Observations of a madden purist...

User Rating: 6 | Madden NFL 12 X360
I'm not going to take the time to compare this game to 2K5 and point out factors that really have nothing to do with the quality of the game; I'm simply going to lay everything on the table with no bias or personal motive...

This game needs to be shelved.

Now, I'm not saying kill the franchise, because, as of now, it's the only NFL licensed franchise we, the consumers, have available to us. I am saying, however, that the developers at EA, FOR THE SAKE OF THEIR CUSTOMERS, need to take a couple of years off, pull out all of the stops, and produce a fresh and dynamic product that will satisfy core Madden players and recreational players alike. I would like to think that EA gained exclusive rights to the NFL license with a vision of producing such a superior product that their monopoly on the NFL license would be a non-issue. Instead, we have, since 2007, received a game that is very much a carbon copy of the previous iteration, almost code for code in the majority of instances. There is no way a company with the resources of EA should allow glitches and game play elements that have plagued the series for years to go unrectified. The pass coverage AI may very well be the worst example of AI programming in any modern sports game. By logic, if a player of avg skill is assigned to cover a player of elite skill in a one on one match-up, the elite player should dominate the vast majority of said match-up. In Madden, however, player ratings are borderline irrelevant, as your no longer competing in a game of match-ups and strategy, but in a game of trying to out-manipulate the offensive and defensive AI based on difficulty level. Playing against a low rated quarterback? Watch him dissect your defense like a surgeon. Have Larry Fitzgerald lined up in the slot against a LB? Watch the LB run stride for stride with Fitz on a crossing route, only to magically defend the ball with a swat down that was sailing 5 feet over his head. It's issues like these that make the game less about football strategy and more about "money plays" and "nano blitzes".
As much as I love football, and have played Madden since it's debut on the Genesis, I can't allow myself to support this franchise after this iteration. It's like that friend who always sells you out, but because you've been buddies for so long, you always give him a second chance and try to understand what it's like to be in his shoes. Well, it's time for all Madden fans who actually care about the quality of the product and the sport to perhaps find a new friend. This one, no matter how much you try to point out it's flaws, never seems to learn his lesson, and in the end, you're the one who ends up suffering.

Please take some time off and reinvent the franchise EA. The people who have supported you and stood up for you, even the ones who don't know any better or do it through blind fan boyism, deserve better from you.