Simpler. Quicker. Deeper…….Shallower?

Ricky Diaz, staff writer

           I am an avid gamer and love the sport of football so obviously football video games are one of my favorite genres to play. Any video game player knows Madden by EA is king of football video games but recently quantity does not mean quality.

            When I first played Madden I jumped through the menus to start an exhibition game that simulated the experience as if the game was a Super Bowl playing as the Pittsburgh Steelers facing the Chicago Bears and the game was just excellent. I had a blast exploiting the offense’s mistakes and using the new running system to score on the defense. The running system is nothing less than amazing where I completely forgot about the missing sprint button and had my mouth drop when my running back jumped over defenders for a touchdown. It is now actually useful to use the juke or spin button instead of hitting the truck stick to try to break every tackle although these moves like in real life will cause you to slow down. The passing game is also tuned a little bit where wide receivers are actually diving to catch balls or trying to put two feet in bounds after making a spectacular catch. Not only are these improved but now the audibles are improved where you can see your play before its actually called which is a time saver. Every Madden fan also heard of the new gameflow system which in fact is actually helpful. I used it a bit and was impressed that the play and tip that came with it actually made sense for the situation but I prefer using ask madden or having the playbook in my hands. Another small improvement is the way you kick the ball which I prefer over the last year version. The presentation only helps the gameplay be almost perfect. The graphics are beautiful with the new Cowboys stadium absolutely taking my breath away and the players look as close as they can be to their real life counter-parts. The sounds of the crowd, hits, PA, and offensive coordinator make the game feel more real! Unfortunately, the commentary was so terrible I turned it off. The new play by play announcer Gus Johnson is a horrible addition. His sentences are so choppy for example you get a highly exciting “HE’S GOING DEEP!” followed by a mellow “he’s tackled at the 20.” It became highly frustrating and it didn’t help that some of Chris Collinsworth more intelligent color commentary were some things from last year’s game. Overall the gameplay and presentation is awesome unfortunately for me it’s not enough to buy the game.

            Almost everything outside of the field excluding rosters is the same. I must admit online co-op when you play with good people is fun as well as the other online modes. The downfall of online is EA only let players who bought the game new use the online. Also, playing in AFL style was fun as well as the madden moments. Other than that you bought the same game from last year. Yes the franchise and be a superstar mode where most players spend their time are the exact same from last year from the same menus to the barebones options. It is such a frustration of the lack of things to do outside the field. After turning off the game I miss the days of Madden 06 or NFL 2k5 where the elements outside the field made for a better football game.

            Overall, EA continued bringing better game play but faltering in every other aspect which ultimately only meant disappointment. There’s easily potential for the Madden franchise but until than this game gets a 6.5 out of 10.