Madden NFL 10 Hands-On

We check out the Wii version of EA Sports' upcoming football game.

As we saw in our last look at Madden NFL 10 for the Wii, EA Sports has once again been experimenting with its premier football franchise on the Nintendo Wii. The game's look--with its exaggerated body types full of super-skinny wideouts and extra-beefy linemen--is just one area of change; the game's new control tweaks are designed to make the game of football that much easier to understand for the Wii crowd. At EA's most recent press event in Los Angeles, we got a chance to try out Madden NFL 10 for the Wii to see how the controls are coming together ahead of the game's release this summer.

With a new look and new controls this year, the Madden series continues to evolve on the Wii.

While you can expect the standard list of game modes in Madden 10, we got a chance to try out one of the new modes: Madden Showdown. This two-player competitive mode can be played either with five players on a side or with a full squad of 11, and it plays essentially like the sped-up version of football you've come to expect from Madden games.

Before the game begins, you'll be able to choose from a set of game changers that will affect how the game is played. Examples include "invisibility," which will cause players on the field to randomly disappear and reappear onscreen; "fumbilitis," which will cause three fumbles in a row on a single play; and "it's alive," which will make the ball bounce out of multiple receivers' hands during pass plays. There are also game changers that will restrict you to either all pass plays or all run plays. Once you've chosen which game changers you want (if any), you can also make bets on things like which player will win the game or which player will have the most possession time at the end of the game. Feel free to let loose your inner Pete Rose here and bet for or against your own team, if you like.

The play controls in Madden 10 for the Wii are immediately apparent, especially in the passing game. The development team behind the game is trying to make the game more friendly to casual fans, and it shows. When in possession of the ball, you can pull off most of the special moves, like stiff arms, with a mere flick of the wrist. Passing has gotten even simpler--once you snap the ball, you simply point the Wii to the receiver you wish to throw to, and he'll appear as red if he's covered and green if he's open. Of course, things are fluid in the backfield, and an open receiver can quickly become covered (and vice versa), so quick reaction times are a must. Still, for casual fans who might have a tough time finding the open man, it's a handy system.

Spotlight moments turn key game moments into button-mashing minigames.

Expect to see another new feature in Madden 10 known as spotlight moments. They typically happen once or twice a game and will feature a dramatically zoomed-in camera angle and a quick minigame in order to determine the outcome of the play. In the game we played, the spotlight moment happened during a long pass to the end zone, with the camera zooming in on the ball and a pair of hand icons appearing onscreen. The goal in this minigame is to guide your hand icon toward the ball before the time runs out--the player with his hand closest to the ball when the time runs out ends up with the possession (or the swatted ball/interception). The minigame took a bit longer than we expected--developers are still tweaking the length of the spotlight moments--but it definitely added a touch of tension to the play.

While other EA Sports games have gone for a more realistic approach on the Wii this year--think Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 and Grand Slam Tennis--the friendly controls and revamped visuals of Madden look to be trying to rope in as many fans as possible. The game is set to be released on August 14.

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17 comments
Hud123
Hud123

I have this game for Wii and I think it is ok.Never played Madden 09 for Wii before but it might not be as good as this game.Because people say that some games get better with every new game they put out,and I think that Madden 10 is just one of those games.It just keeps getting better and better.The online feature in Madden 10 I think is pretty cool even though I pretty much never play that feature,because If you are in America and your best friend is in Canada and you both have Madden 10 for Wii instead of making a long distance call you can use the EA online feature and play each other.

constrictor14
constrictor14

Madden Showdown makes me think back to the days of NFL Blitz... maybe EA is making a good call here. I could take or leave the graphical changes, but I really wish they would add Gamecube or Classic controller support to the game.

