for finesse shooting which now does not just allow players to place shots directly in front of them but also in either corner of the net in a style similar to Barcelona’s Thierry Henry. When playing against Tottenham the biggest new shot animation I noticed was the over-head kick. You could do scissor kick’s in previous FIFA games but this is the first game to incorporate the full OHK since EA’s ‘UEFA Euro 2004’. Another annimation change can be seen when players are moving on the pitch. In Euro 2008 the running and jogging animations are well done but seemed a little over the top. FIFA 09 changes these animations making them seem more realistic. I also seemed to notice that some players ran differently to others, maybe this was just my mind playing tricks but it’d be cool if it was in there.

EA added the ‘arena’ feature to their ‘next-gen’ versions of the FIFA series and I think it was a great addition to the game, letting you hone your skills before the match. The arena is another of the great features from 08 EA has adapted. The arena I played in was in a more urban setting rather than the generic paractice pitch from 08 but according to Greg the arena can now be changed by the user who will be able to sort of skin the arena with certain themes (a Mexican one was mentioned). Another new feature of the arena is that before the match a player will be chosen at random to use from the team you are playing as and when the match has loaded the arena switches to the pitch you are playing on in that particular game (i.e. Old Trafford). I think this is a nice feature as broadcasts often show players doing pre-match warmups on the pitch before the game kicks-off. Plus it helps pass the loading time (which wasn’t too long).

There has also been a slight change to the HUD during matches. The HUD is larger but is transparent and carries the players name and stamina bar (as usual) as well as that players number to the left of it. It might not be a massive change but I thought i’d make a note of it nonetheless.

Skills have become a big part of EA’s football games and in 09 that doesn’t change. Skills are still a big part of the game but I did think it was a bit unrealistic that Gary Neville could pull off step overs and 360 turns as well and as easily as Cristiano Ronaldo. This has changed, it seems EA have adaped the ease and speed of skills depending on which player you are. So now it’s a lot easier to pull of tricks with Ronaldo and Neville, well he’ll struggle.

Greg also mentioned that the players height and weight had now been taken into account. Players will no longer be able to push over John Carew with Shaun Wright Phillips and this is definitely something that works well in conjunction with the new jostling feature added into the game. The jostling feature allows players to have players fight for the ball and can often lead to free kicks. The height and weight have also been factored in to this too so a player like Evra will find it hard to take down larger opposition but with a bit of persistence you can pull it off. This also means that your star player is less likely to be dominated by a much lower rated player.

The ‘superhuman goalkeeper’ is something that has plagued almost every iteration of the FIFA franchise and is obviously something that had to be dealt with. From what I played it seemed like the keepers were still good and made it hard on the player, but they were doing a lot more parrying rather than catching 30 yard screamers. Another great realistic feature added to the game and one of the best changes I saw the whole time I was playing. Now maybe it was the new gameplay changes, but despite the keepers no longer being similar to Superman it was harder to score. Hopefully this will help make matches closer and once again more realistic.

My last point I noted from my demo were the little things that impressed me about the game. First of all, I noticed that the referee and linesman were now featured on the picth rather than being ghosts who’d only show up to make decisions and appear in cinematics. A nice little touch there. Secondly, I noticed that players would be putting their arms out and calling for the ball if you were running down the wing and also that defenders would raise their arm and try and signal for an offside to the referee. It might not be something that the casual FIFA fan will notice but is another nice touch from EA.

Well there’s my first impressions on FIFA 09. I played the game a number of times at the show in order to get a feel for the game, another reason that this ‘preview’ is so long. It looks like EA have tried (and in my opinion) succeeded to make this game a more realistic approach and tried to make FIFA a game that can be played by fanatics like myself and the casual audience too. We’ll have to see how this pans out but I can definitely see this topping PES for the third year running.

For all you Manchester United fans, I made sure to check the squad screen for any updates I could find and there were a few there. I also noted down some of the ratings of star players.

  • Carlos Tevez – 85
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – 91
  • Wayne Rooney – 87
  • Anderson – 82
  • Nani – 81
  • Fraizer Campbell – 71
  • Danny Wellbeck (NEW) – 65
  • Rodrigo Possebon (NEW) – 69
  • Fabian Brandy (NEW) – 63

So there’s three new additions to the United squad I could find but according to Greg the squads are not finalised so there could be some new additions to the squad (Rafael & Fabio Da Silva maybe?). The ratings of players could also change so we could see some of the players getting higher overalls than i’ve posted here. Players like Rooney and Tevez have seen improvements (I think) but players like Nani could do with a bit of a bump in ratings. Hopefully we’ll see this soon.

I’ll also be writing up my findings from my interview with EA’s Greg Baker. There’s a few scoops to be seen so you’ve gotta check it out.

Oh yeah guys, sorry for this being another day late but i’ve had a lot to do over the past few days and it’s been hard to get this finished but now it’s done.