Sunday, August 31, 2008

Madden Back Again This Year

What a treat... EA sports has once again pushed out yet another year of Madden. Okay so, not so much a treat. Either way it is here and in my collection. Last year, after taking about a 10 year break from the popular franchise, I got it. All in all, I think I enjoyed it save for a few frustrating things (fumbles.). So why did I go back out and get it this year like a crazy person? For a couple of reasons. 1. You could get the Head Coach game in the special edition bundle. 2. It looked fancy enough. Okay, so those reasons suck. I got it because it is football season and I bought into the hype.

Where am I with the game?
Through the Pre-Season with the Redskins.

How is it?
Still fun. Contrary to what I've read, the game seems fairly balanced using the new Madden IQ thingy. A lot of reviewers underestimate the potential of this feature. I also think it is impressive from a coding stand point. It is difficult to say how it will play out during my regular season, but we will see. I'm curious to find out what happens if I am playing a far superior team and get crushed. Will my IQ be reduced to nothing thus diminishing the CPU skills for the next team I play? I'm still wondering if the IQ thing is to replace traditional sliders. I don't think there are CPU sliders in the game, which is different, but could be because of the IQ. What has me scratching my head then is that I can adjust User sliders though. A few people out there are reeeeaaaally upset about the lack of CPU sliders, but between the IQ and User sliders you can get a challenging, accurate game going on. Besides wouldn't adjusting User sliders one way or another, in effect, be adjusting the CPUs? Well, not entirely, but like I've already said, I'm having fun with the game.

How are the stats then, realistic?
This is a very important thing for me. I'll toss a sports game out the window if I'm leading the league in every category, or finishing dead last in them all. I've played Madden games enough to know not to go with 15 min quarters. Right now I'm going with 12 min. I'm only through the pre-season, but so far stats seem solid. I'm a bit stuck in the mud with the running game, but in my last game against the Bills I put up about 150 yds rushing and 200 something in the air (with zero interceptions!!!)

How does it look?
Great. And some moments... unbelievable. Viewing a replay is really a treat. But I will say that still images of the game make it look better then it is. Stadiums look perfect, and finally the crowds are not distractingly bad in a sports game.

How does it play?
Good. But it damn well better. It still bothers me that players can get pushed as if on ice if contact with another player isn't just so. It is especially irritating after a play stops. Nit-picky, I know. But, ya know, football, my friends, is a contact sport, MAKE THE CONTACT WORK AND YOU HAVE A GREAT DAMN GAME. Jeeze.

Bells and Whistles?
Lots. Pretty interface again. I'm a franchise player. In it for the long hall.

How did the 'Skins do in the preseason?
Not bad. Move Cooley to FB Mr. Zorn and you will win.

Madden is still piling on little features like IQ every year, when, if they fixed a couple tiny things in the gameplay I, and the rest of the sports playing world, would be very happy.

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