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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madden improves with additions that may change the way you play the game.
For years Madden has been a decent game that could be enjoyed by overlooking its considerable flaws and deficiencies which have generated frustration yet avoided game-breaking status. For many that was possible and the value was there, for some it was still too much to get past.

That really hasn’t changed with Madden NFL 15 which has improved in several...
Published 3 months ago by pastapadre

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Done with ea sports until customer service is better
The idea that a wireless connection can cause you to lose a game is crazy. I have been kickout on every section of the game. I love the game or this would be 1 star, but the issue is I have lost time in offline game play because it did not properly save my game, been kicked off several times in solo challenges-losing contracts, and the final straw- I was playing a very...
Published 20 days ago by Bruce A. Weller


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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madden improves with additions that may change the way you play the game., August 26, 2014
This review is from: Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One (Video Game)
For years Madden has been a decent game that could be enjoyed by overlooking its considerable flaws and deficiencies which have generated frustration yet avoided game-breaking status. For many that was possible and the value was there, for some it was still too much to get past.

That really hasn’t changed with Madden NFL 15 which has improved in several areas of need but come up short yet again in others. What’s different this time is the number of options that change the way you can play for the better.

Continue on to check out what I’ve identified as the best and the worst after 15 hours of playing Madden NFL 15. There are obviously more to come as I’m not able to touch on issues people have seen with simmed stats or play calling fully yet as a few examples. A more complete review will follow late this week or early next week.

************* TOP LIKES ************

DEFENSIVE CAMERA ANGLE AND CAMERA SWITCHING ON THE FLY
It’s been a long time since a feature has completely surprised me in how much the functionality changes the way a game is played. Never would I have thought camera angles could have such impact as they have with the implementation in Madden 15.
I had no desire necessarily to change away from the traditional camera so when the announcements were made none of it resonated with me. Even when games like NCAA Football added them I would generally stick to the defaults and having tried specialty ones like “Player Lock” in that series a flipped option on defense was assumed to be virtually unplayable and a pointless offering.

The defensive camera in Madden keeps the action in front of you and that can actually be advantageous as you get the sense you’re containing big plays. It’s probably most natural for controlling a defensive lineman or a blitzing player but even linebackers and safeties can be utilized effectively in many instances whether in man, zone, or spying. Rare is the occasion where a player gets behind the last line of defense and off-screen and switching who is controlled during a play isn’t disorienting at all. Situationally the best time to use the defensive camera may be in third and long where you can get at the QB and rush a throw or pick up the sack. I’ve had less success in short or medium yardage but that is probably not the fault of that camera.

The D-Pad lets you switch between camera angles before every snap and I’ve found myself changing it on an almost play-to-play basis. When running up the middle I like the zoomed in perspective. When passing it’s the traditional camera or one notch out. When running to the outside it’s one of the two zoomed out options and screen plays are all the way zoomed out. Then I get crazy and for some reason like the broadcast camera for kick and punt returns. The only problem I’ve had is that the CPU doesn’t give you any time to change the angle on some kick returns. Everyone will probably have their own set of preferences but I suspect those aware of the options will get creative in using them to their benefit.

DEFENSIVE LINE CONTROLS
Though the pop-ups might look gimmicky controlling a defensive lineman is much more enjoyable and effective due to the new controls. It’s fun to anticipate the snap (and the good QBs will try to draw you offsides and it’s worked on me a few times) and hit the left trigger to get the best jump. Then once engaged you can hit the button that pops up to try and get off the block and/or use the stick to try and get around them. Sometimes it’ll work and others it won’t – it’s pretty satisfying when it does and impressive when it doesn’t. From the defensive camera angle especially the double and sometimes triple teams that you’ll see are really neat.

The problem might be the number of sacks racked up. This seems more related to the QB’s willingness to eat the ball rather than get rid of it. It’s not solely on these controls making it easier to get after them. Ndamukong Suh is on pace for 32 sacks (through eight games he had 16) in my franchise season and I control him on only maybe half the snaps.

BALANCED GAMEPLAY
In order to put up realistic scores and stats games are going to need 10+ minute quarters. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The games are playing out more true-to-life but the number of possessions aren’t adequate with shorter quarters. With the defense improved you’ll be punting more than in the past plus the CPU is converting at a high rate on third downs which keeps the clock running.

