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39 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2011
So I was able to get my hands on Madden last Friday as part of the EA Season Ticket promotion going on. For those of you who don't know you can get access to all EA titles 3 days early for 20 bucks. There are some other benefits but they aren't worth mentioning. I personally figured the 20 dollar amazon credit was worth buying EA Season ticket since I also get NHL, FIFA and NCAA Football next year early as well. So with that out of the way on to the Review.

Franchise Mode: So nice improvements here. The improvements aren't as great as EA would like you to believe but they are there. CUT DAYS 75 man rosters to start each season. IT makes you want to play the pre-season to see if you have any Diamonds in the rough. Basically every year in franchise mode at the end of the off season your team will be filled with "walk on" players to fill out your roster at 75. ITs a nice feature but doesn't really change that much gameplay wise because you still start the regular season with the same amount of players that you did in all previous maddens. The only reason this system works is because your walk on players attributes aren't available to you until you play them in preseason games and practice. These walks on will have 99? Overall ratings until you play them and find out how crappy they really are. That 99? QB you have on your roster is probably a 67 just a heads up don't get too excited.

The New Franchise Feature I liked the best was the new FA Bidding system: This is totally revamped. Instead of going through a free agent list at the end of the year and picking the best players you want, every player has a timer. The timer starts once a team has "Bidded" on a player. It's now nearly impossible to get all the best free agents every year because you really have to watch each player's timer and bid accordingly. *MY tip, bid once on a player to get the timer started then let the timer run to 2 seconds and bid again to win the player* By far the best new feature in Madden.

*NCAA OWNERS NOTE* If you import your draft classes into madden you can scout the players now before the draft. You can also scout players without importing them but if you have NCAA and haven't finished more then a season or two I recommend simming just to get the real draft classes. The scouting itself is rather basic. You pick 15 players every 4 or 5 weeks and a few stats become available. By the end of the season you have 4 or maybe 5 players that have all their stats unlocked for the draft. Its rather unrealistic but if you do some research as to where you are going to get stuck drafting and what players will be available you can find out how good your first or second round pick is going to be before drafting them.

BE a PRO MODE: There are some nice little additions this year. For one you can create a player and walk on to any team you want instead of being drafted to a team you never wanted to play for. (Really who wants to play for the Panthers? ) However if you import a player from NCAA 12 you cannot choose this option you have to be drafted. The good news is this year you can demand a trade to a specific team. Essentially this is the first Madden BE a Pro where you can pick your team in all situations.

This year you also get to improve your player yourself. Like NCAA 12 you gain "XP / Skill" points after every practice and game. While it's nice to customize your character the way you want him, after 4 seasons (AT MOST) you will have all 100 ratings. You receive too many skill points per game and practice.

GamePlay: The new tackling system looks great. There are defiantly less WTF moments playing this year's madden. CB still making amazing interceptions without looking at the ball but it happens far less these days. The best new gameplay feature is defiantly the new GAMEFLOW feature from last year. This year it lets you pick between pass, run or strategic each down. So instead of being 3rd and 5 and being forced a run play down your throat you can tell GAMEFLOW to give you a pass play. Game flow itself helps speed up the game and now being able to pick pass or run makes it worth using. I found the presentations to be as repetitive as years past. After your first season you can go ahead and play madden with MUTE on for the rest of the year.

There are some little additions this year I'm leaving out but really aren't worth mentioning. Player ROLES are included, they essentially give you reason not to be mad when all of the sudden a RB breaks 15 tackles in a row. You can blame it on the fact his "player role" allows him BEAST MODE... Or when a CB jumps ten feet to the right while not looking, makes an interception and returns it for a TD you can blame it on his "Ball skills" Player Role. Hot and Cold streaks were taken from NCAA and effect the game a little while playing on Madden Difficulty but on all-pro or pro it's not noticeable. The awkward audible/hot route system using the directional pad is back. I hate this, especially after playing NCAA for a month straight.

The only feature I can't review as of this date is the Ultimate Card team online game since it was not available for EA season ticket people.

