Madden 13 Review – CPU AI and Decision Making

Sports games are always going to be destined for flack from the hardcore fanbase of each sport they represent.  It is the nature of the beast in many ways – today we will be taking a look at ‘the beast’ behind Madden 13 and the CPU AI and Decision Making (esp. Play Calling).

In Madden, the AI can either be non-existent or omniscient. There isn’t much of a middle ground and we hope to fix it the best we can with sliders. Otherwise you might face an AI that will simple say “No.”

Sliders Need To Be Adjusted

Playing Madden 13 on All Pro difficulty (second hardest to All-Madden) one of the first things you will notice is how easy it is to stop the CPU running game while you play defense.  It is really a combination of issues that starts with the problems with OLine and DLine interactions (aka- Blocking).  I was able to stop LeSean McCoy for a majority of the game with only a couple decent screen passes and one impressive 20 yard scamper.  Outside of that, it was easy to stop the CPU’s running attack.  I suggest moving the Human Sliders for Run Defense down to 35 or 40 if you wish to have a more realistic experience.  I will be working on an initial slider set in the near future, but it is something that must be done incrementally because one game doesn’t exhibit what will ‘always’ hold true.

Regarding CPU talent on offense, after playing the Bengals it was apparent that the CPU Passing Accuracy needed to be increased greatly as Andy Dalton struggled greatly through most of the game.  Once we got to the end of the game he somehow used his Ginger Ninja powers to complete a couple passes and lead an amazing drive.  Moving CPU Pass Accuracy to 75 and then reducing the Human and CPU Interception sliders to 35 should be a good start.

Comeback AI – The Reason You Have Broken Controllers

During my game against the Bengals I was enjoying a great defensive battle for almost the entire game.  I was holding a 17-9 lead with under 3 minutes left.  Andy Dalton had completed only 9 of 28 passes and was intercepted four times in the game.  He was terrible.  Then, almost as if the Peyton Manning DirectTV fairy came down and sprinkled ginger ninja pixie dust in his digital jock strap he came out of no where to complete crazy passes to Brandon Tate and his other targets with ease.  Not only was it strange that he was so accurate, but my defensive backs (who had played a great game up until this point) suddenly almost stopped playing and let a Bengals receiver get wide open 40+ yards down field.  The game came down to the Bengals attempting a 2-Point conversion – which is where our last section will take over.

CPU Decision Making – If your coach sucks in real life, just assume he is a cyborg programmed with EA’s Madden Play Calling Logic.

The Bengals, like the Eagles – had a hard time running against my Browns team all game long.  Then, finally when they scored their first touchdown and were within reach of tying the game because of a sudden magical ability to pass the ball – they decided to run it up the middle.

I stuffed the attempt and then recovered the ensuing onside kick.  It wasn’t the worst playcalling, but it goes to show that some of the logic that you would like to see in sports games is still missing.  This isn’t only in Madden either – you can see it in almost every baseball game as well as basketball games that put in confusing line-ups at the end of a game.

Madden 13 is a solid game, but it still suffers from some of the same issues that have become a legacy with this game.  We are hopeful to see some of these things alleviated through tuner updates and slider settings.  Stay tuned for our slider set in the coming week.  Keep in mind that the sliders will change throughout the year.

Madden 13 Review Coming Soon

As it happens, EA Sports is allowing XBox Live and Playstation Network users to play their sports games early.  It is in this spirit that we are going to try and help you decide whether or not to buy or pre-order Madden 13.  You will still have ample time to make an informed decision before the game is released on August 28.

To call it a review is a misnomer – we will be featuring a series of reviews over the next few days that will cover everything from gameplay to specific modes and even the online experience.  If you have any questions or requests please post them in our comments section or hit us up on Twitter – @NoobTubeTV. 

Stay tuned to NoobTubeTV for reviews and updates on everything Madden 13 over the next few days.

For a full run-down of how we review games please check out our R.E.A.L.© Reviews  section for a description.

Click The Picture Below to Pre-Order Madden 13 from Amazon!

All Madden 13 Player Ratings (On-Disc Roster)

EA Sports has released the full roster of players and their ratings for Madden 13.  Some players like Terrell Owens, Jeff Demps  and Josh Gordon are missing (among others) strictly because their signings and other moves weren’t available before Madden 13 was finalized for release.

You will have to download the updated roster if you want these other players on your game.

CLICK HERE FOR THE RATINGS!  (Make sure you can open Excel files, as this is in spreadsheet form)

If you want to find a certain player without scrolling – use the “CTRL+F” command to bring up the ‘Find’ Function and type in the name you are looking for.

Happy Gaming!

‘Simulation’ – The Ultimate Level to Measure Subjectivity In Sports Games

Press ‘A’ to hike the ball.

