Madden 08.. Oh why… [Game Review]

Okay, it’s time for…….
Madden 2008 (XBOX 360) : The Good, The Bad and The UGLY
Hi to all.  I’ve been playing Madden NFL Football for over ten years on various consoles (PC/PlayStation/PS2/xbox/xbox360). 
Last year I made the switch from the xbox to the xbox 360 (to take advantage of 1080i resolution) and also because the PlayStation 3 was not available in Australia at the time.  Oh, and if it were I probably still wouldn’t shell out the $A 1,000 RRP for it anyway.  Oh and I might as well point out that the fact I even *own* an xbox 360 is 99% due to the shift towards hi-res Madden 🙂
This years’ edition of Madden 08 has stumbled greatly in a number of key areas.  Madden ’07 was not a bad version (and my first on the xbox 360) so I can only compare ’08 on the 360 to ’07 on the 360.
Historically, I like to categorise the review into Good (Nice Improvements), Bad (Irritating non-Showstopper issues) and the UGLY (Horrible, can’t believe they missed this in testing issues).
The Good:
– SuperSIM provides some interesting possibilities to speed up game play
– The new ‘Ring mode’ appears to credit the player based on achievement rather than multiplied by the mode of play (Rookie/Pro/All Pro/All Madden) which levels the playing field for all players although is a disincentive to play the tougher skill settings.
– Less requirement to focus on the front office (which can be annoying if you aren’t interested in the financials)
– Scouting mode is a neat feature which better reflects the work a scout must do during the regular season (pre draft).
The Bad
– Madden cards are gone 🙁  Bring back the Cheerleader cards with new photos!
– CPU controlled teams are a little nicer in trade negotiations, but the whole trading system could use a rewrite and wouldn’t it be nice to trade future draft picks as in real life?
– Passing is noticably harder even on Rookie and Pro settings (including lots of CPU defensive interceptions)
– Am I missing the Mini Camps in Franchise mode?
– Player progress?  How can I easily see which players are getting better (or worse) in franchise mode?
– I’d like to be able to coax retiring players back into playing
– Waaaaaaaay too many fumbles – especially when there is simply no excuse for a fumble (kick returner or punt returner muffs the ball when there is no pressure or worse when signalling for a fair catch!  Reducing fumbles in Game Settings -> Gameplay -> UI has little effect.
– Game locking up when trying to simulate a game/round – this is a show stopper, folks!
– Players walk through walls when celebrating in the endzone
This is an ongoing review: check back for updates

About Rob Sanders

IT Professional and TOGAF 9 certified Enterprise Architect with nearly two decades of industry experience, 18 years in commercial software development and 11 years in IT consulting. Check out the "About Rob" page for more information.

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