The Sprint Button Is Your Enemy – Madden 19

Out of all the buttons and functions that Madden NFL has implemented (even the half-hearted ‘read tackle’ in Madden 18) there are few that have caused the gameplay more quality than the sprint button (R2 on PS4 and RT on XBox One).

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After playing too many games to count I decided to start playing with less use of the sprint button in my games against the CPU.  I couldn’t believe how much this little thing changed the entire experience.  All those times where I felt that my user controlled player was being cheated out of a presumably big play I realized that it was because I pressed the R2 button either too early or simply pressing it altogether.

A few things happen when you press the R2 button on offense.  If you are using a QB on a pass play it will put you into a scrambling mode where your passes will generally be less accurate (this is actually a good thing).  The other aspect that tends to drastically change your experience is that it seems to cause the CPU to rush the QB like a beacon.  While this makes some sense as most defensive players would start focusing on a dangerous scramble – it feels too much like a homing beacon.  This is where the real issue comes into play.

You will notice the biggest issue on offense when you are controlling the running back and press the sprint button.  It will cause the defense to essentially speed up and focus completely on the ball carrier.  The blocking from your AI teammates will break down faster and it will essentially dismantle your play before it ever gets up and running (no pun intended).

By using the left analog stick and staying away from the sprint button you will see a few things happen.  The blocks will be better and the defense will actually react in a way that feels realistic instead of some version of mind reading monsters from Dark Souls.

Where I actually noticed the best function change was on defense.  By using the left stick in tandem with the defensive engagement moves, swim moves, etc. it was like a different game.  It felt smooth and actually made defense enjoyable!

If you press the sprint button on defense you will see the QB do all sorts of crazy stuff (including intentional grounding that is never called by the atrocious penalty system that hasn’t changed since Madden 96).  Every aspect of your defensive experience is generally ruined by using the sprint button.  Even the truck stick is better without it!

Give this a shot as you prepare for Madden 19.  You won’t regret it!

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Are You A Cheeser? Signs You Are An Exploit Abuser And How To Save Yourself

Hi, my name is Outspoknpoet and I am a cheeser.  (At least, that’s how I think it would go if we were forced to attend a support group for using game exploits.)

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I am a bit old school in my views of video games.  If there is something in the game that makes it easier to beat a CPU opponent, it is meant to be used… and maybe (always) abused.  For those of you that consider yourself an untouchable ‘purist’ that has never and will never use an exploit in a game I have two things to tell you.

1 – That’s BS and you know it.

2 – You are the gaming version of a hipster, congratulations.

Now that we have covered those bases, here is a quick definition from my point of view that covers what it means to be ‘cheesing’ and therefore makes you a ‘cheeser’.  Cheesing is simply defined as using a feature or mechanic in a video game in a way that exploits the AI in a way that it wasn’t necessarily intended to be used.

For instance, a few years ago I posted a video that showed the broken trade logic in Madden 12 and how you could use it to essentially trade for every single first round pick in franchise mode at the time.

The same goes for gameplay mechanics as well.  If there is a certain part of the game that you are playing where the CPU AI will move and opponent or make the opponent in question do something outside of what you would consider to be smart or normal  and you trigger that to happen if you can – that is cheesing.

Also, in sports games (especially Madden) there is a tremendous problem with cheesing that not only occurs against the CPU, but also against real-world opponents online and on local console match-ups.  A prime example of this in Madden (which seemingly hasn’t been fixed going into Madden 19) is almost every version of the screen pass.  It not only locks certain animations into motion, but it almost always guarantees a long gain on the play.  Those of you that have played Madden Ultimate Team know what I am talking about.  I would venture to say that most of us have used this more than a few times.  Here is an example…

Now, for those of you that get the picture.  Here are a few ways you can fix the problem on your end.

  1. Don’t use the play or the exploit – it really is that simple.
  2. In Madden, set up house rules for playcalling, running a certain exploit play once a game (or once a half) is a good start.
  3. Stream your games for others to watch.  Assuming you aren’t doing a speed-run (which is basically built on exploits, sigh) this kind of thing will keep you honest because there are witnesses.
  4. If it’s a difficulty thing and it can be changed (All Madden is known for making the CPU into a cheesing (if not completely cheating) AI.  I have found that setting it to All-Pro and making the sliders a bit less forgiving can be helpful.
  5. Decide what you want from your gaming experience.  If you are the type that just wants to blast the CPU all day long, go for it… cheese away.  Don’t expect to get a round of applause from your friends or anyone else – it’s your game.  You do you.

ONE THING TO NEVER DO!!!!!

Don’t cheese in online games.  We have all run into people that will use certain plays in sports games or certain tactics, characters, and/or weapons in any amount of other games.  It ruins the experience for everyone (even you) when you are cheating.  It quite simply is super uncool and if it can be proven, you should be banned from playing that game online – thankfully, some developers are taking this seriously.

Have fun out there.  Just don’t be a cheeser.

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.