If You Ain’t First, You’re Last – Why People Avoid Playing Sports Games Online

If You Find A Great League – Cherish It

Do not let my jaded perspective ruin your desire to find a great league.  I am always looking for a great group of gamers that want to have a genuinely great time playing the game for the sake of fun and community.  There are a few of these almost mythological leagues and dynasties out there.  The hard part is finding one that will accept a new member or finding one that is even looking for new members.

If you are looking for an online league for any sports game you would be wise to check out the forums over at OperationSports.com and TraditionSportsOnline.com.

I would be remissed and it would be unfair to tell you that every league and online experience is terrible.  However, this article is meant to educate you of the downfalls because if you find something great there will be no reason for you to read the rest of this article.  However, if you are looking for honesty with objective, personal experiences and opinions – NoobTubeTV.com is always the best place to find it.

Online Connected Careers could be Madden’s saving grace.
 Why People Avoid Playing Sports Games Online

There is a fine line between friendly competition and taking a game a bit too seriously.  In my early gaming years it was hard for me to take a loss… even to the CPU.  Somehow the ‘Reset’ button would always get hit or I would have something come up that I had to do that would make me turn the game off.  What I started to learn after awhile was that it gave my season quite a bit more enjoyment to lose a game that I either didn’t play well or was simply outclassed by better opposition.

Something happens when you start playing other people in sports games though.  It is as if the stress level increases exponentially and your enjoyment of the game gives way to one thing – winning at all costs.  The issue is starting to climb more and more as online competition becomes more ubiquitous with gaming in general.  There are two primary reasons why online sports gaming is avoided like the plague by a large percentage of sports gamers.

Online Lobbies Are A Cesspool

If you have played a game of Madden NFL online, the chances are good that you have come across someone that either becomes verbally abusive if you start winning or they do something that is almost more annoying.  Cheating or Cheesing (using shortcomings of the game’s AI or a certain play that is almost unstoppable every time) has given gamers a reason to avoid online sports gaming altogether.  In these cases, it really just ruins the game for people that either aren’t experienced or prefer to play a more ‘simulation’ style of game (look for our upcoming article on ‘Simple Ways To Be A ‘Sim’ Gamer’).

Online Leagues Are A Crapshoot

Over the last few years many sports games have started allowing online leagues to form so that groups of gamers could find purpose in what had been up until that point trivial leaderboard competitions at best.  There had been communities of gamers making their own online leagues for years.  It wasn’t until EA Sports gave gamers a chance to run a league with NCAA Football 09 that it became a bit more ‘mainstream’.  In Madden 10, it finally came in the form of the sickeningly bare-bones ‘Online Franchise’ mode.

In order to get Madden you should probably pre-order the game from GameStop.
Personally, I miss his presence in the game that has made his name even more immortal.

Now that all gamers had a chance to join a league in NCAA or Madden Football it was only a matter of time before the friendly leagues with a lot of promise turned into glorified Lobby Matches.  In college football leagues all you need to do is lose a game to effectively end your chances to win a championship and then you start seeing league member quit by the week.

In the pro game, it is a bit more forgiving if you lose a game… or five.  The problem with Madden is that for some reason a lot of the people that play it competitively make it seem like it is a requirement to be rude or make every game into some sort of digital war of  ‘money plays’.  Sure, there are occasions when you will find a decent game but those seem to be as fleeting as the leagues they are a part of.

Who Wants To Wait?

It isn’t a question of whether or not online leagues are a good idea or if there are ‘good’ leagues out there.  For most people, it just isn’t as much fun to play in an online league because they have to wait for other people.

On a personal level, it isn’t uncommon for me to play two or three games at a time during my sports gaming sessions.  If you are in a league with multiple users you usually have to wait on a scheduled advance before you can play another game.  I don’t want to plan my week or my days around other gamers.  If I start a game and in the middle of the first quarter I need to leave for an emergency I don’t want to have to explain myself to anyone, let alone some guy in my league.  If it is a friend, of course they will understand but when you start getting into leagues and ‘official sites’ it can turn into some sort of elitist club of ‘Uncle Ricos’.

