Madden NFL 13: Hits and Misses

by
Posted September 10th, 2012 at 11:45 am

The Madden franchise has faced intense criticism throughout this console generation and much of it has been warranted. EA Sports took the approach, with their intimate exclusive partnership with the NFL, of trying to appease the largest crowd possible with the thinking that producing a bland and inoffensive product would benefit both parties. Instead what that resulted in were titles that notably lacked innovation, imagination, and ultimately in their execution.

That only proved to turn away consumers who have much higher expectations and sales for the most part stagnated. The company began losing traction with dedicated consumers while failing to reel in new ones. The releases were sufficient in many areas but never excelling in any of them. EA and the NFL showed a fear of innovation – they didn’t want to come up short and turn potential consumers away. So rather they played it safe.

That all changed with Madden NFL 13. EA has now demonstrated a willingness to take risks – much to the chagrin of those who feel certain elements went by the wayside – with attempts at innovation and true advancement in critical areas for the series. While there are still many aspects that demand improvement it’s a change in philosophy that should be met with optimism.

Continue on for the areas where Madden NFL 13 succeeded and those that is came up short in this Hits and Misses review!

Hits

•Infinity Engine Physics
The call for physics has been strong in recent years and EA delivered a tempered but effective system. It’s not just about looks as the results on the field are altered due to the physics. It’s impressive that they were able to reign it in enough to avoid most of the instances where physics could play a detrimental role. Yes, there are some silly sequences post-play, but the important thing is what happens during the plays and it’s been all positives.

The physics matter when it comes to momentum and interactions and it has produced some genuinely thrilling moments that again are rare enough to actually feel special. The physics aren’t always totally apparent though – and the claim that no animation would be repeated is a faulty one – but there is a valuable dynamic element to it all.

•Connected Careers
Even bigger than the physics is the shift to Connected Careers which houses under one name and feature set what has been known as Franchise, Superstar, and Online Franchise modes. It brings in a new XP based progression system along with better scouting, free agency, and NFL Draft features.

It’s a big change and one that has definitely been overwhelming and confusing to some. Missing features have drawn the ire of those who value them. However bringing all those modes under one roof will prove beneficial in the future and evidence of it already is undoubtedly established.

Elements like the Twitter feed, NFL Draft presentation, player backstories, collegiate player storylines, having ratings based on schemes, and a free agency system broken down to “weeks” are effective. Leaving out important things like a transaction log is damaging as is the lack of ties to the league and events surrounding the team once actually playing a game. Practice is poorly conceived and preseason games are a disaster. There are “love it or hate it” parts of going though as a Player but despite that it’s still a better experience than Superstar of old.

How well Connected Careers holds up with multi-user leagues is still under evaluation.

•Gameplay Enhancements
Important legacy issues were addressed this year with working play action, new pass trajectories, improved QB drop backs, routes in the passing game balanced and more effective, blocking on kick and punt returns made much better, screen plays set up well, and receivers and defenders will go up and battle for a ball. All of those things are also enhanced by the physics.

An unheralded new feature is the “Ball Hawk” ability where holding the catch or swat buttons will get a player in position to go up and make a play on the ball. It’s an effective solution to problems with responsiveness and timing without making the whole process feel automated. Offensive line blocking however is definitely an area that needs focus going forward.

•Online Play
Last year Madden NFL 12 delivered arguably the best online play experience for a sports game to date. Madden 13 expands on that with new ways to play online and performance that remains consistently good. Standard ranked games are a bit on the short side at 6 minute quarters but they’ve proven to be balanced and enjoyable with only rare instances of lag or disconnects.

Reliability around the Connected Careers servers will remain a concern. While there were sporadic outages early on those have mostly been cleared up. It still may stick in the back of ones’ mind though when playing that a drop from the servers will result in a complete waste of time within any “online” Connected Careers.

There is good variety online between ranked, unranked, Communities, Online Team Play, and what amounts to Online Franchise and Online Superstar through Connected Careers.

•Fun Factor
This is an always subjective category but for the most part Madden 13 has shown itself to be a fun and strategic game. Gameplay balance is there and smart play is rewarded. The wide variety of modes provides options for those who prefer particular ways to play. The legend implementation is well executed though locking so many at the outset was a disappointing decision. The social media ties were also nice additions.