shayor_usa
shayor_usa

yeah this one really separates from xbox and playstation versions, but atleast its not a ps2 ripoff, and the graphics overhaul is very kiddish, i prefer it over the crappy ps2 graphics. i hope superstars better though and hopefully you can do work outs like in 360 or ps3

tripleplay2
tripleplay2

Changing the wii version of this game is really a bad move. madden 08 was the best football game for the wii. 09 was ok but it was mostly for kids because of All-play and the stupid celebrations which were downsides of 09. NOW this has gotten even WORSE this year with all the animations. they aren't even trying to improve the graphics. i wont be suprised if i see the mario bros on the front cover of nxt tears madden for wii jumping over mushrooms wit a football. how much more kiddish can nintendo make the madden franchise ? i ain't getting this game. thats for sure.

footballking23
footballking23

Forget Madden lets get Family fun football!!!!!!!!!!!

footballking23
footballking23

Madden is the game that used to take pride in being the most realistic football game right?

BlackRainINC
BlackRainINC

Omg I admit I'm a Nintendo Fanboy but this is pushing it, I'm buying a 360 now. Nintendo is digging a grave with a DreamCast tombstone look-alike sitting at the top of it... I agree, 09 was the best Madden for Wii.

NFSspeeddemon
NFSspeeddemon

The Madden games for Wii get worse and more kidish every year. This is certainly no exception. I'm still going to pick it up, but I expect a 6.0 rating by Gamespot. EA needs to realize there are a lot of hardcore sports fans who own Wiis, and want to play legit Madden: not "All Play" or lame cartoon style, wrist-flicking, simplified, dumbed down versions of a game that is outstanding on PS3 & Xbox360.

blankshore
blankshore

Madden 09 for Wii is probably the greatest Madden ever, so this one has a lot to live up to.

bluedeep13
bluedeep13

As soon as I read "with its exaggerated body types full of super-skinny wideouts and extra-beefy linemen" I knew it meant trouble. Also "the game's new control tweaks are designed to make the game of football that much easier to understand for the Wii crowd" and you know its targeted for a very young audience. I'm sorry... Wii crowd? Not all of us who bought a Wii are little kids or nursing home residents (exaggeration for emphasis). I am really starting to regret having a Wii (it was a gift by the way) I was TRYING to get excited about SOMETHING on the Wii.. perhaps they would make use of MotionPlus for better control or advanced controls. I guess I will have to wait for Zelda or Mario because everything else on the Wii is just the same old simplified to the point of excluding the hard core. Therefore I agree with your comments angellc. Why don't they just rename it to Madden Kids or Madden Jr. because that's what its going to wind up being anyway!

Lil_Wii_MVP_13
Lil_Wii_MVP_13

Can't wait 4 this 1. Migth b the best the Wii has ever had!

Spanishflea12
Spanishflea12

Um...The game looks good. But I'd like to have Fantasy Draft back in the game. Also Online is a MUST or else this game could be a big flop. I hope EA really tries for Wii owners, we've been getting shafted with the All-Play stuff.

dzimm
dzimm

The "Spotlight" moments seem kinda cheesy, but the rest of the game looks pretty solid.

RickXTN
RickXTN

I've got my version on pre-order already. I haven't been excited about Madden football games for YEARS but last year's All-Play was a blast and this one sounds even more fun. I don't care if there are "arcadey" elements in there as long as it's fun. Like with 09, I've read there will be different play controls so you can control as much of the action as you want. Thanks EA for working to put the fun back into a franchise that had gone stale for a long time.

angellc
angellc

They made a huge mistake in the graphical direction if this game. They needed to build an engine from the ground up to take advantage of the Wii and improve upon it in a more realistic way ( more detail, Higher polygon count, etc). This is a Football Sim not an arcade sports game. Many fans will be disappointed with this decision. When I first saw the screen shots I that it was a new NFL Blitz game for the Wii lol!

ryanscheiding
ryanscheiding

and so my final ounce of respect for Madden on the Wii dies a slow horrible death, sigh

JoeyJoe91
JoeyJoe91

I have high hopes for this game i just like to see is the online play for it