 

 

Madden-ing: How Finding Madden ’93 In My Parents’ Garage Made Me Re-Think EA Sports and the Direction of the Madden Franchise

20 years ago I was a nine year-old sports fanatic.  I was lucky enough to get a Sega Genesis for Christmas in 1992.  After playing many great games like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 I was still hoping to have a chance to play a sports game.  Eventually, my mom and dad came home with a copy of John Madden Football ’93.  It was a gift for my 10th birthday and I cherished it.  I had played the same game while visiting my cousins in Georgia on a trip to the Citrus Bowl where I saw Garrison Hearst run over my beloved Buckeyes in Orlando.  It had hooked me from the first snap.

After years of asking for Tecmo Bowl for Christmas I had found a game of ‘real’ football.  You had to run ‘up’ the screen and call all sorts of different plays.  There was a manual that seemed to be 1000 pages long with player ratings and explanations of how to play every facet of the game.  I digress, my play-style was far from what many in the hardcore community would call ‘sim’… but dammit, I had a blast!  I could circle the field 3 times with Thurman Thomas before either getting tackled or scoring a touchdown.  So yes, before we get into the nitty gritty of this reflection – there are some incredibly arcade-like things about JMF93.

During my most recent visit with my parents we started going through some of the things I had packed away in the garage after getting married seven years ago (August 27).  In the process, I uncovered a bunch of old memorabilia and video games – including my Sega Collection with JMF93.  As I opened it up after years of storage and checked out the manual and case I was floored with how advanced this game was back in 1992 and perhaps more-so… how unimpressive the title has been in its growth during this generation of consoles.  That is where we will pick up the remainder of this article.

Why John Madden Football ’93 Is Better Than This Generation of Madden

Back Cover Game Features

Anytime you get a new game, the first thing you do is look at the back cover.  In this case, it is no different.  Upon finding JMF93 I took a look at some of the features in this game… and I was impressed.

Back Cover Features – How A Game Puffs Its Chest

“Buffalo’s No Huddle offense makes Washington scramble in the snow.”After seeing this quote, I started to think about some of the things the Madden development team has been championing over the last couple of years.  Teams playing like their real life counterparts and other such pursuits that sound great to anyone looking to have a great experience against their teams rival or the like.  Yet, how does this get so much coverage when almost 20 years ago – it was already in the game.  Granted, this is a small version of what we have now but the fact is that this is nothing new and even what we have tends to be broken from a logic perspective.

“Which four-time champion will dominate?” The next part of our back cover reveal is focusing on something similar to what we have this year – All Time Players and Teams.  This is one of those interesting things we commented in July when relating the inclusion of ‘Legendary Players’ for Madden 13 to All Pro Football 2K8.  In fact, if you want to go back 20 years, you will see that there are “8 Greatest-Ever Teams” that include teams such as the ’85 Bears, ’78 Steelers, ’84 49ers and more.  It tends to make us scratch our heads and wonder how original some of these ideas are or consider the notion that they have a tendency to recycle some of these old features as the games find new audiences.  It is a fine idea, but it seems somewhat off-base to call the inclusion of legendary teams or players anything but an expected inclusion at this point – rather than a ‘new feature’.

“Head butts, Clothesline Tackles and Shoestring catches”You would think that some of the animations from old games would make their way into future games with ease.  Well, clothesline tackles haven’t been included in Madden in almost a decade.  Head butts have gone the way of the Dodo with the NFL becoming more of a police-force trying to censor away the natural violence of their televised sport so Madden can stay rated-E… for the children.

Did You Know You Could Challenge Rulings In John Madden Football ’93?

There are a lot of things that Madden has that don’t really work well when it comes to actual in-game performance.  One of the things that people complain about almost every year is challenging calls on the field.  In JMF93 you could actually overturn penalties (see the picture to the right).  While this was limited to Head-to-Head games, it is still something to look back and snicker about because it probably worked better than the current system ‘works’.

Player Ratings Were Better 20 Years Ago, Kind of.

