No stats this time!
It’s time to look at a retro Football game that I got to play courtesy of Nintendo’s Switch online catalog. It’s definitely a pretty good bargain I must admit. You just can’t go wrong with something like this. The game is effectively free and so it’s a nice blast to the past. It’s a pretty fun game and reminds me of Backyard Football although the controls aren’t quite as precise. It’s naturally no Madden, but it’ll give you some reasonable entertainment for a little while.
Naturally you are playing Football so I would expect you to know the rules to really enjoy the experience. It’s like a sped up version of the game as most plays tend to go for big yards. Running the ball is pretty self explanatory as you run wherever you see an opening. There is no acceleration button here so it’s all about knowing when to make your move. Passing can be a little more difficult at first as it’s the most different from Madden. Your icon will be over one player initially. If he isn’t open then you quickly cycle through other options with the A button. You have to go in order though so if receiver 1 is open and you’re already on 2, then you’ll have to cycle through 3 before going back to 1. As such you’ll probably be sacked by then.
The defense is also relentless here. They don’t drop any picks so if you throw a ball and your guy isn’t open, it will 100% be intercepted. The computers don’t make mistakes and that’s something that you will be learning right away. The difficulty is refreshing but at the same time if really makes you not feel like passing. 90% of the time I’d just recommend running the ball or choosing a pass play and running it in anyway. Making the field goal kicks is pretty easy so as long as you’re in range then you’ll do fine.
The graphics aren’t bad. I don’t think they’ve aged all that well, but you’ll know what is happening at all times which is the important thing. There isn’t much of a soundtrack either but what is there is fine. There isn’t a whole lot of replay value here as you might expect. The only mode here is to just keep playing more and more games. Without the visuals/stat tracking of the Madden titles you probably won’t bother to play too many games here. You’ll get the jist of the title before long and then it’ll be time to call it a day. Tecmo Bowl is a fun starter game and it really reminds you of he good ole Arcade Football days. It does a good job of that for sure.
Overall, Tecmo Bowl may be a simpler version of Madden, but it definitely will still take time to master the controls here. You really can’t afford to make a mistake here as this game is not forgiving in the slightest. Play your cards right and you can win, but if you don’t then you’ll probably get blown out. If you haven’t played this game yet then I recommend changing that and trying it out now. You’ll have a good time here and I wouldn’t mind a modern 2D Football game. There’s actually a lot that can be done with this style although I don’t see Madden testing out something so new like this anytime soon.
It’s time to look at a game that I forgot to review a long time ago. That game is Madden 16. I bought it ages ago but somehow I just didn’t write a review for it. Well, better late than never right? The Madden series is one that I’ve always considered to be one of the very best. There’s a ton of detail put into the game and while it may not change much from year to year, you can still see a noticeable difference if you skip a few games so the changes are there.
The gameplay follows the rules of the real life version of the game. It’s the kind of title that is fairly easy to pick up and play but hard to master. The series grew more difficult with each game as new mechanics are added each time. You used to be able to just throw the ball where you wanted and then tackle other players. Now you have multiple ways to throw and tackle to the point where you often are not sure which one to use. They all have their weaknesses and strengths. Personally I think the simpler style controls work better but that’s probably because I’m a casual player. I realize that more times than not, complicated controls are the way to go because it leads to a higher skill ceiling. There’s just a lot to take in.
As always, being on offense is the best part. You’re just really in control of the game when you’re playing quarterback. You throw it where you want and it’s not like the computer can force you to toss it. Sometimes a defender will make a crazy play to get at the ball but for the most part any play that goes badly is likely your fault. You’ll realize as soon as you threw the ball that it was a bad idea. Small things like that are what makes this such a legitimate experience. Running the ball seems a little harder than in the old days, particularly in breaking away for super long runs. However you will often pick up at least a few yard which makes for more realistic football.
There is one more realistic thing added although I could have done without this. There are a lot of flags in this game. At one point I thought I was watching the NFL because there were flags on almost every play. It always feels pretty iffy when it’s on your team. I had a long touchdown taken back because of a flag like that. Seemed rigged and I wasn’t playing in Cowboys stadium this time so maybe the developers added some extra Home Field Advantage in this one.