Misses

•Presentation
This is an area that has seemed to suffer even though considerable resources have been put towards it. The game opening with the new commentary duo of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms is authentic and interesting. Outside of that though presentation lacks a certain focus with the auto-replays being the most frustrating as they do not attempt to replicate a television broadcast the way many other elements of the presentation does.

There is really no halftime show, the fancy intros get old quick and don’t always feature relevant players, and Connected Careers suffer due to presentation ties like on-screen graphics or commentary references. Most of the authentic player celebrations are also mysteriously missing after being touted months ago.

Commentary is much improved with a serious and credible tone that comes by having Nantz and Simms call the action. The two are somewhat generic and repeat a lot of things but that comes as no surprise in the first year of a commentary build.

•Omitted Features
While they may not matter to everyone those that are passionate about certain features can have their enjoyment of the product significantly dampened, if not completely eliminated, due to their exclusion. With the revolutionary change to what had been Franchise and Superstar modes a few long-running features did not make the transition. Those affecting Connected Careers include the lack of fantasy drafts, player editing, the importing of NCAA draft classes, offline co-op, and a true “coach mode”. EA has made some assurances that those features will return next year.

•Various Disappointing Aspects
There are a number of issues that could be addressed in post-release support or may have to wait for Madden 14. The CPU coach decision making is overly conservative and predictable. The CPU tends to take too many sacks and stick with a running game that isn’t working – and late game clock management is often questionable at best. The CPU is generally competent but completely unthreatening with their offensive attack.

Challenges are not implemented properly – there should be reviews of every turnover and every touchdown and at least they should be showing up for close calls. The hit stick is no longer fun use. Kinect functionality is largely useless, not even implemented in “Player” Connected Careers, and occasionally even a nuisance to have activated. Surprise onside kicks were removed.

Summary

Madden NFL 13 doesn’t deliver everything necessary to be considered the elite sports franchise that EA Sports wants it to be and that consumers deserve. However it has fought back against complacency and made an honest effort to be put back into that conversation.

In that sense doing so marks as an achievement and important step in the process. Madden 12 reestablished some credibility and Madden 13 followed it up with a push towards innovation. Some consistency in output and in vision has been desperately needed.

EA delivered a product with Madden NFL 13 that finally took some risks – not attempting to attract casuals through gimmicks or borrowing features introduced in other games – showing that they were no longer going to avoid them simply to steer away from potential failure. The goal was to excel and take the series to the next level conceptually while addressing the on-field experience for the better.

Whether they prevailed this year with Madden NFL 13 is certainly up for debate. Regardless though it’s definitely better to be having that discussion than the ones that have followed previous releases in the series.

Previous Coverage: Online Play ImpressionsConnected Careers Website ImpressionsSales Numbers StrongPlayer Connected Career ImpressionsCoach Connected Career ImpressionsThe NFL’s Clutch Players According to MaddenBenefits to Online Connected CareersLoading Time AnalysisTeam RatingsPlayer RatingsFull Gameplay VideosGameplay and Presentation Impressions

  • Keith.

    Pretty nice summary, Pasta. You left out a couple of biggies for me, but on balance you seem to have touched on a lot.

    Meanwhile, the “verified” negative reviews at Amazon keep pouring in. That’s gotta hurt sales at some point, if it hasn’t already.

    • Deus Legend

      We’ll see that in next weeks sales numbers? Right?

    • CSaintSwag

      Keith you really need to leave this website you are so biased its not funny we would all like for you to shut the fuck up.

      • Christopher5

        man did you read pasta’s summary? After reading it sounds to me like he gave it subpar grade aswell. This year sucked….get over it. EA played you, and you can’t deal.