As soon as you start playing a sports game – whether it is the tip-off, first pitch, face-off or even kick-off… it is never a true simulation and it will never be.

With the release of Madden 13 in only one week there are a lot of people huffing and puffing around the sports gaming forums about whether or not Madden 13 is a true simulation or (in many other cases) pouting in digital print that it doesn’t represent the game as they would like to see it on a video game.

I am not here to take sides.  If this were a war I would be the guy in Switzerland that is right on the border watching the idiotic fighting and on occasion maybe taking a few shots at either side if I get bored.  So, before you come clamoring at my comments section saying something like the visitor we had in early July.  Basically we are in a situation where there is no right answer to this multi-faceted question(?) or demand(?) – How can a company create a perfect simulation sports game?

To answer in short… they can’t.  At least in this regard they can’t create a game that is perfect in the eyes of everyone (or anyone).  As soon as you join a sports gaming forum or community you will see quite a few fanboys for certain games and then you will see the end of the spectrum that devote their sports gaming life to lobbying for certain features, animations, uniform colors, equipment and every other tiny detail to be the way they want it to be.  It isn’t a question of if they are right or wrong; it is a notion of their opinions holding any water at all.

Undoubtedly, you will eventually also start telling people in the community about a great game you played with the Cavs and you beat the Miami Heat; or how you want the Super Bowl with the Browns or the National Championship with Western Michigan and how you had a fantastic experience.   The response you will get almost every single time…

“Sounds like you need to up the difficulty or change your sliders!  No way in hell the Browns will win the Super Bowl!”

On occasion, I have even been guilty of making such comments or posting such news about my own career mode.  Either way it goes, the bottom line is that one man’s great time in gaming is another man’s slap in the face to all things ‘simulation’ or “SIM” as the community likes to call it.

What Is ‘Sim’?

There are multiple levels in which you can subjectively build your own criteria for what makes your experience feel like a ‘true simulation’ (for some reason I am picturing myself as the pretentious Dr. Frasier Crane when I say that).

We will start with some basics for football (American Football)

– Kick or punt on 4th down when out of field goal range

– Don’t run the same play more than (insert quantity here) times

– Don’t sub players out of position for speed purposes

– Don’t make trades that ‘wound never happen’ (we will cover this later in more detail)

– Don’t nano blitz

Now that we have our brief list of guidelines for how to play the game in a more simulated fashion we should be ok, right?

Wrong!  Because if you don’t have your sliders set up ‘right’ you won’t have the optimum experience with challenging opponents in the CPU.  We won’t go into the sliders – just know that there are groups of gaming intellectuals out there that smell and caress them like a fine wine that must be nurtured and built into perfection.  The moral of this brief trip into the social world of sports gaming is that it is full of opinion, conjecture and a bunch of gym class heroes that might have played division 3 college football with Uncle Rico… and they want you to love and respect their opinions.

Don’t Sign That Free Agent – It Isn’t ‘Sim’

As soon as you start a career in Madden 13 as a coach you will probably want to look at the Free Agents available.  However, you should probably keep in mind that if you are a Browns fan like me and you want to target someone like Shaun Merriman or Plaxico Burress you shouldn’t tell your fellow ‘sim’ nazis on the forums.

“They would never sign with your team in real life!” is usually the response you will get.

Welcome to the Sim Gaming Club – where we try to feel like we are important and know more about sports than anyone else.

The rebuttal should be (but not on the forums – that is how you get banned from their Empire Club) –

“No… really?  Who knew that the Browns would also hire ME to COACH THEIR TEAM and then make trades, sign players and even draft new players next season – STFU!?”

The point is that once you take control of anything in the game, whether it is as a coach or a player on the field and you are making decisions that influence the game it is officially a form of entertainment.  Don’t let someone else ruin your entertainment on forums.  You wouldn’t go to a movie and put up with some know-it-all behind you pointing out how Jason Bourne’s form of martial arts isn’t true ju jitsu.  You would either ignore him or tell him to shut his mouth.  This approach should be taken with ‘sim’ nazis as well.  Although, I highly suggest that you either ignore them or be polite if you want to stay in the community.

The Bottom Line

I am here to tell you to have a good time and play the game however the hell you want to.  If you want some help or guidance on either the finer points of the game or maybe you even want to know what my settings or opinion is on settings, let me know through our comments section, send us an email at officialnoobtubetv@gmail.com or send us a message on our Facebook Page.

Picking Your Team In Connected Careers Mode – Madden 13 (Player Edition)

It is the first and most important question you must ask before you play a career mode in any sports game.

“On which team should I choose to coach or play?”

In Madden 13 you will first have to make a choice as to whether you want to be a player or a coach.  In that spirit, we are happy to present you with a full summary of each team’s needs as they are provided by EA Sports in the Connected Careers manual – although they are completely re-worded.

