Hodgson rings changes for England’s last game   no comments

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Centre-back Gary Cahill and striker Daniel Sturridge will be the only survivors from Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Uruguay in Sao Paulo, which sealed England’s elimination in the FIFA Ultimate Team Coins group phase.

“Well, Ben Foster will play in goal,” Hodgson told a pre-match press conference at the Estadio Mineirao.

“The right-back will be Phil Jones. Gary Cahill will play centre-half alongside Chris Smalling, and Luke Shaw will play left-back.

“In midfield we will have (James) Milner, (Frank) Lampard, (Jack) Wilshere, (Ross) Barkley and (Adam) Lallana, and Sturridge will play up front.”

Southampton left-back Shaw, 18, and 20-year-old Everton midfielder Barkley will be making their first competitive starts for England.

While Hodgson is eager to give as many members of his squad a taste of World Cup football as possible, he also wants to see his side sign off with a victory.

“With a very different team and a lot of players who haven’t played in the tournament so far, I wanted everyone to go home from this tournament — or at least as many as possible — having taken part and played in a game, not just training,” he said.

“We’re very conscious of the fact that our fans are as disappointed and devastated as we are, but they are still here supporting us.

“We came into the hotel and received a lot of sympathy, kind words from them, and we really want to make certain tomorrow (Tuesday) night that they see something that they can take some encouragement from.

“And most importantly of all, it’s a top-class international on the biggest stage of all, the World Cup, so anything else than taking the game very seriously and trying to win the game in its own right would be out of the question.”

Hodgson had already announced that 36-year-old Lampard would captain the side, on what is expected to be his final England appearance, with regular skipper Steven Gerrard starting on the bench.

Lampard is expected to announce his international retirement after the tournament, but Hodgson still hopes to be able to call upon the former Chelsea midfielder in future.

“With regard to Frank Lampard, he’s 36,” Hodgson added. “We don’t know as yet what his next destination is. I would be more than happy if Frank remains available for selection because you never know when you need players.

“A quality player like him, I am sure he could serve the country well even in the future, but I haven’t had that conversation with him as such as yet.”

While there is nothing riding on the match for England, Costa Rica require a point from the game to secure top spot in Group D.

England FIFA 14 Ultimate Team Coins team to play Costa Rica: Ben Foster; Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw; Frank Lampard (capt), Jack Wilshere; James Milner, Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana; Daniel Sturridge

Written by adminer on June 23rd, 2014

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Free FIFA 15 trial due today for EA Access subscribers   no comments

Full FIFA 15 Coins game to be made available for a limited amount of time before release.

Xbox One users signed up with EA Access will soon be able to get a go on the full version of FIFA 15 when a free trial joins the service later today.

A tweet from EA posted on Wednesday evening confirmed the news:

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While it’s not yet known how long you’ll be able to trial FIFA 15 for, past trials for Madden NFL 15 and NHL 15 both lasted for 6 hours.

If you try out FIFA 15 via EA Access you’ll be given the option to pre-order the game at a 10% discount.

Launched in July this year EA Access is an exclusive service on Xbox One that as well as giving players free advanced trials and discounts for upcoming games, offers unlimited access to games held in the Access Vault. Games to be added to the Vault so far include FIFA 14, Battlefield 4 and Need for Speed Rivals.

All this is available as long as you’re a paid up subscriber to the service. Subscriptions cost £3.99 / $4.99 for a month or £19.99 / $29.99 for a full year.

According to EA, Access members clocked-up a total of 245,000 hours on Madden NFL 15 prior to the game’s release last month.

Written by adminer on September 18th, 2014

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EA Removing Trade Offers In FUT 15   no comments

It is known that player trading in FIFA 15 Ultimate Team is unavailable. EA announced that while players legitimately trade cards among each other, the process “became one of the methods used by coin sellers to sell and move coins.”

Trade offers were a way for users to exchange items with one another directly rather than relying on the game’s auction mechanism. In theory this allowed for barter deals, but in practice most people used trade offers to share items with friends-stuff like coins and players that would otherwise take the second player a long time to obtain.

However, EA’s decision to remove trade offers has more to do with a third category of user. “Account phishers also abused Trade Offers by moving stolen players and coins after wrongfully gaining access to unsuspecting FUT player accounts. This will also address “bid bumping”, where people would try and trick others into bidding far more than they wanted for a player item.” the developer said.

It is part of concerted campaign to cripple the coin-selling black market that has grown to great prominence in recent installments of the game and which is closely linked to account hacking. Starting this year, coin sellers will have their accounts banned and buyers will be subject to a “three strikes” system, with punishments ranging from a warning to full account ban for persistent offenders. The collateral damage to honest trading caused by removing trade offers in service to this campaign was obviously seen as a necessary evil.