        • CSaintSwag

          First off they didn’t screw me because I am having a blast playing this game. Second I honestly do not care if someone gives Madden 13 a sub par grade, it is simply the fact that all Keith does is talk shit about EA without testing any of the games he talks shit about. He reads bad reviews and agrees, he reads good reviews and disagrees, and this is every single time. Also I am not an EA fan boy either because the only EA game I buy every year is Madden. Also if anyone tries to say all I do is down NBA 2k you are wrong, I have bought NBA 2k since 2k6, I have fun with the game just like I do Madden every year. 2k and EA both have problems and it takes someone with a brain to admit it. Have you @Chrisopher5 ever saw Keith say anything bad about 2k? Every problem that comes with 2k all he does is pass it on like it is not their, he is an idiot. He is the biggest troll, all he does is down EA Sports and say good things about 2k. When EA Sports does something good to their game he says its shit, Whenever 2k does something stupid he says its a good thing. I mean Madden gets with the kinect he said it was dumb, when 2k got the kinect he said it was cool. Madden includes the twitter feed he thought it was dumb, 2k includes the twitter feed (taking idea from EA Sports again) he thinks its cool. Madden has Ultimate Team, he probably thought it was stupid, 2k has just put MyTeam which is exactly the same as Ultimate Team (again stealing idea from EA) he will say its cool. IT IS 100% biased, it does not take a rocket science to see this.

          • Keith.

            Actually, I said I didn’t have Kinnect (I’m a PS3 guy) but that I thought the Gatorade thing was a nice touch.

            I’ve also never mentioned 2k’s twitter feed (could care less about it), and I greatly prefer The Show over 2k’s baseball game, so I’m not really sure where you’re getting this stuff. Maybe you’re confusing me with the Fake Keith who’s been posting.

          • CSaintSwag

            You did say you didn’t have a kinect i understand that, but whenever Madden came out with the kinect thing you said it was stupid, then a couple weeks after that when 2k came out with the whole kinect thing you said it was cool im not coming up with this out of no where. I didnt mention MLB 2k at all. I know you didnt say anything about the twitter but we all know you are up for anything that 2k has to offer no matter what it is.

      • Deus Legend

        Keith=Number 1 Pastapadre troll

        • Keith.

          You’ve got a grand total of 9 posts, and they’re all directed at me.

          I guess that makes you my Number 1 troll, no?

          • Deus Legend

            People are tired of you talking, please leave

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iown-You/100000775565221 Iown You

        If he’s so biased against EA, then you’re so biased FOR EA. The only difference is that you praise a broken product, while Keith tells the truth about it.

        Besides, anyone who puts “swag” in their name is already a fail before they even type the first letter of their first post.

        • CSaintSwag

          Actually I am not biased for EA I have actually bought 2k every year since 2k6,

          Besides, anyone who says I own you is a fat fuck covered in pimples and or a big ass nerd.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iown-You/100000775565221 Iown You

            Smh. There was no 2K6 football game, and there was no 2K football in 2006. APF was released in 2007. Fail.

            And your insult attempt? Lame. Come stronger next time.

          • CSaintSwag

            I was talking about basketball you dumb fuck beings this is, what this fucking post is about you know?

          • Nick_Fury

            Seriously mate, grow up. Please go away now.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iown-You/100000775565221 Iown You

            Yeah, you’re right. I mean, it makes perfect sense to talk about basketball on a FOOTBALL blog post… smh@ meth babies…

          • Riposte

            Well actually Keith. is known for bringing Madden posts onto unrelated posts like the NHL and FIFA posts.

          • Nick_Fury

            That was really childish. Are you done? Please go away. Go far away. You are ruining this for everybody.

        • Riposte

          He’s biased against EA but that’s not what bothers me about the guy. He’s actually a fairly competent poster besides the spamming and false know-how. Nah, the problem with the guy is that he shuts out all positive feedback for the game. All good reviews on Amazon to him are Gamechangers. All good reviews on Metacritic is Bribery to him.. He’d be a way better poster if he made the criticism constructive and accepted that people actually like the game. Those of who are fans acknowledge those of us who don’t like it. We don’t stick our fingers in our ears and pretend they aren’t there. The game has problems and a blind guy could see that, but people pretending that the game and CCM have no positive merits are kidding themselves.

