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404 of 426 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2012
I've been as loyal of a Madden fan as any. I've purchased the game every year since the early 90's on Sega Genesis. And I've always enjoyed playing the games themselves, but it was the introduction of the franchise mode (1998?) that got me truly hooked. Every year, as more and more features were added to the franchise mode, I found the game to be more and more addicting. Nothing could add to the games replay value more than a detailed franchise mode where I felt like a real GM, developing my team and molding them into a perennial contender by taking over every detail of the organization and calling all the shots.

I believe Madden hit its peak during the final year on the PS2/XBOX console when every detail of your franchise could be controlled, right down to the price of refreshments in your team's stadium. Admittedly, the game has been a bit of a disappointment since its transition to the latest generation of consoles (PS3 & XBOX 360). The franchise mode was essentially stripped down to the very basics...just a shell of its old form. I understood, at least for a year or two, that the game would have to make a few sacrifices in order to get the game fully functional for the new consoles. The graphics had vastly improved, and I felt I could deal with a lighter version of the franchise mode if it meant playing such a good looking football game. But EA has done very little to bring its franchise mode anywhere close to its old form. There was a glimmer of hope for us franchise enthusiasts in Madden '12 when the game made a number of improvements, publicly acknowledging that Madden had put its franchise loyalists on hold for too long, and the feature was in some great need of improvement. Then Madden '13 was released...

Madden 13 is a slap in the face to any fan of the franchise mode that has stayed true despite the repeated disappointments over the past 5 years. The franchise mode has been completely removed from the game. EA will tell you that the "Connected Careers" (CCM) mode serves as the game's franchise mode now. I beg to differ. The CCM is a sad, sad attempt to contemplate those of us who enjoy the franchise aspect of the game. Anyone with a little awareness can see that EA's attempt to make everything "XP" based is a move to eventually monetize every aspect of the game... (Example: your players no longer progress based on their performance throughout the season. They earn "XP" for reaching certain goals which can be used to purchase upgrades to their attributes.) Everything is about earning "XP". You can't even scout future prospects unless, you guessed it, you've accumulated some precious "XP". This 'subtle' addition may be the scariest aspect of the latest edition of Madden.

To those of you who have been told that CCM replaces franchise mode in the game, here is just a short list of features that are completely gone:

- Offline franchise mode multi-player (seriously?? I've played a league with my best friend every year since 2001.)
- Fantasy draft (that's right, if you like drafting a team to control from scratch....forget about it.)
- Option to upload NCAA 13 rosters for your drafts (the only reason I buy NCAA...)
- Ability to edit player appearance/ratings
- Ability to create a team/logo
- Ability to move your team to another city

I won't even list all of the features that still exist but have had their functionality severely reduced. (Example: you can still trade and sign free agents but the trade logic has been tweaked such that unless you're trading a superstar for a draft pick or two, it's not going to happen. Free agents can be signed but the length and size of the contract can't be adjusted) This would end up being a review too long for anyone to read if I included all the reasons why the features that remain are lacking.

According to EA, the series has approximately 5-7 million dedicated fans, and they'll likely sell over 3 million copies of the game by October. Apparently they've decided that the franchise fans make up too small a minority to worry about. A calculated risk I assume. I'll be returning my copy though, and they can exclude me from their list of dedicated fans going forward.
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594 of 651 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2012
Okay, so if you play this game by yourself online, and that's ALL you do, then you might not agree with this review...

...however, if you are like me, I primarily play offline franchise mode, so drastically changing this feature is a risky gamble for EA when it comes to gamers like myself. The only two words that I can use to describe 'franchise mode' this year is: EPIC FAIL. Madden 13 has something called connected careers, which serves as its only vehicle to play what past Madden's have called 'franchise mode'. This works well for online play, but if you are like me, I like to play franchise mode offline with a friend (you know, in the same room). We create our own guys, do a fantasy draft, and play as many seasons as we can until the next Madden comes out.

Not this year. EA has chosen to abandon this group of gamers. Most of the features for offline franchise play have been removed. Create a player, and have him play in your franchise? Nope. Fantasy draft? Gone. You are stuck playing with the current roster of whatever team you chose. ANY roster customization? Virtually all roster customization is gone. Again, you are stuck with the real-life team rosters. You can't even edit player attributes, names, or positions.

Finally, and this was the deal breaker for myself, and I will be returning the game I have bought every year for the last 10 years if there isn't an update issued. Multiplayer offline franchise. That HAS to be included, right? RIGHT? Unbelievably, no. I have no idea why they would take this out. It seems like a no-brainer, and quite frankly, I am a little pissed about it. Being able to have friends over and play Madden on franchise mode can't even be done in this years Madden. This literally makes this years Madden worthless to myself.