All in All this is the year to BUY Madden. If you have skipped out the last couple of years there have been enough improvements I can recommend getting this game and you will get your money worth. I personally think Madden has finally caught up to NCAA in terms of gameplay and franchise/be a pro features. While playing this year I finally got the feeling that this is as good as it going to get for us football fans until the next generation of systems come out. Is it the best game in the world? No, but will you get 60 dollars or entertainment out of it. No Doubt if you're a football fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Disclaimer: I am writing this review as a former player of Head Coach '09 and a fan of franchise football over control of individual players. It is absolutely essential that you read Josh Looman's post on about this game's franchise mode: [...]. You won't find any of this explained in the game or in the Prima player's guide. Even this post is incomplete in so far as it doesn't explain how to use some of the new features (like scouting).

General Observations:
Madden 12 is an improvement over Madden 10's franchise mode. I haven't played Madden 11. Most of the features that made Head Coach so enjoyable are here, plus a few others that Head Coach lacked. But it is still clear that franchise mode, despite Josh Looman's involvement, still plays second fiddle in the Madden franchise. Looman did Head Coach '09 and did a very good job. He also does a very good job here but as he says in the above-linked post, in Head Coach '09 his team "created the most in-depth career mode game ever."

I agree with other reviewers. The commentary is Madden 12 is terrible. You might as well turn it off and put on some music. You hear completely ridiculous things unrelated to the play on the field. For example, I am winning a game as the Panthers 40-10 with under a minute to go, the ball in my possession inside the opponent's red zone. Cam Newton kneels to run out the clock. The commentary which follows is that my quarterback feels the need to take the ball himself and looks rattled. Another incredibly stupid remark: that Cam Newton and Sanzenbacher have been playing together for years - both are rookies.
The words sound disjointed - it's a terrible job and EA should be ashamed of themselves.

What adds insult to injury is that you will hear the entire repertoire each game. Be prepared to hear Chris Collinsworth tell you several times a game how he would not want to face a defensive lineman because they're "big and nasty" or how much he hates return specialists who dance around and try to be playmakers.

And listening to your coordinators, which was interesting at times in Head Coach, is not a realistic option here. I don't know where they found the voice talent but they shouldn't have bothered. Sure, the guy explains the play but with a voice that has made millions of high school students fall asleep in their chairs.

Starting a Franchise:
This is a bit of a disappointment. Rather than opening with a screen showing your franchise you are presented with the first pre-season game. To get to another menu so that you can see what you have, you have to hit "Y" and choose from the options there. Worse yet, if you back out of your menu ("B") you don't actually return to the main menu but go back to the screen inviting you to start your next game, forcing you to press "Y" to start all over again. I'd rather have a better organized menu - the clipboard in Head Coach '09 was one of that game's best features.

Playing Games as a Head Coach:
Fortunately, you can do this. My preferred method is to let my coordinators call my plays as in the NFL. My goal is to put together a team and then watch them play. I may reserve important decisions to myself, as a real head coach does, such as when to go for it on fourth down, when to call a time out in a crucial situation, etc, but I'd as soon watch the play than micromanage the players on the field.

It is essential that you at the start of each game go to Settings -> Game Options -> Coach Mode and set Coach Mode to "On." This will cause your QB to throw the ball if you do nothing after snapping the ball. Otherwise, he will stand there and get sacked. The change must be made at the start of each game, unfortunately.

AI/Difficulty Level:
You must set difficulty to at least "All Pro" if you hope to have competitive games. This will set both Player and CPU skill at 50. Pro gives your team too much of an advantage - DeAngelo Williams pounded out 348 yards (an NFL record) on just 31 carries at Pro level and my backup HB ran for over 400 yards at the Easy level in a pre-season game. In Head Coach, 50/50 made things competitive for the most part. Yu have to watch for your coordinator wanting to kick field goals at well outside your kicker's range. It won't even show you an option for punt so you have to look at the complete list of plays to find special teams and then punt. I have found myself a couple of times trying for impossible because I wasn't paying enough attention.