          • CSaintSwag

            It is all opinions some of them are honest some of them are not. Keiths opinions are far from honest, like you said he shuts everything good about the game out. He doesn’t buy the game yet says it is shitty, everything he says makes me twitch because of how stupid it is. In my opinion CCM is fun and yes at times it is way too easy to play on all madden, but their are some games where the cpu does tend to put up a fight. Every game is going to have problems its just the thing I do not like about Keith is how he always says bad shit about EA but never 2k as if 2k never has any problems. Their are a list of bad things to say about 2k and a list to say about EA, as well as good things for both games. Also why the hell do you want multiple camera angles for a god damn football game.The one camera angle on their is great for seeing the field, in basketball it is far more easier to play on different camera angles then a football game would be. Keith is just a sour ass hole who does not have anything to say, everything he puts in these comments have no worthy meaning. He goes on god damn websites all day just to see if Madden is selling well or no them comes post on here and even if the game is going good with sells he says ” Oh they might be doing good now but talk to me in Feb.”
            No one cares this is why all of your comments are getting disliked and all the ones talking shit about you are getting thumbs upped. Change your stupid way of thinking and maybe you’ll get respected and not hated on. As well as that faggot Crimson.

          • tish

            Honestly there is no point in constructive crtiticism when it comes to Madden. EA knows they can do whatever the fuck they want as long as they have the exclusive license and are set in their ways. The only way to change this if they sheep stop buying this crap every year. We are way beyond the point of constructive criticism…

          • Riposte

            No, we’re not. Especially while we’re at the advent of moddable consoles and video-games. Constructive Criticism will always be more warranted than flaming posts, and putting yourself above other consumers (sheep) is an easy way for them to do the exact opposite of what you want them to do.

  • Keith

    Can’t believe it!! EA stock is up 1.03 points since Madden release. Also, I can’t believe how much I love this game. It’s crazy how fun this game is when you try not to be so

    pessimistic about it. Well, I should get back to playing Madden 13 now.

    • Jarred

      Just clarifying, are you being sarcastic?

      • Keith.

        It’s “Fake Keith,” not me.

    • Nova

      Who are you and what have you done with Keith. Lol

  • kjjnesb

    I’ve honestly enjoyed CC more than I thought but how they did not have a launch day patch ready for SUPER evident things like the awful play calling and the glitch that makes any changes to your scheme reset after a reload or played game in offline is beyond me…

  • Diggie26

    Don’t get me wrong, I love this version of Madden.  I do however have a few head scratching questions about some broken or omitted features.
    Why can you no longer set up defensive assignments in the coach options?
    Why is it that crash middle, edge rush and pass commit don’t register when playing online?
    Why was the scout opponent feature taken out???
    Why did they take out the ability to see your opponents uniform in pre match setup screen?
    Does it not alert you anymore when people start their games over in league play?

    • tish

      They are making the game even more idiot proof so that 4 year olds can win online. Gotta get em hooked while they’re still young.

  • James Phillips

    One thing I HATE about Madden is in my player mode and your playing on defense the teams offense is awful. For example I’m playing free safety for the Patriots and Brady has completed less than 50% of his passes and 7 TDs in 12 games. So unrealistic

  • kjjnesb

    Also I play as the Saints and Mark Ingram is essentially useless as he gets no carries and the Saints scheme nukes him and Pierre Thomas’s ratings

  • JarredMiles

    My only complaint is the removal of defensive assignments. when you get higher on the leaderboards you tend to play guys that like to exploit putting a superstar WR in the slot with 4 Wide sets causing the man to man match up in there favor and it’s frustrating to adjust your defense according and by the time u get it right they probably scored early and often and causes you to play almost in a shoot out to start the game instead of the way I like to play with ball control and a nice mix of run and pass.

    • http://twitter.com/MAB559 Michael Blancarte

      What really bugs me is when it tells me 2 WR 2 TE and the 2 TEs are the 2 widest out and the WRs are inside being covered by LBs its ridiculous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Shannon.KOz.Krohn Shannon Krohn

    also missing this year was the teams fight songs being played after a TD , i play with the EAGLES and miss hearing Fly EAGLES Fly play when i score a TD

  • cover2blitz0

    “with only rare instances of lag or disconnects” must be nice because ive played 2 online games on ps3 and the 1st was laggy and the 2nd was really laggy and nearly unplayable and then my opponent got disconnected

    • Nova

      You get what you pay for.

