Couch Potato Paradise: A Madden 10 review


At approximately 11 am Friday morning, I was finally able to get my hands on a copy of Madden 10. Sure I could have just played an hour or so then thrown up some un-intelligible review, but that just wouldn’t be my style. Instead, I bought a bag of my favorite brand of chips, picked up a few Red Bulls and vowed to play Madden 10 until my eyelids refused to stay open any longer.

Of course this weekend had a few interruptions, such as shopping for college and going to the movies, but never-the-less, I’m going to bring you a breakdown like no other, an honest, un-biased, blunt review of the game that have football fans screaming “WHERE IS VICK AT?!?”

The Review

Fear not football fans, you shall not find your $60 wasted on nothing more than a roster update with a few tweaks.  No, this year the team over at EA Sports has completely retooled this game similar to what they did with Fight Night Round 4.  The game speed has been slowed down to the point where hitting the holes while running is actually possible now.  Also, no longer will you see receivers grab a ball and turn up field on a dime.  Rather, you actually see the entire process of one cutting and turning their entire body towards the end zone before taking off for glory.

The presentation received a huge upgrade in this year’s game as well.  You will finally see what players look like without their helmets on, player injuries will no longer cause them to roll over and lay there like a dead fish, and overall the stadiums and fans have received about the nicest polish money can buy for now.  Pre-game animations are a lot more interesting now as the commentators give a breakdown of a few players here and there, but overall its just the fact that you feel like you are actually watching an NFL game rather than a game between two community college teams.  A half-time show has also been added to give you a breakdown of the league’s action along with the stats of whatever game you are playing at the time.  While the half-time show is a great idea that fans have been begging for, there was one specific part of the show that fell flat on its face (which will be discussed in 3, 2, 1…)

The commentating is absolutely terrible in this game.  Half of the time, you aren’t really sure whether the commentators are paying attention to the game at all or not.  Many big moments during the game are underplayed, and there are times where you’ll go a minute or two without even hearing from the commentators at all.  Its take away from the experience, and the repitition in their analysis gets annoying after a couple games.  Sadly, the half time show suffered a similar fate as well.  During the highlight show, it feels as if they are teaching 2nd graders how to turn the game’s action into a proper sentence.  You’ll often here game highlights presented through incredibly exciting sentences such as, “Steven Jackson ran for 93 yards.  Steven Jackson scored a touchdown.  The Rams scored 24 points.”  Now although I didn’t hear that specific breakdown during the game, I kid you not, their sentences are no greater or intelligble than that.

The franchise and superstar modes underwent minor changes.  In franchise mode you are no longer are able to build player’s stats through mini-drills, instead relying on just playing the games apparently.  Also, their is no true Owner Mode so those who like to charge $100 for hot dogs and $500 for nose bleed seats are going to have to find better ways to make revenue (such as winning.)  In superstar mode, you no longer are responsible for hiring an agent.  Instead, you are immediately assigned to an unknown man who once again gives you the options of demanding trades, ripping opponents, guaranteeing wins, or simply leaving because you accidentally pressed on the worthless “Agent Info” option.  The only gripe I have for either the modes however is that in superstar mode, the play they show you is rarely the play you are assigned to run when you are actually on the field.  For instance, they showed that the defense would be running a Cover 2 and my cornerback would be guarding the right flat.  However, when I trudged onto the field, I found that now they had my corner playing man coverage on Randy Moss.  This happens on nearly every play and it grows quite annoying after awhile, especially if you don’t notice the change.

Overall I found this to be a very enjoyable game that every football fan will love.  The gameplay is very smooth and free flowing, allowing the user to feel more in control of the players.  Other things such as Madden Moments (playing through some of the greatest games from the past NFL season), mini games, Online franchises, and Online co-op should have gamers everywhere playing this title for awhile.  It is by no means perfect, but it is a giant step in the right direction for an EA Sports’ team that many have been growing frustrated with over the last couple years.

The Rating


P.S. Michael Vick WILL be included in the next roster update.  His official stats are not known, but its safe to assume McNabb may be taking a seat on the bench often if Vick is anything like the old Madden Vick.