How it's better than Head Coach '09:
* Graphics. This is the most obvious improvement since Head Coach '09 wasn't even up to snuff relative to Madden '09.
* Current players including 2012 draft. With Head Coach '09 you are stuck with the '08 draft class and then fantasy draft classes after that. You can only play so many careers with the same players.
* If they screw up ratings (as they often do) you can edit them.
* Draft classes in Madden 12 have randomized names so when you play a new career you won't know which players to automatically latch onto.
* You can squib kick in Madden 12. I could never understand how they failed to include this option in Head Coach '09. There are times a squib kick is essential (when you want to run out the clock to keep Tom Brady off the field at the end of the game with a narrow lead).
* You can also angle your punts toward the sidelines. In Head Coach `09, punters almost never do this and when they do they do it at the worst possible moment, when you are deep in your own territory and they kick it out of bounds for a 17 yard punt. I generally dislike having to do my own kicking but it's worth it for these improvements alone.
* I have also yet to see a QB suddenly throw the ball at the ceiling, which I have seen happen in Head Coach '09.
How it's Worse than Head Coach:
* The RPG element of being the head coach is missing since you are not creating a head coach to represent you as your "character"; they say the coach's ability affects the team in small ways but it's not the same and it's not like you can replace yourself as coach in Madden 12. All you can do is switch teams.
* You have less control over your team. Example: If your special teams unit sucks, there is very little you can do about it other than generally improving the overall quality of our players because you can't look forward to replacing you special teams coordinator at season's end
* All general managers are equal
* There is no approval rating for your performance and no risk of being fired, which removes some of the uncertainty that made Head Coach so compelling. Nothing like being under the gun

The Draft:
Here is where Madden 12 falls flat. Somehow, they have managed to suck all the fun out of the NFL Draft, a quite enjoyable experience in Head Coach 09. There is no ready reference to the draft order, no mock draft to reference and no way to tell what another team's needs (and likely draft strategy) might be. The scouting system is so terrible that you next to nothing about the players in the draft and have to draft blind. Granted, Head Coach 09 might have given you too much information but Madden 12 gives you nowhere near enough and is unrealistic besides, forcing you to scout individuals during pro-days instead of all the players participating in that pro day.

One Noticeable Glitch:
At least, I assume it was not meant to be a feature when a defender intercepted my pass and began to return it, a cone of slowness forming around him as if out of D&D. Each of my players, in turn, as they tried to catch the defender, were slowed to near immobility. The defender wasn't moving any faster than they were but nobody could even approach him.

There is a noticeable difference between the statistics accrued by the AI teams as compared to your team: give up any idea of having a leading tackler. In 15+ seasons I have yet to see anyone come close. This was a problem in Head Coach 09 as well since there are actually several types of football game going on here: the computer simming AI games, you playing your game or super-simming your game. You won't get the same type of statistics.

Running QBs:
AI owned QBs will run - quite a bit - but the same QB if on your team will NOT. If you want Cam Newton to run then you will have to make him run because he won't do it on his own if he is on your team - nor will any other QB even if that QB is fast, identified as a scrambler and your offense set to scramble rather than sit in the pocket. Unless you have good hand-eye coordination, a scrambling QB won't benefit a player at all. It was frustrating to play a season a the Panthers and have Newton run for 0 yards in 16 games for me and then play a game against the Panthers and watch Newton scramble for 150 yards.

Official Player's Guide:
This isn't terribly useful for playing franchise mode in Madden 12, not that it's not a very nice book made out of decent paper and with good graphics. The problem is that very little of the book is dedicated to the franchise mode (4 pages out of 256, plus a partial page at the beginning of the guide). Most of it is about controlling individual players. You will find that people like Ramses Barden, WR is very valuable in Madden 12. This is true if you control him yourself and have good hand-eye coordination. But in franchise mode, the Giants are probably right to release him before the season, as they did in my league. I did pick him up to try it out but though he has Jump 95 and he's 6'6" if he just stands there and doesn't try to catch the ball (which seems to be the case) none of that matters. The Team Strategy section (pages 88 to 215) is useful but not necessary. Again, it is tailored towards players who control individual players on the field, not franchise mode.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
The enhancements to Madden 12 were meant to satisfy the long-time fans of the series and those who are dedicated fans of the sport. In that regard Madden NFL 12 absolutely delivers - and it makes for the most enjoyable and satisfying Madden this generation and arguably reaching even farther back into the previous platform era.


