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FIFA 13 Review

Posted by Blake Grundman on September 25th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: EA Sports
Price: $6.99
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar


It goes without saying that soccer is, by far, the most popular sport in the world. In accordance with their enjoyment of making money and producing yearly sports franchises, this week marks the release of EA Sports' FIFA 13. Marking the publisher's fourth outing on iOS (excluding FIFA World Cup, which was essentially a re-skinned FIFA 10) the game looks to bring several new innovations to the table that in many respects could make or break the game. Is this another glorious return to the pitch, or is could this year's release be a shot that ends up 'unlucky'?

Despite being one of the earliest sports franchises to adopt iOS as a valid platform, it has only been in the last season or so that it seemed that the FIFA brand could live up the stellar caliber of game experience provided by its console sibling. This year it seems like the development team has been completely unleashed in pursuit of the creating a perfect portable pitch experience. Visual representations are crisp and detailed, portraying a frenetic action that lends credence to these efforts. I had to pinch myself into the realization that this was not a game being played on a big screen television.

In terms of control systems, if players have ever played an EA soccer game in the past, they will still feel right at home, even with the presence of everyone's favorite whipping boy: the onscreen d-pad. As is also the case with FIFA 13's console counterpart, there is a slight delay in button input that takes some getting used to. This brief period of hesitance should not be misconstrued as a performance issue, however, because in reality it determines the strength of the shot, pass or assorted actions based upon how long the button is pressed. Additionally, a series of gestural controls have also been worked into the game in the form of a "skill move" button. Pressing the button presents a grid on screen that can be used to make players perform complex ball-handling moves and trick plays.

Along with the traditional exhibition fare, there are tournament modes that recreate the championships of 30 of the world's most popular leagues, a fully featured manager mode and even Origin-supported online multiplayer. Any player looking to take their FIFA fix on the road would be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive and extensively gratifying experience.

At the risk of sounding cliché, it's not hard to argue that FIFA 13 is a pitch perfect adaption of the world's sport. While that might be a bit extreme, the brand's dedication to tweaking game mechanics until they are perfect, seems to be shining through loud and clear. Hardcore footie fans should look no further. Just imagine getting all of the action, with none of the riots afterwards. What more could a fan ask for?


FIFA 13 is Going to Make a Lot of Soccer Fans Very Happy

Posted by Rob Rich on July 2nd, 2012

I’m not what anyone would consider a soccer fan, but that doesn’t keep me from appreciating all of the cool stuff players can expect to find in EA’s upcoming FIFA 13. This is, of course, in addition to the expected bullet-points such as improved graphics and such.

FIFA 13 is indeed a great looking game. Player animations are incredibly smooth and their likenesses are captured eerily well considering this is an iOS game. Although they do have that creepy blank look that so many real world based character models tend to have. A bunch of smaller details will no doubt cause salivary glands to work overtime as well, including balls sporting the proper logos and all the tiny graphics typically found on a player’s jersey. And all of these fine details can be enjoyed up close and personal thanks to the game’s instant replay feature.

It doesn’t stop with tie visuals though. For the first time ever EA Sports Football Club will make its way into an iOS title. Even better, preexisting accounts will be carried over, so nobody will have to start from scratch on their iOS device. Of course my personal favorite addition is the way special skill shots and moves can be controlled via a second virtual stick on the right-hand side of the screen. Simply tap and drag in a given pattern or direction and the controlled player will start with the fancy footwork.

No information is available yet on pricing, but football (football, football) enthusiasts can expect to find FIFA 13 in the App Store sometime this fall.

FIFA 12 Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Carter Dotson on September 29th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: OFF THE WOODWORK
FIFA 12 is the latest installment in EA Sports' long-time soccer franchise.
Read The Full Review »

The Portable Podcast, Episode 82

Posted by Carter Dotson on April 26th, 2011

So much fun, it'll tickle you.

On This Episode:

  • Carter speaks to 2 of the producers of NBA Jam for iOS, discussing the recent iPad release and the multiplayer update.
  • Carter talks to NoodleCake Games about the recent update for Super Stickman Golf that brings 6 new courses and Game Center multiplayer to the game.

  • Who We Are:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guest: Ryan Winterholler, Josh Valensi, EA Mobile
  • Guest: Ty Bader, Jordan Schidlowsky, NoodleCake Games

  • Contact The Show: Email | Twitter


  • "Beatnes7 (Theme to The Portable Podcast)" by The Eternal - Download on iTunes here:

  • "Nanocarp" by The Eternal

  • How to Listen:

  • Click Here to Subscribe in iTunes:
  • Click Here to Subscribe via RSS.