Another thing I noticed when browsing through the 79 PAGE manual was the listing of player ratings.  When you take a look at some of the ratings you might laugh, but most of the ratings when taken into further consideration come across as pretty fair and downright decent.  If you take a look at the pages we scanned you will see two teams with drastically different talent levels – Cleveland and Dallas.

Ratings have become some of the more contentious sticking points in Madden over the past 12+ years.  If you take a closer look at the ratings in JMF93 you will notice a few things.

– They are simplistic

– They are smaller (on a scale of 0-15 rather than 0-99)

– They are brutally honest

– They are somewhat wonky

For instance, Cleveland’s starting QB (Bernie Kosar) was given a Passing Range rating of 11 and a Passing Accuracy rating of 12.  He was a very slow QB when it came to running and scrambling and he was given a Speed Rating of only 4.  The interesting rating that is included is a Scrambling Rating… Kosar also had a 4.  His back-up on the other hand was given some rather strange ratings.  He was given a Passing Range rating of 0… yes… ZERO and then a Pass Accuracy rating of only 4 with SPD and Scrambling of 3.

If you look at the other page you will see one of the greatest running backs of all time has almost top ratings in every meaningful category.  Emmitt Smith was given 15s in Speed, Agility and Break Tackle with a 4 in Hands or ‘Catching’.  If you take a look at the ratings given to the running backs for the Browns you would think that their players were taken out of a tar pit with Speed Ratings of 7 and 8.  Kevin Mack (#34) was actually a FB and had a 12 SPD rating.  So, it wasn’t a complete loss for the Browns.

This Article Isn’t Meant To Trash On Madden Football

Before any Madden fanboys (see our earlier post if you don’t know what that means) read this article, please take into account that we are giving honest opinions based on evidence from actual games.  Also, it should be considered that we do realize that Madden 93 is clearly graphically inferior and definitely has issues with player movement when compared to current Madden games.  Again, this article isn’t stating that people will enjoy Madden 93 more than Madden 10, 11, 12 or even 13, but it does put current Madden games ‘on the spot’ when it comes to pursuing greatness and innovation.

We want Madden to be great.  We want it to be able to make us turn off a game on Sunday because our digital experience on a console is more enjoyable.  We want to see pass interference and hard hits across the middle.  We want to see head butts, shoe string catches and even an ambulance come onto the field as Colt McCoy asks where he is.  We want better football on our consoles and hope that this can invigorate people to be more critical while still being professional.  You are allowed to be upset, but please remember that this is all in an effort to make people think about the past so we can improve the future.  Even if it means looking into the past and wondering what the hell is going on with current game development.

Madden 13 – Top 10 Running Backs

Once again, EA Sports has released their list of the Top 10 ‘skill’ position players – this time it is the Running Backs.

Even with a torn knee ligament – Adrian Peterson is towards the top of Madden’s HB list.

#1 Maurice Jones-Drew – 97 Overall
#2 Adrian Peterson – 97 Overall
#3 Arian Foster – 96 Overall
#4 LeSean McCoy – 95 Overall
#5 Ray Rice – 95 Overall
#6 Matt Forte – 93 Overall
#7 Frank Gore – 92 Overall
#8 Steven Jackson – 92 Overall
#9 Jamaal Charles – 91 Overall
#10 Michael Turner – 91 Overall

When looking at this list, keep in mind a few different facts (as you should for every player and position in Madden) –

  • Ratings are subjective and based upon the opinion of EA’s Donny Moore
  • Ratings are super-subjective as there is now input from the fanbase on Madden’s Facebook page
  • The Overall rating is one of the worst barometers for measuring how ‘good’ a player is in Madden
  • Depending on how you play the game, you will be able to make anyone into a superstar

One of the main issues with the ratings in Madden is the fact that one of the top running backs in the league (Chris Johnson of the Titans) isn’t in the Top 10.  He had a poor year in 2011, sure.  On the other hand, he didn’t suffer any injury that would make him actually lose out on how good he is/could be.  On the other hand, players like Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles both suffered terrible injuries to their knees and are still rated as Top 10 Players.

