Archive for the ‘EA Tiburon’ Category

Critics vs. Customers! Madden NFL 13 – PS3 & Xbox 360 Reviews Averages

September 24, 2012
Review score averages shown were captured around 5:00PM EST, on 9-24-12.

Coffee Beans
Did you know the Madden NFL video game series has been around for almost 25 years now, with a “new” Madden game being released basically every year since the series started?

Madden NFL 13 was released almost one month ago now, on August 28, 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It released with a MSRP of $59.99 and received an ESRB rating of “Everyone” with no content listed for gamers or parents to be aware of. The game was developed by EA Tiburon, and published under Electronic Arts’ EA Sports label.

One big new feature in Madden NFL 13 is the new physics engine in the game, the Infinity Engine, which is designed to make tackles and hits more authentic, and it tries to make sure “no two plays ever look or feel the same” in the game.

We are now 3 weeks into the the official NFL season, and we have almost a full month of “professional” critic reviews and customer reviews for Madden NFL 13 to look at. Have PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 players of Madden NFL 13 agreed with critics on the game? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
The first “professional” critic review scores for Madden NFL 13 started being published around August 24th, a few days before the game released.

First up, the reviews for Madden NFL 13 on the PlayStation 3. The PS3 version has a “professional” critic review score average of 84 out of 100 based on 17 reviews on MetaCritic.com, and it has a critic review score average of 84.14% based on 18 reviews on GameRankings.com.

What about the customers though, what has their reaction been to the game since it released? Well, Madden NFL 13 on the PS3 has a customer review score average of 37.35%, based on 318 customer reviews from Amazon.com.

The Xbox 360 version of Madden NFL 13 has a “professional” critic review score average of 82 out of 100 based on 32 reviews on MetaCritic.com, and it has a critic review score average of 83.37% based on 31 reviews on GameRankings.com.

Madden NFL 13 on the Xbox 360 has a customer review score average of 45.60%, based on 375 customer reviews from Amazon.com.

Broken back? Or, broken reviews?

Caffeinated Thoughts
I think the “professional” critic review score averages versus the customer review score average for Madden NFL 13 clearly show there is a disconnect somewhere. We’re not talking about a simple 10% review score average difference, we have about a 36-46% review score average difference between the “professional” critics for Madden NFL 13 and the customers for Madden NFL 13.

One of the first reviews published on August 24th, by the largest video game site on the web (see – IGN), gave the game a 9.0 out of 10. To me, the review seemed to be a well crafted PR statement almost, based on features in the game, but glazing over real issues with the game (or, simply not mentioning them). The reviewer said of one feature, “This kept me coming back to the Connected Careers week after week.” I was curious as to how many weeks he had the review copy, so I asked and according to the reviewer he had it maybe 2-3 weeks before his review was published; which was a full 2-3 weeks before the game released and was available to the general gaming public.

Why does this matter? Early in his review he states, “At a glance, Madden NFL 13 might just look like Madden, but in your hands, it feels polished.“, which I found odd based on my time with the demo.

I played the PlayStation 3 demo for Madden NFL 13, and completed several games in it. The demo didn’t sell me on the game though, because I thought it lacked polish. Sure, I could understand some issues from a new series, but seeing holograms on the sidelines (people that are *there* but you can run through), bad camera angles on replays, cars that look like cardboard boxes driving outside the stadiums, and things like hearing the same comments from announcers within a game, just seemed to me that EA hasn’t been pushing the series very much.

Also, when I see a glitch like in the following video that was posted up in Chalgyr’s Game Room review of the game, the word “polished” doesn’t enter my thoughts:

How is it possible for the critic and customer review score averages to be so far apart, on the same game? Well, from what I read of the critic reviews it seems many didn’t experience real-world online play in the game, and perhaps were in an *EA bubble* before the game released protecting them from bad experiences with it?

Also, many of the early critic reviews, like IGN’s, failed to mention features taken out of the game, one being the lack of offline cooperative play in Franchise Mode, which apparently from many user reviews is still a big selling point for the game/series. Perhaps, the more time you spend with the game, the better it becomes and a solid 2-3 weeks is what the customers need to be spending with the game before reviewing it (this wouldn’t change the lack of features though)?