Exploits from last year have really been cleaned up. Running to the outside isn’t going to always work. In my franchise currently Reggie Bush has 4.7ypc and Joique Bell only 3.2 yards. Getting the running game going isn’t easy but I’ve started to have more success as of late. “Money” routes in the passing game have too been limited though I’m sure some will be found as far more effective than others (I’ve already learned a number of routes to pretty much avoid). The crowd-sourced play calling already is showing some trends on what tends to work and what doesn’t. There are also more options to counter the opposition when on defense which are great to have though I haven’t been able to fully evaluate yet.

The CPU is far more challenging on All-Pro. I started my franchise season 3-3 though I’ve now won the last 4 games to go to 7-3. Only 2 of them have been won by a big margin. Unfortunately stats still seem to be a problem. In the franchise my Lions have the #1 defense and #32 offense.

GREATER PLAYER DIFFERENTIATION
Despite the success of lower-tier quarterbacks (see the dislike section) even their player skills are shining through well. The difference between taking on Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn is huge as it should be. QBs are playing to their strengths with Cam Newton running the ball a lot, Johnny Manziel looking uncomfortable in the pocket and scrambling around frequently, and Drew Brees sticking to the pocket and making throw after throw on the money.

Adrian Peterson is difficult to bring down, far more so than most other running backs. The versatility of a Reggie Bush is fun to utilize. Ndamukong Suh or J.J. Watt are monsters and can get to the QB consistently especially if you are controlling them. Lower rated lineman will not have that kind of impact. More talented receivers will make some spectacular catches and adjust to the ball better but otherwise don’t separate themselves as well as QB, RB, or DL. Kicking is super easy even with the worst ones but not many field goals are missed these days in the NFL. Other positions, whether it be offensive line or linebacker or defensive back, are a little more difficult to evaluate over a constrained period of time so we’ll have to see how they shake out.

COMMUNITY PLAY SUGGESTIONS
Another unexpected area of appreciation comes with the new crowd-sourced play call suggestions. This uses telemetry collected from all games of Madden being completed to present a handful of plays that have been successful in the current situation. It even shows why the play is being brought up with data indicating its success rate and average yards gained. This has proven much more useful than “GameFlow” and for the most part appealing plays are floating to the top. Hopefully over time there will be more variety rather than less as people begin to identify what tends to work too often. The only problem with the community suggestions are that you get defaulted to it after every play and have to back out to get to other play-calling options.

********** TOP DISLIKES **********

CPU QB EFFICIENCY
In the lead-up to release EA Sports made a big deal out of how quarterbacks would play more to their skill level specifically when it comes to accuracy. That poor QBs would struggle because of it. Unfortunately this hasn’t completely turned out to be true.
There are the occasional inaccurate throws yes. You’ll maybe see one or two of those a game. They will also throw some picks. However regardless of who the QB is they will most likely complete 70-90% of their passes. Christian Ponder, Matt Flynn, Geno Smith, and Johnny Manziel are some of those who have done this to me. They rarely take shots deep but will consistently find receivers in the short to intermediate range and move the ball down the field showing especially good decision-making skill on third downs.
While the defense can get good pressure on the QB and rack up the sacks, the actual presence of pressure seems to do nothing to affect most throws. The QB will either eat the ball and take the sack or deliver an accurate pass.

INABILITY TO TAKE DEEP SHOTS WITH ONE-ON-ONE COVERAGE
One of the biggest problems with Madden has been how poorly it represents one-on-one coverage down the field and that hasn’t changed this year. Even with guys like Calvin Johnson throwing a bomb to them when single covered is just asking for an interception. Receivers don’t use their body to position for the ball and corners playing underneath leap for the picks practically uncontested. Quarterbacks, even those with big arms like Matthew Stafford, consistently underthrow the deep ball even when attempting to lead the receiver. I could count on one finger the number of times I’ve overthrown the receiver on a deep ball.

Receivers are simply too passive in these situations. You’ll recognize the familiar “putting up their hands to make a catch on a ball that won’t be getting past the defender” animation. It’s almost like the defense knows this too, because Megatron and other elite receivers are left in single coverage far too often. It’s incredibly frustrating knowing that can’t be exploited because the risk of being picked off is too great despite any spectacular catches and incompletions mixed in.

NO-HUDDLE OFFENSE MOVES WAY TOO FAST
EA did a lot of good things to make Madden more sim this year, even slowing down the ability to make multiple hot routes, but going no-huddle seems poorly represented. Players are able to get to the line of scrimmage from all over the field, lined up properly knowing the play (telepathically it seems unless you want to pretend they called multiple in the last huddle) and set for the snap consistently in 4-5 seconds. This happens so fast and with the camera on the QB rushing to the line that on defense you have maybe half a second to change your play or camera angle. The CPU snaps it immediately, while maybe user opponents would adjust the play at the line. It’s not realistic even for the most up-tempo of offenses.

