PS4 Trophies 31/37
Nothing else, but I was pretty close to that Platinum. So close, yet so far away!
PS4 Trophies 31/37
Nothing else, but I was pretty close to that Platinum. So close, yet so far away!
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.
Head to Head 11/20
Live Events 0/1
Tier: Pro 1
I don’t play mobile games all that often, but when I do you can bet that I take the experience as far as it can go. Pokemon Shuffle was a FTP game that was a lot of fun for a while and I probably did around 50 levels before deciding to go away from it. It’s hard to say how long I played Madden Mobile, but it was for quite a while. It’s very fun and well done for the most part, but eventually its limitations wil start to show. That is the fate of all mobile games at some point I’d say unless they start to actually have endings or are some kind of multiplayer experience like Super Smash Flash. I’m not positive, but I believe that I read somewhere about the data being deleted at some point so you’d start the next season fresh. Hopefully that’s not the case and the data is still here at the moment so I won’t deduct any points there. Just keep in mind that if this is true, it really does hurt the overall score.
I found out about Madden Mobile through a commercial and quickly figured that it would be a fun game. The gameplay as you would expect is a replica of the normal Madden games, but drastically simplified. You can choose from a variety of kicks and passes as well as go for the occasional field goal. You can also play defense, which really makes this feel like a complete game. There are 2 different control types to be found here. I choose the control stick type to further the realism of the simulation compared to the real Madden. It was fairly smooth and as this is apparently a new feature, it was handled very well. Once in a while your stride would go past the stick, which would lead to an unfortunate play, but that was rare once you got the hang of it.
There are several modes to be found here. The main one is Season mode, which pits you against 16 opponents and then the Playoffs start. It’s very easy, but a good way to learn the controls, earn money/exp and knock out some achievements. I had fun clearing a season. There is also the daily challenges, which will give you all of the rewards as Season mode, but in smaller chunks. They also cost more energy points to use so they are less efficient. Of course, The card rewards may be worth it at times since a lot of the daily challenges are special events towards the end of the series. You will want to grab as many level ups as possible before that happens to have more energy at your disposal.
Each energy replenishes itself in half an hour. Each activity will likely cost 3-4 points with super special ones costing 10. I got over level 20 so energy wasn’t a huge factor by the end, but this is where the FTP part comes in. If you want to just keep on playing the game instead of constantly stopping to let the energy come back, you will have to cave in and just pay out some money. Obviously, I’d personally recommend just waiting it out. As it stands, I did form a very impressive team by the end and made it quite far.
I also did well in the Head to Head mode where you battle other users. I moved up a few ranks and gradually just stopped when I stopped playing the game. The ranks are easy to climb through so you can easily get to the final rank if you want that achievent. Especially considering that I didn’t start the game until around half of the season was already over. It’s too bad that you can’t actually fight someone in real time though. Instead you alternate drives and whoever scored the most by the end wins.
The graphics are fairly good. It’s a mobile game, not a AAA title so don’t expect Madden console graphics here, but the animations are clear. The soundtrack can be a little sad though. There are barely any tunes to be found and more effort certainly could have been placed here. Sport games aren’t known for their great soundtracks, but Mario Strikers pulled it off.
Unfortunately, the servers are not all that great. You will find yourself being disconnectes from the game many times and the servers will refuse to operate at other points as well. It happened a lot more than I would have expected so that was a disappointment. Part of the point about having a game like Madden Mobile is that you can play it on the go or when you have a few minutes of empty time. If the servers aren’t working once again, then it makes the situation a little less ideal.
Overall, Madden Mobile was a fun mobile game. Apparently it continues to improve year after year so I look forward to seeing where it goes from here. I still hope that the data isn’t deleted for the next season though. The exp and level ups should just be a sign of dedication from the hardcore Madden fans who have been sticking around with the series for quite a while. The hours will go by very quickly as you play the title, although eventually the nature of this FTP game will start to be a little taxing. You’ll be less willing to wait until your energy replenishes and you will want to just play a console Madden. I got burned out towards the end although it’s been long enough that I could easily get back into it. It’s easy to see how these mobile games can get to addicting. You’re technically doing the same tasks over and over, yet the game never stops making it feel fresh. It’s hard to describe exactly what makes it so appealing, but either way my Madden Mobile experience has come to an end, but yours may just be starting!
