Madden 15 – How To Keep CFM Fresh Until The Next Release

As much as I find it easy to troll EA and Tiburon for their annual cloneware – Madden 15 was the best Madden to date.  That said, it still gets to me that they don’t update rosters after the Super Bowl.  This has left many users to create roster updates and even add newly drafted players to teams in order to replicate what is happening in the league as far as rosters go.

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If you have followed NoobTubeTV over the last few years you will know that I almost exclusively play Offline Connected Franchise Mode.  Moreover, you will know that I almost always use my Cleveland Browns.  Even after finding the perfect sliders and gameplay tweaks CFM will get rather boring after a few seasons.

It is incredibly easy to build up a team into a juggernaut.  You simply need to invest in players that are between 20-26 years old that fit your play-style and keep them to minimum contracts until they are 30.  It is a widely known fact that EA has told Madden gamers that players will start to decline once they hit that age threshold.  Knowing how easy it is to relatively deal with the age issues of players and dominate with your team after a season or two of development it won’t be much of a shock to hear about people trading Madden in while they can still get some decent credit for it or simply leave it on the shelf to collect dust.  Here are a few tips on how to keep your CFM fresh.

  1. Max Contacts – Figure out your favorite players on Offense and Defense and make them fixtures on your team for the rest of their career.  In my case I had to choose between Josh Gordon and Johnny Manziel.  Both players were 99 OVR by the time I got to the 2016 season and I decided to sign Johnny for the biggest amount of money and years (I believe it was 7 years, $140 million).  This will help make your salary cap management a bit tougher as you choose who to build your team around.
  2. Don’t Scout Draft Prospects – It really is this simple.  Don’t scout a single prospect during the season and you will quickly realize that what was once an incredibly easy draft process is more like real-life.  It will become more of a lottery system for your team and you won’t be able to find those ‘not so hidden’ gems in later rounds.
  3. Give The CPU More In Trades – It seems that trade logic in sports games has decided to take a nose-dive in realism.  NBA 2K actually has a trade difficulty slider (Madden needs this in the worst way!).  Do not shirk the CPU for their Draft Picks or certain players you know are franchise quality.
  4. One Draft Pick Per Round (At most) – It is far too easy (as stated in #3) to load up on 10-15 draft picks every season.  Make it a personal rule that you will not have more than one pick per round for every draft.  This will prevent you from pwning the draft year-in, year-out.  Madden has some of the dumbest draft logic in all of sports gaming, so don’t act like you really have to worry about the CPU.
  5. Coach Mode – This is something I have yet to do myself.  Simply call the plays for your team, snap the ball and let the AI take care of the rest.  This will make you look at your players in a different light and might even change the way you build your team.
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Madden 25 – It Is Time To Move On

Sanders Madden 25

The demo is now available for Madden fans to download and play to their heart’s content.  At 2GB in size it is a nice size for a demo with 5 minute quarters and the ability to change the difficulty level (as well as change the accelerated clock back to normal speed so you can enjoy the demo for a bit longer each time you play.

You will have the choice between using the Ravens or the 49ers in a Super Bowl rematch in Baltimore.  The other match-up has the Packers and Seahawks playing on the not-so-frozen Tundra of Green Bay.

The demo is solid and plays like you expect Madden to play.  There have been some obvious tweaks and changes to the momentum of players as they don’t go into sprinting as fast as they once did in past iterations.  Also noticeable is the fact that player collisions seem refined this year.  If you are using a bruising runningback like Frank Gore and you flick the R-Stick forward at the right moment you can expect to blow up smaller players on defense.

On the other hand, if you are on defense and want to lay out an opposing player with the ball and you have someone like Patrick Willis – it will be a fun “oooooh!” moment as the heavy hitting defender knocks the snot out of the ball carrier.  While this seems like something to cast away as ‘something that should have already been in the game’ it is a nice addition none the less.

Shouldn’t This Stuff Already Be In The Game?

Yes, you are right.  We have been waiting for basically this entire generation of consoles to have a Madden title that plays and feels like this.  It still feels like a crisp handling Madden game where the players move at the slightest command of the analog sticks. While many Madden fans tend to worship the control scheme and feel of this game it is still a bit arcade-like and feels at times like it is still focused on being an offensive shoot-out rather than a good football game.  Granted – this is what the NFL wants in their new approach to the game (flag football much?).