    • truetrue85

      Yeah that’s why a vast majority of online players buy Madden, CoD, etc… on Xbox 360. While free internet is a cool idea, PS3′s servers are crap compared to Microsoft’s. I bought Madden on PS3 last year and had a 57% DNF after like 8 games… and I NEVER quit.

  • Huejac2

    Play action is too effective. There are guys that call everytime they pass the ball and that is not real football. It is so not realistic for it to work at all on 3rd & long or 4th & long. Seriously, what defense falls for that.

    • http://twitter.com/MAB559 Michael Blancarte

      What type of Defense do you run? I can tell a play action as soon as the ball is hiked and counter it.
      It is definitely more effective than years past, but that is going from basically not working at all to working.

  • FUCKEA

    What about manual man-coverage assignments?

    Used to be able to set man assignments in a pause for the entire game, so, if your opponent decides to put DeSean Jackson in at TE or the Slot all game you can put D. Revis on him regardless so long as you come out in a man coverage. Now, the only way to accomplish this is to try and do it DURING the pre-snap adjustments on the field… and if you’re playing someone online, you rarely would have enough time to do that, and actually get people lined up right before he snaps it… which means you essentially can’t play man against said opponent, or if you do you have a LB/Safety lined up on DeSean Jackson with 100 speed rating.

    Makes online play against people who know how to exploit this very unpleasant. As long as they get a mismatch like that lined-up you pretty much have to play some form of zone, or double coverage, and if you know your opponent is playing zone all game it can be very easy to carve up. It just make no sense why EA would remove this. I used to like to run a lot of man-blitzes, 2-man under, cover 1 looks, but can no longer do that nearly as effectively because they removed this feature.

  • Ryan

    Can’t even play “franchise” anymore. No player editing means no scheme changes and duplicate jersey numbers. A huge step back demonstrating a fundamental lack of knowledge of the average consumer. Horrible vision in the development this year.

  • guest

    Take too many sacks? Have you seen Jared Allen, Julius Peppers, Clay Mathews, Demarcus Ware, etc… ever try to beat a LT? It’s so flawed it isn’t even funny. The line interaction takes away pressure from the elite pass rushers that play on the right side.

    • acreyman

      I put ware on the left because of that.

      • Bird of Anger

        i feel ya man, I’ve been moving Ware to the left side since Madden 10

  • the turth

    UNIFORMS are wrong even though they had close connections, no edits, bogus fixed storyline for ccm. idn fix it and then we talk. I’m uniform freak, if that aint done right we will have problems.

  • ryan69310

    madden 13 is absolutely terrrible, games are ok, however the destruction of the only mode truly worth playing for a prolonged period of time, franchise mode, is unforgiveable. Coach mode utterly sucks. Ill concieved, poorly executed, and was just plainly a horrible idea that i cant believe ea could even think was a improvement. 2k deserves a shot at the nfl again after madden destroyed itself this year

    • Ashton

      AGREED. I love franchise mode and they really messed up with this Connected careers bull. I actually expected them to take franchise mode further..instead, they messed up and got rid of it all-together. Fail.

    • will

      I 1000 percent agree the connected careers is a terrible idea. I love franchise mode and being able to import my draft class from ncaa and now you cant do any editing of rosters.

      • TrueMADden

        would be great to import classes, however, the crappy player models associated with them adds less value once the draft takes place. It would be nice for them to add the option for it at the minimum. However, I much prefer the madden draft classes, since they’re not fixed in ratings just player names. The stories are also dynamic which means draft stock for players rise and fall randomly throughout the year depending on newslines. Thats really makes a nameless draft class (ie. fake names) worth something.

    • Riposte

      I disagree. Coach Mode isn’t manna from heaven but it’s far from poorly executed. I actually like seeing things I do become commented on. I follow the Draft Stories and the busts exist. Players coming out of retirement is a first for any sports game, is it as well executed as I’d hoped it would be? Yes actually, this is the first year of a mode reboot. It’s like the Amazing Spider-man or that new X-Men movie, its getting its feet set and I hope they don’t turn back now.