Playing defense isn’t my favorite thing in the world because you often feel helpless against the computer. It’s mitigated a little by the new mechanics of being on the line and trying to shake the offensive player but at he end of the day it still isn’t quite as exciting. I don’t think it’s an issue with the game though, it’s just a personal preference. At least I appreciate that it is easier to try and make a play on the b-ball instead of jumping helplessly like in previous games. Also you can use super sim to just skip all defensive drives completely. It’d be nice if you could have that feature as a saveable option. Meanwhile special teams is probably the least changed from all of the sections but there really isn’t much to change here.
As always the graphics in Madden are very impressive. There’s a lot of detail in every play and the facial expressions are on point. There’s even a nice pre game show and a lot of nice moments throughout that may slow the game a bit but ultimately make the experience that much more realistic. It all feels like a big production and I can say that you will be satisfied when you finally get to jump in.
The soundtrack is not very noticeable since the majority of the time you’ll be in the middle of a game where there really isn’t any music. What’s there is the typical EA mash. The tunes are very catchy and all but the lyrics aren’t always the best. It’s pretty much a non factor in the game but better to have it than not I suppose.
There are many ways to enjoy this game aside from normal matches. You can go through franchise mode and re-enact a bunch of seasons. You can also go online and prove yourself against a plethora of opponents. There are some rage quitters here which can get a bit iffy though. Sometimes it seems like you don’t get the points that you should have. There are also modes to practice and buy trading cards. The replay value here is basically endless.
Overall, Madden 16 continues the series on an elite level. There have been many great Football titles over the years but none have come all that close to Madden as the definitive Football product. It feels like an insurmountable hurdle for any company to hope to achieve. Of course that works out quite well for the players since it’s just such a complete product.
It’s time to look at a film with an unlikable lead. It’s a shame that the film is inclined to spend more time on the drama than the actual Football plot. Had it been the other way around then I think this title could have had some real promise. After all, who doesn’t want to enjoy seeing the Saints win a Super Bowl? There aren’t exactly a whole lot of football films after all so this is just wasting a slot. Unfortunately there isn’t much to like in this film.
The main character is a guy named Cat. He’s a washed up old quarterback who used to be good, but isn’t anymore. He doesn’t have the healthy diet that Brady possesses, nor does he have the integrity to try and improve his game. As a result, instead of heading to yet another Super Bowl he can’t seem to beat anyone. Cat decides to take his frustrations out on the backup quarterback and also starts cheating on his wife. Cat is determined to see how far he can push everyone until they push back. Well…he may just get his wish when the Cowboys roll into town. Jerry Jones and his team aren’t about to allow any of this foolishness so Cat needs to get his head in the game or it could be curtains for him.
From the start you get the feeling that this film isn’t going to be particularly good since Cat is just never on the up and up. The party scene where he gets tempted to cheat is very early on. Unlike some protagonists who will at least pretend to restrain themselves Cat is the one flirting from the start. He’s just a distasteful character who wrecks everyone’s lives. Even the person he went on the rebound with is quickly ditched as Cat won’t stay with anyone for long. He also tries to mess things up at his wife’s job since he begins to become jealous of her success as well.
The guy is very stubborn and the problem is that he doesn’t want to work on improving his skills either. This leads to a dilemma as you can’t get better without practice and Cat refuses to put in the work. There’s no way that I can be sympathetic to a character like that. It’s simply not happening. The worst scene in the film is certainly when Cat breaks all of his wife’s projects and gets away with a whole lot. The wife probably should have just left by that point. He’s clearly insane.
What is just as bad as this lead is the fact that everyone just puts up with it. The coach tells Cat that he believes in him, but there’s no reason that he should. He should simply bench him and have the backup play. Why let this Quarterback undermine you at every turn and continue to play? It just doesn’t make any kind of sense to me. The coach tries to justify this by saying that the backup isn’t ready but it should beat the alternative. It also shouldn’t have come to this.
