Game Review: Madden NFL 09 (PS3)

I am a huge football fan but in the last three years, I have really felt that the Madden games have become an annual roster update more than an improvement on the franchise. I have played them but never purchased as I felt they didnt make enough additions or changes that I was compelled to.

Being the 20th anniversary, I decided to pick this up and give it another try. Lets take a look shall we?

 

 

 

Brian Says – BUY IT

The first thing you will be greeted with is the Madden IQ test. This test basically runs you through some drills to help determine your current skill. This rating basically sets the difficulty that you begin with and will dynamically change as you get better. This is one of the focuses of this years version, to made the franchise more available to the newcomer. While it is a good effort. I found that the passing drills in particular where a bit too easy and began to wonder if a new player that didn’t have much experience would score too high and then find themselves running into problems later on passing. Enter the test subject, my 8 year old nephew. He loves football games but always has a problem with passing. As he went through the drills, he did pretty good in the passing drills. As he continued to play, he still ran into problems, more so than usual. Now, over time, I am sure that the Madden IQ will balance out but it would take a while and it runs the risk of frustrating the player early. My suggestion would be if your new to playing madden, set it to rookie until you get used to the game.

Among the other features in this years game, they have added a feature that enables you to rewind a play and try it again. I dont know about this feature, I really think that if you mess up a play, live with it. I guess as a learning tool, it would be a good thing to use but there isnt anything to keep you from using it anytime. In my opinion, this should have not been included.

Another new addition for this year is the ability to start an online leagues. Unfortunately, this game mode kinda falls short as it is pretty flawed. You can start a league with up to 31 other players. There are a list of problems with it but at least they made the effort and hopefully they will refine it. Perhaps with patches but most likely we will have to wait until next year.

There are a lot of options now for pre-snap now. Almost too many, you never seem to have enough time on defense and on offense you seem to have so many that you tend to forget about some.

Franchise and Superstar modes were pretty much left untouched. I really hope for some additional options in this mode but again, it seems like the focus was to make the series more accessible to new players.

Graphically, the game looks very nice and is definitely the best looking Madden game. I wish it was 1080p but it still looks great at 720p. Announcers are a bit better than in the past but you still get tired of them. No big surprise there but some things probably wont ever change, I’m probably being a bit nit picky. Overall, I feel that my purchase was a good one and the more I play, the more I enjoy the game.  I even downloaded the new cover from EA with Favre in the Jets uniform (I know)…

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