If you consider the past, it is usually a pretty safe bet to plan on a patch coming from EA Tiburon within seven to eight weeks of release. Madden 13 has received relatively rave reviews this year – outside of the users that apparently need fantasy drafts in order to survive. The biggest issues facing Madden relate to the problems found in their vaunted Connected Careers Mode. There are also numerous gameplay issues that could use help from Tuner Updates and other such attention from EA Tiburon.
We will be keeping you updated on Madden 13 patch information as the month keeps moving on. One thing is certain – the longer EA waits to support the game they put out every year the more people will abandon it for real football on TV, Borderlands and maybe even NBA 2K13. In other words – EA needs to act like they care about their product for once and be a bit more proactive with their patch and tuner support.
This is yet another reason why we can’t wait for competition in football gaming.
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.
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 email@example.com or send us a message on our Facebook Page.
Players like Tom Brady shouldn’t celebrate touchdowns when they are still losing by 21+ points with less than 2 minutes left. If anything they should be scowling and angry or some other sort of reaction that says ‘this isn’t enough’ if they are losing the game.
Divisional games and playoff clinching games should end with bigger celebrations from players and coaches. This shouldn’t be limited to the Super Bowl or even playoff games, but also with games in the division like the Browns beating the Steelers. Also, a team clinching the division or a wild card spot in the playoffs should have players and fans that celebrate, cheer and go crazy.
NoobTubeTV has come to the side of Battlefield 3 on many occasions over the past gaming year. It had its own issues with matchmaking and other strange glitches that eventually get fixed with 1.2GB patches(!) but it was still an excellent game that demanded your attention for in depth gameplay and multiple ways to level up as any of four classes with tremendous detail to weapon differential, etc.
The Expected Route of ‘Premium’ Content
Then EA decided to push Battlefield Premium after nearly 9 months of being released. Premium isn’t much different from Call of Duty Elite in price or content. It is $50 and you get guaranteed early access to DLC and Add-Ons for Battlefield 3. That isn’t the issue at this point – it was an expected route for them to take because it essentially ‘saves’ their dedicated fanbase the same $10 that Elite ‘saves’ COD gamers.
The Unexpected Ultimate Middle Finger To Their Previously Dedicated Fans
In case you didn’t come across the latest substantiated rumor hitting many outlets, Battlefield 3 looks like it is set to release a new retail game of ‘Battlefield 3: Premium Edition‘ for $70. In case you don’t want to do the quick math…
The more dedicated fanbase of Battlefield 3 purchased the game for $60(plus tax) in October, 2011. Then they bought Premium for $50. This adds up to approximately $110 of hard-earned money poured into a game that will now (almost one year later) will come with all of that same content for $70.
Is EA trying to tell us something? Is it really possible that their message is – “Don’t buy our games on release day because eventually you will be able to get all the DLC in some sort of ‘Ultimate Edition’ a year later?
It certainly seems that way.
The Death of Battlefield 3?
It might not kill the game completely, but the notion that EA would do something like this is a bad way to treat the gamers that have been playing their game constantly over the last year. Sure, it might be worth the extra money to most of the gamers out there, but the bottom line is that this is in bad taste as they already released word of a Battlefield 4 Beta that will be included (for later access) with Medal of Honor: Warfighter.
EA has never really been in the business of treating consumers well. So, really – are you surprised?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
As we approach the launch of Madden 13 it should be noted that EA Sports still has exclusive rights to the NFL license. There are a few things in gaming that truly drive innovation and the primary motivating factor is true competition. EA has found out the hard way that monopolizing the market to fix prices is the wrong way to go about this not only with fans of sports gaming, but now with the Federal Court system.
If you want the real moral of the story, it is that EA Sports will be banned from exclusive deals ONLYwith NCAA Football and Arena Football League. Which in all honesty is simply a slap on the wrist. The real competition they faced was from 2K in the NFL 2K series.
What this really means is that you shouldn’t hold out hope that 2K (or any other developer) will get a chance to make an NFL game. However, if they do get that chance, it will probably be on the next generation of consoles (if ever).
What about the Class Action Lawsuit?
In terms of what you ‘get’ out of it… $2 for any 360, Wii or PS3 American Football Title (AFL, Madden, NCAA) and just under $7 for PS2, Gamecube and XBox games that came out after 2005.
EA Sports is being hit where it counts – the wallet. This isn’t the type of punch in the face that knocks them out of Exclusive Rights in sports gaming, but it is a sign that what they have been doing isn’t right. EA has potential to make some of the best sports games out there and when they had to fight against NFL 2K5 it was the best iteration of Madden (2005) ever.
In 2005 it was like watching Rocky 2. Two developers were busting their asses trying to prove that they had the best game out there. In the end you see both of them fall to the ground in the last few seconds. 2K5 came out with a great game for $20 and after seeing this, EA released Madden for $30 rather than $50. EA came out on top and then just like Rocky they were the world champs.
