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EA UFC Video Game: How to Fix Career Mode

July 09, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games

If you noticed in my EA UFC review, I sort of took a battle axe to career and kept hitting it in the head until there was nothing but blood, bits of skull and mush left. I was a bit harsh on the career mode overall, but to be honest, EA had it coming. When you put the team behind the Fight Night games in charge, you expect a damn good career mode.

The career mode here, well it’s not. It’s actually quite bad and most of all it’s repetitive with little to no variety. You also have to remember, by not adding another other modes of gameplay like I mentioned in my review, career mode would have to carry the game. Since it doesn’t do that, it deserves the criticism that has been leveled at it thus far. I’m not the only person who’s noticed this; many video game websites have rallied against the career mode.  

The general consensus is that career mode is bare bones and boring. With that being said, I’m going to go over some of my issues and then offer what I believe could make the career mode in the next game much better. Or at least not this career mode. Here are some of my main problems that I divulged upon in my review and some I didn’t talk about that. After that, my recommendations to fix career mode.

Mike Dolce and The UFC Gym

When Madden first starting doing Superstar Mode Terrell Davis was your mentor and it made sense. Your player was drafted in the lower rounds and Davis was the 196th pick in the NFL draft. So, it made sense that you had a guy who rose from low round pick to superstar as your mentor. Mike Dolce as your mentor makes no sense. I’m sure Mike Dolce is a swell dude and his Dolce Diet seems to help a lot of fighters in the sport today. Yet, this is the guy that they pick to be your mentor? No offense to Dolce, but he’s not the first guy that I would think of to be the mentor in career mode.

You’d think that a guy like Greg Jackson or Duane Ludwig would be the guy to play mentor in the game. Since they hyped up having to go through the Ultimate Fighter to get in, why pick a guy who lost in the first round of the TUF tournament? I’m not making fun of the guy at all, but he just doesn’t scream mentor to me. If you wanted a TUF alumnus, why not go with Forrest Griffin? He’s pretty funny, won the first season, coached a season and was the first guy to win a title from the show. Compared to Dolce, who is seemingly reading off of a script while watching television or something, Griffin would make training interesting. You train in the UFC Gym for your entire career and I mean your entire career. Wanna go train at Jacksons? Sorry, you gotta play Undisputed 3 in order to do that. While that may not seem bad at all, the problem is that once again there is no variety towards training at The UFC Gym. Every now and then, a fighter will visit the gym and you get to spar with them. So far, Dan Henderson and BJ Penn have dropped by in my career mode.

While this seems like something that could be really cool, you just do the same drills that you usually do. You don’t learn any cool moves from them or unlock anything special; it’s just sparring with a guy who isn’t the generic training partner. If you were invited to train with the guy after the sparring sessions, it would be interesting. Especially when these guys have gyms of their own so it would make sense. In the end, you’re stuck at the UFC Gym until your career is over, so that means no training elsewhere to learn new moves. They made that irrelevant by giving you the option to buy new moves, which isn’t bad at all but have the fun of career mode was traveling to different gyms and learning this move or that move. Since moves are cheap, all you have to do is save up a nice amount of evolution points and buy up. It takes the fun out of traveling to all these different gyms and eventually committing to one.

Train, Fight, Wash, Rinse, Repeat and Lack of Options for Opponents

We all know what this section is about; it’s what most reviewers have hit the game on. You train; fight, train, fight and you do this for forty fights. Yep, there is no option to retire your fighter you keep doing it until you hit that magic number. So, if you’re fighter ends up a brain damaged shell of himself and a threat to others, you still have to play through to the end. The only other way you could end it would be to delete your career and never start one again. What was interesting to me was that the training rarely reflected the fighter I was going against. I was set to face a high level wrestler and none of my training options reflected anything about grappling or takedown defense. Luckily my opponent did nothing but throw the same overhand right and I picked him apart, but then came the big one, which plays into point number two.

After moving up into facing regular opponents, I got a title shot against Cain. It should be noted that my opponents were Travis Browne (Legitimate enough) and Pat Berry (LOL) and now I found myself looking at a title shot. Cain in a 99 and just about kill you with two really good power punches, my guy is a 77 overall. I got Thai Pads, Submission and Heavy Bag for training options, nothing on blocking or using footwork to avoid Cain’s KO power. I did win the fight by controversial split decision and proceeded to defend against: Travis Browne, Cain again, Cain, Junior Dos Santos, Cromier, Junior again and finally Cromier for the second time. You know what would make career interesting? If the champion of the lower division would challenge you to a super fight, something to break up the monotony of facing the same guys. Or even going overseas and defending the belt in PR-

Oh yeah, you guys got rid of that.

In the previous games, you could pick and choose what opponents you fought so you could slowly build your guy over time. If you wanted to take things slowly you could pick and choose while slowly moving up the ladder or you could be aggressive and pick the bigger fights. Now, I would prefer to pick the route of going fight by fighter when my skills weren’t up to par and then gamble when my skills were ready for that. Now, you just get the fights that Joe Silva sends you. I presume this for realism but I also hope that I can complain about pay and get buried by Dana White in the press. Or, if you’re a lower rung fighter, deciding rather eating or paying the electric bill with your fight pay and small sponsor check.

Gotta have that realism.

Snarkiness aside, I’m going to talk about my idea for potentially improving career mode and hopefully somebody from EA reads this. Probably not.

1. Develop a Character

This is where the MMA purists begin to cringe; being able to develop some form of character in career mode would make things interesting. I’m not talking a Chael Sonnen level of being an a-hole, but it wouldn’t be bad to spew some trash talk. You can either go the route of being a GSP like sportsman or go the route of talking trash. Heck, it could have a profound effect on your opponent in the fight, your opponent comes out aggressive going for the kill and you can capitalize on that by hitting some key counter moves. It wouldn’t be much, just something to make career mode interesting which would play into my second recommendation.

