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Showing 1-10 of 64 reviews(4 star, Verified Purchases). See all 434 reviews
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.

POSITIVES

-PRESENTATION
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.

-GAMEPLAY
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.

-FRANCHISE MODE
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.

-ONLINE PLAY
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.

NEGATIVES

-COMMENTARY
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.

-SUPERSTAR MODE
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.

SUMMARY
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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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 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"..so 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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on September 27, 2011
I really am a huge fan of Madden (well really any football video game) so my opinions may be a little biased, but I think EA rushed this to production a little bit.

I got this shipped in the day after it was released.

Note: I haven't been connected to Xbox Live since I bought this and an update may have fixed the problem since release.

The gameplay is extremely fun and I truly enjoy the new franchise mode and how you are required to make cuts and decide which draft picks are going to be worth something. The longer you keep them the better chance you have of discovering their full potential. The plays seem to be ok as well. One complaint I have (at least on the default setting) is that it is too easy to just heave the ball deep and have your receiver catch it. A nice addition is that it is a little easier to get to the qb where in past years without elite players it seemed nearly impossible to get through the line. That being said it is still very fun to play and the ability to create your own plays is also a nice thing to have packaged with the game again.

Moving forward to the glitches that I have found. The commentary is terrible in regards to accuracy, I don't know if it is delayed or if it is just messed up, but for instance it says Marcell Dareus makes the tackle on kickoffs nearly every time a player makes the tackle and Marcell Dareus isn't on my team or the opponents team. Another glitch is where they mention that the ball was intercepted when it was completed, they state that the QB is having a rough day after the opposing team throws an int for an int and that said QB hasn't thrown a pick yet.

I question the amount of testing that was involved with Madden prior to its release and suspect that a lot of these issues are probably already taken care of through a patch, but would wish that they would test more efficiently before releasing an incomplete product.
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on September 27, 2011
People continue to go on the E.A. hate bandwagon. While Madden 12 is not without it's flaws, if you like football at all, you really can't go wrong with Madden 12. The graphics have been revamped. This IS the best looking football game ever made. This is coming from a Madden guy since the original Madden on the Genesis in 1990. Unreal reflections on the helmets, great looking stadiums and fields, great looking player models, faces an uniforms look uncanny like the real thing. In motion things continue to look pretty good. I still notice those annoying quirks of clipping with guys walking through magically the back of the walls, running through refs, sideline players and cameramen. But usually the clipping is only noticable after the play occurs. The game feels good for the most part, the DB's has been known to be a little tough espeically if you like toe pass down the middle. while I do admit sometimes they seem to have a sixth sense where the ball is going, I don't think it's as bad as people say. I also use the "sliders" to adjust any part of the gameplay that bothers you. This is especially tru if you play offline. Patches usually will occur throughout the season to fix major gameplay issues. Nothing really bad enough for me to take this game back or complain about it like many are doing. Everything else feels great, the passing, the running game, great atmosphere. My only major nitpick is the commentary. It's pretty bad. Seems rushed and unpolished. They also got rid of the classic NFL Films music. This is a major bummer for nostalgic purposes and was great to hear that music on the past Maddens.
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on August 7, 2012
After reading all the negative reviews I was hesitant to buy Madden 12. Glad I did. I have a feeling a lot of the bad reviews are from folks who bought last years copy of Madden. In that case I can understand some frustration with paying full price for a similar game but with updated rosters year after year. I only buy Madden every few years usually to avoid this disappointment.

The game has been streamlined with Gameflow easy on field play calling. Also the turbo/sprint is automatically engaged for you which I like. I rarely use the Gameflow plays because I love calling my own, but many will find thus useful. The AI is far less cheap than in previous Maddens, but still not perfect. Passing to wide open recievers & watching them not even try to catch the pass or being wide open & just dropping it, still occurs far too often.

All in all I got this game for $20 & it is a solid improvement over 09 which is the last Madden I bought. I bought Madden 12 to tide me over until the end of the month until 13 comes out. 12 is such a solid title at such s value price, that I might not even buy 13 unless I read rave reviews.
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on September 1, 2011
I was very disappointed in last years madden for multiple reasons but mainly because the game-play was disappointing. Madden 12 seems to have addressed the majority of these issues. I found myself re-learning how to pass in the game. Defensive backs react more realistically, game-play is more smooth and realistic (such as the tackles and blocking), and defense has taken a step forward (a good defense will make plays such as sacks and interceptions). An elite offense still over powers an elite defense but the gap is smaller than previous versions.

Having said all of that the game is not perfect. There are some hiccups mainly in the announcing area. It sounds better than previous versions but becomes repetitive quickly. These are not big deals to me because I play madden for the game-play and the franchise mode. I also enjoy the improved presentation, scouting players, free agent bidding, the hot or cold streak in franchise mode. If you have enjoyed previous versions of madden then I recommend picking this up. Minus the commentary issues it is worth the $60 in my opinion and I don't buy many games because of their high price tag.
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on September 24, 2011
I have not played a Madden game since 2007 so playing this game was very exciting for me. I am sure for those who follow the game on a year by year basis it might seem more like an overpriced expansion pack then a new game. For me though it was a completely fresh experience, and a welcome one at that. Everything since I last played has been improved, and the franchise mode is a blast. My only real gripe with the game is the difficulty settings feel like they are not balanced correctly. I absolutely destroy the CPU on Pro difficulty, and when I put it on All-Pro I'm the one getting destroyed. I feel like there should be another step between those two difficulties. Despite that though I have kept it on the harder difficulty and utilized the practice feature to get better. Overall this is a really fun game, and totally worth the purchase if you haven't played the last few releases of Madden.
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on January 4, 2015
although I love the games I don't like the bugs. It's amazing when a player misses a catch and they call it as caught you challenge it, and they still act like I don't know why this guy is challenging it when the ball was clearly caught. Even though the ball clearly flew over the guys head.
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