During the film we get a lot of flashbacks about how good Cat was when he first started. That’s fine and all, but in literally the first play of his career as a starter he ignores the coach and changes up the play so he can do whatever he wants. He even insults his fellow players and threatens them. Why would the coach allow that at the start? There’s no reason to allow for that to a rookie. The whole film just never feels realistic and without anyone to root for the whole movie suffers.
Naturally most of his teammates fled the league to get high paying jobs which is a good move. At least they weren’t going to just stand around and get insulted the whole time. Of course one of them ends up being pretty iffy and hosts dodgy parties as this kind of film can’t resist scenes like that. In case you couldn’t guess the romance here is also pretty terrible as well. With sub-par writing at work this was basically unavoidable though. The film isn’t too long so at least it doesn’t drag as much as it could have, but that’s barely even a silver lining at this point.
It’s also hard to know where to start when talking about how to fix the film. You’d pretty much have to redo it from the ground up and by that point I always wonder whether that even counts as fixing it. It’s just a totally different experience in a case like this. Still, the first thing you’d have to do is bring in a completely different main character. That could help I suppose and then give the actual football games more screen time. Follow those two key elements and you can probably salvage this film, but it’ll be tough.
Overall, Number One is a film that I highly recommend avoiding. It’s a terrible football movie and the main reason for that is due to the sport not playing a big focus at all. It’s all just about how bad Cat has become over the years and even the plot is ruined when we find out via flashbacks that he’s always been a nasty character. The film can’t even keep its own plot straight. Naturally you’ll be rooting for the Cowboys to win the final game. America’s Team can’t lose and at least they brought the film to a quick end.
This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.
It’s time to look at one of the oldest Tom Cruise films. This was back before he was climbing towers and taking down whole organizations in the MI series. It’s definitely very different from his other movies. This is a fun one but a film that also has its share of flaws. It’s time to look at a day in the life of Jerry.
Jerry is a great sports agent. He’s always been able to snag his athletes and get them to sign him on for the big money. Thing is, his company helps so many people that they don’t get quality face time with their agents. Jerry decides that things need to run a little differently around the office and releases a memo that they should treat the players better. He is quickly fired as a result and Jerry decides to start his own business in response. One girl from the office, Dorothy, decides to go with him. Can they succeed against such a big company?
The sports part of the film is definitely its strong suit. The montage of Jerry trying to contact a bunch of players was a lot of fun even if most of them wouldn’t come through for him. It’s so well done that you even don’t mind the rival who is definitely the antagonist here. The guy makes for a pretty solid villain overall. He has a lot of confidence and certainly a good amount of connections as well. Deciding to fire Jerry at a cafe was also a smart move to endure the lead wouldn’t fight back. It’s under handed for sure, but I’d expect nothing less from corporate.
Meanwhile Jerry is just a fun character to have in the lead as well. He is great at bluffing and acting confident even when that is certainly not the case at all. He certainly made a memorable exit when he was leaving the company and lived up to his own memo about giving his players a lot of face time. Jerry did his best to be fair. Where he falters is in the romance angle. He was already with someone prior to the film starting so you know that she is going to lose out to Dorothy. Usually the films either make the old flame super mean or super nice depending on if they want you to be sympathetic or not. In this case I think they were going for the former but it didn’t work. The lady was brutally honest at times but she was also dependable and just seemed like a solid character. She was also willing to make the relationship work but Jerry was adamant about them breaking up. Keep in mind that later on he talks about the exact opposite since he is apparently no quitter. It was hard to believe him by that point. At least she hit him with a nice combo before leaving.
As for the romance with Dorothy I naturally couldn’t go for it. Of course they couldn’t simply be professional co workers who were friends without taking it a step further right? It had to be a cliche romance. It’s unfortunate because it continues the narrative that you can’t stay friends in such a scenario. It also escalated quite quickly and the actual scenes take way too long. They drag and drag as they pull down the film’s score.
Then we have Dorothy’s kid who is super annoying. He is basically just around to get everyone in trouble and/or guilt trip them. He hangs up the phone on Jerry’s biggest client which turned out to be okay of course but if he client had taken offense and left that would have been it for Jerry’s career. Everything works out for the kid of course but he puts himself into a lot of bad situations so it’s hard to really feel bad for him. His emotional scenes also don’t work so basically any scene with him out the film to a halt.