2. Develop Rivalries

Like I said, once I won the title in career mode that was basically it, you’d face the big names and then move on to facing randomly generated fighters. I thought that by facing Browne again that I defeated in an eliminator fight and I thought that we’d get a video from Browne or some acknowledgement that I beat him. Nope, just the usual message of you having to face all up and comers. Shouldn’t Browne be my bitter rival since I took away his chance at a title shot? Instead, it’s just treated as a regular old fight; Browne comes out and fights like it is some normal fight. There’s no hype video, no weigh-in stare down or even a threatening video message from Browne or a message from Dana. Overall, develop some rivalries in career mode to add some depth towards the fights.

3. Go the TUF Route or Travel the World

While adding The Ultimate Fighter was a good idea, they really didn’t do much with the concept overall. You didn’t really learn much, the coaches only appeared in messages and you didn’t do any training with them. I’m all for TUF, but they would have to fine tune the basic concept of TUF. I say that your fighter should have the choice of going through TUF and traveling the world, the same way you could in EA MMA. Even better, the game could make usage of the dead promotions that the UFC owns such as the WEC and Strikeforce.

Fight your way from the bottom, maybe go through the dead World Fighting Alliance or throw a bone to King of The Cage for the starter league.  If you’re a lower weight guy you can work your way through the WEC to get a contract and same thing for the upper weights in Strikeforce. If you go the route of fighting outside of the UFC, you arrive in the UFC a well-rounded and polished fighter and find yourself in fights against actual opponents right off the bat. Go the TUF route, win it all and slowly go the route of fighting up from the bottom.

4. Realistic Training Calendar

The one thing I have never gotten about career mode in most MMA games is that you can do a few activities and then fight. So, I say have a realistic training set-up, you dictate that level of training you want to do that day: Hard, medium, and easy. If you train hard you can get more XP but you can wear your fighter out by picking hard too many times. You would have to find a middle road with the level of training you pick each day so that you don’t wear your fighter out, but you have built your fighter up for the upcoming fight. You should also have the ability to pick what exactly you want to have your fighter train in such grappling, striking, cardio and strength. It’s not much, but it’s better than stuck with the same three options.

5. Train Where You Want to Train or Bring in Partners

Yeah, no more Mike Dolce and the generic UFC Gym, EA. While your fighter would eventually have to commit to a gym (Similar to Undisputed 3), your fighter should have the right to go train anywhere for any upcoming fight, since most fighters will do that from time to time. Say your fighter has an upcoming fight against a high level wrestler; you could branch out and train at a gym that has a high reputation for wrestling training. You could also have the option of inviting a fighter to train for an upcoming fight, something that EA tried but didn’t do much with. Bring this guy in to specifically train in certain aspects for an upcoming fight and if he has a team of his own, you now have a camp that you train with. If the fighter your training with has a certain special move that you don’t have, you should be able to unlock it and add it to your arsenal of moves.

So there you go my suggestions to make career mode for the next EA UFC better than the one we got. The insane thing is that I believe most of my suggestions came from previous UFC games or the EA MMA game. That’s why those games had better career modes and EA UFC’s career mode is the…inster bad movie here of career modes.

I’m gonna go play WrestleFest now.

Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman. After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.

UFC – PlayStation 4 Video Game

UFC – Xbox One Video Game

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EA UFC Video Game Review: An Alright Start

July 02, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Videos

MMA and video games haven’t exactly meshed well in the past. Sure, the UFC games for the THQ ranged from good (UFC Undisputed 2009), alright (UFC Undisputed 2010) and finally holy crap that’s amazing (UFC Undisputed 3). I even liked the old Pride game on Playstation 2 since it possessed the best create a fighter function until EA MMA. Then, we had EA MMA which was an excellent all-around game with solid gameplay; great create a fighter, and probably the best career mode for an MMA game. It sadly bombed out, killing any potential of a sequel. The early UFC titles that appeared on the PlayStation 1, 2 and Xbox weren’t that great and are generally forgotten for a good reason. When you can tap out Tim Sylvia with a 125 pound girl (Yes, you read that right), you are not doing your job correctly.

So, what can I say about EA UFC is that while it’s a fun game, although it feels unfinished. For one, there is no depth outside of career mode and arcade mode. Remember, UFC Undisputed 3 had a tournament mode, title mode, title defense mode and most of all, the Pride mode. I was still playing the game two years after it came out just for Pride mode so I could run the Grand Prix and the freakshow fights. THQ went the extra mile and reunited Stephen Quadros and Bas Rutten to do commentary to give it a truly unique feel. While arcade mode is fun and you can spends hours just playing random match-ups, this feels like a barebones game.

The barebones notion doesn’t help when it comes to a rather sparse roster of 97 fighters spread out over nine divisions and while the company has promised DLC for those who rose to prominence (UFC Bantanwieght Champion TJ Dillashaw is absent from the game), there is no presence of any sort of legends. It doesn’t help that Dana White has pissed off most of the fighters you could place in legends mode (Randy Couture for example) or that most of them have associated themselves with Bellator like Tito, Rampage or Frank Shamrock. While this does mean that the fighters in the game have their own unique traits (Rousey mean mugs and has a wide variety of armbars, Pettis uses the cage on offense, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva have a wide variety of kicks and elbows), it still feels a bit off. EA tries to make for this by letting certain fighters move up and down in class, which is a way to cover up the issue. A problem in my mind is that fighters that don’t have any special moves are restricted with the same set of moves and animations. I’ve seen the same belly to belly suplex used by a good amount of fighters, which is almost a kill move if you’re stamina isn’t at full level. Do this move once and it can drain your opponent’s stamina by a good amount and you once you learn this takedown with a fighter who has it, you can dominate.