This also brings to light the new ‘run free’ feature that gives players a more dynamic running ability based on their style and ratings.  As mentioned above, players like Gore will run people over and then there will be players like LaMichael James that can juke others out of their jocks.  It is a nice addition but it isn’t really something ‘new’ as much as something that is just being featured in this title.

Dear Phil Simms – STFU

I can’t stand this guy during his broadcasts in real-life and in Madden he is ten times worse.  If you got sick of hearing him bad mouth the wrong player or make some sort of lame comment about WRs not being able to be touched – it gets old by the second quarter.  Turn off the commentary and turn up the crowd noise… although even that isn’t as good as it should be.  The sound quality is garbage and I’d recommend getting some decent music to play in the background rather than hear anymore of what we have been getting for the last 25 years.

Connected Franchise Mode

This is once again something that EA is trying to push as something new that was really removed before coming into this generation of consoles.  Owner Mode (what it really is) was in Madden 2005 and is finally back almost ten years later.  The only thing with this is that I am left wondering what in the hell I care about my team making more money for if there is a salary cap.  In a baseball game this is vital as your team needs more money for better players.  In this game you will most likely be able to spend your money on something you will never see in-game like cup holders at every seat or heated toilet seats.

The new feature seems to be directed on towards bringing more fans to your games depending on the prices you set for things in the concession stand along with ticket prices, etc.  News to EA… NFL games are expensive forms of entertainment.  You have to be crazy not to expect a cup of crappy beer to cost $8-9 per cup (no joke).  So, before you get all excited about some ‘new feature’ like this it would be wise to look at it with a critical eye and ask – “What does this mode/feature really add to the game?”

As we get closer to the release of Madden 25 there will be a lot more hype built up on the internet focusing on how amazing this game looks and how many new features there are in place.  Don’t fall in the trap… read up on Madden 25, play the demo and above all else don’t buy this game new without knowing the details first.  We will keep you posted.

 

Madden 25 Connected Franchise Mode – Don’t Settle For Anything!

After Madden 25 announced a recent Gamestop promo for ‘Connected Franchise Mode’ and an article surfaced on Bleacher Report talking about the supposedly tweaked Connected Careers Mode; there seems to be a lot of work for us to do in order to make Madden better instead of simply allowing EA Tiburon to give us old features and call them ‘new’.

There is a poll on the Brian Mazique article asking if editing rosters, fantasy drafts and controlling every team are enough to make you completely satisfied.  These aren’t new features!  Madden 12 had every single ‘feature’ they are trying to re-implement into a mode that essentially disallowed them.  While these features are a must and will only add more depth to the game they by no means should satiate your desire for a better football game.

Reyna BOOM

Some of the (many) additions Franchise Mode needs in order to mimic the real NFL are below:

  • Player Morale – Player morale was in Madden 2005 and has been in the NBA 2K series for years.  If there is one thing that Madden lacks in terms of bringing life into the players it is morale and mood when it comes to the actual players.
  • Free Agent/UDFA Signings – Madden seems to think that free agency is something that allows a team to go and simply sign anyone they want if they aren’t on a team.  After this weekend’s draft there were many players that were picked up just seconds after it was over.  These players don’t simply go to the first time that calls, they weigh their options and choose.  Some players have no desire to play for a team that has too much depth or a team that simply doesn’t win.  Madden needs to make this more realistic and that starts with a more true-to-life free agency.
  • Storylines – The addition of storylines for some of the draft prospects in Madden 13 was awesome.  It was a nice way to give some of the players in the draft a personal touch.  The downfall is that their stories all seemed to stop once they were drafted.  The commentary doesn’t follow any of them and the updates on the ‘news feed’ seem to leave any of those stories high and dry.  Continuity is something that Madden’s career modes always seem to lack and while it will take some work to fully implement – it will be worth it.
  • Fan Bases – Some teams sell out almost every game.  Some stadiums are lucky to be at 50% capacity.  Somehow, almost every game in Madden is a sell out according to the stands.  While some games have low attendance due to weather it doesn’t seem to matter what is going on in a given city for a game to be sold out.  I can promise you one thing, if the Browns ever host an AFC Championship Game and it is snowing like crazy… the stands will be FULL.  On the other hand, if the Bengals are playing a game in the middle of the season at home and they are 2-7, they will be lucky to have any ‘fans’ show up.  The NFL is nothing without the fans and that needs to be made apparent in Franchise Mode.
  • Team Movement – While this poses some sort of strange issues with licensing, etc. there were some serious shortcomings when Madden allowed you to move a team to a new city.  Outside of the issues listed in the fan base section, you couldn’t keep the team logo and there wasn’t any real support for the gamer to create a team in a new city because the commentary was terrible and franchise mode lost its luster.  If you look at the fact that many teams are looking to move to new cities because of stadium issues or simply for more money it is something that will be happening soon and should be given the proper attention in the game.
  • Injuries – Madden finally put in some sort of real-time physics last year with the Infinity Engine.  The downfall was evident in many areas but injuries are one of the most obvious.  As much as the NFL wants to censor Madden and try to convince people that it isn’t a violent sport – football is a violent sport and that is why we like it!  Real time injuries need to be in the game and big hits need to matter.  It makes no sense for my 6’4″ 260lb MLB to have a random injury when he crushes Joe Flacco or Mike Vick in the backfield and they get up like nothing happened.  Fix the injury system… please.
  • Player Progression – While I have always been a proponent of performance based progression I do not like how Madden 13 allowed the user to simply accumulate points by stats and put them where ever we wanted to in each player.  Abilities should progress as the player uses them and performs them.  How can a strength rating go up randomly or just because we decide we want it to?  Follow the lead of MLB The Show and let the user have the option to determine what areas players will work on in a given week or set it to auto and let the coaching tendencies determine it.
  • Player Value – After Joe Flacco won the Super Bowl he got a healthy contract renewal.  I drafted a QB in my Browns CCM, Mark Mallett… He has thrown for over 4500 yards and 35 TDs in his first three seasons.  He then won a Super Bowl in 2015 and is up for a new contract offer from our front office.  His OVR is 84 but his abilities have been growing with his performance.  His contract demands?… 5 Years, $4.6 Million per year.  There is no thinking about this from my perspective – Mallett is never going to ask for the money he deserves and that is sad.  Players with great speed or players we like using are typically going for crazy statistics in our Franchise Mode.  We should have to pay a premium price to keep them around if that is the case.  Player value shouldn’t be determined by OVR but by performance and that should make it harder for teams to sign players they want to abuse the other teams with and keep them forever.

We will continue our efforts to make Madden a better game and you shouldn’t let EA get away with calling old parts of the game ‘new features’.  What are your thoughts?  What is Madden missing the most in Franchise Mode?

Madden 13 Roster Update – Top Rookies Included

The Madden 13 Roster Update 4-14-13 is available now!  – Download Here

The time has come to get your fix of updated rosters.  There have been some moves around the league lately and those moves have been accounted for (Cleveland’s recent trade for Dion Lewis being one of them).  While some of the rookies have been re-rated due to prior creation having them too high for their projections in the original roster file.

If you don’t know how to transfer rosters here is a walkthrough for you.

If you would like fresh links for the USB Re-Hasher or Modio click the links below.

USB Re-Hasher

Modio

I cannot take full credit for these rosters as the base roster can be found here.

Trying To Bring Life Back Into Madden 13 – Updating Rosters

Now that off-season free agency has started and many of the stars have realigned throughout the NFL (with plenty of time left for more movement) there are many Madden fans left wondering why they should bother playing the game now that EA’s roster updates have been over for a month.

Your Madden 13 isn't quite dead yet.
Your Madden 13 isn’t quite dead yet.

I am happy to announce that there is a simple home remedy that I will be undertaking as we get closer to the draft – updating rosters manually.  This is a substantial undertaking as Madden isn’t always the most end-user friendly game for roster editing.  I did a similar service for Madden 12.  While the XBox 360 is horrible for simple save transfers, here is a link to the NTTV post back in August that should help you out.

The rosters will be updated to the best of my ability to follow along with the busy free agent season.  There will need to be some testing for how these might work in CCM.  If you would like to assist with any roster moves please leave comments or like us on Facebook and post your suggestions!

If anyone would like these updates to be done for Madden 13 on PS3 you might have to donate a game to the cause as I have a PS3 but do not have Madden 13 for the console.

Madden 13 To Implement Online Fantasy Draft Tomorrow

In a complete twist of events, EA has announced on their Facebook Page that Madden 13 will now have online fantasy drafts for Connected Careers Mode.  This has been one of the most contentious removals outside of player editing… and with player editing being considered for the next patch, this could prove to be the one move that makes people that were otherwise casting Madden 13 aside into believers that this is the best Madden game to date.  What is your take on this news?

Photo: Online Fantasy Drafts coming to Madden NFL 13 tomorrow!  More details coming soon!

Madden 13 Patch Should Be Arriving Within A Month

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.