Meanwhile with Dorothy herself she wasn’t a bad character but not a particularly good one either. On one hand I do appreciate the fact that she stuck up for Jerry by leaving with him even if it wasn’t the most financially responsible thing to do. She made a stand and stuck by it. She was supportive through the company’s tough start and put in the work. Then the romance set in and that was that.
Let’s talk about the best character here, the football player. He is very loud and always talking but the important thing is that he speaks his mind. No one ever has to guess what he is thinking because he will spell it out for you. He is trying to make sure he secures a good future for his family while at the same time working on his game so it’s tough. He is taking a gamble on Jerry the same way that Jerry is getting everything on him. Both characters have a mutual benefit here so naturally they stick together quite closely. Jim is a good friend to have and without him Jerry would have been doomed right from the start.
It was also nice to see the Cowboys dominating the competition in the climax as well. The movie quickly cuts away before the Cowboys steal the win to spare Cardinal fans the tragic flashbacks but from the scenes in screen you can probably tell that they seem to have the edge. The Cowboys were a very intense hard hitting team back then and didn’t lose many games.
Overall, This was a pretty fun film but the romance did hurt it quite a lot. Those scenes would be quite painful and take away from the really fun first half. Considering that this film was handling a lot of genres I’d say that it did pretty well. If it took out the romance drama and focused on the sport comedy part it would have been a lot better. As it stands I would still recommend checking the film out. It does feature the iconic Tom Cruise run near the end which I was starting to think actually would not make it.
It’s time for an old school comedy with this film. Fortune Cookie is certainly a winner and the film’s plot is helped out by a great script. I also give the film props for the fact that a Fortune Cookie actually does appear in the film so the title wasn’t too vague. Forget hidden meanings, I would have been a little upset if the actual fortune cookie had not made an appearance here. The film can be a bit sad, but for the most part it is just a great joyride in the end.
Harry was a photographer who was covering a Cleveland Browns game for the NFL. Unfortunately, he was a little close to the action and the punt returner ended up hitting him rather hard. Harry was knocked unconscious and taken to the hospital in case he may have been injured rather seriously. This wasn’t the case and Harry was ready to go back home, but that’s when his brother Willie shows up. Willie lets Harry know that he can easily earn 1 million dollars out of this if he’ll just pretend to be injured. Harry doesn’t like this plan since he’s always been a law abiding citizen, but Willie lets him know that his divorced wife may come back to him if he goes ahead with the deal. She even calls and pretends to care about him so Harry decides to go through with the plan. Can he really keep up the charade long enough for the NFL to back down?
Willie is really the character who steals the show here. He really knows his stuff when it comes to conning people about fake injuries. Not only does he know a lot of cases from back in the day, but he knows how to merge fact and fiction in order to make a very believable narrative. Willie is an incredibly charismatic character and he fills the film with good one liners throughout. He can be a little mean, the film also makes a point of showing that he’s not really a good guy. The one thing that he does really like is money though and he is good at making it. He’s no hero, but he is the character that the film needed to boost it to the next level. The NFL keeps on trying to trick the heroes with underhanded tactics like bugging the apartment, but Willie sees through them every single time and is always ahead of the game. Without him, the film would have been over before it could have even begun.
Harry is not quite as good. In the end he makes the right choice about not keeping up the lie, but the process of getting there was quite painful. He is extremely naive whenever the ex wife appears. It’s extremely obvious that she does not care for him one bit and just wants the money, but he doesn’t seem to suspect anything until he finally breaks down at the end and takes it out on everyone. He is also very wishy washy at times as he keeps on acting as if he doesn’t want to go through with the plan before letting Willie convince him. It’s almost as if it is just an act he is putting on so he looks reluctant before going through with it. It’s just really hard to like Harry even if he is portrayed as the “nice” character. He simply lets himself get pulled along for the ride for too long before double thinking it.