The striking mechanics in EA UFC are top notch, probably the best striking mechanics I’ve seen in any MMA game.  Yes, it does take a while to learn some of the bigger moves, but it’s worth it to see a well pulled move. My biggest complaint though comes from the ground game and that has more to do with the submission system. Personally, I loved the submission system from EA MMA, with well-timed button hits for leg and arm submissions and the hot spot for chokes. It wasn’t the greatest or most innovative submission system, but it was better than the shine that THQ was offering. Here, we have a mini game similar to the hot spot requiring usage of the right and left sticks, it is incredibly infuriating. It somehow managed to top the submission system from Undisputed 3 for the most annoying submission system in the UFC series. Congrats I guess. It makes me yearn for the shine.

Now, let’s talk about career mode and my first big problem in what are my many, many problems with it. First, you really don’t have much for customization when it comes to said creation. You can pick from pre-set hair and body, a far cry from the creation system in other combat sport games, including the WWE games. You also have preset stats depending on what style of fighting you decide to go with. You also can’t take any fighters on the main roster (Bruce Lee the exception) and there was a certain fun in taking Dan Severn and transforming him into a Thai fighting machine. Also, I feel a slight bit creepy for beating on Bruce Lee or anytime I land a solid shot to the brain or knock him out with a headshot.

I’ve always thought that having your created fighter enter The Ultimate Fighter and get into the UFC way was a great idea. Unfortunately that’s about it for career when it comes to variety as after you win the whole thing (With unlimited rematches if you lose in TUF, there’s a Batista joke somewhere) and career mode becomes monotonous. You don’t have the option of picking opponents taking out any suspense on whether your guy is truly good when you step up to face a big name, do three training activities and then fight. That’s it; career mode is best played in short bursts every now and then. Just boot up the game, take a few fights and then turn the game off. Do the same thing three days later to keep things going. The worst part is that you can’t branch out to other gyms to learn new moves or techniques and you can’t change weight classes or participate in Pride tournaments. Don’t ask me how my Brock Lesnar cut enough weight to make 205, just marvel at the epic war between him and Jon Jones that headlined Madison Square Garden. Also, for as much hype that the UFC has put behind Rousey, you’d think that you could go as a woman in career mode, but that isn’t included. While it’s not a huge complaint (Large enough for me to point it though), it’s an interesting point since the UFC has put so much hype behind Rousey.

What’s sad about this is that EA Canada developed this game and these were the guys responsible for the last two Fight Night games, some of the best boxing games of all time. Fight Night Champion had a very good Championship Mode that was more like a movie. Sure, it seemed a bit cliché with the plot but it worked and it made for a fun play through. That’s the disheartening part about this since Undisputed 3 and EA MMA had solid career modes and this feels like an afterthought. EA could have done so much more with career mode, heck that’s my next post. With such a highly regarded studio behind the game, it’s tough to say this but career mode is probably the worst career mode I’ve seen in an MMA game in a long time. Take a look at the career mode in the NBA 2K games and take a look at this, this feels like some slapped on at the last minute.

While I haven’t started online play because I don’t like having slurs hurled at me by twelve year olds, a point of interest was that EA killed their Fighter Share program. It drew quite a bit of controversy since the excuse seemed rather lame (Avoid copyright issues) and it was quickly pointed out that THQ had no issues with the WWE and UFC games. When I heard this, I had visions of having to take that perfect Fedor CAF and drag him through career mode and then doing the same thing with any other fighter. Luckily, you can give fighter the stats they deserve without a cap, so smart move EA.

As this point, you’re probably thinking that I hate this game but I don’t. The graphics are fantastic, the presentation is done will with a minimalistic HUD and commentary seems to be on point. The fighters are well animated, the striking feels great and most of all you’ll have a great mixture of pain and frustration. It’s the type of game you can get a whole of friends together have a few solid hours of fun playing with. My main hope is that EA Canada can build off what seems to be a solid foundation while fixing some of the mistakes they’ve made. The biggest problem will be the specter of Undisputed 3 hanging above the EA UFC games, so hopefully EA can top that. If EA Canada can work on the problems and keep the gameplay fresh with new features, I can see the EA UFC series topping the Undisputed games. EA just needs to make the effort on their end.

Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman. After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.

UFC – PlayStation 4 Video Game

UFC – Xbox One Video Game

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NHL 12 Game Achievements & Trophies

September 13, 2011 By: Category: NHL, Sports, Video Games

NHL 12 Achievements & TrophiesIf you’re like me, you ran out today to buy NHL 12. Before I even have a chance to play NHL 12, I got an early tip on NHL 12 achievements, awards, & trophies, and there are some real fun ones in this year’s video game. Can you repeat the greatness of Magnificent Mario?

This year’s NHL 12 game has a lot of achievements named after players. The player achievements are based on real season or real game milestones from the previous season. For example, the Magnificent Mario award rewards players who score five different goals, five different ways in the same game.

So here is a list of NHL 12 achievements and trophies. I will update this list as more achievements, trophies, and awards are posted online, so check back from time to time. Nonetheless, this should give you a great starting point on what to shoot for right out of the box if you want to begin working on collecting those NHL 12 awards. Thanks to Video Games Blogger for the tips.

COLLECTABLE XBOX 360 NHL 12ACHIEVEMENTS LIST

1. Le Magnifique (20G) - Earn 8 points in a single NHL Be A Pro playoff game with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.