  • Listen on WRGT Radio every Friday at 4pm Central
  • Listen Here: [powerpress]
  • Apps Mentioned in this Episode:

    NBA Jam for iPad Review

    iPad App - Designed for iPad
    By Carter Dotson on April 21st, 2011
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ON FIRE
    NBA Jam comes to the iPad in a native version, with all the high-flying jams and over-the-top announcing intact.
    Read The Full Review »

    NBA Jam Review

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Blake Grundman on February 15th, 2011
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: A SLAM DUNK
    This is a pitch perfect return to form for the game that originally defined the arcade sports genre.
    Read The Full Review »

    EA Brings the “Boomshakalaka” Back to iPhone in NBA Jam

    Posted by Blake Grundman on February 9th, 2011

    With EA's NBA Elite brand somewhat on the rocks as of late, someone needed to make sure that the company was still "In the game," so to speak, at least when it came to basketball franchises.  But when your marketable properties have all dried up, where can you go?  How about taking a trip back to a well that will be forever full: nostalgia.

    When you think of nostalgic NBA experiences it is hard not to reflect back on the Midway created classic that started the arcade sports craze, NBA Jam.  I used to sink quarter after quarter into this flame inducing, crowd frenzying, presidential dunking, circus of hardwood shenanigans.  So you could imagine my excitement when I learned of EA's acquisition of the brand and their plans of reboot.  However, this was an experience that I fully expected to only be available to my kindred spirits on the console.  Apparently I was VERY wrong.

    According to a trailer that slyly snuck out the other day from the bowels of EA Sports, it looks as if the reboot is iOS bound.  Check out the first glimpse of in-game footage below!

    I don't know if I can accurately portray my excitement in words.  Just the chance to be able to throw down a three sixty tomahawk slam from half court using the leader of the free world, not to mention any number of current NBA All-Stars and league legends, seemed both unfathomable and incredamazeballs, all at the same time.  See? I was so excited I had to make up my own word to describe it!

    My initial OMGWTFBBQ eventually melted away, as reality set in, and I began to wonder what kind of features were going to be available in this release.  Here is what we know so far:

    2 modes of play, lets you ball the way you want, including a JAM CAMP Tutorial:

    • Play Now – Select a team and jump right into the game

    • Classic Campaign –  Defeat all other teams to win the championship, and unlock legends, hidden players and cheats

    There is just something about the phrase "hidden players" that gets me all frothy at the mouth in anticipation.  Even the ever popular voice of the franchise, Tim Kitzrow, is back in the booth, providing the game with all of the extra "He's on fire"s, “boomshakalaka”s, and "kaboom"s necessary to send your mind wandering back to your youth.

    While no release date has been announced yet, just know that with my level of excitement for the game, it will be getting posted on our Twitter feed and Facebook page as soon as I have any information whatsoever. You can look forward to a review here soon, as well.  In the meantime, check out the awesome images of the high-flying excitement that will be coming your way soon!


    NBA Elite 11 Review

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Blake Grundman on November 15th, 2010
    Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: MERELY SUFFICIENT
    NBA Elite 11 is the last surviving version of a game that was shuttered on all other gaming consoles except iOS.
    Read The Full Review »

    EA Sports MMA Review

    Posted by Blake Grundman on October 26th, 2010
    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

    Developer: Electronic Arts

    Price: $4.99
    Version: 1.1.16
    App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

    Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
    Game Controls Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
    Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
    Replay Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

    The sport of mixed martial arts has exploded in the last five years. What was once a slightly more underground and under-exposed activity has now transformed into the multi-billion dollar industry that we see today. While replacing professional wrestling as the typical American household’s carnage of choice, MMA has been striving to receive even more mainstream exposure. Following in the footsteps of THQ’s UFC franchise, Electronic Arts have tried to recreate the visceral violence and brutality of the octagon with their own title, the very originally named MMA. Can the game live up to the pedigree of its star studded lineup, or are we looking at a drastically unprepared contender?

    Right out of the gate it is impossible to ignore the downright stunning visuals. This is not your typical mobile offering and reflects a concerted effort to set a tremendously high bar for both appearance and animations. We are talking about PSP levels of polish here, the likes of which have been rarely approached on the iPhone. The character models appear lifelike, actions look fluid and the combat imparts the feeling of impact and intensity. Though there are several moments that distract from the immersion, such as the occasional clipping through the opposition during matches, everything seems genuine and authentic otherwise.

    Unfortunately, the same attention to authenticity and quality cannot be said for the control scheme. The most glaring example of this is using the tilt controls to move your character left and right across the screen. Not only does this make for painfully awkward gameplay, but it also feels sluggish and unresponsive. Onscreen cues for punching, grappling and even kicking seem somewhat more fluid, but still seem to miss the mark and don't necessarily mimic what would be considered to be the real action happening in the ring. EA stuck their neck out on this one, taking a definite risk with the control scheme, it just didn't pay off this time out. Here is to hoping that they get a chance to try it again next season.