It can be argued both ways, but Madden’s newest direction for rating players through a community vote for a few specific ratings is one of the more laughable developments in their new marketing direction.  Hopefully they open up player edits for Connected Careers with a title update.  If not, it looks like Madden 13 will be one of those games that makes you tilt your head to the side and wonder what the heck they are thinking with their ratings.

Why We Say “Overall” is the Worst Rating

Outside of the fact that it blows a player up to be the ‘best’ in the game, it is a rating that is comprised of a formula that brings into account the different skills that are necessary for each given position.  There are also ratings that have no effect on gameplay (Awareness) and then there are ratings that should play a greater role that don’t at all – such as Injury and Toughness.  A durable player is one of the more valuable assets in football, no matter which level you are playing.  Yet, in Madden and NCAA these ratings mean nothing when it comes to the Overall value of each player?

A player’s value should also be dictated in career modes by their production.  Notice, we didn’t say their ‘Overall’ rating, rather their ‘Value’ which is also a rating that doesn’t matter or in this case – exist.  A player might not be the most physically talented or even have a dominating presence on the field but if they consistently lead their team to a Super Bowl or maybe even lead the league statistically chances are good that they will either demand or command a big pay raise and more respect as a player.  A prime example of a player like this is Joe Montana.

Joe Montana wouldn’t be in our subjective Top 10 for throwing power or speed, but he would have a high rating for Toughness, Throwing Accuracy for short and medium range passes, etc.  He was a super-skinny player that wasn’t a physical specimen like Cam Newton but he was a winner and arguably the best Quarterback of all time (again, our subjective opinion).

How do you feel about ratings?  Are we blowing this out of proportion or is this getting downright silly to you too?

Are You Not Entertained? – Actually… No. – The Downward Spiral of Annual Game Releases

If sports and first person shooter (FPS) Video Games were a ‘Nation’ and I were the President of Sports and FPS Video Games, I would have to say that the State of our Union is weak.

This isn’t coming from the stand-point of the gaming companies like Electronic Arts or Activision (judging by their weakening stocks I would say that they feel the same), but from the aspect of gamers.  There are numerous games that have grabbed our attention and held onto it for a few years such as the Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Mass Effect and some others that you might be able to throw out there in the comments section below.  However, sports games and some shooter titles are constantly being thrown at us every year during the summer or fall.

What is becoming more evident as we get closer to the end of this generation of consoles (XBox 360, PS3 and Wii) is that sports and shooter games are really coasting along for the last few quarters before they jump into a new fray of next-gen console development (aka – more of your money).

We have recently focused on games like Madden NFL and NCAA Football sense they are the primary Summer Releases for EA Sports.  The next game that will get our full attention is Black Ops 2.  Call of Duty is a game that is technically released every two years if you want to dive into the fact that it is split between development teams (Infinity Ward and Treyarch).  However, the series itself is pretty much the same concept with a few nuances that make each game slightly different.

These games feel disposable at this point.  We aren’t in a time period of creative thoughts in entertainment in general.  Movies are the same way with sequels and remakes that really aren’t too dissimilar from what annual sports games and FPS games like Call of Duty are doing.  The publishers of these games like to sell you on trailers and big budget marketing rather than actually take the time to be creative and take a chance with something new.

If in 2013 there would be an announcement that Madden and Call of Duty would not be released in order to drive creativity and innovation in each series, would you applaud this decision or take it upon yourself to scream in ALL CAPS that it is the worst thing that ever happened to gaming?

NoobTubeTV would applaud this decision but what is your take?

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.

EA Game Changers – The Gaming Equivalent of Congressmen (With Advice On How To Interact In Your Online Communities)

Over the past couple years we have seen tremendous growth from EA Sports’ Madden Franchise.  Some people like to attribute this growing quality to the inclusion of what EA Sports is calling Game Changers from the EA Gaming Community.  A few days ago NoobTubeTV covered some of the biggest issues between non-Game Changers and the Game Changers on an interactive level through forums, Twitter, etc.

The Game Changer program is a fantastic idea that seems to have improved EA Sports games.