2. Magnificent Mario (20G) - Score goals 5 different ways in a NHL Be A Pro game with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher. – You must score goals in every way possible, as Mario Lemieux did in this classic video proving his “magnificence”. The 5 ways include:

1) 5 on 5
2) Power Play
3) Shorthanded
4) Penalty Shot
5) Empty Net

3. Top Prospect (15G) - Qualify for and complete the CHL Top Prospects game in Be A Pro with a created Pro.
4. Happy 20th EA SPORTS! (20G) - Play & get 20 goals in a Be A Pro CHL season with a created Pro to celebrate 20 years of EA SPORTS. – If you play the game properly it should be pretty easy to get 20 points as you get three seasons in the CHL. You should be able to get 20 goals by your second or third season.
5. Memorial Cup (15G) - Play and win the Memorial Cup in Be A Pro with a created Pro.
6. Unlucky For Some (30G) - Score 14 shorthanded goals in a NHL Be A Pro season with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
7. One Great Career (60G) - Earn 2,858 NHL career points in Be A Pro with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
8. The Comeback Kid (15G) - Have three 8 point games in a NHL Be A Pro career with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
9. The Great One (40G) - Score 93 goals in a single NHL Be A Pro season with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
10. PP Powerhouse (35G) - Have 30 PP goals in 2 different NHL Be A Pro seasons with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
11. One Great Season (35G) - Earn 216 NHL career points in a single Be A Pro season with a created Pro on at least Pro difficulty.
12. EASHL Rookie (10G) - Achieve Rookie 1 status for your online Pro.
13. EASHL Pro (30G) - Achieve Pro 1 status for your online Pro.
14. EASHL Playoffs (40G) - Be a member of an EA SPORTS Hockey League team when they participate in a monthly playoff.
15. Every Man (20G) - Play as every skater position while completing EA SPORTS Hockey League matches.
16. Taking Shots (10G) - Play as the goalie while completing an EA SPORTS Hockey League match
17. EASHL Legend (60G) - Achieve Legend 1 status for your online Pro.
18. Russian Rocket (15G) - Score a goal after completing a skate-to-stick deke in a Ranked Online Shootout match.
19. High Flying (15G) - Score a goal after completing a jump deke in a Ranked Online Shootout match.
20. Versus Legend (40G) - Reach level 25 of online Versus.
21. Versus Rookie (10G) - Reach level 5 of online Versus.
22. Versus Pro (20G) - Reach level 10 of online Versus.
23. From the Office (15G) - Have 7 assists in a single NHL Be A Pro game with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
24. Team Doctor (10G) - Use a Healing card to heal an injured player in Hockey Ultimate Team.
25. Amateur Contender (20G) - Qualify for a Hockey Ultimate Team Amateur monthly playoff tournament.
26. EAUHL 24/7 Victory (10G) - Win a match against a downloaded Hockey Ultimate Team.
27. Hats Off To You (20G) - Be the player that scores 3 goals consecutively in an EA SPORTS Hockey League match.
28. EASHL Hero (10G) - Score the OT winner in an EA Sports Hockey League match.
29. Pro Contender (30G) - Qualify for a Hockey Ultimate Team Pro monthly playoff tournament.
30. Complete Set (30G) - Collect all player, jersey and logo cards for any team in the Collection.
31. Winter Classic (10G) - As the lead profile, complete a NHL Winter Classic Match with PIT versus WSH.
32. Past Their Potential (20G) - Train a player past their potential.
33. Elite Contender (40G) - Qualify for a Hockey Ultimate Team Elite monthly playoff tournament.
34. HUT Playoff Winner (40G) - Win any Hockey Ultimate Team monthly playoff tournament.
35. Raise the Cup (25G) - Play and win the Stanley Cup in Be A Pro with a created Pro.
36. Legend Player (25G) - Play and win any NHL player trophy in Be A Pro with a created Pro.
37. Magnificently Great (15G) - Score 4 goals in one period of a NHL Be A Pro game as a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher
38. Mr. Hockey (10G) - Complete a Gordie Howe Hat Trick (Goal/Assist/Fight) in a Be A Pro NHL game with a created Pro.
39. Superstar (10G) - Have 4 five goal games in a NHL Be A Pro career with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
40. Legend GM (30G) - Achieve Legendary GM Status.

COLLECTABLE PS3 NHL 12 TROPHIES LIST

1. A Smash Hit (Bronze) - Break a pane of glass with a hit on a CPU player.
2. Amateur Contender (Bronze) - Qualify for a Hockey Ultimate Team Amateur monthly playoff tournament.
3. Benched! (Bronze) - Check an opposing player into the benches.
4. Complete Set (Silver) - Collect all player, jersey and logo cards for any team in the Collection.
5. EASHL™ Hero (Bronze) - Score the OT winner in an EA Sports™ Hockey League match.
6. EASHL™ Legend (Gold) - Achieve Legend 1 status for your online Pro.
7. EASHL™ Playoffs (Bronze) - Be a member of an EA SPORTS™ Hockey League team when they participate in a monthly playoff.
8. EASHL™ Pro (Silver) - Achieve Pro 1 status for your online Pro.
9. EASHL™ Rookie (Bronze) - Achieve Rookie 1 status for your online Pro.
10. EAUHL 24/7 Victory (Bronze) - Win a match against a downloaded Hockey Ultimate Team.
11. Elite Contender (Silver) - Qualify for a Hockey Ultimate Team Elite monthly playoff tournament.
12. Every Man (Bronze) - Play as every skater position while completing EA SPORTS™ Hockey League matches.
13. From the Office (Bronze) - Have 7 assists in a single NHL Be A Pro game with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
14. Happy 20th EA SPORTS™! (Bronze) - Play & get 20 goals in a Be A Pro CHL season with a created Pro to celebrate 20 years of EA SPORTS™.
15. Hats Off To You (Bronze) - Be the player that scores 3 goals consecutively in an EA SPORTS™ Hockey League match.
16. High Flying (Bronze) - Score a goal after completing a jump deke in a Ranked Online Shootout match.
17. HUT Playoff Winner (Silver) - Win any Hockey Ultimate Team monthly playoff tournament.
18. King of the Crease (Bronze) - Win a goalie versus goalie fight.
19. Le Magnifique (Bronze) - Earn 8 points in a single NHL Be A Pro playoff game with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.

