If you have played Madden football on the 360 or PS3 over the past few years there is one thing that you may have scratched your head about… or maybe thrown a controller over.
Somehow the ball goes through hands, legs, heads and chests. This is one of the problems that faces all sports games, not just Madden. Madden suffers from two big problems outside of the game itself.
Problem 1 – The hardcore audience (like myself) are/is such big football fans and play the game so much that we pick this game apart like a wine connoisseur picks apart a glass of wine. The problem that EA Tiburon faces with this is that instead of one drink that lasts a few moments, their game is something that people play 365 days a year. Not only that, but it costs $60+ and comes out every year. EA has made a lot of improvements over the years but the ball is the one part of this game that suffers from more graphical clipping and ‘magnetism’ than any other aspect every single year.
Problem 2 -Exclusive Rights have killed this game on the current generation of consoles. While this discussion would get you banned from certain websites and forums it is truly one of the biggest problems facing sports games. Pay attention to what has happened to Madden since they got exclusive rights. The last truly great Madden game was Madden 2005. Since that game, their focus has changed to jerseys and how to pick the guy on the cover.
Please focus on the most important part of the game first and move on from there.
This game focuses on the ball. In real life and in the video games – it is all about the ball. Naturally, if the focus is in one spot for the majority of the game you are going to notice these things. If EA were to focus less on where the ball is and more on what the ball is and how it moves this game would improve drastically.
Ask yourself how many times you have punted in Madden and the ball bounced backwards? I bet you have seen the ball bounce 25 yards downfield or a few yards sideways, but you haven’t seen it go backwards. The ball is a living creature on the field and it has a mind of its own. The ball is a solid part of the game that you can’t put your hand through. One finger on the ball can change the outcome of a pass play in real life.
I realize that I am not in developer’s studio and they put a lot of work into the miniscule details of this game, but from an outside perspective – I don’t think that matters. Neither do the 5-7 million people that buy Madden every year… and that includes the few hardcore guys that get upset about the wrong chinstrap on the backup punter for the Patriots. Focus on the name of the game… football. I don’t care about what dance someone does, what color shoelaces they have or how they come out onto the field if the football itself doesn’t matter.
This isn’t a rant as much as it is a plea for gamers to notice and demand a better game from the most simple existence of the game – the football itself.