Choosing to be a player will entail a bit more focus on where and how you want your career to start.  The goals you will have to achieve will differ depending on your back-story; but the real decision you need to make as a player will be which team you want to try and become a starter.  This all comes back to which players each team needs and that is our focus in this article – the easiest teams and positions to start a career in Madden 13 as a player.

Arizona Cardinals – Quarterback, Tight End, Outside Linebacker and Cornerback

When it comes to playing for the Cardinals, they could be the top choice for many wanna-be Quarterbacks.  You will start with having one of the best receivers in the league in Larry Fitzgerald and also one of the better young prospects in Michael Floyd.  Outside of that, you shouldn’t have a lot of competition from the likes of John Skelton or the apparently terrible trade acquisition of Kevin Kolb.

Arizona also has a wide open role for someone to play Tight End (TE), granted – this means you will have to also replace hometown hero, Todd Heap who played his college ball in Arizona.  Here’s hoping you can get the QB to throw you the ball when you are competing for touches with Fitzgerald and Floyd though.

On defense it is really a matter of either being an effective outside linebacker or being the other cornerback to help the outstanding Patrick Peterson.  Peterson is quickly becoming one of the most impressive young talents in the NFL but he can only guard one receiver at a time.  That could be a good opening for you to step up and help in Arizona.

Atlanta Falcons – Guard, Middle Linebacker, Strong Safety, Tight End and Quarterback

Starting your career in Atlanta will present you with a tough task as a player.  If you want to be a starting QB you will probably have to wait at least one season to overtake Matt Ryan.  Although, the potential is there to amaze coaches as the second coming of Brett Favre (sorry Falcons fans – had to say it) you will have to earn your stripes and prove that you are better than Matty Ice.

The Falcons need some help on defense and that will give you a nice opportunity to try and step in as a Middle Linebacker or a Strong Safety.  The benefit of these positions is that they give you a great opportunity to be an enforcer on defense.  Want to lay out receivers coming over the middle – why not do it in Hotlanta?

Baltimore Ravens – Outside Linebacker, Safety, Tight End and Cornerback

Baltimore was a true title contender last season.  Naturally, they really don’t have a lot of needs but that doesn’t mean you can’t play there.  Your best bet is to come in as a receiving Tight End to help Joe Flacco with a decent outlet when his receivers can’t get open.

You are also looking at openings at Linebacker and Cornerback as the Ravens are starting to age on defense, they will need to find replacements for players like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.  Outside linebacker might give you a solid chance to come in as a pass rushing monster in Baltimore.

Buffalo Bills – Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Tight End, Cornerback and Safety

It isn’t really a question of whether you will play much on the Bills.  It is a question of where you want to play.  Buffalo hasn’t had a real Quarterback since Jim Kelly and their receivers aren’t exactly big names either.  Stevie Johnson can easily be complimented with a WR that can run routes decently (and not drop easy touchdowns to win big games).  The same can really be said at Tight End as the Bills need all the help they can get.

On defense, they have the line on lock with the likes of Marcel Dareus and Mario Williams.  However, that doesn’t mean you can’t provide aid as a defensive back like a prototype cornerback or even a balanced safety.  When it comes to Buffalo, don’t expect a lot of wins – but there is a lot of room for you to get playing time and maybe even build them into a winner behind your efforts.

Carolina Panthers – Guard, Wide Receiver and Free Safety

Want a good piece of advice?  Don’t try to be a Quarterback for the Panthers.  You won’t be overtaking Cam Newton any time soon.  On the other hand, you can come in an compliment Steve Smith as a decent route running WR or look to start as soon as possible as a Free Safety.  With the Panthers, there really aren’t a ton of options because they are so young and talented.  However, when it comes down to it there are some openings for you to jump in and join the fray.

Chicago Bears – Offensive Line, Defensive Tackle and Safety

Da Bears are one of the most talented teams in the NFL and you will have a tough time starting from the get-go.  However, if you are looking for a more sure-fire way to start for the Bears  you should try to become a receiving tight end or possibly a safety.  If you want to eventually become the next Middle Linebacker in Chicago, you will have to serve as a back-up for Brian Urlacher and earn your stripes.

Cincinnati Bengals – Red-Zone Threat Wide Receiver, Tight End, Right Guard, Field General Quarterback  and Strong Safety

The Bengals are an interesting situation because if you want to be the quarterback that brings them back to their Super Bowl days of the late 1980s you will need to be a solid Field General.  Andy Dalton is good, but you can come in and replace him with a little bit of work and focus on being consistent.  AJ Green is the #1 WR on this team, but they need a second option – so if you don’t want to try and replace the Ginger Ninja, you can always come in and catch passes from him.  You can also push for a spot as the Bengals runningback as they have been a team in flux at that position since Corey Dillon left the team years ago.