20. Legend GM (Silver) - Achieve Legendary GM Status.
21. Legend Player (Silver) - Play and win any NHL player trophy in Be A Pro with a created Pro.
22. Lost His Lid (Bronze) - Knock the helmet off an opposing player’s head.
23. Magnificent Mario (Bronze) - Score goals 5 different ways in a NHL Be A Pro game with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
24. Magnificently Great (Bronze) - Score 4 goals in one period of a NHL Be A Pro game as a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
25. Memorial Cup (Bronze) - Play and win the Memorial Cup in Be A Pro with a created Pro.
26. Mr. Hockey (Bronze) - Complete a Gordie Howe Hat Trick (Goal/Assist/Fight) in a Be A Pro NHL game with a created Pro.
27. On Bended Knee (Bronze) - Score with a one knee one timer.
28. One Great Career (Gold) - Earn 2,858 NHL career points in Be A Pro with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
29. One Great Season (Silver) - Earn 216 NHL career points in a single Be A Pro season with a created Pro on at least Pro difficulty.
30. Past Their Potential (Bronze) - Train a player past their potential.
31. PP Powerhouse (Silver) - Have 30 PP goals in 2 different NHL Be A Pro seasons with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
32. Pro Contender (Silver) - Qualify for a Hockey Ultimate Team Pro monthly playoff tournament.
33. Raise the Cup (Silver) - Play and win the Stanley Cup in Be A Pro with a created Pro.
34. Raise Your Banner ’12 (Platinum) - Acquire all of the Bronze, Silver and Gold trophies.
35. Russian Rocket (Bronze) - Score a goal after completing a skate-to-stick deke in a Ranked Online Shootout match.
36. Superstar (Bronze) - Have 4 five goal games in a NHL Be A Pro career with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
37. Taking Shots (Bronze) - Play as the goalie while completing an EA SPORTS™ Hockey League match.
38. Team Doctor (Bronze) - Use a Healing card to heal an injured player in Hockey Ultimate Team.
39. The Comeback Kid (Bronze) - Have three 8 point games in a NHL Be A Pro career with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.
40. The Great One (Silver) - Score 93 goals in a single NHL Be A Pro season with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.

For the complete list of  NHL 12 Achievements & Trophies, check out the entire article at Video Games Blogger.

NHL 12 for all Video Game Consoles

NHL 11 for all Video Game Consoles

Madden 12 Video Game Pre-order Deals & Bonus Offers

August 24, 2011 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports, Video Games

Madden NFL 12 Football Pre-order Deals & Bonus OffersMadden 12 hits the stores Tuesday August 30, starting at midnight in some places. Several stores are capitalizing on the hype with some great Madden pre-order deals which include extras and rebates. There is still time left to take advantage of these great Madden specials. You are going to buy Madden 12 anyway, so why not benefit from one of these great deals?

The tradeoff with some of these deals is that you may have to wait a week to get your game. Sure, you can pay extra shipping but that just defeats the purpose of a deal. Most of these deals are good until 11:59 PM/EST Monday night August 29.

Several stores even give you the opportunity to order online and pick up your game at the stroke of midnight. Some orders will continue past the pre-order status, so click the link for your favorite offer if you miss out on the pre-order stage because it may still be available.

Amazon.com has been a leader in pre-order Madden deals for years and continues with a new twist this year. Amazon.com Madden 12 pre-order customers will get $20 coupon off their next video game order on Amazon. That beats the usual $10 Amazon gift card usually offered for Madden pre-orders. Sorry PSP and PS2 owners, but you only get $10 off your next purchase. So for video game nuts, this may be the way to go. Or, stash that $20 coupon away and use it for the holidays.

Order Madden 12 from Amazon.com

GameStop has a much different and quite frankly my favorite of all Madden pre-order deals this season. GameStop offers bonus rosters with Madden 12 pre-orders. Customers will get an exclusive code when they purchase the game from Game Stop and will be able to download NFC & AFC All-Star teams.

Basically you will get two rosters that would look similar to Pro Bowl rosters. For me, I like game extras like this as opposed to gift cards and coupons. It isn’t the best pre-order Game Stop has ever done, but it is a big step up from last year’s lame extended demo bonus.

One thing I will mention here is that you can probably grab these roster codes for under $5 on Ebay.com the next morning if you already pre-ordered your game from somewhere else. Otherwise, check out the offer at Game Stop and line up your All-Star Madden teams.

Additionally, Game Stop is offering Madden 12 for $30 with an NCAA 12 trade-in.

Order Madden 12 from Game Stopicon

Walmart is great for pre-order video game deals. Walmart is offering their usual gift card with Madden 12 pre-orders. However, they have upped the ante this year from the usual $10 to a $20 Walmart eGift Card. Beware though, that the deal does not allow you to walk into Walmart on August 10 and pick up your Madden.

You will have to wait a few days but then again, who can’t find something to spend a free $20 on at Walmart?

Order Madden 12 from Walmarticon

Not to be outdone by its retail competitors, Target is getting into the Madden 12 pre-order deals this season. Target is offering a $5 Target gift card to Madden 12 pre-order customers. Not that free money is bad, but you may as well not even bother when your competition is giving away $20 cards.

Order Madden 12 from Target

Best Buy is back in the Madden 12 pre-order game this season with an interesting offer. Like Game Stop, Best Buy is offering two exclusive rosters with Madden 12 pre-orders. The rosters they are offering are different, much different than Game Stop rosters. Instead of All-Star teams, Best Buy is offering the “All Speed” and “Heart and

Hustle” teams. You can figure out pretty quickly who is on what team. I prefer the All-Star rosters, but this is certainly something different and unique to Best Buy.

Order Madden 12 from from Best Buy

Enjoy and make sure you order in advance to take advantage of the pre-order bonus deals!

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Big Changes To Madden 12 Franchise Mode – Video

May 17, 2011 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports, Video Games, Videos

Peyton Hillis is the Madden 12 cover playerMadden fans have demanded changes to the franchise mode for years and they will finally get it. The Madden 12 franchise mode will get a makeover with big changes, new features, and improvements that already have Madden players and message boards buzzing.

