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Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Updated: June 6, 10:16 AM ET
BLAME GAME


*Well, not too killer. Some gamemakers declined to field our pros' complaints, citing the protection of trade secrets.

DANNY GRANGER PACERSFORWARD NBA 2K8 OVERALL RATING: 79 "NBA Live 08 did me dirty. It's frustrating when I play Live and my character can't shoot threes. I go to the hoop, and my guy won't dunk. I get all fired up, yelling at the TV screen. I'm better in NBA 2K8 because at least I can shoot. But even in that game, I look terrible. Dude's not even handsome. And my hair … my line is all messed up. I don't want people to think that's how I look for real."

Erick Boenisch, NBA 2K producer: "Danny, the main ingredients we use to make your head are high-res photos provided by the NBA."

Maybe you should take it up with their photographers.


JUSTIN TUCK GIANTSDEFENSIVE END MADDEN 08 OVERALL RATING: 70 "My speed is only a 75 in Madden 08. That sucks. I once ran down LaDainian Tomlinson. That should give me at least an 84 acceleration and a 92 speed. Hopefully, I'll get bumped up after the Super Bowl. D-linemen should be more of a focal point, anyway. Right now, my guy just runs forward to sack the QB. How I shed blocks can be a lot more realistic."

We'd have to agree, Justin. And if EA designers were allowed to comment, they'd probably say your 10 sacks in 2007 cries out for an upgrade.


AL HORFORD HAWKSFORWARD NBA LIVE 08 OVERALL RATING: 73 "The more I play NBA Live 08, the more I realize my character can't shoot. I'm so bad, even my brother doesn't want to play as me. All he wants to do is play as Kobe! I'm not good enough to be cash in the game, so it's motivated me to work on my shooting in real life. When people turn on the game, I want them to be like, 'I've gotta be Al Horford!' The other thing that bugs me is that it never looks like me. They make me look way too skinny. And the face! I'm not going to say it's ugly, but it doesn't look like me."

Al, don't worry, you're a good- lookin' man. But going 0-for-5 from beyond the three-point line isn't going to raise your shooting rating. Good thing EA's staying mum on the subject.


FRED LEWIS GIANTSOUTFIELDER MLB 2K8 OVERALL RATING: D+ "I get phone calls all the time telling me how slow I am in MLB 2K8. 'That can't be you,' they'll say. And I'm like, 'That's not me.' I want to improve in real life so I get more respect in the video game. I want people to tell me I scored the winning run, not that I got thrown out trying to steal."

Mike Rhinehart, MLB 2K marketing manager: "A lot goes into your speed rating: scouting reports, stolen bases, age. As a Giants fan, I'll make sure we take a hard look at your speed rating for 2K9."

Bingo!


RICK NASH BLUE JACKETSWING NHL 2K8 OVERALL RATING: 89 "My character needs to toughen up. He never gets into fights. Even when I try, my guy just refuses to mix it up. Some of the other guys on the team even noticed. But my biggest gripe has to be my speed. I always figured myself a little faster. Hopefully, it's something we can work out now that I'm on the cover of NHL 2K9. By the way, I'm much better looking in the video game. Maybe that's because I'm never getting beat up."

Ben Bishop, NHL 2K producer: "You need to play tougher. The best way to get into fights is to be more physical: Throw more body checks, use hooks and slashes. Be willing to risk the penalty."

C'mon, Rick, stop playing soft.

UPGRADE ME!
With EA's designers putting the finishing touches on Madden 09 (Aug. 12), four rookies explain why their pro doppelganger should top their amateur one.
DARREN MCFADDEN
Raiders • RB
"They gave me this strange, square head in NCAA Football 08. I don't look like that for real. I hope they change that for this year's Madden. Also, the only thing worse than my square head in NCAA was when a defender caught me from behind. In real life, nobody makes that tackle."
OWEN SCHMITT
Seahawks • FB
"I fumbled all the time in the NCAA game. I'd break a few tackles, and then the ball would come out. That never happens in real life. So I don't care about my Madden ratings as long as my character hangs on to the ball. Oh, and get my Mohawk right. I'm growing it out this season."
CHRIS LONG
Rams • DE
"My NCAA character was always slow, yet I was one of the fastest linemen at the NFL combine. What does that tell you? Plus, they gave me a huge gut in NCAA. Slow guy with a gut, that's not me. C'mon, Madden guys, help me out here."
MATT RYAN
Falcons • QB
"I threw so many interceptions in the NCAA game, my best friends wouldn't play as me. I did like my physical appearance, though. My virtual self was way more jacked than I'll ever be. I hope the Madden guys remember those muscles. And cut down on the picks, please."