Questions
If you purchased Madden NFL 13 for the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360, what do you think about the game? If you were to give the game an overall review score average, would it fall closer to the “professional” critic review score averages above, or to the customer review score averages shown? Is Madden NFL 13 a game you would recommend to other gamers, that perhaps have played a few Madden games over the years, but haven’t purchased one in a while?

Also, if you haven’t purchased Madden NFL 13 yet, will the customer review score averages reflected above for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, make you think twice before reading a “professional” critic review score average and basing your decision to purchase a game on it?

If you are interested in Madden NFL 13, or just want to read through the Amazon.com customer review score averages (which I highly suggest), you can see the games on Amazon.com below:

Fore! Hours Spent Playing Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters

September 7, 2011
If you had a big enough cup, a golf hole flag could be used as a coffee stirrer!

Coffee Beans
     Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters (TW12) was released on March 29, 2011 for the Wii, with a MSRP of $49.99.  TW12 was the first game of the Tiger Woods golf games to feature and allow players to compete at the Augusta National Golf Club.
     The game was developed by EA Tiburon, and published by the EA Sports branch of Electronic Arts.  The game was also released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on March 29; and just today, September 6, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters released on the PC and Mac platforms.
     TW12 received an “Everyone” rating from the ESRB, and has no content descriptors listed for parents/gamers to be aware of.

     How many hours have Wii owners spent golfing in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters since the game released?  Let’s take a look!

If you want to enter the contest/giveaway for the 2 years’ worth of coffee,
you can find the details by clicking this message!

Approx. Number of Players Having Reported Data
     Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters has about 2,911 Wii owners that have reported game-play data through the Nintendo Channel, with 160 days possibly reported.

Average & Total Game-Play Hours
     TW12 has 52,188 Total Hours of game-play reported, with an average play-time of 17 Hours 56 Minutes “Per person” reporting data.
     The game’s average play-time is 2 Hours 3 Minutes per day/session reported.

Amazon.com Sales Information
     Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters has an Amazon.com sale rank of #523, and it is currently on sale for $36.16.
     (Sale rank and price recorded around 7:30PM on September 6, 2011.)

Review Score Averages
     TW12 has a “professional” review score average of 84.19%, based on 8 reviews on GameRankings.com.

     The game has a 4 out of 5 Stars rating on Amazon.com based on 41 customer reviews.
     Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12’s customer review score average is 80.00%, when the reviews are converted to a 100% review scale.
     (Review score averages recorded around 7:30PM on September 6, 2011.)

Filtered Thoughts
     While I enjoyed Wii Sports’ golf game, I have never purchased a golf video game outright.  I do own one of the Tiger Woods golf games, but it is one of the PlayStation 2 games that a friend gave me, and I have never even played it.
     If you have not seen any footage of Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters, the video below shows how EA was making The Masters a big part of the game, and they wanted to make sure potential buyers knew about it:

     Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters is the sixth Tiger Woods golf game to be released for the Wii.  Do the math, and that is more than one release per year for the series, since the Wii released.
     I think the reported average game-play hours “Per person” of nearly 18 hours is pretty good for the game, though I don’t know how long it would take to play through the career mode, if there is such a thing.  Also, with how EA has their own online multiplayer servers, I don’t think the hours reported for TW12 are exactly accurate, because the online multiplayer hours may not be reflected here.
     Seeing TW12 data debut in under 6 months is decent for the game, though not great compared to other Wii games.  I know the Tiger Woods series has seen a sharp drop in sales over the last few years, and I wonder if EA will continue yearly releases for it as they have with the Madden series, or if perhaps giving the Tiger Woods series a break would benefit it in the long run?  I guess we will find out in another 5-6 months.

Questions
     If any of you have played Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters, what do you think about the game?
     If you are a huge Tiger Woods game fan and have played multiple games from the series, what do you think of Tiger Wood PGA TOUR 12: The Masters compared to older games in the series?
     Is The Masters a game you would recommend to other gamers, and perhaps one you would recommend far above the older Tiger Woods game?

If any of you are interested in Tiger Wood PGA TOUR 12: The Masters, you can see links for the different versions on Amazon.com below:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003O6E6CA&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002I0K9I8&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003O6N2NY&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr