No stats this time. Sadly I couldn’t even snag one trophy yet! I will at some point though.
It’s time to look at the next Madden title. I’m really close to being caught up now, but I’ll likely wait a year before getting 19 so it drops down to the 5 dollar bin. The Madden games have historically been great. They’re consistently solid across the board and 18 is naturally no exception. This one even added a story mode of sorts although I didn’t try it this time. Basically you start out as a college kid who gets signed on to a team and during the game you rise up the ranks. It’s a pretty cool concept and while I would mainly be sticking with the tried and true quickplay battles, more options is never a bad thing.
Madden 18 has really got everything you can ask for. You can practice, play online, start a franchise, play the story, etc. They even added more options for the gameplay. You can now choose between arcade style, basic, or online for glory mode. I choose the last option of course because I want to be ready to take down an opponent at any time. It was definitely a lot of fun too and they finally brought speed back into the equation. Yes, you can run fast again and that is huge. I’m wondering if Madden 17 might have had some option in the back end where you could have switched the style. Either way, 18 definitely gets credit for showing you how to do it. It makes running the ball a lot more fun when you can just take off like this.
The gameplay is the same as it has been for the last 18 years so there isn’t much to say about it. The goal is to get across the opponent’s end zone to score some points. Score enough and you’re home free. On Offense I really like passing the ball, but it is always a lot riskier. Thanks in part to the whole “aggressive ball” mechanics you never really know if your guy is going to make the pass. There’s an equal chance that the other team’s player is just going to rocket from across the sidelines and knock the wind out of you. If that happens then you’re gonna fumble or you’ll end up throwing a pick 6. You want to only throw bullet passes and you want to do it when your guy is wide open. As a result I have to be really careful about where I throw it. You just can’t toss the ball in the air and make a play anymore.
Fortunately as I mentioned they brought the running game back. My favorite thing to do is pick a Hail Mary play and then run it with my quarterback. Most of the time you can gain an easy 10 yards. I average 10-11 yards per run with the quarterback. He almost always gets 100 yards by the time the game is over. It may feel a little broken at times, but I think a quarterback should be really mobile like that. It really opens up the offense. I get how it makes the defense a lot trickier to control, but I think it’s a fair trade considering how much better the ball covering is now. Running the ball traditionally is also good. You tend to pick up 2-3 yards. Madden continues to feel more and more like the real deal. I even get final scores that are like real games like 10-7.
On defense I’m mostly still at the mercy of the computer. I always pick a guy to try and sack the quarterback, but I only get 1-2 sacks a game. Otherwise I just hope I’m in the right place at the right time to make the stop. Otherwise I just get to watch and weep as the guy shakes a bunch of tackles and breaks an 80 yard run for a touchdown. In my defense, I usually shut the run down pretty well but when it comes time to pass then it’s all up to the luck of the draw. The computer either runs right through me or they throw some terrible passes and punt.
Special Teams is always fun even if it’s very brief. You get to do some free style running and that never gets old. Kicking the field goal and punting are still not my favorite with the new system though. It’s a lot harder since you have to press the X button at just the right time multiple times to launch a kick. It definitely does make kicking a little riskier so if that was the goal then the game succeeded. I just don’t think it was necessary. Ah well, it’s not like that really hurts the game all that much at all. A large part of the Madden experience still comes down to how quickly you can react. On any given play there is always an avenue for success when you’re on the offense. The defense’s job is to give you as little time as possible to make the right call. It’s just really hard to keep track of so many guys running on the field at the same time, but it’s exactly what you’ve got to do if you want to secure the win.
The graphics here definitely look quite amazing as expected. The players are all so lifelike and the presentation is still quite amazing. I enjoy the sound effects and the music doesn’t seem bad. You won’t really notice it aside from the main menu though so unless you stick around there for a while you really won’t notice it. The game has limitless replay value with the online mode and all the other content it has got. It’s always hard to see how you’d be ready to switch up to the next game in the following year. I suppose if you’re playing this full time then maybe you can get through it, but otherwise it probably feels like the next title is right around the corner.
Overall, Madden 18 is definitely an excellent title. Sadly the G.O.A.T. version doesn’t really change anything for me since I don’t have the online and it’s all expired by now, but the vanilla version will do quite fine. For 5 bucks you also can’t go wrong here. It’s a big upgrade over the last Madden I played and this one will rank up there with some of the classics that I’ve played. If you even remotely like Football then you’ll love this game. EA may not have the best rep, but I can say that they’ve never phoned in a Madden title. They give it their all year after year.