Right around now every year EA Sports begins to unveil details about changes and improvements to the upcoming Madden 12 game to create a buzz. Every year EA focus one particular area of criticism from gamers and use that feedback to make improvements. This year EA are tackling the franchise mode which will get the long overdue facelift that I and others have been anticipating for the last few years.

The beautiful thing about the Madden video game is that it offers something for everyone. Players generally zero in on one particular favorite mode whether it is online playing, franchise, online franchise, or superstar and spend most of their playing time in their mode of choice. For me it is and has always been the franchise mode.

What I love most about the franchise mode is that you can play all areas of the game. You can coach, play, and run the team as general manager with on and off the field moves. It was revolutionary when Madden first offered the mode several years ago. However, like everything else the mode has become outdated. For Madden gamers like me, it has become an area of frustration to see numerous improvements made to the game annually while the franchise mode is ignored. That all changes with the Madden 12 franchise mode.

A new blog from Josh Looman of EA Sports chronicles all of the new Madden franchise features and improvements. Here is a quick rundown of the Madden 12 franchise features and tweaks.

- Preseason Matters! Roger Goodell can’t figure out how to make the NFL preseason matter, yet EA Sports figured it out. I will freely admit that I simulate the preseason in all of my franchise modes. Other than having the opportunity to start some key rookies, it is rather pointless. Not anymore.

Madden 12 will increase the preseason roster size to 75 players. Franchise players will be forced to make the tough cuts throughout the preseason. Only a few of the rookies will have their player ratings revealed which is a bit odd. The ratings for the rookies who make the team will be unlocked at the end of the preseason. The idea here is to discover if you have any Tom Brady-like stories of low rated rookies making your team.

The blog talks about memory limitations in the past that only allowed a team keep a roster of 55 players regardless of injured reserve and true roster updates. This happened quite a bit and was frustrating if you tried to keep the rosters true to the real team.

Injured reserve is given a much more important role now as your roster expands once your player goes on I.R. and you can sign a new free agent.

- Place your bids on Randy Moss. EA will introduce free agent bidding to Madden. This has excited a lot of Madden forums. The idea here is that you will wind up in a bidding war similar to online auctions to get your man. The process will also include new contracts to the game.

I am probably in the minority here. I am not nearly as excited as some people are about this. If you play your season true to the game and you have no salary cap, then what is the point of the bid system? You can just come up with crazy bids with no repercussions to get your player. I think it is a step in the right direction but there are a few improvements that can be made to this process to make it more fair and realistic.

To make this really work, I would send every NFL player a survey of what is important to them in free agency along with a top ten list of teams they’d like to play for. EA should then incorporate those surveys into the game and use this to help determine whether a free agent signs with you or one of the other bidders. It is far from perfect, but it is a lot better than just bidding without consequences.

- Role players matter. Players will be given “roles” with each team throughout the season. Roles could be “fumble prone” (Adrian Peterson) , “shutdown corner” (Darrell Revis), “trench warrior” (Nick Mangold), etc. The Madden blog cites an “RPG element” as the need for the addition of player roles.

- Pull a Nick Saban. One of the most disappointing things about the franchise mode is that you are locked into your team once you pick them. In order to play with another team you need to start the franchise all over again. Madden 12 has changed that and players can now change the team they control before the offseason starts. So if you are in year 9 with your team and dominating, you can swap to a different team and start the rebuilding the process all over again. Tell the media you aren’t going to St. Louis, and well take over the Rams before the season starts.

- You are who you say you are. One of the things that had disappointed me in the franchise mode is that if I have three back to back spectacular quarterback weeks, my QB rating stays exactly the same. In Madden 12, a player’s performance will impact his rating and the rating will change week to week on performance. This is a welcome and long overdue change to the franchise mode.

Additionally, gamers can go in and edit player attributes to every player in the game within the franchise mode. In the past, you had to go outside of the franchise mode to make the edits and then start a new franchise mode to get your new player. A great example of frustration was last year when Michael Vick was given a ridiculous 58 fumble rating. In order to change that you had to go outside the game and restart your franchise to make the changes apply.

- Trade the 2015 first round draft pick. I love this addition to the franchise mode! Players will now have the option to include future draft picks in player trades. Play as the Raiders and trade your first round picks for the next three years for an over the hill lineman and remain true to Raider form. I love it!

- Back to the drawing board. Another new feature will introduce dynamic gameplans within the franchise mode. This for example will apply to a team with an offense based on one player which needs to be changed if that one player winds up injured or leaving the team. The EA blog uses Peyton Manning as an example. The blog explains that the Colts run a pass-heavy offense. If Manning gets hurt or leaves the team, the team will begin using a different style offense to reflect the strengths or weaknesses of the new offense.

- Importing NCAA draft classes just got better! The revamped Madden 12 franchise mode will allow gamers who import NCAA draft classes to keep player ratings. In other words, if you import a player who is an 85 overall he will enter Madden with a similar rating whereas in the past that player would dramatically lose his rating thus making the import rather moot.

- Better G.M. intelligence. The Madden blog calls this “Revamped team re-signing.” It is best explained by the blogger himself.

“Last year, a team like the 49ers would always re-sign a player like Alex Smith because they had no other alternative on the team at his position. They would never take his potential into account and keep him on the roster for years.

This year they’ll make decisions more intelligently, getting rid of Smith and addressing the QB position in free agency or the draft.

They’ll also try to keep a young player with lots of potential under contract as long as it makes sense.”

To me, these are the most important improvements in the franchise mode. There are a ton of other little tweaks to the mode that really take it to a whole other level. The weather function has been improved (it never snowed in January in Green Bay in Madden 11), player awards are revamped, retirements are revamped, the rookie wage scale has been dramatically improved, rookies will now have player portraits, depth chart logic has been improved, coaches will make a difference (Andy Reid will have more of an impact than say Jason Garrett), re-tuned simulation stats, and much more.