    • TrueMADden

      its really not too different than franchise mode, just missing some key features. like editing, fantasy draft, multiple users, etc. which quick honestly is unacceptable. However, the draft with the variability of the draft stories throughout the year with rising and dropping player stock is a really great feature. It’s not all fixed as well, only player names not ratings. I really like the scheme fits (which is really realistic) and free agent/ contract signing system. But Franchise mode was always more or less “coach mode”, with the user deciding signings, trades and releases. The only thing which would be great though is if there was an option for automatic player progression. However, its still a great feature to have in, since if you drafted a player with only normal development you can eventually improve it to quick and then superstar development. Thats neat since people think potential is fixed, but its not and its the where player do well in a certain system which can improve their potential

    • Keith.

      The ratio of negative feedback here seems right in line with Amazon…lol. Go figure.

      EA’s decision to double the dev budget this year (supposedly) sure doesn’t look to have paid off.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/PRNYYXZW5CPECODQZM2VGFZKI4 Jwaan

        The amount of people who give two fucks seem right in line with the amount of people who bought the game. Go figure.

        Looks like your decision to repeatedly post irrelevant bullshit to every article hasn’t paid off.

  • smsixx

    AI in CCM mode is horrible to say the least…CCM difficulty should play as it does in “play now” mode…No excuses for this…they just released an unfinished/tested product.
    When is the patch pasta? EA originally said September 11th? more delays and smoke and mirrors AS USUAL.

    • Udonix

      I mostly agree with what you’re saying – conceptually, I actually enjoy CCM more than expected but the CPU play-calling is nearly bad enough to completely ruin the entire experience.

      Playing the Patriots & seeing Danny Woodhead run 35 times for 44 yards while Brady only throws 12 times is an embarrassment. Just fix that & I personally can deal with other missing features.

      • smsixx

        Agree with you 150%.

  • Bird of Anger

    “EA has made some assurances that those features will return next year.” That statement alone almost defines Madden on current-gen consoles. The fundamental problem is simple yet unfixable Look below at all the comments on this article (which provides both positive and negative feedback from pasta) Nearly ALL of them are negative yet the game still sells relatively well. The people that truly care about this game are the ones checking sites like this one all the time and commenting on articles giving constructive (and yes harsh) criticism of the game they love so much. Yet EA (wisely I might add) panders to the average Joe paycheck who doesn’t have time to read online articles about “video games” and sees a TV commercial and says “Paul Rudd plays it, so I guess I should too. I mean it does have a new Infantry Engine!” So therefore no matter how loud us hardcore gamers bark, they will not listen because we are not the majority. So we are stuck in the limbo of EA not having any competition and having to rely on a yearly development cycle just to stay financially viable while the people reading this long winded comment are stuck out in the cold having to put up with a subpar football simulation. So I guess my point in all this is to say, nothing of what I just said matters because it’s a problem beyond fixing. In other words, we are all screwed. Much love – @TheBirdOfFlight

    • David

      HA! +1 for “Infantry Engine”.

      • Bird of Anger

        Thank you sir. I was hoping someone would notice my very subtle comedy hidden within my rambling. – @TheBirdOfFlight

        • David

          Subtle humor is always the best. Now someone go tell that to Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, m’kay?

          • Riposte

            Hey, hey, hey. Anchorman was a good film.

  • http://twitter.com/Gabriel_Irwin Gabe Real

    I’m sorry Pasta but you are slurpin’ this game waaaayyy too hard! It is the best Madden game (gameplay wise) in years. But unless you’re a die-hard NFL fan i don’t think this game is for you. I see more cons, than pros with this game.

    • ChrisBerman

      It’s unlike Pasta to wrap his lips around EA’s junk. What gives, dude?

  • Keith.

    Saw that Target’s already selling the game for $49 — which says something about how the game is really selling, I’m sure:

    http://www.target.com/p/madden-nfl-13-playstation-3/-/A-14028792

    • CSaintSwag

      Dude shut the fuck up seriously, the game is doing better than last year and you are pissed.

      • Tony

        Wow, with all these consistently stupid comments and downvotes, it would obviously appear to everyone but you, that you are the one who actually needs to shut the fuck up and leave this site forever.