PROBLEMS WITH OFFICIAL REVIEWS AND CHALLENGES
The play review/challenge system continues to have its frustrating limitations. Plays that should be automatically reviewed – those after touchdowns, turnovers, or under two minutes – are often not despite appearing to be close calls. Of course the user can’t manually challenge those because they are supposedly always under review. Even if it’s going to be confirmed there should be more of the reviews seen. This year it has been amplified by players seemingly just dropping the ball immediately after knowing they’ve triggered a score despite it appearing they didn’t hold possession on catches long enough in the end zone or complete the process on the sidelines. There also remain many instances where you’d like to challenge, and should be able to do so, but inexplicably the option is “locked” in the menu.

COMMENTARY AND FRANCHISE PRESENTATION
It seems nothing was done to improve commentary this year as many watching the streams have noted they haven’t identified anything at all new. The pair of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are often completely wrong with their facts or analysis and Simms is just maddening to listen to – like real life! There is very little if anything touched upon when in Franchise mode as to stats or standings or storylines. The presentation also barely improved by adding a single “upcoming schedule” or “division record” graphic that shows up in the fourth quarter and disappears after about two seconds. The halftime show is simply about your game’s top plays rather than others that have taken place or are “in progress”. Still too much of a disconnect between the happenings in a franchise and while playing the games.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step in the Right Direction, August 30, 2014
This review is from: Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One (Video Game)
Let me start off by saying that with this Madden I switched over to next gen. I probably would not have gotten this game on the 360. With that said, this is the best Madden in YEARS!

After putting a connected franchise season into this game I feel that this is finally a step in the right direction for EA Sports. However, it is far from a perfect football game. I will just go ahead and give you the pros and cons of this game IMO, keep in mind that I did not play Madden 25 on the Xbox One so I don't know what exactly was in that game but these are certainly upgrades from current gen.

Pros:
-Graphics. They are better than ever on next gen.
-The crowd is finally upgraded from cardboard cut-outs to a living, breathing fan base.
-This also applies to the players and coaches on the sideline.
-Presentation is far better. Replay cameras actually keep up with the ball and the angles are far better.
-No more GameFlow, and the coach suggestions actually make sense.
-Better tackling, choice between an aggressive tackle, a conservative tackle, and still the famous hit stick.
-Overall, the game is just smoother, it plays well and also the players body language is more realistic.
-Better kicking trajectories.
-Addition of Gauntlet Mode, a fun new game mode where you try to do mini-game like plays to advance to a higher level. (I.e kick a 105 yard FG with the aid of hurricane force winds).
-An actual half-time show for the first time since Madden 10.
-You can now sim through the season once again without having to go week by week, which was annoying. Interestingly, there is also an option to sim the next 10 seasons as well.
-Addition of Game Prep to replace the meaningless practice. In Game Prep, you are given a certain number of hours to spend on activities to prepare your players for games by watching film, performing drills, going over the game plan, etc. The number of hours you get depends on how many days until your next game. Players either gain experience or confidence through Game Prep.
-You can upgrade a players ratings without having to go one rating by one rating and constantly clicking "yes" for "are you sure you want to upgrade this rating?".
-No more injury glitches where your player would be announced injured on the play but actually be just fine.

Cons:
- They did away with the unique draft stories each season, which were cool but oh well.
-The draft is still non exciting, and scouting still sucks.
-Still no surprise onside-kick, despite them adding it back in Madden 11 or 12 and getting rid of it and the fact that both college and professional teams frequently do it.
-DB's still have hands of stone.
-LB's can still jump 12 feet in the air to pick off passes.
-The cutting edge running they added in Madden 25 has been done away with, where your player can cut to the inside or outside just by you moving in that direction.
-Commentaries get even more stale each year. Phil Simms is still constantly whining if you don't get a first down or a touchdown. I imagine they will get new ones like they do every couple years.
-Resigning players is still a pain, as they will still turn down offers they say they desire or even better offers.
-The "new" defense camera is only efficient for playing as the Front Seven. If you are a DB this camera angle sucks, but at least it is optional. I say "new" because this is an old camera angle from Madden 09. Yep, they are still taking stuff out and adding them back and calling the "new".
-The new defensive tackling vision cone is cool but misleading. It is only useful if you are within the inner cone from an offensive player. Just because a ball carrier is within proximity of the vision cone does not mean your player is necessarily with tackling range, so what's the point?
-For the 3rd straight year, still no soundtrack. Just annoying, repetitive trumpets and drums like this is NCAA or something. This is increasingly annoying because you can still hear actual songs in the background of games and practices. Last year you could "Welcome to the Jungle" while practicing and also that Linkin Park tune.This means that EA must have the rights to play the song, yet refuse to play it in the rest of the game. This is even worse because if you are playing franchise and managing a team or doing something other than playing a game you have to listen to the same old beats from trumpets and drums. It can you crazy!!

