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The Zero Reviews... Madden 10 
Posted on August 18, 2009 at 01:16 PM.
If you live in Texas, you know that when August rolls around two things are going to happen. One, it's going to be very sticky and extremely hot, and two, the new edition of Madden NFL Football from EA Sports is going to hit the shelf. Usually, the summer heat around this time makes me want to take the month of August off indoors, but July showers and a mild summer have been a welcome change. If one could really affect the other, then Madden 10 could become a welcome addition to my sports lineup.

Over the past half decade, there has been no doubt that the Madden franchise has done little to nothing to improve its football game. Year after year, gimmicks such as QB Vision (or what I call "flashlight football") and team weapons have been new sheets over a very soiled mattress. EA has not produced a next generation game in football that has been glue to your seat exciting, which has naturally generated a negative light toward the developers in Orlando. This year, Ian Cummings has made it a point to change the team into a new course by promoting the idea that "Everything you see on Sunday [will be in Madden 10]." Its a tough task with the stained track record, but Madden might just be heading in that direction.

Gameplay: B+

One of the huge features in this years game was the addition of Pro-Tak, or a true to life simulation of how there is a fight for every yard. In simple terms, this is the addition of gang tackles, but it does cover a bit more than that. Running backs who have the strength can try to force thier way through defenders, while elucive ones can try to wriggle their way out and gain more yardage. It's a great feature in the game that has made the game run by smoother, and overall it's very well implemented.

On the other hand, the game is still the same game from back in the PS2/XBOX days. Some of the time it's not very noticable, but when you can pull the same dirty tricks on this edition that you could on Madden 2000 and be victorious, there is a big problem. The game also gets messy with the battle in the trenches; something that EA just can never seem to get right. Getting a sack on the Quarterback is just about as easy as finding the Holy Grail, and Offensive Linemen seem to have all day to block. If the animations were just a bit faster, this might be solved. Penelties are also a problem. While you might be called for holding on every field goal, a lot of the other penelties might never show up in your game. EA needs to look at this and find out how to simulate a true game with every penelty showing up as often as it does in the NFL.

Still, this cannot take away from other great features such as accelerated clocks and a running game that is actually challanging. The gameplay needs a full year to tweak, and if EA can do it, they will have a solid contender for Madden 11.

Graphics: A-

One of the most underated things about Madden is that it looks so crisp compared to what it used to look like. When the game first moved over to the next gen consoles, the players looked like they ate steroids for breakfast, lunch and supper. The field looked like a green paint bucket spilled all over concrete, and there were little differences in how each player looked. This year, the team at Tiberon worked on refining the way players look, and added small but noteworthy additions to add realism to the game.

When people on the Operation Sports boards were complaining about QBs like Roethisberger not having towels, I thought it was going over the edge. I must say now however how much different and authentic to see these players wear what they wear on Sunday. The crayon department in Orlando did a really good job with this, as well as the exterior shots and the cutscenes for the game.

Online: B-

The online play this year is more or less the same as in years past. There are many options to choose from including playing against just your friends or the entire world for that matter. The big feature that was to be added this year was Online Franchise, much in the simular vein as Online Dynasty was to NCAA 09. Many people were geared for the oppertunity to play online against their friends in a thirty- two team league of champions.

Oh how the hopes of that were shot down instantly when it was found out that not only do AI teams have very little logic to them, but that there was no sallary cap, no trade limits, no drop limits, and the admin had little control over the league at all. Online Franchise is basically dynasty mode with professional football players. While some are happy about this, I would have rather them hold off on this broken feature until next year when they could have got it right. I guess the effort, along with little lag deserves a higher score in any case.

Career Modes: B

When we heard that the team from Head Coach was coming over to Madden 10, celebrations from Maine to Hawai'i were poping up. Finally, franchise mode would be one of the important modes of the game; where one could truly take the team of their choice and make them into contenders. This was to be the best franchise mode any game ever had.

Although it is not perfect, franchise mode has recieved a much needed lift. The new menus are a little easier to navigate than Head Coach, and progression has been given the boost it has so desperatly needed. The AI isn't as dumn in my opinion as in the past, and you can get a really good franchise going from the start. The only real problems I have with it is that the menus are still a bit to clunky, and pre- made draft classes do not have random names for the players.

The only thing that keeps this from being a solid "A" is Superstar mode (and yes, it's a career mode). It boggles the mind how SCEA can make such a great mode in a 162 season for baseball, but EA can so severly screw up a 16 game season for football. This mode is something that could be loads of fun, but without them doing anything about it over the past four years, it might be time to go in another direction. I would hope that direction would be in the way of improving it vastly for 2011, but a merciful death could also be needed.

Presentation: D

With all of the good things going with Madden, the key part that was supposed to kill off 2kFans was the increase in better presenation this year. There was a promise of a halftime, postgame, and weekly show, and that they would make 2kFootball's presentation into mince meat.

Unfortunatly, that is far from the case. The halftime show is nothing but worthless clips from the game and a scoresheet with very little commentary, and the postgame is in the same manor. "The Extra Point" is aptly named, mostly because it scores a "1" compared to the "6" point touchdown that 2k5 did five years ago.

The other problem is Tom Hammonds. I don't know if it's his fault or the guys that record his audio, but somebody needs to be canned over it. It's so bad, I would almost rather go back to radio guy doing the announcing. Couple this in with wrong teams celebrating a first down and other visual mistakes, and presentation is lucky it recieved a "D." It's only saving grace is the uniform selection this year, which is leaps and bounds above any other game.

Overall: B+

This game is so close to being an A, but the fact remains that the past few years of downright horrible "roster updates" has put Madden deeper into the hole. The game is worth a buy if you love football or even just watch it casually, but if you are looing for a game that is a simulation of the real thing, this game has a long way to go before reaching the top.
# 1 gopadres @ Aug 18
Good job! I agree 100%
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