      • RL52

        All Madden’s do well out of the gates, each one even gets littered with bullshit 9.5/10 scores by gutless magazines and sites by guys terrified of getting blacklisted. The staying power tells the story, how did they go from 7 million units to 5 million the last few years? 13 probably projects to do 4.5 million.

        • Riposte

          Getting blacklisted by EA leaves so many other gaming companies open to receive materials from it’s not even funny. EA threatening to black-list anyone would be insanely bad for a business as competitive as this one. Especially one where developers and publishers are already putting review deadlines on their games.

          • JJ

            They don’t threaten to, it’s implied because thats literally what they’ve done.

          • Riposte

            To what blogs/magazines?

    • FUCKEA

      not really, may have more to do with target’s initial inventory, marketing scheme, etc, etc, etc… now if you said the average retail price across a wide-range of outlets dropped to 49.99 I’d say you may have a point, but really it’s a huge chain dude, they put dr. pepper on sale this week not because dr. pepper is all the sudden selling a product inferior to the previous week’s dr. pepper, but because of a lot of other marketing factors… i.e. they know putting it on this weeks sale list and stuffing it in the Sunday Paper and featuring it as a sale item on their website will bring in customers who will not only buy Madden that day they stop in, but a bunch of other crap that they would have otherwise got at Wal-Mart. there is a lot more that goes into these giant chains putting something on sale than just “demand”.

      • Keith.

        You may be right. Guess we’ll have to wait and see whether other big retailers follow suit.

  • ScottD413

    I like the way it plays this year, and I’ll even give them props for the Infinity engine, but CCM is broken in it’s current state. 900 yards of total offense a game?! 400 yard rushers?! Come ON! Until that is fixed, (and it should have been ready out of the box. Funny how this never used to happen before they had the ability “patch” the game), Madden gets a failing grade!

  • 49ersfan1

    i miss franchise mode…

  • AmazinsCowboys

    Not ripping Madden, because I really like this year’s game, but two really weird things happened to me when playing a few days ago. One, I motioned a WR to the left side of the line and he ran into the RT and kept running in place for a few seconds before moving on, which caused me to get a delay of game penalty. Another REALLY weird thing that happened was I was on defense playing against the Packers. Cedric Benson ran the ball off-tackle and ran into the tackle/DE (who were engaged in a block) he was about to fall but then he just like jumped super-fast like two yards forward and his foot went under-ground and when it came back up his ankle and leg were all floppy and looked clearly broken. Then he fell to the ground and the play was whistled dead. His leg was completely fine, he got back up no problem, and ran the ball again the next play. Also, the game freezes for the beginning of a play occasionally. Madden has it’s problems, but overall it’s a great game.

  • Bleak5170

    Kind of funny that the first two “hits” mentioned are two huge misses for me.

  • The other Keith

    I’d also like to see “Create A Team” come back. Agree on all the problems but I really don’t even play Madden too much until the main patch comes out. I’ll reserve judgment until then but if I had to talk today it would be one step forward and one step back once again.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.g.collins Matt Makmende Collins

    I think I have to disagree about the physics engine, it’s awesome but it does need to be toned down a bit. The first time my running back ran into one of his own blockers and fell into a defensive player, I almost cried tears of joy. By the time it had happened 10 times in one game however, it had started to get a little annoying.

  • Crimson

    Pasta, all of this Madden bashing on your site is getting out of control. LOL.

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  • Jimmy Kraft

    Solid review, Pasta. I’m actually liking this year’s edition, which is surprising considering I haven’t played a Madden game for more than two weeks in more than five years. The inclusion of a “physics” engine definitely helps keep the game from getting stale seeing the same animations over and over again.

    I’m looking forward to the second year of the Nance/Simms duo. I absolutely love hearing those two in the booth, but like you said, they need to pick a broadcast or on-the-field presentation and stick with it (much like NCAA does too).

    If EA figures out how to patch in player editing in this year’s version, I’m sure it’ll quell many people’s gripes. Trusting the company to put out quality rosters is laughable, as we already see some awful decisions with their stock rosters. One other thing I really like, is how certain players fit better in different systems. I think that’s very realistic and I hope it sticks going forward.