In related news, EA also announced that the maximum number of transfer targets in FUT 15 after unlockable EA SPORTS Football Club boosts are applied would be 50, meaning you can only ever bid on that many items at once.

EA has working hard to perfect the FIFA 15 not only adding new features to the game, but also create a favorable game-play and trading environment. We are happy to see these changes, though it does cause some inconvenience. But a fair and faithful trading is important.

Written by adminer on September 17th, 2014

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FIFA 15 removing trade offers from Ultimate Team mode   no comments

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Electronic Arts announced that it has disabled a key feature in FIFA 15′s Ultimate Team mode in an attempt to crack down on the harmful trade of in-game currency.

In recent FIFA series games, players could exchange in-game items, coins, and players with friends using the Trade Offers feature. Finding that coin sellers often used the service to shuttle ill-gotten currency between accounts, EA removed the feature from this year’s game. The coin-selling market is tied to account hacking and phishing, and functions in previous FIFA games could be exploited to cheat players out of cash by artificially inflating auction bids.

EA’s Ultimate Team revisions supplement recent changes to its cheating policy, which gives coin buyers three strikes before they’re permanently booted from FIFA online play. Sellers are dealt harsher penalties, and risk being banned from all EA-published games for coin selling and farming.

Written by adminer on September 16th, 2014

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I Am Zlatan Underrated   no comments

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EA Sports will have worked out by now that they will never EVER be able to please every single one of their audience when it comes to player ratings.

One man’s hero, is another man’s waste of space – just ask Arsenal new boy Danny Welbeck!

Despite ratings boiling down to an opinions thing – ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer – it feels harsh, unjust…actually, just plain wrong that Paris Saint-Germain superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic only has the capabilities of four-star skill moves.

During 2014/15 alone, we’ve seen the former Juventus striker score with what can only be described as a karate style backwards flick in training, fire 18-yard plus volleys into the back of the net and finish off a brilliant Swedish team move with goal finished off with a Cruyff turn.

And that’s just the ones captured on camera and not including his wonderful flicks, tricks and goals pre-2014.

EA Sports better hope the confident I Am Zlatan doesn’t find out about his incredibly harsh drop in skill moves.

Written by adminer on September 15th, 2014

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EA Sports Announces the 20 Fastest Footballers in FIFA 15   no comments

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Following the announcement of the 50 best player ratings in FIFA 15 last week, EA Sports has unveiled the 20 fastest footballers in this year’s instalment.

23-year-old Mathis Bolly, who plays for German side Fortuna Düsseldorf, is the fastest footballer in FIFA 15 with 97 pace, with Arsenal’s winger Theo Walcott (96 pace) coming in at second and Parma’s winger Jonathan Biabiany (also 96 pace) taking his place at number three.

The rest of the list contains players from a whole range of leagues, teams, footballing positions and different nationalities, including Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale (94 pace) and Cristiano Ronaldo (93 pace), Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (95 pace), Al-Ittihad’s Fahad Al-Muwallad (94 pace), Seattle Sounders’ DeAndre Yedlin (93 pace) and Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling (93 pace).

You can find the full list containing each footballers’ pace and their overall stats on the EA Sports website.

Two weeks ago, EA Sports released a trailer for FIFA 15 showcasing the improvements specifically made to AI goalkeepers, which featured Everton’s Tim Howard — one of the many footballers working closely with EA on motion capturing in the title — discussing how the sport has evolved and why it was necessary for EA to replicate this in order to deliver an authentic footballing experience.

With enhanced visuals and brand-new mechanics integrated in EA’s upcoming football instalment, FIFA 15 will launch on September 23rd in North America, September 25th in Europe and September 26th in the UK for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii and PC.

Written by adminer on September 14th, 2014

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‘FIFA 15′ Demo to be Available ‘Later Today’ in North America   no comments

After the release of the “FIFA 15″ demo on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC Tuesday and the PS3 Wednesday, EA Sports has announced the PlayStation 4 version of the demo will be released “later today.”

In Europe, however, the PS4 demo is having a few problems and EA is doing its best to address them.

“Our team is aware of an issue affecting some players on the PS4 and is investigating now,” the game developer wrote on its Twitter page.

To play demo on Microsoft’s Xbox consoles, a gamer should be or become an Xbox Live Gold member. Individuals that have Silver memberships will also be given access to the content on Sept. 16.