On defense you will have a hard time getting a starting job as they are one of the best defenses in the NFL.  However, they can always use a great enforcer at strong safety and if you don’t mind laying down the law they won’t mind you in Cincinnati.

Cleveland Browns – West Coast Quarterback, Red-Zone Threat Wide Receiver, Left Guard, Right Tackle and Run Supporting Safety

Face it, Cleveland is terrible if you want a winning team.  However, if you want a chance to start and bring the team back to the glory days of the 1960s or even the mid-1980s you could always be the West Coast Quarterback that the team has been waiting for.  While you shouldn’t try to come in and replace the highly touted Trent Richardson at HB there is definitely an opening for you to step in as the #1 Wide Receiver for Brandon Weeden.

On the defensive side of the ball the Browns are only a few pieces short of being one of the best teams in the league.  They are pretty much set on the defensive line but that shouldn’t keep you from pushing for a spot as a run supporting safety or maybe even a decent outside linebacker.

Dallas Cowboys – Speed Wide Receiver, Balanced Free Safety, Prototype Strong Safety

The Cowboys have some solid options at WR, but the door is open to come in as a Speed WR and contribute right away. Even with a little practice and standout games in the preseason, you may just start the season as Tony Romo’s go-to guy. On defense, you can make a splash as a Balanced FS or Prototype SS.

Denver Broncos –

You won’t replace Peyton Manning any time soon.  However, you could always try and become his favorite target (assuming you can take he eyes off Demaryus Thomas) and become a possession WR that gladly flies over the middle like Wes Welker does for Tom Brady.  You could also try to emulate Dallas Clark and become a receiving TE that makes every dump-off throw look like an intentional pass because you are just that good.

On the defensive side of things the Broncos are aging at cornerback but could really use some help in the safety position.  Make it your mission to remind people of the great John Lynch or Brian Dawkins and you will be a welcome addition in Denver’s defense.

Detroit Lions – Speed Runningback, Run Support Safety, Balanced Cornerback and Possession Wide Receiver

Detroit is one of the more interesting teams to roll with because they are so young and talented at many positions but they are still lacking enough to make that final stride deep into the playoffs.  You can come in and prove yourself to be a great option at runningback if you do well in practices.  They really need someone to come in and convince opposing defenses that every play isn’t a pass.  In the same breath, you can also try and develop yourself to play second fiddle to Megatron (Calvin Johnson) and make secondaries hate playing the Lions even more.

Detroit still needs a lot of help in their own secondary and could use you right away if you are a great man coverage cornerback or a great safety – they won’t be picky.

Green Bay Packers – Balanced Runningback and Safety

The Packers were 15-1 last year and really don’t need a lot of help.  However, they do need someone to take some pressure off of Aaron Rodgers and run the ball a few times every game.  It might be tough to get a lot of yards rushing in this pass-happy offense – but if you want to make your mark as a starter early in the season, you have come to the right place.

On defense the Pack can really use someone at safety.  They lack the type of playmaking guy that other teams like the Steelers have in Polamalu and that would truly make this defense even more fearsome.

Houston Texans – Red Zone Threat Wide Receiver, Playmaking Strong Safety

Houston doesn’t need a lot of help in their tremendous offense, but Andre Johnson would appreciate you taking some of the pressure off of him as a second option for their passing attack.

On defense the Texans need an enforcer in the middle secondary and if you could prove to be that type of monster that makes people go “Woo!” you will be a welcome addition to the Texans’ defense.

Indianapolis Colts – Take Your Pick – Runningback, Receiver, Anything…

According the the CCM Manual you can even come in and replace Andrew Luck at QB.  While we would discourage this from a common sense perspective, it is pretty much your choice with the Colts.  Where they need the most help on offense is in the running game.  They built a team for passing with Peyton Manning but now they need to learn how to develop something that doesn’t implode after one guy leaves.

In that same breath, the Colts haven’t really had a feared defense.  They can use pretty much anyone as a linebacker and if you want to be a decent coverage cornerback, they could use you there as well.  This is a team in shambles and they need you more that you need them.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Field General Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Safety

The Jaguars are a team in flux.  They have a new owner that looks like Mario and with a name like Khan – it is only a matter of time before this sunshine state team feels his wrath with a move to Los Angeles.  That said, you can come in and replace their terrible Quarterbacks (take your pick) on day one.  The other move would be to come in as a receiver and hope the terrible quarterback situation will pan out at least for your stats – if not the win column.

On defense they really need someone to play safety.  It shouldn’t be too bad from a statistical point of view as the Jaguars are almost as terrible as the Colts.

Kansas City Chiefs – Field General Quarterback, Receiving Tight End, Run Stopping Strong Safety

The Chiefs thought they had a winner in Matt Cassell.  Little did they know that it was a stupid idea to assume a quarterback would do well just because he did a decent job on an elite team before his arrival.  Cassell can be replaced if you want to come in as a QB on Day One.  Outside of that, you can also be a receiving Tight End and make people forget about Tony Gonzalez.