    There’s definitely room for improvement, but EA took some HUGE strides this year in winning back some consumers (record sales support that notion as well).

  • JohnMadden

    Suck my dick, EA!

  • leo

    what happened to defensive assignments?

  • TheRealCJ

    “In order to put in the new infinity engine and the massive connected careers mode, we had to remove the AI from the game.

  • JJ

    Everyone on the Ravens forum trashed this game, one guy said it was so bad he’s already traded it in. Another guy said his copy froze to the point where it was unplayable.

  • CeeGee

    I would consider the Physics Engine and Connected Careers a MISS at this point.

    1) the Physics actually Defy Physics more than anything else and most of the tackles just look down right ridiculous… Not as ridiculous as Back Breaker, but, its not much better… As is, ONLY PLAYERS INTERACTING WITH THE BALL have Physics tied into their animations (i have confirmed this with a EA GAMECHANGER that shall remain nameless)… So, this means that the same terrible animations and predetermined crap that we’ve seen for this entire generation are still driving the other 20 players on the Field… This means that for all the other players on the Field, the Players’ Size and Weight ARE NOT being reflected in the animations that Carry out… This means that a 160lb OFF-Lineman can block 300lb DEF-Lineman because “physics” aren’t driving that interaction, an “animation” is driving it… This is not acceptable…

    2) Connected Career Mode / Online Franchise is completely Broken… The DC issue where the DC’ing player is given the automatic loss is a complete joke… In well established Online Franchises, I can’t see how EA thought this was a good idea… Not giving the Commish of the Franchise any Control over Player Salaries and Team Salary Caps / Penalties is a big miss, as for the past 2 years we’ve had two Non EA Affiliated Websites (my league manage and XFN) that provided this feature and much much more…

    Madden 13 is just a Beta for this new physics engine…

  • WhateverEA

    Obviously the game is selling better this year because everyone saw the new infinity engine and drooled with anticipation. Now after everyone sees how many glitches and shortfalls this game has we are mad.

    1. They took out many staples at the core of the game that many of us relied on for fun.
    2. This is only 3/4 of a game.

    This is an end result of them buying the NFL license and coasting for years. Now they go overboard trying to cram 10 years of advancement and innovation into 1. Horrible game don’t waste your money unless it keeps dropping in price. I’d buy it for $20.

  • thumstyx

    With the introduction of the “Enhanced Draft” and “Storyline” experience I think it is safe to assume that you will never EVER be able to import an NCAA Draft class to your franchise or “Connected Career” – How could they incorporate all of the presentation storyline BS with a real collegiate athlete without taking heat for using their likeness – They can’t – That is how – This is the single biggest disappointment on a lengthy list of disappointments for Madden 13

    • Riposte

      Or they could include a cap where you can only import NCAA Draft Classes from 4 years after the initial start-date. With the next generation coming out, that would be very possible.

  • Derrick Freeman

    Bucs fan here and im wondering why are the cannons not going off this year after we score…..and what the deal with guys puttin best WR AT TIGHTEND AND MY DAM LB HAS TO TRY AND COVER HIM

  • http://twitter.com/ashbournejohnny John Morris

    Best Madden game in a long time – physics are great, animations are great, graphics are great and it’s just a whole lot of fun. Still behind MLB The Show and NBA 2K mind but the gap is closing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kian-Key-Davis/1270510167 Kian ‘Key’ Davis

    You would call Connected Careers a hit. Even though its the most obvious miss. But since its the newest feature and the “Improvement” to the Franchise mode, which was the one constant you could always depend on when other aspects were just terrible at times, you have to call it a hit. Be real Pasta, and stop selling out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Curtis-Leon-Douglas/100000586305337 Curtis Leon Douglas

    they did some good things but took a step backwards out of greed and lack of focus on what made madden great. when you take out a mode that the average fan played and the only reason that kept people buy this crap is crazy.say what you want josh looman wanted to bring back his crappy idea with cc. aka head coach ,2012 . but if cc brings back mult-users and ncca import-players, and the old owner mode features that was in it. then im sold. other than that they can forget when it comes to my $60.00 bucks. nfl bring 2k 14 back because we need a better made nfl game. then this bull crap.

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