No worries, we have an array of supporting characters at the ready who are solid enough to cover for Harry. The Doctor from one of the first scenes is great as he talks back to Willie the whole time and certainly isn’t afraid to dish out the insults. He may have been played like a fiddle, but he kept them honest. There was also the shady doctor who suspected that the whole thing was fake from the start, but ultimately he could not prove it. The 3 NFL lawyers were also fairly great as they tried their best to take Willie down a peg or two. They may have lost every fight, but I liked the way that they sat down and discussed the situation before making a move. It didn’t work out, but some plans just don’t in the end. They still gave it their all and helped make the film so fun.
Meanwhile, we have a character who is played seriously. Boom Boom Jackson is the character who injured Harry in the first place and he wants to rectify his mistake by helping Willie as much as possible. The thing is, he is a character that you don’t want to see at times. That’s because you can kind of feel bad for him since this is obviously upsetting. How would you feel if you may have just crippled a person for life right? So, Jackson is a very sympathetic character and the fact that you know how he is being used just makes it all the worse. However, as Willie was my favorite character, I was rooting for him the entire time. It was a conflict of interest. I’d say that the film did drop the ball with Jackson towards the end though as he probably took things way too hard. He did his part to help Harry out, but that’s no real reason to start missing meetings, tanking at the games, and getting into bar room fights. It felt a little forced to be honest so that Harry would be pressured into making the right call.
This film certainly did have a lot of fun with itself. You can tell from all of the super over dramatic characters. Take the mom for instance, she spent the entire film being really hysterical and crying nonstop. She felt like a parody character. This colorful cast of characters ended up being a really strong pack. As mentioned before, the writing is also strong and in the end this film is really complete.
I also have to give some credit to the ending because it was handled really well. By “the ending” I’m talking about Willie’s scene by the way. He’s very good at thinking on his feet and immediately knows how to turn a bad situation into a good one. Harry may have bailed out on him, but he realized that now he can sue the NFL for breaking the constitution by bugging and spying on his house the entire time. He has no proof so it’ll be tough, but he can definitely pull this off. I wouldn’t mind a sequel to this film!
Overall, The Fortune Cookie is one of the best films that I’ve seen in a long time. It has a perfect blend of humor and more humor as Willie steals the show here. The mental battle between him and the NFL is really why you’ll be at the edge of your seat for this film, but all of the characters really do a good job here. The unlikable ex-wife is made to be a bad character of course, but at least she is also super exaggerated. Think of it as Harry’s ultimate moral crisis. Can he make the right move while being surrounded by bad influences everywhere? I do wish that he had a stronger resolve and hesitated less, but you can’t be perfect and I suppose this gave Willie more room to shine since he was always the smartest guy in the room.
Maddeen stats. I did quite good didn’t I?
PS4 Trophy% 49%
Gauntlet High Score 11
Basic Offense 100%
Basic Defense 100%
Football Concepts 100%
Advanced Offense 100%
Ultimate Team 1/1052 Challenges
Passing 100% 3/3 Gold Medals
Rushing 62% 1/5 Gold Medals
Defending 100% 2/2 Gold Medals
Pre Play 100% 4/4 Gold Medals
None to report I’m afraid. I won 2/3 of my games though and there are many stats if you end up creating a franchise.
I finally got my hands on another one of the Madden games! The series is still one of the best video game franchises of all time and it’s never had a bad installment. That doesn’t change here as this title can holds its own with the best of them. I still prefer 2004/2013, but those are going to be nearly impossible to beat anyway. The important thing is that this game got the fundamentals right and it’s a lot of fun to play.
You have the usual modes here like play now or starting up a season/franchise. Sometimes the games leave out the season mode and I’m not sure if this one has it or not. Either way, Franchise Mode can be played out like a season mode if you wish so there’s not a big loss there. The gameplay is pretty explanatory as the game is following traditional NFL rules. If you know how they play Football on TV, then you’ll get the hang of the controls pretty easily.
Of course, I grew up with Madden so I already know the controls quite well. Once you have learned them for one game, you are essentially set for the rest of the series. If this is your first time playing the title, then it is understandable that it may take a short while to really have the controls down. Some things you simply can’t learn from just reading the booklet and you’ll need to actually play games and get some experience to truly get started.
