Gaming has never been my life, but it has always been a very important part of it. I can say that now as I reflect as a young father. My father and I would play Madden for hours as I grew up but I never actually won until a few years ago. Coincidently it was the last time we played against each other, not due to an untimely death or sickness but rather new life. You see shortly after my first victory I moved in with my girlfriend who was expected our first child. While I see my father very frequently and we both continue our franchises in Madden, we no longer have the time to just sit around and play. I however developed a new love for the game as I played with my newborn daughter in my lap or on my shoulder or as I rocked her to sleep. She began to love football, and I understand in the beginning it was just “colors and movement” to her but two years later she talks about and can even sing the Eagles fight song. I find myself teaching her, unknowingly about the game that my father taught me. Recently I caught myself doing it and began to think that this is what my father had done with me. I wasn’t just his video game buddy, I was his student and he found a way to bond with me even while playing video games. I look forward to doing the same with my daughter and as Madden hits it’s 25th year what better way to remind you of a legacy that has transcended the virtual world into families.
I do not purchase the new Madden every year. I understand that each is very similar and has minor changes which cannot completely fall to the fault of the programmers. The sport of football has barely changed in 50 years; minus the protection of players. It is that very reason that I see no need to purchase each year just for the roster update. One of my favorite things about Madden is after a few seasons progress you have a team of players that you drafted and developed. It is your team, your successes and your mistakes that make your team what it is. Which is exactly what can be said for what EA has created in this franchise; an omniscient being. While each year may be similar and each year may have mistakes, what Madden is to the gaming community is an ideal, a goal, a legend that even with complaints continues to thrive and grow. I commend EA for its work to bring football to my fingertips, and now here are my thoughts…
Gameplay: The AI can pick you apart through the air. If you do not generate a pass rush you will not stop it. While I enjoyed not having a “sprint” button I like to utilize the timing of it as running backs will actually do in a real game. The moves and combo moves remind me more of a fighting game then something actually possible on the gridiron but cool nonetheless. The defense will make stupid plays and take the wrong angles. It’s more reminiscent of a college football defense than professional where the defense is just overmatched.the owner mode has been alright but playing as a new owner really handicaps you in making moves in the beginning of the game. I am a huge fan of the Playbook. The read-option and Pistol are actually feasible concepts and have enough variations to play. I do feel the current ratings are unfair and lean more heavily on the play-off teams but that is understandable.The defensive play books do not seem to matter as I mentioned defense is just overmatched. You can stake the box and have the running for at loss and he will still hit the break and cut up your entire team.
Graphics: I am disappointed by the graphics while the play is going on but on replays it is very impressive. I wish they would do more with the fans and sounds in the stadium during the game. I am assuming this will be fixed for the next-gen consoles.
Thus far the game gets a B- from me. I will play more and provide a more in depth review after more game features have been explored.
The Casual Gamer