What Does The Madden Name Change Mean?

What’s in a name?  Apparently EA Sports thinks the 25th anniversary of Madden is deserving of a trip to the social security office for a tweak in the name.

Madden 14 Pic

Madden 25 was just announced to be the official name of the only NFL game coming out this year (just like it has been since Madden 06).  The only thing that might have made people happy was hearing that the developer was working on Madden 2K14.  Keep dreaming.

Chances are good that Madden 25 will also signify a change-over in consoles just like the switch from Madden 2005 to Madden 06 also greeted the next hardware generation.  The idea of a new console is always exciting because of the possibilities in graphics and physics; but if one thing is certain we can expect one thing to dull our expectations for new software – bare bones games.

Madden 25 for the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3 will most likely prove to be another slight tweak or change from Madden 13.  Maybe there will be a few new animations or the ball will be a shade darker or smaller.  Otherwise, you shouldn’t expect much to change.  The new consoles that are rumored to be coming out this Christmas will most likely be priced between $400 and $500 with a pipe-dream hope of $300.  The unfortunate truth is that most of the games that will be released with the consoles will be bare bones in their offerings.  If you played Madden 06 or any of the other games that came out with the current generation you will notice how lacking they are in features.  Also, many of them don’t take advantage of the graphical capabilities of the console.

This isn’t a complaint at all.  It is merely a point to be raised in order to lower expectations for the next generation.  Not to mention the cynical view that Madden hasn’t changed many things in the 25 years it has existed.

Would love to hear from the fan boys out there.  2K and Madden alike.

Keep it civil.

Sim Sports Gaming Vs. Casual Sports Gaming (Remember The Titans)

We have been focusing on Madden 13 and football gaming quite a bit over the last few months.  One of our more recent articles was about the complete subjectivity in what makes someone a “Sim” sports gamer.  After considering my own personal views and then looking at my own advise to the NTTV community (…have a good time and play the game however the hell you want to…) I was left to wonder what the other people within the sports gaming community thought about this rather trivial but somehow vital prescription for how games should play and be played.

The ultimate showdown between the Casual Sports Gamer and The ‘Sim’ Nazi… Where do you stand?

it was at that point that I came across this post on operationsports.com from community member, Big FN Deal

…I will suggest this again, for all the good it will likely do. We are all aware that the game is not tuned for optimal realism, it is tuned for a “fun”/realism balance. So they should release two separate optional tuner sets, one “balanced” for casual Madden play, the other for the “hardcore” tuned for optimal realism. …” (click the link for the full post)

What made my mind explode was the mention of the word ‘FUN’. In case you don’t remember what that is; it was that thing you used to do when you were younger and playing games that made you laugh and enjoy the moment because you were just having a good time.  You wanted to smile your way through whatever happened and breath in that fresh air of innocence.

Then something happened… you can’t pin-point it, but chances are good that it happened when you started playing high school sports and the coaches started screaming at you and you thought every moment was live or die.  You stopped wanting to have fun and just wanted raw, unadulterated, anger inducing competition.  You stopped smiling.  You stopped playing the game for fun.  It became a chore to even go home and relax with a game of Madden football because there is NO WAY someone can rocket catch in real life!

The Definitive Movie Reference

This clip can be viewed from a two sports gamer perspectives/comparisons…

1- Casual Gamers That Play For Fun (The Players) VS. Sim Gamers That Play Strictly For Realism (Coach Boone)

or

2- Madden Fanboys (The Players) VS. 2K Fanboys (Coach Boone)

Hopefully you are laughing at this point, because you are supposed to be… if you are angry, that is okay too.  Just remember to think back to when you used to have fun.  Once upon a time when there was no such thing as a ‘patch’ for the 100-Yard pass in Tecmo Super Bowl.

Madden 13 Infinity Engine – “No Two Tackles Are Alike” and Other Remarks For a Hopeful Public

EA Sports’ Victor Lugo was recently interviewed by ESPN.  While this interview gives a lot of interesting details, it does leave us to wonder whether or not Madden 13 is going to be nearly as amazing as the developers are pushing us to believe it will or should be.

We are still of the opinion that real-time physics without real-time injuries is a lackluster feature.  What is your take?

No two tackles look alike? Sounds like a time to place bets.

Check message boards, tweets or sports gamer chatter from around the Web and all you’ll hear are the same complaints: “Madden” is nothing but a roster update every year, and “NFL 2K5” is still better.

“Everyone loves the underdog, and I think that’s where a lot of it comes from,” “Madden 13” producer Victor Lugo says when confronted with the complaints, admitting that the design team is all too familiar with them (especially the comparisons to “2K”).

But to Lugo, everything is about to change once gamers see the new real-time physics engine he helped develop. In “Madden 13,” no two tackles look alike, and the physics affect everything on the field, from the ability of running backs to roll off of a downed tackler and keep running to the way a receiver gets hit midair and helicopters his way back down to the turf.