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%
I’ve always been a big fan of Madden and it’s one of the only game series that can hold a candle to Super Smash Bros. No worries, Super Smash still is the greatest series of all time and it shall never be surpassed, but Madden would probably be my second favorite series. Madden 13 was phenomenal and while Madden 2004 is still my favorite, 13 was a close second. Unfortunately, Madden 2015 is not quite as good, but it’s still an excellent game and one that I can recommend to anyone without hesitation. There are more things to learn as the Madden games get more and more technical, but you’ll be glad that you entered this new world of fun.
One thing to notice is the fact that I got Madden 2015 for the PS4. It’s much cheaper to do so, but since I don’t have PS+, it also means that I can’t spend my evenings pounding away at the opposing team against real players. That’s probably for the best though since it can be quite time consuming. Recently, Sony gave everyone free PS+ for the weekend so I took advantage of that to play a few online games. I did quite well and went 4-1 if I recall correctly. The exact number should be on my stats and records page if I made an error here. I guess my Madden 13 skills have helped me get used to this one rather quickly.
Madden still has the issue that I mention for all of the newer titles and that’s the fact that it’s really hard to go for the deep ball. It’ll only work if your player has a massive lead over the defender because the usual gap isn’t enough. If the receiver got 2 steps on the cornerback, you can still be sure that the cornerback will spin around and pull off an incredible jump to snag the ball away. The problem is that the receivers never fight for the ball so it will get picked off every time. Slant routes are typically a little safer, but again, your receiver better have a nice lead. Otherwise, the defender will make a leaping interception. I’m not sure what the game can do about this, but I’m sure that the code can be tweaked for future installments to make the receiver good once again. Just play Madden 2004 for a moment and you’ll see what I mean.
The good thing is that this does force you to consider the running game once again. In fact, I run in Madden 15 far more than I did for any of the other titles. It’s finally a very viable option here and maybe even a little overpowered. I played as the Cowboys for all of my matches and I could afford to run the same straight run over and over again. No matter how quickly the defenders would hit me, I’d have already grabbed 2-3 yards and typically that number was more like 7-8. Defenses simply could not stop Murray. It didn’t matter if I was playing CPUs or human opponents, my running attack was unstoppable!
This also set up the play action pass and I uncorked it once for a nice, deep slant route. It was a blast to see this actually work since play action plays typically fail miserably in Madden because your offensive line cannot hold out that long. Another play that I love to run is a random Hail Mary towards the start of the game. A lot of times the defense will be completely unprepared to deal with that so you can get an easy completion. Make sure to have your running back run a swing route to the left to cover your options though. If even he is covered, then you’ll have enough room to easily scramble for a nice gain. It’s really the perfect passing play if you ask me.
It should come as no surprise to you that the game’s graphics are top notch. EA spends a lot of cash to ensure that you are getting top of the line visuals during the game. It is definitely impressive to see how life like the field and the players are at this point. It’s not quite ready to pass Super Smash Bros for Wii U in terms of how awesome the game looks, but Madden is easily one of the leaders in the graphics field all the same. I can’t say much about the soundtrack because I’m just too into the game to notice such things at that point. The themes are typically fast, but you’ll barely notice as you start racking up the wins.
Aside from playing games or entering into the Connected Career where you can play dozens of games in multiple seasons, there is also a drills mode. It’s basically a tutorial that walks you through many techniques. It’s actually a lot trickier than the average tutorial mode and I can guarantee that you will learn something. It’s worth playing through each section here to make you a better overall player. Another mode lets you relive great moments in NFL history as you try to make a great comeback or stop other teams from scoring. This mode’s nice and challenging as well.