“The launch of the FIFA 15 Demo is like our pre-season and the first chance for millions of FIFA fans to get hands-on with the game,” said Nick Channon, senior producer at EA Sports.

“The demo is an early representation and taste of this year’s game, and we welcome the chance to get fan feedback on our innovations and new features.”

EA is attempting to create the most realistic football game in FIFA 15, which has a lot of new features for gamers.

In the game, streaks on the grass are visible where players have slid. Wear and tear in the grass can be seen as the match goes on.

Hitting the crossbar and goalposts visibly shake the goal. Corner flags will also react to the ball, bending if hit.

The virtual athletes’ faces now look true-to-life. The new character models match the real world football players’ physiques. New features also include cloth physics, visible breathing and hair movement.

Players on the pitch will also have memories and emotions based on what is happening in the match. With 600 reactions, members of a team can respond to bad tackles, missed shots and great goals.

The virtual athletes have a feeling or attitude towards teammates and their opponents.

Ball physics are true-to-life, according to EA Sports. While tackling, dribbling, passing, blocking a shot or touching, the ball correctly reacts and spins accordingly.

The gamer can see the accurate spin, curl and flight of the ball after each contact.

FIFA 14 Coins IOS is set to launch on Sept. 25 for the PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U and PC.

Written by adminer on September 11th, 2014

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FIFA 15 Player Rating Debate   no comments

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EA SPORTS has revealed all the Top 50 players in FIFA 15 before it launches. And now the demo is out. But the player ratings has caused a hot debate. Some gamers think it couldn’t be like that. Someone need an upgrade and other need a downgrade.

While for the top two, there is no doubt that they deserve it. With the Barcelona magician appearing on the cover of the latest title, it was perhaps an unsurprising call. Arjen Robben, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Manuel Neuer complete a top five that’s difficult to take issue with.

However, a little further down there are a number of ratings that have raised eyebrows. Chelsea winger Eden Hazard completes the top ten which places him ahead of Gareth Bale, Real Madrid’s world’s most expensive player, who is 14th. It is also makes the Belgium international the best player in the Premier League according to the developers.

Meanwhile, whilst Wayne Rooney is considered the third best striker at Manchester United behind Robin van Persie and recent arrival Radamel Falcao, the Manchester United captain is considered better than the lethal Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero with the duo 23rd and 14th respectively.

Elsewhere, in the midfield department the aging Xavi is one place ahead of Manchester City linchpin Yaya Toure. Though perhaps most surprisingly among the rankings is that Mesut Ozil, the World Cup winner who’s failed thus far to justify his huge price tag since moving to Arsenal, is higher than Barcelona and Brazil striker Neymar.

However, no matter how we complain, the rankings are fixed. FIFA 15 itself is still the greatest attraction. We are going to order the full of the game. Surprisingly, it is not long before the game and the demo is out for you to play.

Written by adminer on September 10th, 2014

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Breaking Down Biggest Surprises from Top 50 Rankings   no comments

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For FIFA fans, nothing is more fun than playing the game. But one thing might come close: arguing about the player rankings.

Like in any sports video game, comparing your own opinions of athletes with the makers of the game is a time-honored tradition. Sure, you may overrate players on your team and underrate others, but other than that, you’ve got a pretty good grasp on this whole thing.

Well, let’s put this year’s rankings to the test. Let’s see how this year’s top-50 rankings look, who might be a bit overrated and who perhaps deserves to be higher on the list. I promise it will be almost as much fun as actually playing the game!

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We’re going to break up surprises into the following categories: players who might be ranked a bit too high and players who perhaps deserved consideration for the top 50.

Obviously, we should mention before we begin that such rankings are incredibly subjective, and any critiques offered are due to my perceptions of players. It can be a bit tricky to come up with rankings for players in a sport like soccer, where so much is dependent on role, a club’s particular philosophy, etc.

My reactions are simply how I would have developed the rankings, not some universal code for judging the value of players. OK, let’s get to it.

And after his epic World Cup, Arjen Robben isn’t a huge surprise at No. 3. Personally, I might have had Luis Suarez at No. 3, but that’s the most minor of gripes.

The first player who is perhaps a bit high on the list is Bastian Schweinsteiger. For both Bayern Munich and Germany, Schweinsteiger is an important player, but he’s hardly the main man he once was. At this year’s World Cup, for instance, Toni Kroos seemed a far more important player for Germany than Schweinsteiger.

The next player who might be overrated Xavi, who has definitely seen his best days pass him by. He made just one appearance at the World Cup and played pretty poorly, earning a 6.04 average match rating from WhoScored.com. He’s being phased out of the Barcelona midfield, with Ivan Rakitic gunning to be the main engine in Barcelona’s midfield.