Overall I feel this is a step in the right direction for Madden because they fixed a lot of things and seemed to actually put effort into this year's addition.

I haven't played MUT or online so it would be unfair to judge.

I also haven't played Superstar connected careers but honestly don't think they could've changed much. This sucks because it is the game mode that brought me to Madden. Back in Madden 06 when you could import your NCAA player, compete in individual workouts, the Combine, hire an agent, get and uprgade a crib, and have an actual background. This game mode has been darn near unplayable since Madden 10.

In conclusion, if you are a current gen owner wondering if you should go next gen with this game, I say do it. Madden 25 was not much on the 360 and I doubt Madden 15 is. EA has a long road to recovery for this franchise, but this is a step in the right direction.

***UPDATE***
Alright, after playing for some more days I have a little bit more to add on both sides.

Pros:
-If for some reason your game session is interrupted, like the power going out, Madden automatically saves the exact time and play you were playing, so you don't have to start the game all over, which is awesome.
- If you like to capture and share awesome TD plays, you can automatically record every TD with your Game DVR on Xbox One.
- While I do not love the commentating, they do show a better job of keeping up with players, like saying that a QB is in the top 10 in passing TD's or 1st in passer rating, or that a RB who is having a bad day is still one of the top rushers in the league that season.
- This is more of an Xbox pro, but I was able to play some Madden last Saturday and snap the Georgia v. Clemson game on the side, very nice feature.