If you do have PS+, then that opens the door for you to play some online battles against the best of the best. Once you play against real life opponents online, it’s hard to go back. It’s just so fun and exhilarating! There’s also a MUT mode, which is where you can form a team of solid players from the present and the past to become the greatest of all time. You can enter leagues and it’s a blast, but keep in mind that you’ll probably be doomed at first as your quarterback may be Weeden while the opponent has Joe Montana or Troy Aikman. Eventually, you’ll be able to unlock those guys or you can just buy them, but I don’t recommend buying the DLC unless you’re seriously going to be playing the game for a long while.
The actual gameplay has been made to be very realistic and it works well for the game. My one problem is that it can be hard to change directions. I suppose that you can’t go 0-60 when turning in real life, but it’s always sad to watch your player to a little stutter step as they try to turn and then you get nailed. It cost me a safety in the game that I lost, which was most unfortunate. Still, it’s a fairly small complaint and you’ll just have a blast playing the games over and over again because the gameplay is simply that fun.
Madden continues to add more and more commentary as well as the occasional ad slogan to also make the game super realistic. There’s even a ticker showing the NFL game scores in real life that are completely updated. That’s very impressive. I usually skip the intro to the games because I don’t have time, but it is neat that the game will actually focus on the players and start to have a serious discussion as a pre game simulation. I feel like EA puts a lot of effort into these games even with a lot of complaints which would disagree with my statement.
Overall, Madden 2015 is a terrific game and it continues to hold the Madden legacy up in a positive light. It may be similar to older titles, but that will not change and I wouldn’t want it too. I’m very comfortable with Madden and I wouldn’t want there to be any drastic gameplay overhauls or anything of the sort. It just wouldn’t feel right if you ask me. If you haven’t played a Madden game before, don’t worry. It’s tough, but it won’t take an extremely long amount of time to get good. A lot of the game is just about outsmarting your opponent so you always want to think outside the box. I aim to get Madden 16 in about a year or so when it inevitably drops to around 10 dollars, then it’ll be time to snag it!
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
All right, it’s time to review my first PS4 game! The Madden series is still one of my favorite video game titles out there because it is consistently good. It has many fans and many anti fans as you would expect from a series that sells so well. Sometimes the game doesn’t seem to have changed all that much, but when you’ve got a good thing going, why wreck it right? This one may be a step down from Madden 13, but it’s still a really good title and it’ll tide me over until I eventually buy Madden 15. (Potentially sometime during football season)
The game has quite a few modes. Naturally, we have the classic Play Now title, but there are also other modes like Ultimate Team and Skill Trainer. Skill Trainer is sort of like the Minicamp Mode from Madden 2004 and I thought that it was nice to see it brought back. The drills can be a little difficult to complete as you have to do the correct action 9 times out of 10 in order to get the gold trophy. I got all of the Golds for passing, defending and Pre Plays but I didn’t go and complete the rushing ones yet. Perhaps at some time, but I’m not aiming on getting the Platinum so it could be a while. They are also decently difficult as rushing is the trickiest to complete for some reason.
Speaking of which, that gets into my one big negative for Madden 25. It’s more of a negative for the PS4 than the game though since this appears to be the case for just about every online title. You can’t actually use the online battle services unless you buy PS+. A lot of the fun that I had in Madden 13 was when I was fighting other players online. The fact that I cannot do so now without buying the subscription is pretty sad. I don’t plan on getting PS+ anytime soon so the game will have to lose some replay value there. It also means that the Platinum is unattainable, which is unfortunate.
Ah well, beyond that, the game is rock solid as you would expect. The graphics look stunning and EA has always done a great job of making sure that their games were ahead of the curve. Of course, it also helps that I’m finally experiencing what the power of the PS4 can really do. There are few games that look quite as good as Madden and you can just stand back and appreciate the textures and backgrounds as the announcers start to set up the game. Otherwise, it can be a little bit of a hindrance because you can’t skip the opening for a few seconds, but what’s a few lost seconds here and there right? I still appreciate the huge amounts of effort that they put into the game.
