Frustrating hash only a true Madden-lover will stick with
doneskey57 wrote this review on .
It's Madden, and as such is a fine football sim with all the current NFL rosters built in. You'll love some of the tackling animations, which are better than ever before. Since the game includes actual NFL players, you can match skills against QB's like Brady and Manning, outrun LB's like Urlacher and D.J. Williams, or pick off a pass with Champ Bailey.
The Bad: Madden veterans who have played other versions of the game will go nuts with some of the quirks in the game. Several examples:
The fumbles are so frequent that 1) it's unrealistic and 2) so frustrating you may well destroy that cool wireless Playstation 3 controller. Fumbles happen even more frequently in the red zone, meaning that you have to have your guy "cover the ball" constantly--so no juking, spinning, or truck-sticking for you! Might as well not even have those options, cuz if you use them in the red zone, goodbye ball.
Geez, the game play is hard. I've played Madden for years and in recent years always played Franchises in All-Madden mode. This year's version is much more difficult, almost crushingly so. It's hard to score any points! I've scaled back to All-Pro for three Franchise seasons, and even so some games are really tough.
The player progression is very slow. If you are used to having your players improve through a season, you may be disappointed in finding your QB no better after a whole season's play. About the only progression you'll see you have to create yourself by doing the training drills before each game, which leads to---
The training drills are boring and limited and hard--but absolutely necessary. Some are wacky! Why would a punter need to do the bench press to improve? You may have a hard time mastering some of the drills, while some are no-brainers. At harder settings (All-Madden) some drills seem nearly impossible.
Jack-ups! In Franchise mode, after 2 1/2 seasons, the game "froze" and became unplayable. I called the help line and heard the words "EA is aware of this problem and you need to go online and download the new rosters, but I'm sorry sir, you'll need to restart your entire franchise." And this after 100 hours of gameplay! And EA was aware of the problem! Great, so why didn't they fix it before it shipped? Something really similar happened in EA's Head Coach. Doesn't anybody care about quality control? This isn't EA's first version of Madden. That this happened shows that this game was rushed to market. And while this is the most glaring example, it's not the only one. The game will freeze in spots, have glitches, etc.
No Madden play-calling in a game called "Madden?" Are you kidding me? And the "radio" announcer sounds like he's in a tin can. Hey, EA, the play-calling should be one of the best parts of the game. Go play MLB the Show and see how much play-calling can add to a game.
The out-of-game options are poor. No newspaper headlines, no e-mail, no player feedback, no real effect on morale of player moves, etc. The PS3 version of Madden should have gotten richer, but it got poorer--like Madden light. Only the graphics and tacking animations are better--and since they were great before, you may well wonder why you shelled out $60 for this year's version.
In sum, only Madden die-hards should get this game. Everyone else, wait till Madden 09 and hope EA gets it together when they have much longer to produce a quality game for the PS3.