Customer Review

35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better but still needs a lot of work, September 6, 2011
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Madden NFL 12 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I think Madden 12 has made some progress....I think. However, Madden 11 was so bad that it's hard to tell. I'm unsure if I like it more because Madden 11 was garbage, or if it has some actually quality to it. Here is as list of things I consider to be pro's & con's of Madden 12.

All of my experience's are based from playing on the All Madden setting.

Pro's.

1.)The Presentation. The presentation is very good. It definitely feels/looks more authentic and adds excitement before the game. The presentation in previous Madden's was a joke. I think it was Madden 10 that had Jet's flying over and fire works going off before every game. Doe's this normally happen? Jet's...maybe. Seems like I've seen that happen on occasion, but it doesn't happen before every game for every team. But fireworks...before a NOON kickoff? What team shoot's off fire workers during the day before kick off? Ridiculous. I sometimes wondered if the Madden programmers actually watched football? Well, that joke has been replaced with some realism. The Madden team has done a great job this time around.

2.)Catch options/awareness. This year receivers seem to be able to do more. Whether it's trying to stay in bounds or come down in the end zone or falling to their knee's to make a catch, this aspect has been (thankfully) expanded. It was always frustrating to throw a pass to a receiver who seemed oblivious to the sidelines or made no effort to come down in the end zone despite their high ratings.

3.) Franchise. I love the new franchise additions. Trying to rebuild or maintain a good team over the years is my favorite thing to do with Madden. I'm especially thrilled with the cut day's. You have walk on's and rookie's who's rating's are not revealed until you play them during the pre-season. The longer they last, the more you learn about their rating's. Occasionally you do get some gems that are good enough to make your team and actually start in some cases. You don't fully know what you have until all the pre-season games have been played. Yet, after every pre-season game, you have to make some cut's. It makes this a lot more enjoyable. You really don't know if this guy you're cutting will be a better player then the guy you're keeping. The auction for free agent's is better, as well. You can't sign every player you want. There are many good, solid additions to the franchise mode.

Con's

1.) New collision system. This has been describe as a new feature that "uses momentum to produce more authentic tackling." Not true. Here's an example. My linebacker, Demarcus Ware, who happens to be a All Pro/All word linebacker has gotten past the offensive line man and is making a b-line to the running back who is taking a hand off from the QB. Ware is running at almost full speed, the back is just getting started and has taking two steps. Now, Ware should blast this guy...no matter who it is because Ware is a great linebacker and has a high rating AND has all the momentum. What happens? The running back trucks Ware!! Runs right over him. Not possible. This kind of thing happens all the time in this game. The multi tackle aspect is still bad. Many if not most of the time the initial tackler will get blown off when another tackler joins. You'll have big, massive DT's that get thrown off the ball carrier after the small DB join's in. Or the initial tackler will continue on the original projected path before the second hit holding the invisible man, I guess. It's also harder to tackle in the open field. Seems like every offensive player can cut on a dime. Trying to tackle in the open field reminds me of trying to operate a very sensitive mouse pad. You move the arrow a little to the left and you blow right past the link. A little to the right and the same thing. Maybe this is something that will change once I get used to it. But right know it's frustrating.

2.) Rating's. At this point I think the ratings are a practical joke on everyone. The only real noticeable ratings are the speed, quickness, and acceleration. Ever other rating seems to be pointless. Running back's will routinely break multiple tackles even if their strength,trucking,power, rating is low... and the defenders have a high tackle rating and the size/momentum. Big, massive, strong DT's routinely get tossed to the side or run over by smaller back's. Every running back I face is exactly the same... a tackle breaking beast. There is no difference between Ahmad Bradshaw and Adrian Peterson...in Madden, that is. None. Every back that I've faced will almost always break multiple tackle's before being brought down. It's so unrealistic that it becomes frustrating and not enjoyable. Maybe if I lower the setting that will help, but then what's the point of having a All Madden setting? I want it to be hard and challenging, but not in a unrealistic almost cheating kind of way. I find the same problem with the offensive line. All Pro linemen will routinely get beat by leaser opponents. I don't mind Albert Hansworth tossing my All Pro center to the side or knocking him on his butt, but when it's anybody and everybody, this becomes a frustration and it makes the whole rating system and everything else pointless. There's no point in bidding or drafting good offensive lineman because they get tossed around by every defense they face. At this point I've abandoned the play action. 8 out of 10 times I'm sacked. I thought maybe I wasn't running enough and therefore the defenders where not "buying" the play action...wrong. No matter how many times I ran it and no matter how successful I was at running the ball, almost every time I went play action I had a defender on me before I could even set my feet. They never even hesitated.

