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About the product
- Experience Madden NFL redefined online as well as a new level of excitement with revamped audio presentation, from the booth and the field
- All-new GameFlow playcall system puts you inside the helmet of an NFL quarterback like never before, allowing you to execute authentic NFL game plans one play at a time
- Play games in half the time with an all-new playcall system, as you experience the drama and excitement of a full game in less than 30 minutes
- All-new Dual Stick Control drastically reduces button dependency for the ball carrier by mapping key moves to the right and left sticks
- New Coaching Tips automatically pause the game at critical points to help explain each situation as it unfolds
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Madden NFL 11 - Xbox 360
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GameFlow. woo. Did you ever look at the suggestions that Ask Madden gives you and think gee, these are so awesome, I wish it would simply make the call for me? No, me neither, but I guess that's what they spent all those months working on. It's a cool idea in theory, but in practice, sports AI is so difficult to manage in the first place, even if EA had demonstrated an ability to pick good plays, this would be difficult to do well, and of course if you've played either NCAA or Madden in the last few years, you know they haven't shown that ability.
But you must really want GameFlow, because if you leave that option on, before every play, you have to decide whether or not you want to use GameFlow ... including kickoffs. Look, it's a stupid kickoff, let me decide, you go away. Every single play. Did I mention that already? And the stupid auto-Ask Madden feature is still in place, so even if you tell it to let you call plays, you still have to back out of that stupid screen and pick your formation. Fortunately, you can turn off GameFlow and never see it again; unfortunately, Ask Madden still wastes space.
You still can't edit a playbook ... I doubt that's coming back because we liked it and it was helpful. As it is, if you pick the wrong playbook, when the opposing offense trots out 2 TEs and 2 RBs, your defensive coordinator will recoil in horror. "Gasp! It's a heavy package! I have no answer for this! I know not what to do!" Of course, in real life it's really easy to send out an extra linebacker and call in a defensive back. Those of us who know the game call this a 4-4, EA. Look it up, maybe you can learn something.
But hey! You can edit a game plan so that your "GameFlow" is presumably tailored to whatever rules you have set up. I'll let you figure out whether or not it works.
Online Franchise mode ... considering how long we had to wait for it, how popular it was, and how much was wrong with it last year, you'd figure that would be their #1 priority, maybe #2, right? Wrong. From what I understand, it was barely touched. In fact, some parts of it got worse: there is less available information online when you're looking through free agents. We're not very far into our season yet, so I don't know if the incredible bugs like deciding playoff spots based on alphabetical order are still in the game (yeah, that was funny), but from what I understand, they are.
Superstar mode, well, I hope you haven't played NCAA or NHL or pretty much any other game with a similar mode, because if you have, you'll be sorely disappointed yet again. Are these programmers even allowed to talk to the people who do NCAA?
Don't buy this game. It's not worth it. This is just another example of a company with a monopoly not even going through the motions of improving the game. Congratulations, NFL: you bought yourselves years and years of mediocre games with your logo. The sad thing is that eventually, the people who played Madden in the days of NFL2K will fade away, and no one will realize how hard EA used to work to make Madden a quality game. I'm sure a lot of people put a lot of time and effort into this game, but honestly, whoever is directing them has no idea what they are doing. Don't encourage them by spending money on this.
Before I note a series of faults, I'd like to say a couple things. One: I've owned every madden since Madden 99, and have put in at least 50 hours into each game since. I have followed the ups and downs of the Madden series. Also, I'd like to note that the gameplay itself (not using gameflow) was an improvement over Madden 10, or any other Madden for that matter, in my opinion. It felt more realistic, players are controlled only with the analog-stick now (no more juke button/stick). This was enjoyable, and everything felt more precise without the AI players seeming unfair. The real issues here are with the "presentation" of the game.
Here's what stuck out:
-As much as I love Chris Collinsworth, Gus Johnson is not great, and his lines never flow well together. At one point, after I tackled Dennis Northcutt, Gus Johnson managed to explain that Dennis Northcutt laid a huge hit on Dennis Northcutt. Not kidding. Good thing commentary can be turned off.
-I scored a touchdown after the clock had dropped below 2 minutes in the 2nd quarter. As the ball crossed the goal-line, the game immediately switch to another screen and the commentary was cut-off. I didn't even see my player stride into the endzone, but I got the points.
-in-game replays cannot be skipped, or turned off. Sadly, these games continue to evolve more and more into a "TV-like presentation" game each year.
-the "strategy pad" is a terrible, terrible idea. EA has added a button press and completely changed the controls for formation adjustments, hot routes, etc.
-The game is laced with advertising. Every minute or so there's an "Old Spice this" or "Verizon that". Very annoying.
-Sideline players still look like crap
-Navigating in game menus and even play selection screens are as cumbersome as ever.
-If you don't buy the game new, you have to pay to play online AND to get roster updates. Thank you Amazon for the $20 game credit and the fair incentive to buy new.
I'm sure I'm leaving some things out, but for me to be so fed up with a Madden game after ONE game means a lot. I'm going to trade this in and keep playing FIFA 10 until something else comes out.