Then after 2005, EA Sports turned into Rocky in Rocky 3. They got lazy and lost a lot of their motivation to train hard. They started doing stupid promotions and simply got full of themselves because everyone they would fight would be a push-over (if there was anyone to fight).
The biggest fear that EA has right now is for a game like NFL 2K to come back around like Clubber Lang and “crucify them, real bad.”
While it seems that we might not like EA Sports games… it is to the contrary. We love EA Sports titles, but we loved them more when they were trying harder. It isn’t fair to EA Sports that they have no competition, it makes them look soft and it prevents them from improving. We want to see a good fight between developers that makes us get excited again.
We are entering the time of year when a lot of the most anticipated titles are coming out. One thing that tends to make it tough on gamers is making the choice of which game you have to skip out on.
Amazon does a nice job of enticing people by offering this sweet deal that basically means if you pre-order four games, you get the 5th game for free! Take it upon yourself to jump on this when you can!
Keep in mind, if the price changes (gets cheaper) before release like NCAA 13 did, you will get that price and the $15 credit to your Amazon Account!
Football is the most popular sport in the United States. The people that love the game know it and the hardcore fans of football video games know it too. So, why does it seem like EA Sports doesn’t really give a damn?
If you consider the fact that the only option you have for a legitimate football title (pro or college) is limited to EA Sports, that should tell you enough. Then you get to live the annual nightmare of playing the same game with different glitches and problems.
The saddest part about NCAA Football is that for a few years it actually stepped up its game enough to be preferred over Madden. Now we are seeing it fall back into the grand old EA trap of “If it works, let’s break it!” and “If it is broken, let’s put something in slow-motion or ignore it altogether.”
NCAA Football 13 relies heavily on Dynasty Mode for the bulk of its players. One thing that had been part of NCAA Football for over a decade was being able to export your draft classes to Madden after each year of college football. While this transition often translated to poorly rated NFL Draft Counter-Parts and other problems (every black player having dreadlocks back in Madden 08, for example) – it was still one heck of a cool feature to have.
Now it is gone.
You have a ‘new’ scouting system and some new ways to sell recruits, but what it all really boils down to is – nothing has really changed. It has either been tweaked or taken away.
You will (supposedly) notice players have to ‘see’ the ball to make a play on it, but that won’t last long as EA has never had anything like this in a football title and likely will find a way to screw this up like they did with ‘Rocket Catching’ and Linebackers that compensate for bad AI with the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
You might look at this as a harsh criticism, but what it really boils down to is the fact that EA Sports’ football titles are like settling for White Castle’s Sliders. You may like it at first, but you will pay the price later.
We are only a few days from the release of NCAA 13 and just over a month from Madden 13. That being said, you can almost smell the football in the air. Unfortunately, you can also smell the elitist sports gamers over the internet. Readying their little fingers to type angry messages in response to your excited Franchise Mode Connected Career performance updates that may or may not include winning a Super Bowl with the Cleveland Browns in 2013.
Usually your success with a ‘weaker’ team is going to be attributed to your Slider Settings. These wonderful additions to sports games have been around for awhile. They are meant to act as a way for you (the end user) to tune the gameplay in order for you to either make the game play like your opinion of simulation (or Arcade – which Madden is usually a fine example of every year). It then becomes a war of words and Slider Settings in the messageboards and sports gaming communities.
Your typical interaction with a slider nazi could sound (read) like this.
You – I just won the Super Bowl with the Browns! It was amazing! We managed to sweep the AFC North behind the amazing play of Trent Richardson (led the league in rushing and TDs) and our under-rated defense! We beat the Cowboys 24-10 as Brandon Weeden connected with Josh Cribbs on a screen pass that ended up sealing the deal late in the game!
Responding (Hater) Slider Nazi – You obviously have to change your sliders! There is no way the Browns will EVER win a Super Bowl, let alone this year. You need to make sure your run blocking is tuned down if Trent Richardson is leading the league as a rookie. Not to mention the fact that the Browns are terrible… wow. big props to you on beating the weak CPU to a pulp. Did you have the difficulty set to Rookie?
There are two ways to look at this conversation and neither of them is necessarily wrong.
1 – If you enjoy your game, no one should be able to tell you how to enjoy it otherwise. If you truly have a good time winning the Super Bowl with ANY team, let alone a team like the Browns, Cavaliers, Kansas City Royals, Western Michigan or Columbus Blue Jackets… more power to you.
2 – There is something to be said for a game giving you a challenge. While the reactions of many sports gamers (such as the example above) are blown out of proportion, you should often consider if your sliders are providing you with the best challenge while still being fair to both sides. I have played 18 Collective Seasons in Madden 12’s Franchise Mode with teams such as the Browns, Bears and Jaguars. I won a few Super Bowls with the Browns and decided I wanted a new challenge so I switched teams and tweaked my sliders. It was three seasons before I won a Super Bowl with the Bears and the Jaguars team I inherited after leaving the Bears is going to be rough to work with.