On defense you can team up with Eric Berry and make it a very scary place for receivers to go.  Become an enforcer on defense and you might bring this team closer to ‘the next step’.

Miami Dolphins – West Coast QB, Wide Receiver, Receiving Tight End and Safety

The Dolphins have a strange quarterback situation that could allow you to jump ahead of Ryan Tannehill.  While we wouldn’t suggest that for the same reason we don’t suggest trying to overtake Andrew Luck (See the Colts, above) it is still possible.  On the other hand, the real spot to reach for will be as a Wide Receiver with the recent dismissal of Chad Johnson.  Assuming there is no option to head-butt your wife in Connected Careers, you should be guaranteed a spot on the Dolphins as a WR.

If you prefer, you can also try to become a receiving tight end for Tannehill and that could make you the next Rob Gronkowski.  At least when you are in South Beach you will have a legitimate reason to take your shirt off and make the cover of TMZ.

On defense you can come in and start as a safety simply because they are that desperate.  In Miami you really have a lot of options for a team that will have a tough road ahead in the talented AFC East.

Minnesota Vikings – West Coast Quarterback, Receiving Tight End, Cover 2 Middle Linebacker, Safety

The Vikings are a team that were on the cusp of greatness with Brett Favre only a few short years ago.  Since his third retirement they have been searching for hope in all the wrong places.  Adrian Peterson can’t do it by himself and you certainly can’t do better – so don’t try to step in at runningback.  You can come in at Quarterback on day one and compete to be the starter.  Also, there is plenty of room for you to be the receiving tight end that they haven’t had for a long time if ever.

On defense the Vikings have the great Jared Allen at defensive end.  However, you can come in and be the monster they need as a middle linebacker or even as a safety.  The Vikings had a top tier defense only a couple years ago.  It is time for someone to make them powerful again.

New England Patriots – Balanced Runningback, Man Coverage CB, Safety

On offense you need them more than they need you.  Tom Brady has no equal at his position and his receivers certainly don’t need your ‘depth’.  On the other hand, you can come in and be a decent runningback if you do well during the preseason.

On defense, the Pats could use someone to step up as a great cornerback or feared safety.  Outside of that you will have a relatively tough time playing in New England.

New Orleans Saints –  Red Zone Threat Wide Receiver, Run Support Cornerback

Unless you put out a bounty for Drew Brees you won’t be the quarterback for the Saints.  That said, you can be one of his receiving targets if you work hard as a red-zone receiver.  The Saints are one of the best offenses in the NFL, it will be tough to do much else.

On defense they are also stacked but could use you as a run support cornerback.  With enough hard work you can play for the Saints but when it is all said and done it will be tough to be a day one starter here in your first season.

New York Giants – Receiving Tight End, Balanced Middle Linebacker

The Giants won the Super Bowl last year.  They really don’t need a lot of help anywhere.  That said, Eli Manning could use you as a receiving tight end to help take pressure off his great receivers.

On defense you will have the best chance to overtake Chase Blackburn as middle linebacker.  Blackburn made an amazing interception while guarding Rob Gronkowski in the Super Bowl but you can try and become the ‘every play’ MLB if you perform well.

New York Jets – Balanced Quarterback, Outside Linebacker

The Jets have a quarterback controversy already.  The benefit for you is that neither of them is really that impressive.  Tebow is a name more than a real quarterback and Sanchez is one of the most overrated quarterbacks in recent memory.  You can come in and make everyone start screaming as there is a three way (don’t make this weird) quarterback controversy.

On the other hand, you can try and catch throws from these crappy QBs as a possession receiver that compliments Santonio Holmes.

Defense is the name of the game for the Jets as Rex Ryan has made them one of the best in the league.  However, if you want to make this defense that much better you are better off trying to do it as the LOLB.  Outside of that, you will have to wait awhile to play on this defense.

Oakland Raiders – Speed Wide Receiver, Prototype Cornerback

The Raiders haven’t changed much since the death of Al Davis.  They still prefer speed over anything and if you want to be that type of receiver that burns past everyone – Oakland is your home.  Otherwise, they are set with great talent on offense.

On defense they lost a lot when Nnamdi Asomugha left for Philly.  If you can be the prototype cornerback this team needs you might help them become a true playoff contender.

Philadelphia Eagles – Receiving Tight End, Prototype OLB, Run Support Strong Safety

The Eagles are talented.  While they weren’t the ‘Dream Team’ that some crackheads (Vince Young) thought they would be they are mighty powerful on offense.  Your best bet is to try and overtake Brent Celek as a receiving tight end by the end of your first season.  Outside of that, you really don’t have an offensive option to start in your rookie year.