    Speaking of the season, the career mode is where the meat of the MMA product resides. Here players will be able to design their own character, train them through a variety of different mini-games, and throw down with some of the biggest names in the sport. With genuine stars like Fedor Emelianenko, Jake Shields, and Alistair Overeem attached, this once again plays into the authenticity of what should have been a lackluster, unlicensed game. There is even in-match commentary, as is the case with every other sports game ever produced; it is a nice extra touch but grows repetitive far too quickly.

    This should have been EA's chance to plant a firm foothold in the landscape of portable mixed martial arts games, but sadly MMA feels like more of a misstep. While passable, this far under-delivers on the promise that a typical EA Sports title normally brings to the table. Maybe it is time for them to throw in the towel on this season and start fresh next year.

    Madden NFL 11 for iPad In-Depth Review

    iPad App - Designed for iPad
    By Carter Dotson on August 10th, 2010
    Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: JUST A FIELD GOAL
    Madden NFL 2011 plays a decent game of football, but fans looking for a true Madden experience are likely to be disappointed
    Read The Full Review »

    Skate It In-Depth Review

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Jason Fanguy on June 8th, 2010
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: Skate Or Die
    In a genre where reality has been replaced with the absurd, Electronic Art Inc.'s Skate It forges a path back to reality, focusing on core gameplay, which, ironically, is exactly what any skater would do. The franchise's effort to return skating to it's r
    Read The Full Review »

    4Q Interview: Skate It Producer Steve Robert

    Posted by Jason Fanguy on May 13th, 2010
    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: Skate Or Die :: Read Review »

    Steve Robert, producer of Electronic Art's Skate It, released May 10, 2010, is a former pro-skater who helmed the development and creation of the game's port to the iPhone. I sat down for a phone interview with Steve and spoke at length about the game and its subsequent port from the Nintendo DS to the iPhone. Steve provided us with much insight on the game's development and how it came to fruition on the iPhone.

    Jason (148apps) - First of all, thanks for putting time aside from your busy schedule to talk with me. I'm stoked to be speaking with you. For people who aren't familiar with you, what's your background and how did you get involved in skating?

    Steve Robert (EA) - Well, I grew up in Huntington Beach, CA, which is a coastal town in Southern, CA and, probably as early as 6th grade I got immersed in the culture of skateboarding. It was a very popular hobby in my neighborhood and I had a bunch of good friends who were all into skateboarding. We kept pushing each other to learn and get better and then it sort of evolved as some of my friends, like Jason Lee, who's a good friend of mine, went on to become a famous actor, was the first of us to go on and get sponsored and turn pro. I skated with him all the time and he got me sponsored by the same company he was. From then on, I started entering amateur contests and then we shot a video in 1989 called Rubbish Heap and everything just unfolded from there. I was attracted to the culture and it was fun learning tricks and being competitive with my friends and progressing in the sport.

    Jason (148apps) - It's easy to hit a plateau if you don't have people around you who you can learn from.

    Steve Robert (EA) - Yeah, absolutely. I think being surrounded by people like Jason Lee, Ed Templeton, Mark Gonzalez and the older, big pros, they all came from Huntington Beach and we would all gather at night at Huntington Beach High School or these schools you see in all the videos, while others were out partying, we would be spending our nights skating at the schools together and you just kind of get obsessed with it. It was everything I did until I graduated high school, it's all I really cared about. Skating was just kind of a sub-culture because it wasn't as mainstream back then, as it is now.

    Jason (148apps) - How did you come to get involved in developing Skate It?

    Steve Robert (EA) - Well, I've been working in video games since 1997. I slowly got out of skateboarding and went to college. When I graduated from college, I got my first job at Interplay in 1997. I found it interesting because the culture was very similar to skating in many ways. It's obviously less physically active, but the people were the same.

    Hit the jump for more with Skate It Producer Steve Robert.

    NBA Live by EA Sports

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Chris Hall on October 29th, 2009
    Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: UNINSPIRED
    NBA Live by EA Sports is everything that I thought it would be on my iPhone. Unfortunately, I had pretty low expectations.
    Read The Full Review »

    Tiger Woods PGA TOUR

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Chris Hall on May 1st, 2009
    Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: GOLF GOODNESS
    Tiger Woods PGA TOUR is an excellent golf sim that would be amazing if not for a few flaws. The gameplay is quite fun and the sound is great, but the lack of WiFi multiplayer kills me in the deepest way possible. "No Tim, I don't want to play hot-seat mul
    Read The Full Review »