Check out the entire blog at for a full list of Madden franchise improvements and explanations.

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Peyton Hillis Is So Totally Screwed

April 27, 2011 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports, Video Games, Videos

Peyton Hillis is the Madden 12 cover playerDear Peyton Hillis,

First off, I would like to extend my most sincere of congratulations to you on becoming the cover boy for EA Sports’ Madden ’12, due out in stores this August. After all, if there’s no NFL season this season due to the continued pissing match between team owners and the players association, then NFL fans will seek to quench their jonesing via their video game.

And being the cover boy of Madden during the year in which football is threatened by unfathomable greed….well, you become something of a savior. It’s achievement enough that you’ve attained your level of fame, hoisted onto a pedestal with fan-bestowed laurels, as well as sashes that read “REALLY FAST WHITE GUY” and “PRIDE OF CLEVELAND”. That last one still has scuff marks from where LeBron James dragged it through the mud, which is sad. Of course, it’s not as sad as when Albert Belle ripped it into a thousand pieces, thinking it was flirting with other men.

So the city of Cleveland is counting on you, the lily white redeemer of hope, to pull them to the surface of respect and elation, as if you were that contraption that liberated those Chilean miners from the underground.

Those fans had better get used to continued heartbreak.

Mr. Hillis, if I were you, I would hope that there’s no football in 2011.

Allow me to properly introduce myself. My name is Madden Curse. I was born in early 2001, but am rather verbose and intimidating for my young age. In my lifetime, a toll of no less than ten men has met cruel and untimely fates. All of these men had the same thing in common: they each appeared on the cover of a certain sports video game the year in which they met those fates.

Yes, the very video game which you will adorn this year: Madden NFL.

It started out simply enough. Eddie George, a tough, downhill running back like yourself, graced the cover of Madden 2001 while he was at his career peak on the Tennessee Titans. After appearing in the Super Bowl the previous year, George and the rest of the Titans fumbled their way out of round one of the playoffs the ensuing year. After that, his stats declined more noticeably than Robert De Niro’s ability to pick rewarding scripts.

No one noticed that something was up yet, because one man does not a curse make. But then Daunte Culpepper, a third year phenom quarterback for the Vikings, took a spot on the 2002 cover. He earned that spot by dragging the Vikings to the NFC Championship one year earlier, but then found himself struggling to drag one good game out of himself in his Madden year. 23 picks, a 5-11 record, and a pissed off Randy Moss were all he had to show for himself. But hey, don’t blame me for him developing that stupid double-fisted spool dance. He came up with that himself!

Marshall Faulk in 2003? Knees caved in like the Metrodome roof. Michael Vick in 2004? Tore his ACL in preseason, five days after the game was released. I thought about letting the dog fighting thing come out then, but I figured Michael would just get caught eventually. Besides, being in jail only gives Vick a handful of street cred. But a scrambling quarterback that can’t run? That’s like getting a Porsche for Christmas, except it has no engine.

By this time, some conspiracy minded fools, the basement-dwelling kind that make Jesse Ventura seem lucid, revealed this unfortunate series of untimely afflictions that the Madden models seem to have cursed with.

But I was just getting started.

2005 was Ray Lewis, and he not only busted his wrist, but went the first season of his career without an interception; a career that began in 1996. Coincidence? Madden Curse doesn’t think so.

In 2006, Donovan McNabb thought he had the guts to break this curse. Turns out, his guts were exposed after a helmet shot to the ribs gave him a sports hernia. I don’t know what was worse, the hernia, or Terrell Owens and Drew Rosenhaus’ public circle jerk that became more distracting than an overturned TastyKake truck to Andy Reid.

In 2007, Shaun Alexander, the reigning rushing king, broke his foot; the first serious injury of his career. Man was never the same after that, winding up as a backup to LaDell Betts. Had Alexander gone to jail, he’d have been third string to Maurice Clarett and Lawrence Phillips. He became THAT BAD.

Vince Young in 2008? Statistics that sank like the Lusitania. Brett Favre in 2009? I used “inception” to plant a thought in his head, telling him to photograph his junk and show it to easily-offended women.

In 2010, they tried two players: Troy “Crap, that was my MCL!” Polamalu and Larry “I’m fine, but why are my teammates dropping like flies?” Fitzgerald. Two on one never stopped me.

Last year, Drew Brees tried getting on my good side with all of the charity pandering that one man could possibly do. Touched as I was, I still had to break him. So what did I do? I had him and his Saints take the plunge against a 7-9 team in the playoffs! And much like that grayish blotch on the side of his face, it’s going to take a LOT to get the stench of that defeat off.

And so, Peyton, this is your future. Play in 2011, and you might get your leg broke, or you may suffer a head injury, or you may have a nervous breakdown when you remember that Cleveland teams can’t win world titles. I have a litany of ways in which I can ruin your life. I’m the Swiss Army knife of misery.

And if there IS no season, prepare to tear something in a tragic yard work accident. I’m going to watch Maximum Overdrive and take notes, don’t worry.

For every Cleveland fan, or even for every fan that loves gritty white guys that succeed in black-dominant positions (known as having a Welker Complex), when they heard you were the cover boy, they then knew it was over.

It’s over, Peyton Hillis. Enjoy the fame now, because I’ll be seeing you soon.

Regards,
M.C.

Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for WrestlingNewsSource.com and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.

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Michael Vick vs. Peyton Hillis For The Madden 12 Cover

April 18, 2011 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports, Video Games

Michael Vick is in the running for the Madden 12 coverThe war for the Madden curse is on! A Michael Vick vs. Peyton Hillis ESPN fan poll will determine the Madden 2012 cover player. Two players that didn’t even enter last season as starters are now dueling it out for the NFL video game cover.

