Crom Vs. EA Games: The Battle for Fun

by Crom

Four score and blern years ago, SpeedRacer and I were sitting in our then living room playing the 2004 release of FIFA. I?d never really bothered with Soccer games, they always seemed to be poor renditions of shitty football games turn 90 degrees counter-clockwise (or perhaps clockwise? You?ll never know). However the aught-four version of FIFA was actually an impressive display in Game play and control. That is until it started doing things that made both I and any other human being who played it start to wonder if we?d been mickey?d with acid before we started playing. A surprising number of visual bugs popped up during any one game (I never saw these, I swear my eyesight is total shit) and often times it would actually crash the whole system, and lose saved information. It became so bad that at the beginning of any EA sports game, where they blurted out their usual refrain ?It?s in the Game?, we took up the habit of loudly voicing over this with ?Who?s to Blame!??. A habit that remains to this day.

Recently the Sport game auguries released the newest and truest NHL releases out to the tender world. Now as a group, the people who live in my shack on the south side of town loved the aught-four version of 2k5?s release, which was at one point know as ESPN games. Not only do they release the games super cheap, but the year previous they had finally managed to produce a title that played better, was more intuitive, and functioned better then EA?s bilge of same intent. This year, with the new image as ?2k5 Studios? they?ve released the next NHL game, along side the same bent version of the NHL by EA. So, with nothing better to do with our loves, and with our bent desire to lay savage trips on ourselves in an effort to better the gaming universe for all of mankind, we played them both.


Who?s to Blame?

2k5 will ultimately destroy EA?s sports games if they can get people to pull their heads out from their asses and purchase their golden game. It?s more then just handling and graphics. It?s more then just side games, big names, and goofy shit that you can unlock. Great gaming is a vibe; a feeling that comes when you?ve been playing for 2 hours, and you realize that you can play for another 6 without stopping. It?s the feeling of truly Gaming. 2k5 has it; EA couldn?t find it, if they tagged it with uranium and gave them a Geiger counter. In the 2k5 version you feel like you?re playing the original NHL for the Sega Genesis, except it?s been perfectly evolved to present day expectations. You can hit people through the walls and lay them out brutally on the ice. The game play is so fluid and speedy that you can set up lightning plays with your team mates, dropping in points like napalm, and leaving the competition face down on the ice, wondering about selling real estate for a living. One of the most hilarious features of the 2k5 NHL was in creating our own team. They had a list of names that their announcer could actually say in game, so using our vast intellects, and 3rd grade humour machine, the team full of celebrities popped out. Nothing made us laugh harder then hearing the announcer say ?Goal scored by?.Charlie Murphy!?

EA?s offering was mediocre at best. The very first thing to exit my lips upon play starting was ?Doesn?t this angle look weird? It looks fucking WEIRD? and I think I said it almost 5 more times in the one period we played. Sluggish game play, poor mechanics, and physics that made no sense. I skate across the full length of the ice and elbow a guy in the head, and he shakes it off. What? It surprised me how poorly the controls worked, because if anyone had the juice to make something that was super powerful awesome, it would be the mega machine of EA. It got me to thinking though, do they really ever come up with anything new, or do they have a dedicated team of monkeys, that marginally updates graphics and content, and then release based on the power of their brand name? They?ve locked down exclusive rights to the NFL franchise, and it terrifies me to think what will happen if they manage to pull that same kind of Rockefeller bullshit on the NHL license. If you haven?t played the last Madden then you haven?t been exposed to the heavy trip of John Madden?s voice saying the same shit over and over until you wish a fate less cruel then this verbal Sisyphean water torture.

Someone needs to just bust down the door to Louis Castle?s office and unleash a torrent of madness and loathing upon him. Just jabber at the man about filth in the body politic and the eventual slide of the honest man into depravity and bacchanalia until he starts crying, and when he demands to know the reason you showed up and broke his spirit, produce a copy of Madden and jam the box into his mouth while shrieking ?all you need for a touchdown is to get the ball in the endzone, you fucker!?. He?ll know immediately what has transpired, and if all goes according to plan, realize that the best course of action they could take would be to excise Madden?s name from any and all future titles. I have serious doubts that this will ever happen, and even if some throwback Minute Men, loaded down with heinous chemicals, all manner of guns and serious mounds of dynamite took over their office and demanded their freedom from shiftiness, we?ll be burdened with the inanities of one of football?s greatest hero?s. If this had all taken place back in the heady days of Lombardi, I?m certain a similar outcome would have taken place, except all he ever would have uttered into that microphone was ?Discipline!?, and it would echo out from the speakers of your entertainment unit any time you failed to stop the pigskin from crossing the first down line. I pray that one day the people who lust after sports games will finally and at last throw down the shackles of EA oppression and realize that bigger and better is achieved by quality and not by the power of a corrupt and merciless Brand name.

  • Crom Vs. EA Games: The Battle for Fun
  • by Crom
  • Published on October 1st, 2005

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