On defense they need some help from the outside edge with an outside linebacker.  Their most glaring weakness is at safety – Brian Dawkins has been missed greatly and if you can be the enforcer they need you might have a home in Philly.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Good Luck… Receiving Tight End, Zone Coverage Cornerback

This is one of the most talented teams on both sides of the ball.  The Steelers are set pretty much everywhere, but you might be able to make an impact as a receiving tight end on offense.

On defense you won’t crack this starting lineup unless you try to be a zone coverage cornerback.  The Steelers are stacked and you will have to earn every snap on this team.

San Diego Chargers – Red Zone Threat Wide Receiver, Run Support Strong Safety

This is a talented team with an elite passer in Philip Rivers.  They lost Vincent Jackson to the Buccaneers and now you could step in and make people forget about the diva WR.  It is the perfect situation in the perfect offense for you to be a receiver.

On defense your best bet is to be a run supporting safety to help deal with the likes of the AFC West’s great runningbacks.

San Francisco 49ers – West Coast QB… anything else is going to be tough

In the off-season there were rumors about the 49ers pursuing Peyton Manning to replace Alex Smith.  Now you can take over that job as Smith is still in question as a true championship quarterback.  Take advantage of the pre-season to overtake the former #1 overall pick and then throw to some of the best receivers in the NFL.

On defense you are out of luck.  This is one of the best squads in the NFL and you won’t get playing time on defense.  Look elsewhere.

Seattle Seahawks – Field General Quarterback, Possession Wide Receiver, Outside Linebacker

Being the Quarterback in Seattle will be tough as they put a bunch of money into the ‘one game wonder’ Matt Flynn.  You might be the quarterback of the future if you can outperform him.  They can also use some help at wide receiver if you want to go that direction.

On defense the Seahawks let go of former top pick, Aaron Curry last season.  You can try to fill his shoes and be the player they need at Outside Linebacker.

St. Louis Rams – Balanced Wide Receiver, Outside Linebacker, Man Coverage Cornerback

Want to make the Rams into the ‘Greatest Show on Turf Part 2’?  Make yourself into a great receiver with Sam Bradford and you might be on your way to greatness.  Outside of that you can also go to the defensive side of the ball.

On defense you can make an impact as an outside linebacker or a man coverage cornerback.  In St. Louis they really need a lot of help everywhere.  If you can step up and perform against the divisional powerhouse in San Francisco you might be on the right track back to the Super Bowl.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Balanced Runningback, Balanced Defensive End, Cover 2 Middle Linebacker

Tampa could use another option outside of LeGarrette Blount and you could step in and show them what they are missing.  They got rid of Kellen Winslow and that should also give you hope to be a balanced tight end.

On defense you can step up and become the feared middle linebacker that the Bucs have been missing.  They could also use some help on the defensive line at the DE position.  Tampa has a tough division to face with great opposing quarterbacks but if you can become a monster that they fear – even better.

Tennessee Titans – Strong Arm Quarterback, Possession Wide Receiver, Run Support DB

The Titans pursued Peyton Manning more than any other team (besides the Broncos – apparently) and they are eager to find their QB of the future.  If you want to catch passes from Jake Locker you should be the compliment to Kenny Britt as a possession receiver.  If this game had off the field issues for player you might overtake Britt – unfortunately you will play second fiddle to this talented receiver.

On defense the Titans need a lot of help but the secondary needs the most.  Come in and be the run support they need at safety or cornerback and you might be the right guy for the job.

Washington Redskins – Balanced Runningback, Prototype Receiver, Prototype Safety and Cornerback

Washington gives you no chance to be a quarterback to replace RG3 – forget about it.  However, you can come in and replace Roy Helu with enough work.  Outside of runningback you can also try to come in and make an impact at receiver.  It is a tough position to crack, but really they need someone to help Santana Moss and Pierre Garcon.  Make your receiver at least 6’3″ and you will have a strong possibility to be a starter sooner rather than later.

On defense you will have a good chance at safety or cornerback.  The Skins need some help to get respect in perhaps the toughest division in the NFL.  If you can make the secondary better you can be a starter for a long long time.

Madden 13 Demo Should Be Released On August 14

*IT IS OFFICIAL!!! August 14! – LINK

It is the hope and expectation of many gamers and Madden NFL fans that the demo will be released next Tuesday, August 14.  Keep in mind that the demos are usually earlier builds of the game you hope to buy.  Also, you should take time with the demo in order to learn how to play the game and develop a feel for the new Infinity Engine.

No word on the teams you will get to use… Our guess is that the Giants will be one of them. Unless of course they want to show off the new Hall of Fame Stadium with a game between the Cardinals and Saints?