“To not have an element that another game has gives people the right to complain, but I think at this point we have a lot of stuff that our competitors have had, and right now, we’re just concentrating on expanding ‘Madden’ and making the best simulation football we can,” Lugo adds. “It doesn’t really bother me too much what other people say, because we have brought a lot of the community guys in, guys who have been notoriously hard on our game for years, and they were really, really enjoying the game and how the Infinity Engine turned out.”
ESPN Playbook: Only a select few have gotten their hands on “Madden 13” so far, so for people reading this article, how would you explain the Infinity Engine and how it completely changes the game from “Madden 12” to “Madden 13”?

Lugo: “Madden 12” used a pretty interesting system. The collision system was more of your old-school collision volume around the character, and when the collision volumes intersected, an animation played out. Now, because of the Infinity Engine, you see a lot of variety in our hits because it’s not based around one collision box around a character, it’s based on individual limbs and individual muscle strengths and tensions throughout the whole character. Because of that, you see a lot more variety, and you see a lot more impact. It’s so different from last year’s game that now, when you’re playing, you can no longer recognize the outcome before it happens. The variety of interaction is what people want.

The way tacklers bounce off of running backs like Frank Gore, and the ability to spin receivers in the air with a vicious hit is pretty sweet. What else can gamers expect to see?

Because we factor in momentum and weight and we also factor in tensions based on what they’re doing, you’re going to see so much variety. You’ll see Frank Gore run over a lot of people this year. By the way, we went to college at the exact same time at The U, so I use him all the time to run people over and he’s featured in all of our videos. You’ll also see a lot of great stuff when receivers are up in the air. We set the tensions up so you don’t have a leg to stand on when you’re in the air, so that leads to all of the spins. There are all these immersive interactions that you just wouldn’t see in the past. You may be going to the ground, fall on somebody else and regain your balance and keep going. I can’t even anticipate for people what is going to happen because there is so much going on. It looks awesome, especially when you’re up in the air.

What’s your favorite sequence that you’ve seen in “Madden 13” so far that you’ve never seen in “Madden” before?

My favorite sequence so far was a short goal-line play from about 3 yards out. I ran up the middle, but I get hit and it looks like I’m stopped right at the goal line. But the guy hit me in the direction of the end zone and I end up rolling on an opposing teammate’s helmet, and I roll right into the end zone for the touchdown. In the past, I would’ve just hit the ground and that would’ve been the end of it, but I just rolled right off of this dude’s head to score. It was fantastic.

How about the Kinect controls in “Madden”? I know a lot of time, the hard-core community hears about Kinect being added to a game and they immediately start rolling their eyes. How have you guys made the voice commands an essential part of playing the game this year?
We had a couple of different goals in mind when it came to “Madden” and Kinect, and none of them involved forcing something cheesy or inappropriate to “Madden” in the game. We want to emulate what you see in real life, and that chatter is a big part of football on the field. A lot of our team has played football. I played football growing up and in high school, and chatter is a big part of playing, so we wanted to give people the ability to talk to their team and call out the audibles like you would in an NFL game. As a second goal, we want to make it easy for beginners to use it, so we put UI (user interface) on the screen to guide you toward what you can do and puts you in appropriate situations in context of the play. For hard-core people, we give you the ability to use both the controller and your voice in order to get that extra command in. A lot of the real hard-core players, and a lot of our really good players are taking advantage of the Kinect in order to do some of the commands that in the past have taken a lot of button commands or have been tough to get through before the ball is snapped, especially on defense. Trying to call man coverage on a specific receiver, for instance, takes a lot of steps, and with the buttons, you’re not going to get more than one of those before the ball is snapped. But with the voice commands, they’re able to get a couple of these commands in as well as adjust the line with the controller. People have been really enjoying it, and we’ve had some people who didn’t think they were going to like it at all now telling us they have to go buy a Kinect, so that’s great to hear.

How do the Kinect controls work with two players or with other people in the room? Can I just start shouting out player names and routes to throw my buddy off?

[Laughs.] Yeah, you’re going to need to tell your little brother to shut up, especially if he’s in the background. This year, we support the Kinect with single player, and with head-to-head online. What we decided to do with online is, you can talk and have a conversation all throughout the play and through play call, but then once you line up we mute you out for that 20 seconds before you snap the ball so you don’t hear what the other person is saying, and it also defends against you yelling hike through and having it get picked up through their surround sound speakers. We eliminate all of the trolling that way, but like I said there’s nothing you can do to defend against your brother. You’ll just need to find a way to shut him up.

People talk about the greatest “Madden” games of all time, and “Madden 2004” with Vick and all the offense and “Madden 2005” with the addition of the Hit Stick always seem to come up. With the addition of the Infinity Engine, where do you think “Madden 13” will go down on that list?

I think this is a revolutionary year for “Madden” both in gameplay and on the career side. In both cases, we’ve added something that is going to make the game bigger than it has ever been. With the physics, the Infinity Engine is something that we’re going to use moving forward forever. This is a fundamental change to gameplay that you will see forever, so this is a monumental year. This will go down in history, alongside some of those other games like 2004, because it’s a game that is bringing fundamental changes. You’re not going to forget “Madden 13.”

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