PS4 Trophies 2/36
All right guys, it’s finally time to take a look at one of the newer Madden titles. Madden is easily still my favorite sports title out of all the big EA games and 17 continues to impress. While this installment isn’t quite as impressive as some of the older ones, it still had all of the positive fundamentals that we have come to expect from the series. It’s certainly a steal considering it was only 3-4 bucks.
The gameplay is the same Football mechanics as the older ones at least in a grand scope kind of view. The goal is to score more points than the other team by getting a player with the football into the opponent’s end zone. Alternatively you can just kick the ball in. You’re really going to need to be able to survey different parts of the screen at once especially when throwing passes. It’s a very intricate game and you do need great reactions to pull this off. Part of why the game is so satisfying is because it needs all of those skills. You can’t pick up the game and suddenly become good, you’re going to need to work on it. There’s definitely a lot to learn too since you’ve also got other sides of the ball like defense, kicking, and running.
While not much has changed since the last Madden they did retool the kicking gameplay once again. Now you’ve got a meter that goes up and down which you have to stop twice. I definitely preferred the old system where you would just flick a lever up and down. I suppose this one is a lot trickier though, but I don’t think you need to over complicate field goals. It also makes the meter pretty crazy when you increase the difficulty. That’s not new, but I still disagree with it since I want a challenge on the field when upping the stakes, not a challenge to fight myself!
Accelerating is a little less obvious here so the game is a little more like a simulation than arcade style. I miss zooming around the field, but I do get the logic and it works well enough. The tackling is still on point and you can see how the game is really well polished in all areas. The gameplay is just a lot of fun provided that you like the sport of Football. It accurately portrays how the game goes down. When you’re playing you feel like you’re in total control so the game succeeds here.
It goes without saying that the graphics are pretty incredible as always. Everything is just so lifelike and while EA may not have the best reputation they do always deliver on this front. As for the soundtrack, it’s less obvious than usual. You’re really not going to be paying it much attention anyway since you’ll be in the game by that point. Now the presentation is where its at and the game is stunning there. It really feels like a real game with how the announcers introduce the teams and we get a nice pre game set up. Likewise you get a good set up for the playoffs and super bowl.
There are a lot of modes beyond the quick games of course. You can practice or jump into the online modes. There are a lot of ranks to go through so if you play online then you’ll probably be around for quite a while. Learning all of the playbooks will take a while and naturally obtaining the Platinum is quite difficult. These games may come out every year, but one title is enough to hold you for several years to be honest since there is just so much to do. There’s also the fact that every game is different so like a fighting game there is basically unlimited replay value here.
Due to the nature of the game there isn’t a whole lot to say but I’ll end off with my tips on how to take the computers down a few pegs. I was able to take them down until All Madden difficulty after all although at that point they cheesed me out. One thing I don’t like about All Madden is that your players start to choke. They begin dropping passes and fumbling all over the place which doesn’t feel like a real difficulty spike. It’s more like your players start breaking down as if they’re 1st year rookies going into their first playoff game. So ignoring that, my strategy for winning was a bland but effective ground game. I’d run it on 1st and 2nd down and then pick up the final 3 yards over the place. Then I’d mix it up with a first yard pass sometimes. I would win in very low scoring games like 17-10 or something like that. The computer has a hard time fully shutting down the run so you’re almost guaranteed to get 2-3 yards up the middle each time.
On the other hand, if you go around then you’re more likely to lose yardage but you have a decent shot of getting a big gain. I prefer consistency so I go up the middle and you’ve also got the shot of making a big gain so the way I see it there isn’t much of a downside to this. Just keep plugging away and eventually you’ll get some kind of win. Defense is also important, but I don’t really have any tips for that. What’ll happen will happen with that one.
Overall, Madden 17 is definitely a game that you’re going to want to jump into. It’s only 2-3 dollars so there is really no downside to making the purchase. By the same token you can also just skip to 18 which is basically the same price and have close to the same experience. It’s really up to you to see what you want to do, but there’s no bad option. While I do think they should speed up the gameplay a bit like in the old days it is still very balanced. I think the problem of the low acceleration is that the running back feels like just an ordinary player as opposed to the speedster. It also gets rid of the quarterback advantage which is too bad because I loved scrambling for every play and getting a bunch of yards. I guess it was pretty broken to be honest though. The quarterback was unbeatable in some of the older games.
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!