Either way it goes and however EA decides to release the demo of Madden, it should be known that this game is starting to pick up some steam and a lot of football fans’ hopes.  The new addition of Connected Careers has brought some people to the point where they think EA finally ‘gets it’.  This won’t be a part of the demo but you can hope and pray that it is worth your $60.  On the other hand, there are a lot of people in the hardcore community that are already annoyed with many decisions about Madden 13 from the developer perspective.  The primary issue revolves around the fact that the infinity engine is only going to effect tackles rather than every other facet of the game.  Hopefully we can expect these improvements in Madden 14, but don’t hold your breath.

Making Madden Better – Volume 1 – Ending Games

No matter which form of entertainment you choose – gaming, movies or books, if the ending is bad you will consider it either a waste of your time or sit there for a minute wondering if that really is all that happens.

Madden has a few issues in this department and no where is it more noticeable than at the end of a big game.  We are starting a new series of videos dedicated to helping make Madden a better experience.  These are primarily meant to catch the eyes of developers at Tiburon; however, if you have other suggestions for things we haven’t covered please comment below, send us a message on YouTube or email us at officialnoobtubetv@gmail.com.

Again, the content we provide is meant to be used as constructive criticism in order to improve the game.  There is no reason to point fingers or say anything in an unprofessional manner.  You will get nowhere fast if you think bashing something or someone will make it or them change.

Keep hitting that F5 key as NoobTubeTV is starting to grow more popular we will be posting more often.

Madden 13 Franchise Mode Details Coming Soon

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT UPDATES ON CONNECTED CAREERS!!!

 

As of next week (June 4) there is going to be a new blog released from EA Tiburon that is going to focus on ‘Connected Careers’.  The most important part of this for Madden fans is the hope for details about Madden’s Franchise Mode and what improvements or additions have been made.

It would be simple (in theory) to just add player morale to the player traits section. It shouldn’t be an editable value, but making it a dynamic value that fluctuates is a must for Franchise Mode immersion and longevity.

Madden 12 saw a jump in quality for Franchise Mode, but there were still many bugs and glitchy occurrences that cast an ugly shadow on some of the details that really can’t be overlooked.  Some examples include –

  • Making it to the Super Bowl with a team like the Browns more than once but having the same banner showing that it is their first trip.
  • Being able to sign Free Agents for much cheaper by going to the “Free Agent” section rather than “Player Management” (where you have to pay players a more realistic salary instead of cheating them with a 1-year $620 deal for a guy that would/should demand more.
  • Schedules generated year-to-year are random and can end up giving you 6 straight home games and all your division games in the first ten weeks. (The NFL is making a constant effort to schedule division opponents at the end of every season to make late season games matter, this should be done in Madden as well)
  • Draft logic and trade logic is still busted as we covered before.
  • The lack of a decent system of Player Value that should mean you have to pay a player based on his performance rather than just his OVR.  If you have a QB that breaks every record (regardless of your sliders, his OVR or anything else) he should have a high value that essentially equates to you having to pay more to keep him around.  The current system of OVR plays too much of a role and takes much of the focus away from the Skill Ratings which should be the first thing you look for.
  • Another missing component that has been in NBA 2k and even PS2 Madden titles is morale and attitude for players.  This is something that MUST be in Madden in order for Franchise Mode to really hold any water past what it can hold currently.  Franchise Mode needs more personality and that should start and end with the personality of every owner, GM, Coach and Player in the game.
  • If you draft a QB in the first round like the Browns did with Old Man Weeden and you have Colt McCoy being relegated to back-up his morale should take a major hit.
  • Trade Demands and Holdouts – Take a look at the current situation with Drew Brees and tell us that this shouldn’t be in the game.

These are just some of the changes that must occur in Madden 13 for Franchise Mode.

A Brief Segway/Comment on The Drew Brees Situation

This holdout (which involves Brees and the Saints disagreeing on a contract extension because of a few million bucks) must end soon if the Saints hope to save any face in the months following Bountygate.  Brees led this team to their only Super Bowl Championship and now is being jerked around like he was simply a role-player.  Without Brees the Saints would be like the 2011 Colts without Peyton Manning (or worse).  Already, they are without their Head Coach and other major personnel.  The worst part really involves the current interaction between interim-Head Coach, Joe Vitt and Brees.

This isn’t Vitt’s team.  This is something that must be made abundantly clear between the players (especially Brees) and the ownership.  Payton is serving a one-year suspension which really makes Vitt look like the guy that comes into a broken home and tries to lay down the law.  The response from the players (his children) will most likely result in some sort of “Your Not My (Real) Dad!!!” interaction.

To make it short, the situation with the Saints this year could result in a Top-10 Draft Pick next year that will take over for a spiteful (rightfully so) Drew Brees.

This once again begs the question – Where is the personality in Madden’s Franchise Mode?  Hopefully we find out on Tuesday.

