Another year another release and another solid edition.
As an American football fan, I do look forward to the Madden release year after year for whatever console or pc I happen to be into at the time during the last decade. Each year there are new features, some are improvements but others seem like they take a step backwards in terms of playability. There are pros and cons with the Madden series since their only license game to have all the NFL players and Teams. They have don't have to take leaps in terms of innovation because there is no competition. A few things we do see a few things get updated year after year. After completing all the achievements here is my review.
Game Play. 8/10
Once again after its third installment in the 360 platform there are improvements to the game play. The major noticeable difference is the play execution and how well refined it is from previous years. The players abilities are taken into account and the desired plays have little or no margin for error especially on higher difficulty settings. The AI is much smarter in terms of play recognition and finding ways to beat you. The player's abilities are once again updated along with their portraits. There are a few things that do get by their testers in terms of players wearing older uniforms in the portraits but those are usually the lesser named players or very late trades and/or free agent signings. Each team's playbook with the corresponding head coach and assistant coaches are applied to each team but can easily be changed at the beginning of each game. The different game modes are still around. From quick play to franchise mode and even Superstar mode (my Favorite) are back. The online play is smooth and rather enjoyable. Being the game is date you might have a hard time finding random matches, I would recommend using different forums to find players also looking to play.
Year after year we get to see jaw dropping animations in terms of plays. Each player is highly detailed, certainly almost lifelike. While I find that the instant replays shown for amazing plays are worthwhile watching, I am always hoping for instant zoom during actual gameplay and not after the fact. Stadium modeling once again bring a nice touch to each teams unique home surroundings.
Sound and Music 8/10
The announcers are great for the first game, not too long after I find them rather repetitive as a season goes along. The menu screens once again have the recognizable artists and their songs playing while you navigate.
There four difficulty ranging from rookie to all the way to all-pro. Each setting can be further customized to setting to either make the game easier or harder. The ultimate difficulty challenge is usually against human players wither it be on the same console or online. I have to admit some of the online players are almost methodical dismantling my offenses and defenses making it for some lopsided victories (in my case loses)
There are no glitched achievements for this game. There are no online achievements and most of the achievements can be attained in a few games. The one that will take the longest are usually the season goals. One thing I liked different from last year is that you no longer need to have NCAA Football to obtain one achievement. This edition, the achievement is much easier to obtain than the 07 release with a few requiring some skill or luck.
The hardest part about reviewing sports games is that you assume that the people reading and/or playing the game has some basic knowledge of the game. A few things I feel that I repeat release after release but year after year Madden delivers a great product while keeping the game up to date in terms of players and the their ratings and stats. And for the price that usually accompanies an outdated release it would be a bargain compared to the most recent release. This one was edition was a solid release and a great pickup.