If EA included last years offline franchise mode with Madden 13, and nothing else in Madden 13 changed, my review could very well be 5 stars, so don't infer that my 1 star rating is for everyone. It's not. But, I know a lot of people who play offline franchise, and wanted to warn everyone else in this group that EA decided to ignore us this year.

UPDATE: 10/28/2012
I patiently held onto my copy of Madden 13 for a while to see if any updates by EA would be issued to correct some of the complaints I had above. I am happy to say that EA issued an update in mid-October which added some of the left out features. The update included the following:

1. Multiplayer offline franchise mode (up to 6 players)
2. Ability to import and edit rosters into offline franchise mode, this includes being able to bringing in created players, so it is now possible to play as yourself
3. A handful of tweaks to gameplay

As far as I can tell offline fantasy draft was not included. I personally love the ability to perform a fantasy draft, however, adding multiplayer and roster editing is still HUGE. Overall, I increased my rating by 1 star, so it is now 2 stars overall. The gameplay compared to Madden 12 is improved, and I think the overall experience is quite a bit of fun, so if you like previous Madden games, you will be happy with the purchase. If all of the features would have been included in the original release date (including the still left out offline fantasy draft), I think this version could have been worth a 4 star rating. So call it sour grapes, but having to wait nearly 2 months for the features that I consider a staple of Madden, I can't bring myself to give it over 2 stars.
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158 of 179 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2012
Read my updates below.
Unless you like playing single games do not get this crap. If you are a longtime Franchise mode player do not get this....there is NO Franchise mode and what we have in it's place...Crappy not Franchise mode and it's crap. The new game engine is a nice idea but it's far from ready and therefore it's crap. Maybe if EA had concentrated on the game play engine and left the rest of what they had in M12 alone they would have had a game but what they gave us is crap and I refuse to call it a game because it's just crap. I hope I'm getting my point across with my continuous use of the word crap...M13 truly is a POS.

09/01/12: Now that I have time to play more I just want to add this to my previous comments. At first glance I thought that the new onfield game play was better but after playing 2 seasons worth of games I have to say that the "physics" EA has hyped so much isn't there either. The physics of player on player impact is far superior in Madden 12 and so is the AI. I will give this one example from the dozens per game that I see. Playing with the 49ers I watched Aldon Smith make 3 sacks in one game that were totally "instant replay" versions of each other and they were total BS when it comes to the physics of game play. Smith was coming at the QB who was looking at the opposite side of the field on all 3 plays so what would you expect from a hard hitting linebacker coming in full speed on a QB totally unaware that he's about to be hit? A monster driving hit chest to chest to try to cause a fumble? That's what I expected to see and what I saw time and time again in Madden 12 but in Madden 13 when Smith impacted the QB it was like he hit a brick wall and stopped dead from full speed and instead had to grab the QB and twist him to the ground. Huh? Really? And this is suppose to be a physics engine? After playing enough games the real problems with the new engine are huge and glaring and go way beyond players flopping and flailing on the ground after the play is over.

I decided to try playing a game online to see if any of the online adjustments made so far have made the game better and no it has not. Every 2 or 3 plays I watch one of my defensive backs just take off toward the opposite sideline at a 90 angle (sometimes he goes behind the QB and sometimes he goes behind the MLB) with no regard what so ever for the play called and what is taking place on the field. I didn't even finish the first quarter before I turned it off and put Madden 12 back in. There is no sense in playing such a piece of garbage and there is no sense in such an obvious AI error still being there after more than a month. I'm guessing that the safeties still become statues in the middle of the field too when the other team is way behind allowing receivers to just run free behind them but I didn't play long enough to find out.
This is my last update because this was my last attempt at playing this crap. Update #3 from EA...losts of promises from EA but I guess it was just an attempt to keep sales up as word got out about how bad this crap is because if anything the game is worse than before. Do your self a favor and save your money. I wouldn't even buy this crap out of the $5 used game bin.
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103 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2012
LOL more like $20-$30. First of all NO FRANCHISE MODE. Second, NO CREATE A PLAYER. Third, ALL THE DRILLS AND STUFF LIKE THAT ARE GONE. Fourth, THE DRAFT IMPORT HAS BEEN REMOVED. Fifth, the music is literally crap. SMH why they had to remove these features from the game that made it fun to play. I'll be returning this game for sure and I won't be buying anymore madden games in the future. EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
Another classic case of EA Sports trying to out think the room. Don't fix what's not broken guys! Sheesh. The game is a step up in terms of graphics and fluid game play. But it took an awful, boneheaded step backwards when they decided to axe the franchise mode. Any gains made by better gameplay (which is debatable) is a wash now.