Madden 13 Must Improve Draft Presentation and Franchise Mode

Ask any NFL fan about their favorite team’s draft and you will get some sort of response.

As a Browns fan I will give you all you need to hear and more. First, we needed to fix our offense with better receivers and someone to take over after Hillis’ departure.

The Trent Richardson pick was a good one at the time and still is; however, to give up the picks we did in order to get him I would have thought that we would be super smart about the ones we had left.

Then we took a 28 year old QB, Brandon Weeden at #22.  In a league where you are looked at as old when you are 30 it is strange to see that as a pick with any sort of gainful longevity.  Yet, even that pick wasn’t too terrible in the scheme of things.  It was followed up with Mitchell Schwartz from Cal, a big and mean O-Lineman.

Then we took John Hughes!  Yeah, you read right… 16 Candles, Pretty In Pink and St. Elmo’s  Fire on the Cuyahoga JOHN HUGHES!… Actually, it is some sort of D-Lineman that is going to be a back-up for our talented middle D-Lineman Rubin and Taylor.  I was confused by this pick to say the least… then my confusion turned to anger when I saw the other players taken after we traded down and move around in the draft to get a guy that wasn’t even projected to get picked in the draft on many experts’ boards.

That said…

Ever since Madden came out on the 360/PS3 generation of consoles it has had growing pains that have led many football gamers to get banned from forums for venting their anger (which will never happen on our boards, assuming you support your opinion without major profanity— which with Madden can be hard at times).  The worst part about Madden for years had been Franchise Mode and bugs in Franchise Mode.  That said, there are three major events for NFL fans:

  1. The NFL Draft
  2. Kickoff Week
  3. The Super Bowl

Improving The Draft (What’s Missing?)

There is a reason why the NFL Draft is #1 on that list.  It gives people faith that for a moment, their team is going to get better.  They might find their ‘Tom Brady’ or ‘Peyton Manning’.  There are some players that coming out of college are looked at as ‘sure things’ like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III and then you have big risks on guys like Vontaze Burfict (went to the halfway-house, AKA the Cincinnati Bengals after going undrafted) who have major character issues.

People go nuts for the draft and it is something that is often talked about more than the Super Bowl.  Simply because it is something that every team has a chance to do and do well.

Madden has no personality or atmosphere for the Draft.  It is difficult to see what other teams are doing in your Franchise Mode.  One example is when a team trades up or down in the draft there is usually some sort of reaction by commentators (which also don’t exist in Madden’s Franchise Mode for the Draft) – in Madden you are greeted with a notice that a trade took place and which picks were involved… and then nothing… No highlight of who was so important that the team moved up to get them.  You are also not going to see which players teams select during the draft because the Drafted Player Ticker resets after every pick, rendering it impossible to see how the draft is going or who is coming off the board in any sort of fluid manner.

If the Cowboys were to take a punter with the first pick in the draft you would probably see riots and hear commentators berate the management (Jerry Jones) of the Cowboys…. Not in Madden, take whoever you want because no one cares.  Perhaps that is the real personality of Madden’s Franchise Mode – No one cares… and frankly, why should they?

Not to mention it is hard to really have any sense of immersion in a league that seems to exist without any sort of news feed that is easily accessible to let you know that certain players are under-performing.  Then again, that is the hideous beauty of Madden’s Franchise Mode.

Minus the lacking atmosphere, here is a list of just some of the things that are missing from creating a true Franchise Mode experience worth paying $60 for every. single. year…:

  1. Player Morale and Personality – Players have no personality.  Some teams are simply not desirable to play for, yet… that never comes into play with Madden, just sign the players without any real attention  to what type of coach, owner or city they want to play in.  Are they just about money are they loyal to loyal fans?… That doesn’t matter in Madden.
  2. Player Performance – This doesn’t matter from multiple levels in Franchise Mode.  As far as the much vaunted online roster updates go, apparently a player is better on a week by week basis.  However, when it comes to any sort of adjustment to a player after he throws for 500 yards and 6 TDs twice in three weeks, there is no such update to his throwing abilities or his much over-hyped OVR (Overall) Rating.
  3. Player Value – This rating doesn’t exist in Madden at all.  This means that when you have a player that runs for 2000 yards two years in a row and then wants to be traded elsewhere you might not be able to get what you should for him because his OVR is 80 due to a low AWR (Awareness) Rating, even if he has 98 SPD, 97 JKE, 95 SPN, etc.  The system of value for performance is a constant battle between gamers that state performance means little when potential is all that matters.  My response is that performance is MEASUREABLE and potential will NEVER be.

This list will be expanded over the course of the next few months and years as Madden is sure to continue to grow and regress in quality and features.  The first step for any game mode like Franchise Mode is ATMOSPHERE and IMMERSION and that should start with the most important day  (weekend) of the NFL Year – The NFL Draft.