Xavi is one of the best and most consistent players we’ve seen in recent history. But he’s not that player anymore. The fact that he’s ranked above players such as Kroos, Arturo Vidal and even Sergio Busquets doesn’t reflect the impact those players have on the field.

Finally, Iker Casillas is overrated at 84 overall. Perhaps folks will accuse me of an anti-Spain bias, but I’m just going by what I’ve seen of late. He was horrid in the World Cup. He was displaced as the starter for Real Madrid a year ago. He was the best there was in his prime, but those days are far, far behind him.

As I went through and searched for who I might have expected to see on the top-50 list, five contenders came to mind: Alexis Sanchez, Koke, Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Aaron Ramsey.

Sanchez was phenomenal for both club and country last year and is absolutely one of the 50 best players in the world. Koke—like many of Atletico Madrid’s players—is dramatically underrated and a top-notch midfielder.

Gerrard was huge for Liverpool last year, undertaking a new role but still scoring 13 goals and adding 13 assists. Perhaps England’s poor showing at the World Cup hurt him. Perhaps it also hurt Sturridge, who scored 21 goals in 29 Premier League games.

Finally, there is Ramsey. Had he stayed healthy last year, he surely would have been on this list. All he did last year was score 10 goals and add seven assists in 23 league games for Arsenal while driving the play forward for the Gunners in his box-to-box midfielder role. With two goals in three EPL games thus far this year, Ramsey is picking up where he left off.

But Sanchez is the biggest snub, and Koke is a close second. Neither Xavi nor Casillas is better than those two at this point in their careers.

But hey, it’s all personal opinion. You surely have a few too, so be sure to leave your biggest snubs or most overrated players in the comments. What’s more fun than debating which players are better than others, after all?

Written by adminer on September 9th, 2014

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FIFA 15 PC Demo launches tomorrow   no comments

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Good news for anyone wanting to kick a ball about in the latest installment.

EA has announced that the FIFA 15 demo will be released on 9 September which they are touting as an Ignite Engine demo to see if your rig can handle it.

The FIFA 15 PC demo is a fantastic and free way to test out if your gaming rig has the right stuff. When the demo goes live, it doesn’t cost you a thing to check out the performance of the game on your gaming PC. What you experience in the FIFA 15 demo is just a sampling of the full FIFA 15 game, but it’s a perfect test of the Ignite Engine on your PC. Tweak the settings to get the most out of FIFA 15 on your gaming rig.

They are unclear about what exactly will be included but it will probably include a couple of teams to try and a time limit on games. That’s what’s usually included in the FIFA demos. Prior rumours have suggested the included teams will be Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Barcelona, Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain, Boca Juniors and Borussia Dortmund.

We’ll let you know as soon as the demo is actually live.

Update: Here are the previously released minimum PC specs for the demo, in case you’re curious about that.

OS: Windows V/7/8/8.1 -64-bit

CPU: Intel Q6600 Core2 Quad @ 2.4Ghz

RAM: 4GB

Hard Drive Space Required: 15.0 GB

Minimum Supported Video Cards: ATI Radeon HD 5770, NVIDIA GTX 650

DirectX: 11.0

Written by adminer on September 8th, 2014

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EA Discusses What Has Changed in FIFA 15   no comments

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FUT 15 Coins is due out later this year, and it comes at the tail end of EA’s journey to make FIFA the one stop sports brand. FIFA is massive, and it has accomplished this by being not just a quality game every single year, but also by delivering something new that compels people to upgrade annually. It’s a staggering feat, and today, FIFA is a surefire success every year, right up there with Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield, and Pokemon.

Given that, what does EA actually think is the reason for this mammoth success?

“Ultimately, we want to make a game that people enjoy playing,” producer Nick Channon told VG247. “It seems obvious but it’s true. We aim to make the best game that we can every single year, and we’ll continue to do that.”

Alright, so what have they added to their game this year that makes it the best? How is FIFA 15 any different from FIFA 14? EA’s answer: one major change is the goalkeepers.

“We’ve completely rewritten them,” said Channon. “It took us two years. Keepers now have much more intelligence to make decisions on the fly. We now have the processing power to do it. We can branch animation, letting them dive in one way whereas previously they would just dive and deflect. There are really big changes to how the animations now play; it makes it much more fluid.”

FIFA 15 launches on literally every platform under the sun, sans the Wii U, later this year. Stay tuned.

Written by adminer on September 4th, 2014

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