After scouring message-boards/forums, news and fan sites (many of which are owned by Game Changers) it is evident that they care deeply about the product they have all but devoted their lives to playing.  It is impressive to see many of these sites talk about the intricacies and details that are either present or missing from some titles.  These dedicated gamers eventually gained such a large audience or member-base that their opinions were held in high regard by EA.

When they first made their trips down to EA to visit the studio and get a first glimpse of the game they were pretty limited in what they got to see.  It was all but a finished game and they got to give some feedback but anything else was off the table until at least the next year.

This year, the Game Changers got a few chances to visit EA Sports and watch as the game made it through Alpha and Beta stages.  They also got to give input and suggestions.  In the process of these visits they aren’t allowed to divulge any information that EA doesn’t give them permission to express to the public.

Power (even a little) can make people change for the worst.

This puts Game Changers into a de-facto position of power.  For many of them, it is something they take with humility.  For others, it seems to be going to their heads and it is starting to leave a sour taste in the minds of many community members.  The issue at hand is that many of these valued members of the community are given a ‘a longer leash’ and sometimes no leash at all (especially on their own personal sites).  You will find that some (a minority really) of the ‘premier’ community leaders (aka Game Changers) choose to take things personally and/or respond to commoners in a rather snarky fashion that would often equate to a warning or ban from forums.  This is a problem that was really bound to happen as it isn’t dissimilar from people voted into political offices of power.  They are given power and then they exploit it with little or no recourse to the people they are supposedly representing.

It is important for all of our readers to remember a few things when it comes to taking an active role in the games and game communities in which you are involved.  Below are some pointers for how to better represent yourself and your views when taking an active role in forums.

  • Be Polite and Professional – many sites have TOS (Terms of Service) that spell out how you should act and which types of interaction and comments are allowed.
  • When In Doubt, DON’T PRESS SEND – If you value your membership in a forum/community and you get angry or annoyed with a fellow member or even the game in general you need to think before you submit some sort of choice words.
  • Choose Your Words Carefully – It is vital that a member doesn’t call anyone out or put them on blast by pointing fingers.  This is often how digital fights of words begin and you better bet on community leaders getting the benefit of the doubt over a common user such as yourself.
  • Don’t Be A Troll – If your mission is to go and instigate other members of the community, you might as well refrain from registering from the site to begin with… but who are we kidding?… You are probably getting ready to submit a rude comment here on NoobTubeTV.  The real problem you will find is that by doing that (on here, at least) your comment will be approved and then it will be responded to in a polite and professional manner – therefore making you look foolish.  Again… don’t be a troll.

Community Involvement Doesn’t Equal Community Development

In recent years EA Sports and some other publishers and game developers have started inviting select members of their hardcore gaming community and fanbase to come in and check out their game and give opinions and critiques as well as simply get a chance to play the game in its early build.  For the many people that don’t get a chance to visit places like EA Tiburon for Madden over the course of a game’s development cycle it is easy to think they might do a better job than those going down to Orlando.  There are a few things to consider before you let your mind run wild with envy if you aren’t among the invitees for Community Day (as they call it at EA).  As well, if you are among the lucky few – it will behoove you to pay attention as well.

Before we proceed, it is important to view one of the interactions from OperationSports.  This is between a non-Community Day participant and a Madden Community Day Participant –

Illustrator76 – “This was a great analogy sir, and I agree with what you’re saying. But I disagree with it as well, lol. Actually, I only disagree with the bolded part as it applies to Madden. I just feel like people need to remember why they are at the CD in the first place. Just because EA employees feed you, show you pictures of their kids, their peg leg, etc… that shouldn’t change your reason for being down there, or what you intend to say. Now, it may change HOW you say what you say, but it shouldn’t at all change WHAT you say.”

And the reply –

rgiles36 – “Just to offer a response, are you suggesting that people do forget the reason why they’re down there? And if so, what evidence is there that people go to Tiburon and don’t critique while in the studio?”

MY DIRECT RESPONSE

This is kind of a Catch-22 because there is no evidence that anyone can give that wasn’t there and the people that can give that evidence won’t likely speak freely about anything truly negative as it wouldn’t be beneficial if they wanted to keep getting a trip to Orlando.