A concerted effort was made with Madden 12 to capture elements of the television viewing experience and the game attending experience and though there is still plenty of work to be done it represents a significant and valuable advancement in presentation. Authentic camera placement, team entrances, blimp shots, crowd cuts, and more were all great touches. Crowd noise is much better than NCAA but there should be more impact to the crowd affecting road teams and roaring louder in appropriate situations (such as after a challenge decision).

Of course there were aspects of the presentation that eroded some of the overall satisfaction. Players bumping into each other on the way back to the huddle, the jarring cut to the two minute warning where then nothing of significance is shown, challenge replays so poorly handled that they don't actually show the event being challenged, a lack of a halftime or post-game show, and sparse crowds in adverse weather conditions stand out. All relatively minor on their own but necessary to clean up for the presentation to reach the next level.

There is no denying that the gameplay improvements received were a large beneficiary of avoiding going the `gimmicky' route this year. Gameplay is much more satisfying with some legacy issues corrected and the lack of suction paying dividends all over the field. Proper football strategy is rewarded more than ever and the result is some incredibly compelling and competitive games that have provided some brilliantly exciting moments. Fun factor due to all of that is especially high.

GameFlow and GamePlan have been enhanced with the addition of Custom Playbooks - allowing for the benefits of GameFlow to be more likely utilized. Stats are often in line with expectations and the flow of the games have been ideal. "Player Traits" really start to differentiate individual performance styles beyond just ratings. The CPU is finally competent though ultimately the challenge offered by the CPU will vary from person to person. The sliders appear to be effective for those who choose to tinker with the various elements of gameplay.

Dynamic Player Performance is difficult to quantify but does seem to have considerable impact and swing performance and ultimately even on-field results. Hot and cold streaks come into play and often early struggles will carry over to later in the game as players lose confidence. When the main positions are user-controlled though the struggles will stand out more than the successes - as getting a small ratings boost is unlikely to completely change the outcome of a play - just as a small ratings decline probably won't mean a drastic result. There does need to be a way to see what DPP is doing without going into the pause menu.

There is no perfection here though - the lack of a battle for the ball between the receivers and defenders is especially glaring. Play action remains improperly implemented and special teams has been largely neglected with kick and punt return blocking flat out horrible. The new kicking camera and system, and the surprise onside kicks, are the only positives to mention as it pertains to special teams.

Though the improvements to Franchise don't necessarily seem to warrant having taken a full year off from the mode they do make a large impact as they capitalize on the areas most requested for receiving advancement. Expanded rosters and cut days, practice mode, trades of future draft picks, draft scouting, and player roles are all intriguing additions.

The biggest success is the new Free Agency bidding system. Though it should be more obvious how to view upcoming free agents before the bidding frenzy begins it makes for a fun and pressure-filled event. "Player Roles" are an interesting element in how teams are shaped along with how they can affect on-field performance.

The weakest aspect is the draft scouting, which simply doesn't provide enough information on enough players to make much (or any) difference. I felt largely in the dark for the majority of the draft as picking at the end of the round meant most of the prospects that had been scouted for the round were gone by my choice. Beyond the scouting then you're left with knowing nothing but their projected round to make a decision on.

A few issues worth noting - a few teams are stuck with rain in every (or nearly every) home game, there is an issue with draft classes from NCAA Football 12 not coming over unless they are saved after the players leaving stage, players lose their "role" if anything about them even equipment is edited, the new free agency system is not good for multi-user franchises, and preseason games are a complete mess.