As a new tradition for my Madden reviews, I first play a normal game on Pro level, but then I see how the game handles the toughest difficulty setup…All Madden mode! Needless to say, the game does cheat to an extent. Different game use different methods to make hard difficulties more challenging. Some like Mario just speed up the timer, others like Final Fantasy will make the enemies more powerful. Madden takes a different approach, it simply makes you a lot weaker. I definitely don’t care for this strategy and I would prefer for the computer to simply become more predictable and maybe blitz more often.
Instead, you’ll just realize that your receivers can’t hang onto the ball..at all! My main receiver dropped over 10 passes and you simply can’t win a game when your receivers aren’t making plays. Running the ball will typically only get you 1-2 yards against an All Madden defense so you need the passing game to be working. I found the perfect play where my receiver would always be open and if he wasn’t, I could simply toss it to my running back in the flat. It was a great plan, but I still need my receiver to make the catch or it’s all moot. Needless to say, it felt like the computer was cheating.
I still did keep it close for the first half. I had only been down 3-0 towards the end of the 2nd Quarter, but ended up leaving the half down by 17-3. Eventually, the score started to get more drastic as I was forced to go for it on 4th down. I can safely say that I was a little salty and a little voice in the back of my controller was probably telling me to “git gud” but I didn’t want to listen to it. No matter how good I got, my receivers wouldn’t be able to keep up and I would have an extremely difficult time beating the computer.
Suffice to say, Madden is one of those games that is at its best when you are able to face off against a human opponent. Pro difficulty is satisfying in its own way as well since the games can be close or you will blow out the computer, but your receivers will never miss the catch. Not often anyway… The stakes are always high when playing someone in the real world and it’s a great way to have a blast. The Wi-Fi element is what really helped Madden 13 become my 2nd favorite Madden title. Hopefully Madden 25 still has online servers going by the time I get to that game. I’m looking forward to facing some strong opponents there!
The soundtrack of Madden has always been really fun if you just listened to the rhythym. The fast music helps you get excited for the match and the jingle that plays before every game is really catchy. It’s essentially stuck around for all of the Madden games even if the theme gets slightly remixed nowadays. It’s a good theme and the games really feel epic as a result. That being said, I could certainly do without the lyrics as they just bring the songs down and don’t allow you to listen to the beats in peace. Naturally, the graphics are pretty great. Madden’s always been exceptional in this area and I don’t see them faltering anytime soon. EA really knows what they’re doing in this area. Madden may get a lot of complaints over the years, but at least they never concern the graphics.
Madden has more replay value than almost any other video game. It loses out to Super Smash of course, but that’s another story. There is no Wi-Fi here, which hurts, but you can still have a nice franchise mode started where you can fight the CPU for many seasons. It’s also easy to just jump in play when a friend comes over. Madden has virtually infinite replay value and it’s one of the reasons why people continue to buy it year after year. It is a winning formula that has continued to work for over a decade.
By and large, I can also see why Madden became such a popular series from the start. Even if we ignore the fantastic gameplay, it is simply a well designed game. The cover is very clear and engaging. It is a title that would have stood out over at Gamestop. The menus are all very easy to navigate through and it’s very new gamer friendly. I’m sure that many people were introduced to the world of video games through Madden and that’s a good thing. I’d love to be introduced to Gaming through a 9 star game. I forgot what my first game was, but it was probably X-Men for Super Nintendo, Home Alone for Game Boy, or Pac Man since I was probably at the arcades a lot. Either way, that’s not a bad way to start off either!
Overall, Madden 2005 is a great game and I got it for a bargain at 1 cent! (4 dollars shipping) Now, I am just missing Madden 2008 and then my collection (Up through 2013) will be complete! That’s definitely going to be a nice accomplishment and while I essentially get all sport titles, Madden is the best by leaps and bounds. It’s a series that I like to be almost current with since the games are so exciting and fun. This was before the recent upgrade for the defense so it’s still safe to throw deep bombs sometimes. You probably shouldn’t risk it on All Madden, but you can’t risk all that much when you’re playing at that level. I highly recommend buying this game and Madden 2005 is a good way to learn about the NFL. The important thing to remember is that the Dallas Cowboys is the team to root for. Go Dallas!!