Game On

Great news for guys who're addicted to the gym, or for those who've let their workouts fall by the wayside: whatever your motivation to keep hanging out on the couch, there's going to be tons of different titles to keep you stuck there this summer. I've been following the development of several EA sports titles, and let's just say you, sports gamer, will not be disappointed. Just make sure you keep up your training, and save the games for after your workouts. Or, at least, pretend, and so will I.

First of all, if you're not playing SFIV, what have you been playing?

Second of all, the wait for THQ"s UFC game (UFC 2009: Undisputed) drops on May 19th, and by all accounts, it's going to be spectacular. Not only does the game look beautiful, with fighters accumulating sweat and exhibiting damage through wounds on their faces and bodies, but the actual combat  is detailed, complex, and intuitive. The roster boasts over 80 fighters, and there's a full career mode that'll satisfy even the most hardcore fight fan.

If, for some reason, you're more likely to order a PPV boxing match than an MMA fight, Fight Night Round 4 has a completely retooled physics engine. In earlier incantations of the series, you could time a punch perfectly and knock your opponent's punches out of the air, a technique known as parrying. That's gone for the new game, which will showcase punches that land flush, but also ones that glance off your opponent and do minimal damage.

And, if you like fighting games but don't like the realism, Punch Out!!, the Wii's version of the series, now boasts two exclamation points and should be a lot of fun.

That's not to mention the new football games. I know that every year, some sub-set of hardcore gamers seem to have unforgivable problems with the Madden series, but there's some cool stuff going on with the developers over at EA. I know, they say that every year. And, I know, this is the standard, and they've never been able to reach it, and all that. Well, this year, EA's producers opened up the process early, and they've been offering weekly updates for months. And I think they've finally replicated Sunday football and packaged it for your consumption.

Last year's Madden was hyped as "the first sports game that adapts to you," which is fine, but factor in the addition of mulligans, and the changes made many hardcore gamers feel a bit sold out in favor of the casual crowd. Consider Madden 10 the hardcore's revenge. There are many changes worth mentioning. There's supposedly a network-based weekly highlight show in the new franchise mode. There's nine-player gang tackling, thanks to the PRO-TAK system which will have repercussions with steerable tackles and new, fully-formed pocket. All the player ratings have been re-calibrated, and there's now hand towels, Super Bowl patches, and all the detailed minutia we've all been anxiously awaiting.

Not that I'm excited or anything.

Oh, and NCAA 10 will have a massive, online-based create-a-team mode, which will let you create FCS schools (like Richmond or Delaware), or some forsaken, third-tier program like, I don't know, Ithaca College.

And, hopefully today, I'll get a chance to check out the rebooted Marvel vs Capcom 2, which seems to be a retro-fitted slice of glory.

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