This is one of the few “must-have” games of the year as far as I’m concerned. I anticipated this game to the point of pre-ordering it, and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did pre-order it. This game is fantastic, I don’t even know where to begin.
When I pre-ordered this game, I got it on Playstation3 since I wanted to get the most out of the graphics, and I think I made the right decision. On the PS3 this game looks incredible: the animation is smooth, the environments are believable, and the images are crisp. But as we all know, game play is what makes or breaks a game, so let’s go look there.
In recent times, many sports games have “practice” or “training” modes where you can go in and try to improve your skills. For me, this is crucial, because I am terrible at sports games. I’m so terrible that it is often difficult for me to win a game with 5-minute quarters playing on easy. My rushing is great, my rush defense is acceptable, but when the ball is in the air all bets are off. I can’t pass to save my life, and it’s hard for me to read a quarterback on defense, so training mode is quite helpful for me. Madden’09 has a much more in-depth and intensive, and with the My Skill tests I find that the game challenges me more than I’m used to being challenged, without being overwhelmed.
It’s not all a bed of roses though. Unfortunately many bugs and a handful of bad ideas made their way into the game. Bugs are a big drag on this game, especially profile loading and management. I’m constantly frustrated when instead of displaying my profile name “USER1″ is displayed all over the interface. Bad ideas are present as well, even in features I loved like the My Skill. When testing one’s skill, I didn’t think it was wise for the test to give me the answers and show me which buttons to press to get past defenders. I also didn’t think it was great for the end-game interface to very confusingly try to get me to step into the trainer. The last thing I want when I’ve just had my butt handed to me by the Miami Dolphins is for the game to rub it in by coercing me into the trainer.
- The graphics in this game are outstanding, and great in high-definition.
- The play calling is a little easier here, and ask Madden makes a little more sense than in previous versions of the franchise.
- My Skill helps keep you from being overwhelmed, and it updates at the end of each game.
- Rewind is a neat idea that lets those of us who have a harder time keep from getting too discouraged.
- Online play allows league and season play, and with the EA Fantasy Football integration (collectors edition only I believe) you can import your Fantasy Football teams.
- There are noticeable bugs that should have been taken care of.
- My Skill tests aren’t as accurate since they give you the answer.
- The end of a game is a bit confusing asking you to go into the trainer.
- The announcing is just horrible, I’ve found it best just to turn the volume off for the announcers.
- Online doesn’t let you play a full regulation season.
The bottom line on this game is that it is great for football. My brother and I enjoy playing it together, and I think many others will as well. This is Madden, it’s been around for twenty years, and I’ve played it for as long as it has been out. I think they could still do better, but this is certainly a great addition to the franchise.