This is the most successful online play experience to come out of the Tiburon studio. Performance has been excellent, the games have been ultra-competitive and very fun, and the Online Communities feature has proven initially valuable.

One unheralded but very important tweak to online comes with the kick meter which appears to account for any lag being experienced. The meter will snap back a tad after the button press and it has proven to be quite accurate. Kicks have been missed not due to any lag but due to user error. It's the first time that kicking in a football game hasn't been problematic online. Lag in general has been minimal - a slight sluggishness in some cases but easily adjust to - and most games have felt so good they could have passed for being played offline.

Online Franchise was passed over for improvements in favor of Communities - a decision that could be easily questioned. There is no lobby room within the communities making head-to-head games difficult to come by for most people. I've had to tweet out that I want a challenge in order to get a game and most won't have that luxury. Though they offer something considerable the sense I get is most will be completely dead within a month. Maybe smaller ones within groups of friends will have more long-term success.

Custom Playbooks and their integration into GameFlow comes in handy for ranked online games. Inexplicably Custom Playbooks were omitted from use in the Online Communities and Online Franchise. There has also been an issue faced by a small percentage of users who have been unable to get past the "Checking Rosters" step. EA is still investigating but a temporary workaround is to save the latest rosters to a USB drive and the game will recognize that and proceed past the problematic step.


Taking the most flak this year is the commentary and it isn't completely unwarranted. Though there is a decent flow that is about the best that can be said, and it is certainly a big drawback overall on the complete package that Madden 12 attempts to offer given the number of errors called out and noticeable recording flaws.

Lines recorded last year vs this year sound completely different, reactions often run far behind when they actually take place, the same stories are repeated every game, and the announcers often call a player by their number rather than their name. There are also unjustifiable gaffes like referring to the Titans as the "New York Titans" at every coin toss or talking about the "new" overtime rules in a regular season game where they don't even apply.

The lack of special commentary for preseason and postseason games really hurt their immersive nature. There is no special Super Bowl commentary - in fact the announcers will talk about homefield advantage. That sort of thing is just killer.

This mode wasn't a main focus and it shows. Touted improvements were an improved interface, skill points to distribute for ratings increases, coordinator audio, and a switch to the standard camera angle. Most of those things actually were provided but did little to make the mode interesting. Coordinator audio and commentary was completely absent however.

Players automatically start at their respective position regardless of ratings and there is nothing that goes on in the off-season. The mode is just flat out dull. It also isn't readily apparent that quarter length can be adjusted - that is done through the main profile and not within the mode.

NFL fans will appreciate what has been done with Madden NFL 12 as the title attempts to tap into what it means to be emotionally invested in a team or the league. The vastly improved presentation and gameplay combined with a much more enjoyable Franchise mode help to cover up the flaws that comes with growth that can't be completed and goals that can't be reached in just a single year. It's finally alright to be excited about the Madden franchise - that is if they don't change course in their vision yet again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2013
I have played Madden 07, 09, 11, 12, and 25. This is BY FAR the best of out of all of them. As most reviews have stated, the game is by no means perfect, but it's the closest it's been since the old NFL games on the PS2 or original xbox.

Franchise Mode:
I have easily spent 7ish total days on this mode alone. It's just so damn fun and so much better than connected careers. I won't bore you with details, but you can look up what it is on Google.

Superstar Mode : Meh, it's fun to play on Rookie and set every record ever but overall it's not that great.

Mini Games : Fun to mess around in.

If you play on All-Pro...good luck running.

Ratings seem to be useless because I've had a 96 speed receiver be run down by 85ish speed Corner.

