Madden 2009 Early Review

Hi all.  Tonight I played Madden 09 on the Xbox 360 for a couple of hours.  Big improvement over Madden 08 in terms of stability, but I have a few items to nit pick.

Before I forget (again) – here’s a link to EA Sports site where you can download alternate Madden NFL 09 game covers with Brett Favre in a Jet’s uniform.  Those of us without Gold memberships can only get that close to seeing Favre playing for the Jets..

Courtesy of EA Sports

The new Madden Skill level is intriguing.  I’m just over Pro, a little bit shy of All Pro in the four categories (I’m at All Madden for Rushing).  My rush and pass defence wasn’t great, although they do force a lot more use of the hit stick then I recall in prior versions.

You are asked whether you wish to set your Madden Skill when you first log in.  Now, to the meat of the issue.  Brett Favre is one of the top 10 Quarterbacks in the League with the dual fact of also being the game’s cover athlete this year.  Without a Live Gold Membership, you can’t get a roster update, so he stays on the hall of fame list, and not with the Jets.

Am I crazy for thinking the roster up date should be free?  You need a Gold subscription to execute an online game (which causes a roster refresh).

Anyhow, onwards.  My biggest gripe thus far is when receivers catch the ball: they seem to stop or drag their feet – when they’re in the middle of the field. 

This means they don’t naturally accelerate away from coverage (they almost immediately get tackled) which is stupid on slant or short out routes.

The deep bomb is a lot harder, and the computer AI has obviously been revamped too.  The game is a lot harder out of the box, but since it adapts one would think that at more rookie levels of difficulty would still allow the odd 80 yard bomb.

Anyhow, I’ll write more when I’ve had more time to play with it.  I just hope there are no console lockups in this years’ edition.

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