After watching the lowlights of Championship Weekend in the NFL just a few days ago I realized that we have been neglecting proper credit for the programming of the officials in Madden NFL. One thing can be said when you take a look at the penalty sliders in Madden – they are right on the money.
As someone that hasn’t booted up and played through a full game of our only NFL football option on console or PC in over a month I felt almost nostalgic for it when that helmet to helmet epic pass interference penalty wasn’t called or reviewed. It was like playing a big game in Madden (as big as those can feel, I guess) and having your own player get throttled in the same way. If you really want to see broken pass interference you should look at it on the offensive side of the ball – oh boy, that is some good simulation football right there.
Madden has been trying desperately to push their marketing through Twitter with all sorts of shout-outs and retweets of all things Madden. This includes NFL WR, Torrey Smith scoring 100+ points on his kid. Sure, we have probably all scored over 100 in Madden at some point on rookie. Sure, this is all in good fun and I don’t begrudge someone for playing the game however the hell they want to. However, it doesn’t change the fact that Madden is not improving or playing in the way it would be if it had competition – yes, it always comes back to that.
The officials in the NFL have been exceptionally bad this year. So bad in fact, that I think many fans have decided to stop watching NFL football in general. This was actually the first year in some time that I didn’t sit down and watch most of the playoff games. I don’t know how interested I will be in the Super Bowl as it is once again another appearance by Tom Brady playing against a team that seemingly was in the plans for the Super Bowl before the NFC Championship took place.
I’m not saying the NFL is fixed. I am saying the NFL IS FIXED. The same can almost be said for Madden in that MADDEN NEEDS FIXED.
Flag on the play! Too many complaints on the webpage.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on our Facebook Page.