Those are the major things. Comment any questions you have, I can answer them.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2012
I purchased this gift for my boyfriend and he loves it so it was a great purchased. I asked him what he did and didn't' like about the game and he said that he hates they removed the sprint button and the online game play stalls out. He loves the new catching features and the gang tackling. He plays it often against his friends which keeps him out my hair so I give it 2 thumbs up. It was the best stocking stuffer gift I've purchased so far.
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on January 28, 2013
I have had several versions of Madden over the years. 2004 was the last as until Christmas 2011 we were still rocking the original Xbox. I bought Madden 12 and in comparing it to the 2004 version, it was improved, but not as much as I would have liked. I am one who likes to play in the career modes EA sports feature, no matter the sport, I do no online gaming, so this is what I base reviews on. Obviously the graphics are better, but I find after hours and hours of playing, playability trumps graphics. I always liked the franchise's owner finances mode in 2004, and the importance of getting the salaries right or you would have to raise tickets or parking to avoid having the franchise taken away from you due to bad debt. It seemed very real and right to me, but in Madden 12 you don't ever seem to have that urgency, and no matter what I pay these guys, it seems that I always have enough cash. Also, you pretty much have to play with the plays in the game, not pretty much, you DO have to. Play creation has been removed from the game, I don't know which version, but since 2004. Creating plays and formations are some of the most fun things you can do in the EA sports games and this has changed not only here but in the NCAA football as well. This year in the playoffs the 49'ers were featuring plays not included in any team's playbook, and you cannot duplicate them on your own. I guess EA wants you to buy next year's version for another $59 for that. Even the ones included aren't very accurate. Denver had many plays in 2011 for Tebow to run with, but only three or four were included in the playbook, and even on easy levels, the opposing defenses level the QB at the line of scrimmage in those. I had several seasons with 2004 and enjoyed the process, but have only been able to play a few with this one. It looks good, but makes me wish I had kept my old version.
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on June 18, 2012
Now im a football fanatic and i love playing a football game. I played madden 11 alot before i got this game and i was so excited. I wasn't let down. I rented the game first and it came to life. The receivers actually tried to stay in bounds they made efforts to make spectacular catches. The players looked polished as in it looked really dynamic the presentation style and everything was well done. The rookies looked like real people and not fake NCAA players. Its a really enjoyable game that added better kickoff team blocking, and several other things. Its a very good game.

There are several cons. The "Be an NFL superstar mode" dosent let you adjust settings like, quarter time or difficulty. Its very disappointing. The one thing i miss is the ability to challenge any play and the game would review it. I beleive the game should allow you decide what should be challenged. I would catch a ball in the end zone or right at the sideline and challenge it. The play was still called out of bounds or incomplete so i looked at instant replay and my receiver took 3 steps before any contact with the out of bounds line. This happens often.

Another thing that may steer others away is the coverage system and tackling. It seems like only one player can get in on a tackle. If theres one guy tackling he gets knocked off by another tackler. The Madden 10 tackling system was great. The coverage system allows linebackers to cover two players at once. Youll have a guy open and you throw it and the linebacker jumps high into the air knocking the ball down. Very annoying.

The ratings in the game are not that great. The quarterbacks are to slow. Aaron rodgers, Alex smith, and Tavahris jackson can outrun alot of D linemen. But in the game they cant. Also the linemen are to fast in the game. I can catch an interception and get run down my an o linemen which happend the last game i played. The comentary glitches and is still the same. This game needs custom commentary based on each player and plays. Overall i still give this game a 4 stars because its addicting and its a really fun game to play. (son of lori)
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on January 10, 2012
It's an exaggeration to say that new iterations of Madden are $60 roster updates. For one thing, Amazon usually knocks the price down a bit, so they're only $55 roster updates. Also, EA usually tries to make a few improvements and modifications to the underlying game, so that, in theory at least, each version is slightly better, in addition to having Cam Newton and AJ Green. Unfortunately, this time around, the modifications were a mixed bag of improvements and detriments, and I am coming to the opinion that I liked Madden 11 better overall.

There are some legitimate improvements. The roster management on the franchise mode-- which has always been my favorite Madden feature-- really has been improved. There is a lot more depth, and there's now a reason to have expanded rosters during the preseason, and "cut days" where you winnow out your scrubs. Also, as with most Madden versions, the graphics have been improved a bit over the last version. Visually the game is remarkable, and that's an area where the series has been pretty consistent about improving from year to year.