3.) The commentary sucks. I think they forgot they actually had this in the game. Collinsworth routinely contradicts himself. One minute your QB is one of the most accurate in the league, and then literally a play or two later accuracy is one of his weak points that he struggles with. There's this bizarre misplaced enthusiasm as well. Small, not so meaningful plays are celebrated, while big meaningful seemingly game altering play's seem unnoticed. It's like their not watching the same game, emotionally sometimes. It's the same with the crowd. At one point I was driving down the field in the last two minutes of a game to try and take the lead. At this point the crowd is cheering and appropriately in the game. I throw a pass to a receiver who appears to have made the catch for what would be a very needed first down...but they call him out of bounds. I challenge. They review it and over turn it which gives me this huge first down...and nothing. The crowd doesn't erupt in cheer or anything. The crowd is quiet....literally. No applause. No chanting. Nothing. I'm at home too, by the way. It was very disappointing. The replay sucks too. They show the replay but you don't get to watch the important part. They show my player running down field, turn and head towards the side line...and that's it. They don't show the catch and the keeping of the feet in bounds. They show multiple angles of my receiver running his route but not one angle of him making this great catch. Who signed off on this? How can someone see this and say "yeah, that's good."

Ultimately, Madden is what it always has been. It's either a complete disaster or it's close but not quite. I would say there has been some improvements, sure. But some of the most frustrating things that have plague this game over the years are alive and well. I wouldn't recommended you not buy it, but I wouldn't recommended that you do, either.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 7, 2011 7:24:37 PM PDT
M. DiSpirito says:
Excellent review, Dan. I think this is one that should appear on the first page of reviews for the game.

In regards to the collision system / ratings guffaw, I'd throw out a suggestion that worked for me (I also thought the same things before tinkering a bit): turn down the speed to slow or very slow--I prefer the latter. It seems to make the animations play out better and create more fluid action, reducing the noticeable collision problems.

Playing on All-Madden pretty much disregards Ratings in the CPU's favor. Your best players become worse than the CPU's bench warmers. Set the difficulty to custom and make sure all the sliders, player and CPU, are at 50. Then tune them until you find something that feels all right to you. I think the problem with any game using statistical simulations comes down to how the player is affecting those stats. I absolutely suck at passing, so I had to turn down the CPU pass defense to make the game enjoyable. If the RB's are wrecking your tacklers, try adjusting things. Should we have to do it? I dunno, but I'm happy there's the option to change how the game plays. I started doing this in Madden 09 and it takes some time, but ultimately I end up with just the right balance in the sliders to create a fun game that isn't TOO wonky.

And just shut off the commentary... before your head explodes, please. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2011 7:38:12 AM PDT
Thank's for the reply and the advice. I'll tinker with the setting's a bit and see what happen's. It's either that or toss the damn thing out the window.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2011 10:39:24 AM PDT
M. DiSpirito says:
$60 drink coaster, right? :)

I hope you can find some happy medium with the settings, sir!

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 9:58:16 AM PST
Eric K. Kuha says:
Fine review, but you NEED to learn about proper apostrophe use. Seriously. You damage your own credibility by using an apostrophe every time you're making a word plural. Stop it.

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 9:58:17 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 15, 2012 9:58:47 AM PST]

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 9:58:18 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 15, 2012 9:58:39 AM PST]
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