So I bought into it.. I stayed up late Tuesday night and ran into town and picked up Madden 12 at my local Bull Moose. It was only $54.99 there so why go to Walmart? To my surprise there were actually about 30 people waiting to purchase the game. Most people there were in their low 20’s and here I am at 39 years old being a nut and going out at midnight to purchase the game. What was I thinking? Pleasant surprise was a couple older guys were there as well and even a really hot 20’s female who was waiting on a PS3 version. All in all it was interesting going out at a 12am release of Madden, however I probably will not do it again. Lol
So I am not going to get into player ratings and whatnot as that would just take more time then it is worth. We all know Madden screws the Phins on their ratings and this year is no different. What I am going to do here is give you MY OPINION on the actual game and its game play. Features I like and hate, changes that I wanted to see and some that I am shaking my head over. I think I will do this in list form as it will make my dysfunctional brain stay in tune with my untalented fingers. I will be posting my opinions in no order at all, completely random as I do not care to put more effort into this then needed.
• Madden did away with the often complained about rewind feature this year. My opinion on it is that Madden still needs this feature for a few reasons that I will get to in a bit.
• The new extended roster in Pre season is a cool feature. Works ok however it does have its flaws one being that in pre season the roster automatically churns constantly every quarter. Sounds like a good thing and for the most part it is, however when it picks Brandon Marshall to be a cornerback we have an issue. Or how about putting Misi as a running back? This is an issue with the flow and you have to go and manually set your rosters every quarter in pre season if you want to see the actual people you should be seeing.
• In franchise mode the game sets the clock to automatically run off 20 seconds or so. Last year and in quick games this year you could/can set this to on or off and chose from 10, 15 or 20 seconds or something like that. However this year in Franchise mode you have no say in this. It is on all the time.
• There are a few new animations and over all the games flows better. No more sliding 3 yards into a block and whatnot. Good times.
• Still there is issues with your DB’s and LB’s taking a good angle on a play only to stop for no reason and change angles so he is out of a play. This is one of the biggest things that tick me off and one of a couple reason why rewind needs to be there. This game is programmed to screw up on plays and things like this just are completely unrealistic. If the programmers want a DB to take a bad angle then it should just happen. But instead it’s a lottery and the computer decides after the DB has taken and angle that it does not want that to happen. Fix this and we are closer to madden without rewind needed.
• Still here are the pathetic speed issues where your 96 speed guy cannot out run an 83 speed CB or whatnot. I go back and look at replays and say.. "ok maybe he had a good angle on me" then I see he starts 20 yards to the side of me and only 4 or 5 yards ahead of me and he can make up all that distance and tackle me. Crazy.
• Whats will the influx of "number 88" or "number 59" does this or that? What happened to the names? It seems that they use the numbers more then the names now which is odd. Using players numbers instead of the names = generic to me not quality.
• I LOVE that you can customize your playbooks, However when you do the amount of different formations gets nutz. So when you do customize your playbooks try to use as few formations as possible or your play calling screens will look so confusing and just cluttered.
• I am on the 6th game of my 1st season and 5 of those game have been in pouring rain.. cmon Madden. I also believe that 3 or my 4 pre season games were rain games to. Madden has always made the Phins deal with rain in September and October but 8 out of 10 games pouring? That is a bit unrealistic
• Something that made me smile was when you sign free agents now you can actually sign them to low cost deals. In years past the AI could sign free agents for minimum 1 year deals while you would have to pay MILLIONS for the same deal. They have balanced this out very well this year. Its about time. Now maybe we can all play with the cap on because it is allot more fair. I also found a way to cheat in Franchise mode when having to resign big name players..
• This year you can "edit" your players all season long if you want.. which is kinda lame but it is allowed so you can actually lower a big name player, lets use Marshall as an example. When you go to resign him he will want HUGE money like all players with overall of 85 or more. What you do is go and edit the player to a 65 overall or whanot THEN resign him for a low cost multi year deal. After you sign him you bring his stats back up to where they were. A bug to say the least but I look at it this way, Madden has always screwed players on franchise mode to the point were an 82 overall DL player would make you pay 60 million for a 4 year contract. Now you can lower him to a 75 or something and sign him for 4 years for 25 million or something more realistic. Good or bad???? Who knows but as EA says.. "if its in the game its in the game" *shrugs*
• Good change in that all the underneath passes which should go for 4 or 5 yards now DO only go for 4 or 5 yards.
• Still here is the "dinosaur arms" animation where your DB is in prime position to at least knock down a pass or intercept it but instead he looks like REX from the Toy Story movies with arms that are only 7 inches long. In actuality the animation should be your DB lifting his arms up and going after the ball but instead he goes for a chest catch. If you play Madden you know what I am talking about.. and its still there.. boo
• Denny is on the roster!! But he is a ZERO yes a 0 overall when used as a long snapper. Um.. ok Madden team good call there.
• "He’s got get away from the cops speed!" lol Madden included Gus Johnson’s epic fail in their in game commentary. Why? I, personally have no issue with this, but so many people were all ticked off about it when Johnson originally said it that I do not understand Madden including it in the game. Hmm.
• Sparano’s figure is still a blob in the game. But ya know he is a complete idiot so I don’t get pissy at the Madden team over this.
• In franchise mode if you want to get into the stats/news/coach settings you have to hit "y" from the pre game menu. Not a big issue, however lets say you look at your rosters. When finished with what you are doing you hit "b" for back and it takes you way back out into the pre game menu so if you want to go from depth chart to player team schedule you have to hit "y" again to get back into the "menu" area. Lame and annoying.
• Most of the music this year sucks hairy donkey balls. FAIL Some is ok.. maybe 2 songs are good.
• There are some good new animations which make the game look more fluid. Good work.
• Now you can trade future draft picks in Franchise mode!! Good job only slightly late seeing as NFL2k5 was doing this 6+ years ago.
• The new "hot" and "cold" feature is more annoying then anything.. pretty much if your players do not set records every game they are always cold. Ok so its not that extreme but ya get the idea. Example Davis had a 2 int game in week 5 of my season. Week 6 he had zero INT and only 2 tackles. He was then "cold" I think these should be more of a streak kind of thing where you do not get "hot" unless you have 3 or 4 real good games in a row and just the same for going cold. One game should not make you hot or cold.
• I finally finished a season so I could get a feel for the off season for this write up. Quick notes the off season is slightly more hands on as you get to run your scouted players through "pro days" and "combine" days. It’s a good idea but as the pre season aspect is slightly clumsy so is this. Refinement is needed on this good idea.
• Also different is you get an idea of what a draft pick "could be" but I find the numbers that the game gives you are usually far off of what the player will be come the end of the pre season.
My overall thoughts of the game is as it has been for years now, a better version of the previous game. The animations are better and the morphing into tackles is tightened up allot, it still happens every so often but not nearly as bad as before. I still have issues with the game taking stupid lines on plays and sometimes the AI is just plum dumb. I like how the AI takes shots down field though and even completes them more often. It makes a game more fun. I still believe rewind is needed because of some of the things it does not do well but it is not needed as much as in the past. I know some will get on my case about this, however its about the game just doing stupid things sometimes. Overall a better game but still very much EA sports Madden.. good or bad? You chose.