b1rd {man} onthemoon

Thoughts: Madden 10 Review
August 15, 2009, 3:38 am
Filed under: Thoughts

I got the chance to play Madden 10 today for the Playstation 3. I admit that I was expecting a terrible experience since I do not like the game to begin with and thought Madden 09 was atrocious. I also admit that I was actually surprised by an “enjoyable” experience for the most part.

EA Sports put a lot of work into making this year’s Madden more “authentic”, whatever that means. The stadiums are very detailed, the crowd looks good (during cutscenes), and players look more realistic thanks to new additions such as towels, hand warmers, etc. Also, referees and chain gangs make their first appearance in Madden (as far as I know there have never been referees on the field).

These are nice additions, yet the overall presentation is still lacking. Where is the ESPN license used? Nowhere. There are plenty of Snickers and Sprint advertisements though. (Awesome!…Not really.) The halftime/post game “Show” uses personalities from the NFL network (not ESPN), although there’s no point in watching “The Extra Point” show. There’s barely any dialogue; it’s basically just replays playing silently.

The gameplay is what matters most to me. And, as much as it pains me to say this, this is the best gameplay experience since Madden 2004 (oddly enough the first and last Madden I ever owned). It is definitely better than 09, which was just embarrasing.

However, it is not perfect by any means. At times, receivers will attempt to make a “reverse catch”. They will suddenly turn their back to the ball and reach up for the pass instead of continuing to run and look the ball in. Another issue I noticed was that the new “feature” called ‘Pro Tak’ works well. It’s simply put, gang-tackling. Why is this a new feature though? Isn’t gang-tackling a normal part of football? Where has it been all these years? Despite this welcome addition, one-on-one tackling has suffered. It is way too easy at times for an offensive player to simply spin past a single defender and take it to the house.

Running the ball seems about right, although I prefer ESPN NFL 2K5’s running game still. Passing is accurate, and feels right. Deep passes look good and are difficult to complete. Short and intermediate passing is on point as well. My favorite part of passing is an accurate representation of what happens when a quarterback is hit in the act of throwing. Only highly skilled QB’s will be able to complete the throw at least somewhere near their target. Lesser skilled QB’s will float the ball or launch it high in the air, as they do in real life. And depending on the timing of the hit, the ball will travel accordingly. Throw it just as the hit begins and you have a good chance of a completion; throw it as you’re getting demolished and expect a poor throw and possibly an interception.

The game is much slower than 09, yet it feels “right”. I don’t know how else to explain that. There a few issues with downhill blocking at times and individual tackling can be tricky, but I was very surprised to actually enjoy how the game felt. Football was being expressed.

That’s about all I can write (I only played 4 games), but it should give you a  good idea of what Madden 10 is made of. I’m not about to buy the game (I’m still rocking with the PS2), but I wouldn’t mind playing it more often with friends at school.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

(Yes, I just gave a Madden game a positive review. To those who know me, I know this is surprising since I’ve been a Madden Hater for years; but Madden 10 is a decent and accurate football game that I can actually enjoy for the most part.)


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