I think it would be best practice for those that aren’t going to Community Day to remember that those invited are invited as guests and it is usually customary of a guest to show proper respect and gratitude toward their host(s).

If you go to someone’s house for dinner and the dinner tastes crappy – you (probably) wouldn’t stand up and yell “This tastes like sh*t!”.
However, if your guest stops eating after the first bite and says “This tastes like sh*t!” – you should feel slightly more inclined to either agree with them or give your two cents… otherwise, you hack down what you have been fed and you go home to a nice bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

MY MESSAGE FOR COMMUNITY DAY INVITEES AND PARTICIPANTS

You have to keep in mind that a majority of hardcore fans have no idea about what their favorite game is going to look, play or feel like until they pull it out of the DVD case on release day.  Chances are good that you will be criticized by an ignorant public because they believe that you have an inside track… because you do.  There is a certain level of responsibility that you have when it comes to being a sought-after member of the gaming community and you have to remember that while you have confidentiality clauses and other issues to worry about – you are still in a position of power among people in the community.

Also, as it is widely known among active members of the gaming community itself each person making the trip to Orlando must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that legally prevents them from divulging any information about the game or development of the game without prior approval of the studio/company.

Be that as it may, any person that is invited to a Community Day needs to remember that they were once among the commoners.  While there are rules they must follow, there is also a responsibility for them to be a conduit that other people in the community can utilize to further the overall mission – making the game better.  In my view, Community Day participants have done an excellent job over the last few years and their efforts are much appreciated.

THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line is that when you bring in anyone to critique your product you are trying to get some feelers for what could be tweaked.  If the people being invited to give advice or suggestions were better at developing the game than the actual employees they would probably have a job offer to work at the studio.  (Keep in mind, this has actually happened in some cases with EA Sports and Madden)

There is a vast difference between being asked for your opinion and being asked for your help on any project.  For the most part, when people are invited out of the community to check out a game (of any sort) it is in a capacity of giving opinions and feedback but not much else.

Going to a community day is like helping someone hang a picture.  The developers picked the spot on the wall, put the nail in and they standing there holding the picture and asking you, “Does this look straight?”.

It is good to remember that people like Josh Looman pay close attention to forums and Twitter when it comes to community suggestions. Not just those from Community Day.

IN CONCLUSION

The main message here is that you must understand that people invited to give suggestions at Community Day are not there as developers.  They are there strictly on the basis of being valued consultants (at most).  They give opinions and they give suggestions when they are asked.  They give feedback and might even take some notes in order to give a detailed list that is comparable to proof-reading.  However, in the end it is up to the developer to take these suggestions and use them or ignore them.

So, before you accuse Community Day participants of ‘not doing their job’ or tell non-participants to ‘provide evidence’ that you know they don’t have – remember that this entire process is in the spirit of consulting at most.

Changing Player Potential In Madden 12

In Madden 13 there is no player potential in Connected Careers.  However, in Madden 12 it is one of the more limiting parts of Franchise Mode.  If you have wanted to know how to change a player’s potential rating from an ‘F’ to an ‘A’ this is how you do it in your Franchise Mode.

It is also important for you to know that the Potential Rating is dependent on the Overall Rating as you edit.  It is easy to calculate a player’s potential when it comes to this:
90-99 OVR = A

80-89 OVR = B

70-79 OVR = C

60-69 OVR = D

59> OVR = F

Limitations On NCAA and Madden 13 Push Both Games to Stand On Their Own

There was a lot of flack after the announcement that Madden and NCAA Football would pretty much have nothing that brought them together.

“Hello Friends!” Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are just part of a new direction for Madden this year.

For five years they both gave you the ability to pretty much continue the careers of players that you had used, faced or competed alongside during your seasons of NCAA Football.  Not to mention the fact that if you downloaded fully-named rosters for NCAA you would also be getting to draft some of your favorite “real” college players in the future!

However, there was a big downfall to that ‘perk’.