If you think back to a year ago at this time or even the start of the 2010-11 NFL season, the idea that a year later Peyton Hillis and Michael Vick would be battling it out for the Madden 2012 cover was simply preposterous. Neither player entered the season as a starter yet both turned into the 2010 fantasy football waiver wire darlings of the season. For Hillis, it is even more remarkable as outside of Cleveland I can’t imagine anyone even owned his jersey sans a few odd Denver Broncos fans.

For the first time in Madden history, EA Sports let the fans pick the cover player. ESPN set up a bracketed tournament of polls and allowed fans to vote throughout the period to determine the finalists. What makes Vick and Hillis’ matchup even more impressive is that Vick beat out Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson while Hillis (a 10th seed in the tournament) beat out Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. What do you think the odds were on that happening?

Of course Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns fans are likely spending time casting votes against their favorite players. Why would a Browns vote for Vick or an Eagles fan vote for Hillis? I got two words for you…Madden Curse!

For that reason, Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers didn’t seem that broken up about losing. Rodgers acknowledged his defeat via tweet, citing the curse.

“Gb fans who are scared of the curse are rejoicing somewhere today haha”

Yes indeed Green Bay Packers and Vikings should rejoice that their hometown heroes won’t be on the Madden cover this year. The Madden curse is very real and something I have blogged about quite a bit over the years. It’s real…very real and Eagles and Browns fans should be very afraid.

Going back to Garrison Hearst in 1999, every player featured on the cover of Madden has either suffered a serious injury or disappointing season that or the following season. Check out my full detailed history of the Madden Curse here.

It appeared that Drew Brees avoided the curse last year but it was not meant to be. Yes Brees’ New Orleans Saints did make the playoffs, but it was revealed after the season that Brees had indeed suffered a torn MCL injury during the season. While it was never confirmed, there were reports speculating about Brees’ injury all the way back in September. Brees did play through it but even the biggest Madden skeptics have to question whether the Saints would have suffered one of the biggest upsets in NFL postseason history if not for the curse.

A Michael Vick win here would make Vick the first ever two-time Madden cover athlete. Vick last graced the Madden video game cover back in 2004. Unfortunately Vick never even made it out of the pre season that year. Even scarier, Vick suffered the injury the day after the game hit the shelves.

As a Philadelphia Eagles fan I am hoping to see Peyton Hillis grace the cover and injured reserve in 2011. Cast your vote now and check out ESPN SportsNation on April 27 for the winner announcement. Ironically April 27 would mark the four year anniversary of the day Michael Vick first denied any involvement in the dog fighting operation that would later send him to prison.

Something tells me that the NFL will be pulling for Hillis. Vote now for the Madden 12 cover athlete at ESPN.com.

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Final Madden 11 Roster Update Details – Update #19

February 24, 2011 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports, Video Games

Aaron Rodgers Madden 11A new Madden 11 roster update is available and kudos for EA Sports for updating the Madden rosters for one last time. Players have been moved from I.R. back to team rosters and ratings adjustments were made for update #19. Congrats to Aaron Rodgers who now moves into the elite 99 club.

I have to give the developers of Madden 11 a ton of props this season. Madden 11 rosters were constantly updated throughout the season more regularly than ever before. While we can sit here and debate player ratings for the next year, just the fact that the developers would offer updates at times on a weekly basis reflecting the current NFL was a much needed improvement over past years where it would take months to get a roster update.

Madden roster update #19 has over 320 transactions, rating adjustments and depth chart moves. According to the EA Sports blog, “we have had nearly 5000+ total roster moves this year in over 20 weekly roster updates.” You really can’t ask for much more as a Madden gamer can you?

The newest Madden 11 roster update will be the last. Unfortunately there haven’t been any big moves yet in the NFL that would be reflected on Madden. The nice part of this update is that all of those NFL players on injured reserve are put back on the active roster. This way you don’t have to go through the roster and make the necessary adjustments the next time you play Madden 11 online.

NFL player ratings have also been updated to reflect improvement or decline in a player’s skill set throughout the season. As stated above, the big news in this update is the recognition of Aaron Rodgers and his great 2010-11 NFL season. Rodgers joins a very small and elite 99 club. The immediate recognition of Rodgers may also be a tipoff as to the Madden 12 cover player. Sorry Green Bay Packers fans but the Madden Curse may be coming to Lambeau Field.

On the flip side, the new roster update also reflects players who declined or had a subpar 2010-11 NFL season. Nnamdi Asomugha and James Harrison are bumped out of the elite 99 overall club. Other notable increases/decreases include;

• Michael Turner dropping a point to 92
• Anquan Boldin dropping to an 89
• DeAngelo Williams dropping to an 89
• Matt Forte increasing to 90
• T.O. and Ochocinco dropping to 86
• Miles Austin bumped to 90
• Tim Tebow bumped to 76
• Ndamukong Suh bumped to 90
• Greg Jennings increased to a 94
• Jacob Tamme bumped to 82
• Jamaal Charles increased to 94 (better than Michael Turner?),
• Brett Favre decreased to an 82
• Eli Manning decreased to an 88
• LaDaninian Tomlinson decreased to an 85
• Mark Sanchez bumped up to 82 (no respect huh Jets fans?)
• LeSean McCoy increased to 88, Frank Gore decreased to 93
• LeGarrette Blount bumped to 81
Donovan McNabb dropped yet again to an 82

To get the update, go to the online mode and try and start an online Madden game. The game will then offer you the chance to download new rosters. Download the rosters, save them, and you now have your update. Make sure you save them after they are downloaded, or you will have to do it all over again. All in all it is a pretty painless process and works the same for all consoles. Xbox 360 gamers will have to purchase a Gold Membership if you don’t already have one to get the update.

For details on the entire roster update and the latest Madden news, visit EA’s Madden Blog by clicking here. for some of the info.

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