Not all of us (in my estimation most of us) play the game online. We might once in a while for kicks, but the main draw to Madden, at least for me, has been the offline franchise mode. It's just a game. A stress reliever. A little escape for an hour after a long day. That's all. And that's the way we like it. We don't need on be online for five hours at a time with a headset, talking to other dorks five time zones away collecting "tokens" or whatever. I've been playing the game since the early 2000s when my fraternity brothers got me on it. We played it because it was fun, simple but challenging and a little supplement to watching real football.

You guys at EA really screwed this one up. And you don't need to be a hardcore headset cheetoes eating mother's basement dwelling nerd to know it. That's why the monopoly you guys have on the NFL rights to produce the game is a travesty. This was America last time I checked. Unless you couldn't care less about healthy sales in the future, you better send out a patch with franchise mode. Along with the all the other stuff you mangled this time around. It's the right thing to do for all the suckers (like myself) who threw down $60 for the game. And you know it. Rant over. Seacrest out.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
Two words.. New Coke.

My kids love(d) Madden. We typically drop the $60.00 charge every year to get the improvements and the roster updates. Not having Peyton where he is now, would be a issue to my kids. So, admittedly, that is one of the big reasons for getting the new version year after year. After this year though, they are going to have to live without it.

Madden 2013 comes out, and they wreck the best part of the game.

The traditional Franchise Mode is busted. Period. The only options you have are to play as a Player or as a Coach. What, a coach? Who cares about coaches? Who follows a coach? EA.. Get it through your heads. We follow our teams. We want to take a team to the SuperBowl, and recruit, train, build team dynasties. Its the team, and the team only. Franchise building and beating others online.

What amazes me is that they didn't expand on what they already had. Why not expand the concept of Franchise Mode online and allow scheduling of games both online only and a mix of both? Or trade players and history online? Now it is all player centric, and frankly, who cares? Most people are either going to love the Broncos or not.. There are few people who just follow a player around, and definitely not the coach.


--Signed Disappointed Fan (and disappointed kids)
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69 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2012
Like everyone else, I am disappointed by the fact that the changed franchise mode so drastically. I will return this as soon as I get it. Thanks EA, now I have to eat shipping an handling.
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109 of 132 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2012
This year they took out the ability to edit players and your franchise by replacing it with connected careers. Franchise mode was one the best aspects of the game that they have now taken away. I don't get why EA continues to do things to upset the fans!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2012
Let me start by saying I literally just stopped playing, got off my couch, and got on Amazon to right my first review ever because I am so angry and frustrated with EA. If anyone wants to buy a game that is 2 days old let me know.

I can't even begin to say how disappointed I am with Madden. They do all the work to make the gameplay great but take away some of the best features (franchise, editing players, fantasy draft etc.). I have had the game for a few days and honestly have had so much trouble just getting going because of the terrible menu set up, bombardment of advertising when I try to play online, and general confusion with the game.
The set up is just a complete jumbled mess. The one thing I will give them is the improved tackling but that hardly makes up for everything else.

I'm not a dummy with games either I have been playing for years but for one reason or another there has been a huge amount of grief trying to play this game.This is mainly because I have frantically been searching everywhere for franchise mode and tried to understand "connected careers" with little success.
It is complete BS that they would do this first off and I found this online stuff to be a poor attempt to make the game more "SOCIAL" and "Twitter Like." I just want to play the freakin game!!! Not share my progress with the world. If this is the fault of the younger generation being twitter and connected obsessed then I guess I am an old man at 25.

Bottom line-- If you play Madden for the franchise mode, DO NOT BUY THIS GAME!! Feel my rage EA!! I shall have my this life of the next.

Sign this petition if you want to try to bring some of the old features back [...]
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78 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2012
I'm utterly baffled at some of the decisions made with this game. The only way I play sports games is by creating a franchise and using created players in said franchise. It's what is fun for me. It's what I've done in virtually every sports game I've owned for the last 15 years.

Well, you can't do that in the new Madden. Sure, you can create players and add them to rosters, but only within the 'Play Now' mode. You can't use custom rosters in the Career mode. Your options are to create a 'Coach' that allows you to manage a team in the traditional way using only the default rosters, or you can create a single player at a single position and play only from that position. Want to create a QB in your likeness while still being able to make trades, sign free agents, run a draft over a 20 year period? Nope. Want to put you and your friends into the game on the same team and win the Super Bowl? Can't do it. It's a ludicrous omission.

I really wish I had known this ahead of time. Never would have bought the game. None of the reviews I read mentioned this change beforehand.
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