Sadly, most of the tweaks to the gameplay itself are of the "it's not a bug, it's a feature" variety. I repeat: the most serious flaws in the gameplay seem to have been added ON PURPOSE. Gone is the "rewind" feature. In Madden 11, this allowed you to "veto" an absurd play and run that down over again, hopefully getting a less screwy result. Madden veterans know that absurd plays are, and always have been, numerous, often involving defenders with eyes in the back of their helmets which allow them to knock down passes behind them, jetpacks concealed under players' uniforms so they can make remarkable jumps, and the ability of two players to occupy the same space at the same time. Think of the rewind feature as Graham Chapman's British colonel character, stepping into the scene, proclaiming something to be "too silly" and replaying it. I realize that a lot of players sneer at the rewind button, but if you don't like it, don't use it. It makes no sense to actually remove that function. There is also an "accelerated" clock runoff, when plays are called speeding through 10 seconds or so, evidently with an eye toward simulating the time players in real life take to move into position. There's no way to turn it off, it's actually really hard to judge so you'll often find yourself rushing to snap the ball before you get called for delay of game, and now if you want to have a plausible number of plays during the space of a game, you'll need to extend the quarters significantly. (I've found that 11 minute quarters generate stats similar to what I'm used to with 7 minute quarters in Madden 11.) So games take longer. Awesome. And they actually take much, much longer because there are so amazingly many cutscenes, which you can't always skip through. There's no way to turn that feature off either. The "accelerators," which were basically magic wands you could invoke in franchise mode to change things (ensure that your team's young players develop more of their potential, healing injuries, etc.), are also gone. It isn't clear why they removed those, either. It is clear that they weren't removed in order to make the player development more realistic, because instead EA added an option to edit individual player ability scores. Think Christian Ponder is too slow in the game? (He is.) Just bump his speed up to 99, and then use him as a WR in the Wildcat. Also, now when you're calling plays, after the last play is over instead of keeping the "playbook" open to the last formation you used, it goes back to the top of the list for that general set. (E.g. if you run a play from Ace single-back formation, when the play is over the screen goes back to the list of single-back formations, highlighting whatever is first on the list, rather than staying at the Ace screen like the game used to. Given that the game is already trying to burn you on the play clock with the accelerated runoff, this little delay is genuinely inconvenient.)

Some things weren't fixed, but should have been. For the create-a-team feature, the selection of logos/mascots is still surprisingly sparse. It wouldn't kill them to add a little more clipart. I still think the ball travels too slowly in the air; defenders bat down an improbable number of passes on quick slants. Quarterbacks still tend to disregard the presence of the sideline in throwing passes into the flat. If the ball is snapped from the left hashmark and you want to throw a ball to your HB heading off to the left, good luck, because the ball will probably be thrown to a member of the coaching staff. Really, having your quarterbacks try to place the ball in the field of play is not too much to ask. I'm still bothered by the existence of the Coach's Challenge feature. Yes, it's part of real football, but in real life it's designed to correct human error. For it to be in the console game, logically that tells me that the programmers actually designed the referees to call plays incorrectly sometimes so there'd be something to challenge. Why make mistakes on purpose?