I can’t really comment on the soundtrack as it was strangely absent a lot of the time. Either that or it was simply too subtle to notice. That’s a decently good thing as older Maddens typically had a pretty underwhelming array of themes. All you need is the main theme for when the match is about to start as that one is always great. Beyond that, I wouldn’t mind if there wasn’t any music here as it’s not really needed during the gameplay. The theme for the main menu is quite catchy so that’s better than nothing.
As always, there is a lot of replay value to be found here even if you can’t get the Platinum. You can go through the Connected Career mode to battle through various seasons. Honestly, just that mode alone can give you enough things to do for 50-100 hours. Skills Trainer will buy you a little more time and then you can try collecting as many trophies as possible. Trust me, Madden has never been lacking in content and that doesn’t change with this title. The no online hurts, but it’s certainly not a game changer.
I haven’t really talked about the core gameplay. If you are familiar with the NFL rules then you should be okay. If not, the basic goal of the game is to score points and stop the other team from scoring. The actual controls are fairly simple to use, but tough to master, which has always been a good mix. Running the ball can be great if the opponent is not expecting it, but you typically won’t go far. Like the real NFL, passing the ball is where all the action is and you have to be very careful about what throws you decide to go for. The defense is incredibly skilled and they will always beat your receiver to the ball if it is between them so you should almost never go for deep balls. Once you are really experienced at the game, then it’s all right to try these throws since you can take control of the receiver and beat out the defender yourself. It’s incredibly satisfying, but also difficult to pull off.
Madden 25 also constantly updates so the stories that play on the bottom of the screen are similar to the ones on the NFL’s official site. It’s cool to see how current the title is and it even updates the roster for you. Seriously, Madden 25 seems to have thought of everything and there are even Papa John ads throughout the game where the announcers will talk about how good it is. That was pretty neat and it’s not distracting from the actual gameplay so it’s a fun addition. The commentary may be a little limited, but it’s still a great feature during gameplay and it’s fun to hear them talk about what you’re doing on the field. It would be essentially impossible to make it perfect so I’m also satisfied with this.
Madden simply feels like a next gen title. Unfortunately, the game maybe starts to cross the line of being too realistic as turning while running with the ball can be a bit of a hassle now. For example, in an older Madden, you would turn and your player would crisply just keep running in a diagonal direction. Now, he has to actually turn to make the cut, which will briefly make the player stutter and that makes turning a little less effective. This change isn’t terrible and there are many new features to help compensate for this as you can use super stiff arms and other techniques, but the open field running was better in older titles. Once you learn all the tricks of the trade, you’ll be ready to do great things, but I can’t imagine that you will be running the ball very often.
If you want to know a good pass play that essentially works in every single Madden game, I highly recommend screen passes to your running back. It’s almost 100% guaranteed on 1st and 10 or 2nd and 10. The only times where it is dangerous to use it is in a short situation like 3rd and 1 as the cornerbacks will be a little too close for comfort. Alternately, you can use screens to your wide receiver occasionally to keep the opponent off balance. It’s not flashy and you will be fighting for each yard, but it works quite well. Slants are your next best option, but you have to be watching carefully before you release the ball.
Overall, Madden 25 is a very fun game. The no online is regrettable, but older Madden titles didn’t have this feature and I still enjoyed them a lot so this game is safe. The graphics are great and the soundtrack has noticeably improved since the themes are typically instrumental now, which works better with the game. Skills Trainer is fairly difficult, but it’s also a lot of fun and not much of a grind although I would expect some of the trials to take several efforts to complete. There’s a lot to do in this game so it’s well worth the initial 60 although the new price of 13-15 makes it even better. It’s not quite as good as Madden 2004 or Madden 13, but it gives 12 and 11 a good run for their money. Now that we are getting close to Football season, this is a good game to buy to get you in the mood and then you can trade up to Madden 15 once 16 comes out.
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!!