Cons:
- There is a glitch or screwup where if your receiver is given a straight sideline route, he will sometimes stop and go sideways for half a second and then continue with his route. I can't tell you how many times my receiver beat the press coverage and was wide open down the field, only to stop and sidestep and let the corner catchup and ruin the play. Fix this EA.
- Returning kicks and punts is practically impossible. Blocking overall has been downgraded, but after about 100 attempts of each kind of return, I was only able to manage 1 (ONE!!!) kickoff return TD. Even though my returner has 98 speed, he cannot outrun special teamers on the outside and the blocking is terrible on the inside. I don't always have to score a TD, it would just be nice to go more than 10 yards without being swarmed by the other team or being blocked by your own blockers.
- This one is minor, but the commentators like to add an "s" at the end of some names. For example, my RB is Doug Martin, and whenever the commentators mention him, they will sometimes say something like "Mar-tins is having a good day on the ground today" or "He's got Mar-tins on the screen play". This goes for receivers as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Done with ea sports until customer service is better, December 1, 2014
This review is from: Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One (Video Game)
The idea that a wireless connection can cause you to lose a game is crazy. I have been kickout on every section of the game. I love the game or this would be 1 star, but the issue is I have lost time in offline game play because it did not properly save my game, been kicked off several times in solo challenges-losing contracts, and the final straw- I was playing a very back and forth competitive game online and before half it lost connection and gave me a loss. You have only a certain amount of chances to make playoffs in head to head. Both games I play are ea sports so I called to get help. The return call was dead air. So I went out and purchased a non ea game and put my ea games away for now. I watched movies at HDX level on my internet before and after and seeing as offline game play disconnected me after playing a whole game.. Not happy... Refuse to buy another ea game until I feel like my time is no longer wasted by errors not done by me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars JUST ANOTHER MADDEN, December 18, 2014
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This review is from: Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One (Video Game)
Terrible physics. Secondary is more aggressive than any receiver when the ball is in the air, running backs get sucked into holes in the line you aren't trying to run through and making sharp cuts up field doesn't exist, feels like you're controlling a car because they take wide turns. Unfortunately it is the only NFL game and I haven't bought a madden since 2010 and thought I'd give it another shot but I'll never buy one again. Only fun when you play friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Game, October 16, 2014
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This review is from: Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One (Video Game)
from my son (his game): Great graphics, team building is excellent. Player mode was extremely well made (developing player over time). Can't really compare this to previous ones because up to this point was only an EA NCAA Football before they stopped producing it. If you need your football fix, this does the job well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Madden gameplay has sucked since madden 12!!, December 17, 2014
This review is from: Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One (Video Game)
Been playing madden for decades. From madden 12 till now has been garbage yeh the graphics look better but gameplay sucks, players move all ackwardly hesitating to move, i really enjoyed madden 10 and 11 gameplay was on point. If i just want to see graphics ill just watch a regular nfl game in HD.✌️
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Madden 15 NEVR AGAIN, October 10, 2014
This review is from: Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One (Video Game)
EA Sports is on the decline in the Madden franchise. I have not played any video games in six years, there is just to much to do now. I started playing madden in 2004, after school and with friends. I continued to play until the 2008 Madden. After that like I said, there is just more to do. When I herd that the new generation of gaming systems were coming out and the new madden was to. I got a little exited. So, I went out and got the new generation system along with Madden 15. I bought on a Friday played it that night, Saturday morning and Sunday, before the game froze on me. I tried rebooting the game and all I got was a blank screen. I tried two more times and nothing happened, so I returned the game the following weekend. The graphics were good but that is just about it. Same old playbook on both sides of the ball, same commentary, gameplay can be slow. I did not like the menu layout, I guess EA likes using Microsoft for that kind of stuff. The game would overhear after about 30 min of play, I am not one to play games for hours on end so that was really disappointing to me. What really did me in was the game freezing and not coming out of it. That is when I had enough. It froze more then I got to play. I think if EA continues to cary Madden they need to spend much mor time in game development then they spend in flash and new this and that. If not they need to drop the Madden franchise and let some other gaming company pick it up and make it 100% better then it is now.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Graphics over Gameplay once again folks..., August 26, 2014
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Evil Eye (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One (Video Game)
If you've played Madden 25 then nothing really new has happened in Madden 15. Minus the updated graphics which are pretty impressive (I use NBA 2K as the standard as those are the best sports graphics on current gen systems) but not better than NBA 2K14. A new button mashing D-Line feature debuts in the game which is a pretty cool feature though it gets old quick (you'll go wow this is good and then tire of it after 5 minutes - and want to switch back to the traditional settings). INT's happen way too often and the running game is lacking. If you're happy with Madden 25, I'd wait until Madden 16 or 17 until you upgrade as Madden 15 is nothing amazing. Madden 15 is totally tailored for those who enjoy Madden Ultimate Team and about 95% of the achievements are for MUT and Connected Careers. The halftime show is sub-par as usual but the new graphics make up for a lot of the negatives. If you do get the game, it's smart to play on All-Pro for offline play, as that is the setting for online head to head matchups... 3 out of 5 stars for me. In my opinion the 8.7 IGN gave the game doesn't hold up to it. A 7.0 - 7.5 would've been sufficient for Madden 15. Be smart for those who have Madden 25, either wait til next year or wait til the Holiday season when Amazon starts doing Video Game deals to pick this one up.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really want to like this. I want to give it 5 stars, August 27, 2014
This review is from: Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One (Video Game)
I really want to like this. I want to give it 5 stars. Everything in the 3-star review section that everyone else said is true. The running game is a joke, throwing deep is impossible, and even sub-par QB's are All-Pro's on 3rd down. The graphics are just downright sick for this game on Xbox One!! My largest gripe though, is how EA did away with season mode. Sorry, I want to play football. I do not want to be an owner, a coach, raise ticket prices, lower beer prices, etc. I am horrible at online anything, (my kids live on it,) so would it be so wrong to include just a one season mode? I just want to go through the season and win the Super Bowl with my favorite team. Nope, everything on this game has to be online. It was cool when this trend first started, but now .... it's like the one reviewer said, everything, EVERYTHING, in this game is tailored to MUT ... even almost ALL the Achievements.
The install time for me was bull!! Took almost 3hrs. to install this game to my HDD. That is beyond ridiculous.
Madden NFL 15 is good ... not great.
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2.0 out of 5 stars It was cool getting to make your own team, December 21, 2014
This review is from: Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One (Video Game)
When I started this game, I got into the Madden Ultimate Team mode. It was cool getting to make your own team, but this game is so broken. Yeah it draws you in at first by making you play the training camp and regular season but once you go up. It's such horse crap, if you play one of the harder modes you can be winning and all of a sudden your top elite player fumbles on the 3 yard line costing you the prize. It has now happened to me on two elite games causing me to lose by one point, it's beyond ridiculous almost like they don't want you to win. Some may say I complain and they can do it, but all I have to say is you must spend a ton of money and manage to get elite players because I never manage to get elite players out of any pack. It just blows my mind that at the last second when I am about to win that all of a sudden they appear and get a interception or fumble or some something. I mean honestly on all-madden you could get a team lead by their 3rd string quarter back and just destroy you.
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Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One
Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One by Electronic Arts (Xbox One)
$59.99 $39.99
In stock on December 26, 2014
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