On balance, the game is worth having, particularly if you don't have a recent version of Madden to play. If you have Madden 11, though, it's not at all clear to me that it's worth spending the full price for the "upgrade." It isn't even clear that it's an upgrade. You might be best served waiting for the price to come down closer to the next NFL season.
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on December 17, 2011
I got madden last night and this is just my initial thoughts about it. i played from about 8pm-5am (yeah i have no life). ive been playing video games since 1981. some of the better football games i thought were tecmo bowl for the nes, gameday for the ps1, and the 2k series from sega for the ps2....i had a madden game that had some black quarterback on it ( i forget if it was mcnab or mcnair) and i remember after my friend who took the lions and his fullback broke like 7 of my takles, i had to take the disc out of the the console, go outside, smash it with a hammer... i was so pissed that i went back inside and smashed the controller i was using also ( i was in my mid 20's, lol).
i got madden 10 last december when i got a xbox 360 to cure my wow-addiction...i thought madden 10 was ok...i feel madden 12 is a improvement of 10
1st off, i dont see a difference in graphics in the 2 years that have passed, yet i read alot of reviews on how the graphics are awesome..they are just ok.. faces still look weird, and i feel the palyers are kinda small on my 42' hdtv, sitting like 5 feet away from it..
secondly, people always want to use the madden monopoly excuse for why this game sucks and not much effort is put into it...there are alot of little details that are in this game that werent in 10, so obviously people are doin more then picking their nose and looking at gay midget porn at ea sports.on the pause screen theres somthing called dynamic player performance..its shows pics of the players in the game who are having hot or cold streaks. also i like the way that some recievers drag their feet when trying to catch a ball in bounds (thats definently new) and im glad they took out that annyoying chain gang 1st down measurement thing from 10....alot of the new features even state "due to your demand, we put in" ________" this year...and trust me there are a ton of new features and little details, youll see once u get the game..
lastly the game play is just solid...i thought the kicking was kinda last genertation console, but i like it now (plus my analog sticks swerve worse then my car so i like using a button)...i also feel this is the best runnin game...being patient with blockers pays off for big runs and theres no turbo button. in fact the controls are a little more simplified (for example the swim moves are done with the right stick , not the shoulder buttons) and i like the change...the players dont feel like thier skating on ice or anything...the one complaint i do have about gameplay is pursuit speed....ive been getting run down alot when i think im about to break a long run into a td or, im about to field a return, and all of a sudden the gunner or special team dude is right there to take me down...
in conclusion, theres alot of bad review about madden that i think are innacurate...also i cant play my madden 10 online because "cannot find ea or cannot connect to ea server at this time" if u want to play online, or u just want a solid and fun football game, this game is definetly a solid great game..hope this helps!
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on September 28, 2011
First the good - the gameplay is the best it's ever been (at least comparing it to the last 6 years of Maddens that I have). While animations do repeat, the tackling, blocking, catching and running all feel much more dynamic than ever before. Certain routes are still way too open (slants, TE Seams) but the AI defense is smarter and reacts more realistically - like a real football team. The stadiums look amazing and all the new camera angles really help the presentation. Custom playbooks are an awesome idea, and can be edited even in Franchise mode as your seasons progress. I play almost exclusively in Franchise mode and love the new preseason roster cut downs and in season scouting. Though, without a paper manual (manual is virtual only) there are some confusing menu popdowns that could be better explained. Like how many players are we really allowed to scout? - forums and EA website claim 15 players every 4 weeks but I've been able to scout 15 different players each and every week. There's nothing in the manual or on the menu screen that explains this.

Which leads to more of the bad - while the custom playbooks are a good idea, the execution is almost unusable. You start with a "base" formation template (team specific or style specific--for example "Run N' Gun"), but any formation that you add from outside the template doesn't get saved in your playbook in a logical way - you'll see 5 singleback formations from your base book followed by i form, gun etc. then all of a sudden 1 more singleback outside the base book, then maybe a gun, then back to singleback. The forms aren't categorized by type or alphabetically. It's so haphazard that I get penalized 5 to 7 delay of games each matchup because I can't find my darn plays. Most of the other faults are with presentation - it's always raining every home game for certain teams (Cleveland and Carolina) - and the announcer package is a mash up from several seasons and repeats the same intro every single game - Gus Johnson sounds like he has Tourrett's as this year's audio gets mashed with last year's. While the rain might be the most well known "glitch" others include the staples from years past - the ludicrously leaping linebackers who are able to bat down or pick off passes meant for wrs 20 yards away, and the impossible to complete Play Action Passes (which is why I have just 2 PA's out of the 400 plays in my custom books).

Overall though the gameplay keeps me coming back, while the presentation (lazy and sad that it is), makes me yearn for the best video football game I've ever played - NCAA 11 for the Xbox.
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