When you wouldimport your draft class from NCAA to Madden you would notice that the best players in NCAA that were coming out in the draft would be scattered.  Not to say that this doesn’t happen in real life, but the ratings simply didn’t translate well enough to be imported into Madden without scratching your head in wonderment.

This year it is different and it is a good thing.

After many articles and thoughts on the subject of Madden and NCAA 13 it has finally clicked that these games finally get to be games unto themselves.  NCAA Football has a hardcore audience that either prefer college football to pro football; or they just can’t stand Madden football and choose to roll with NCAA every year.  Regardless of the reasons for one over the other (or even buying both) you are now playing two different games this year and it is a good thing.

NCAA Football has a hardcore audience and the ability to take screen-shots during Instant Replay… This picture was taken and posted on Operation Sports by Gymrat8168

Madden’s Connected Careers is a good direction for at least a little bit of change in the formula for Franchise Mode, etc.  NCAA has Road to Glory and Dynasty still going strong, but the fact is that you won’t be playing one of these games and wondering if it would be better if you had both of them instead.

Playing a game of video game football can take you anywhere from 40 minutes to over and hour (depending on your settings, play-style and bathroom breaks).  It is difficult to play a Dynasty and a Franchise Mode at the same time.  If you consider the fact that just in regular seasons alone there are at least 28 games that need to be played; then take into account all of the off-the-field duties you have to do in order to have any depth to your experience… it is one heck of a task to run careers on two different titles.

Madden finally gets a chance to step up and be the big brother the NCAA hasn’t had on this generation of consoles.  NCAA finally gets a chance to be more than just a place to get draft classes from for Madden’s Franchise mode.

Either way it goes, this year is different for football gaming and both titles are better off for it.

 

Madden 13 ‘Legends’ – I Think I Played This Game Before

Madden 13 is coming to your console with Legendary Players.  If you are excited about this – more power to you.

On the other hand, you could pop in a game that is five years old tomorrow and use quite a few of the same players such as the great Reggie White.

This is a screen capture of Mr. White as a Philadelphia Eagle while it looks very nice, the only thing different is that it is a licensed NFL rendition on the Madden engine.

It isn’t really a question of whether or not Madden or 2K Football is better.  It really is apples and oranges when you start comparing how the games play and other nuances that are too numerous to discuss in this article.

However, the real issue at hand is that EA Tiburon is putting this ‘feature’ in a game and almost acting like it is an original idea.  2K Sports (out of desperation) to please their hardcore football fans and with a feeble attempt to jump into the football gaming foray early on in this generation of consoles tried to grab a foothold with the inclusion of legends such as the aforementioned – Reggie White.  As well, they had players you can see here on 2K’s website.

The Original ‘Legends Game’ can be had for cheap. You will be amazed with the gameplay and animations that might not even be in Madden this year… or ever.

The issue at hand also makes the controversial Connected Careers Mode a little more strange in that it allows these legendary players (Barry Sanders, Ronnie Lott, Troy Aikman, etc.) as well as Legendary Coaches!  It is puzzling that they can’t allow people to do something like edit rosters, but they can allow legendary players onto their teams.

To compound the confusion there is also another vital question that needs to be asked –

Since when does the coach matter in Madden football?

Legendary Coaches is also a nice enough feature (and one that isn’t in APF2K8) but coaches have never mattered in Madden NFL.  You could have gone to the Super Bowl with Romeo Crennel’s ‘I’m Thinkin’ Arbys Cleveland Browns All Stars’ and it wouldn’t matter a bit.  Your coach means nothing in Madden and that has always been the case.

Madden 13 is on par to impress with their usual growth this year, but the inclusion of legends and marketing of their presence in Connected Careers (as well as Ultimate Team) is something that makes a lot of people look at EA with confusion and wonder if they will ever understand that gimmicks (especially those that have been done by another company) don’t sell games or make their game more enticing.  They are cheapening the ‘experience’ and making it feel more and more like it should be Downloadable Content to mess around with like a toy from a Happy Meal and then forgotten forever in the annals of Epic Sports Gaming Fails.

If you want a great game with classic players that requires a more simulation approach than Madden, please follow our link to a bargain of a fantastic football game!

All Pro Football 2K8