New Pro Bowl Skills Showdown could mean fun new mini-games for Madden NFL 18

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Posted December 12th, 2016 at 4:00 pm

I’ve still got fond memories of the 1994 Super Nintendo game NFL Quarterback Club which featured QB skills competitions. Officially licensed by the NFL the game offered the opportunity to compete in mini-games based off the actual NFL Quarterback Challenge that would take place each year. There were two based on accuracy in throwing the ball at targets, another measuring distance of throws, and then a course which introduced obstacles to navigate before throwing therefore accounting for both time and accuracy.

Madden NFL 18 could have something similar but stretch it beyond just the participation of quarterbacks to all positions but kickers and punters. The league announced today its Pro Bowl Skills Showdown which will take place in late January with four unique events.

Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball: Pro Bowlers will compete in a game of dodgeball.
Power Relay Challenge: Four team members will compete in a timed relay race.
Precision Passing: Two players on each team will battle it out, trying to hit moving targets of varying size and distance.
Best Hands: Quarterback and wide receiver duos from each team will show off their skills, connecting on as many pass attempts as possible before time runs out.

Madden already has arguably the best tutorial-like system in sports gaming, with a series of mini-games making up the Skills Trainer that are valuable in not just teaching game mechanics but football concepts at the same time. A few of these may even fit into that mold, though the dodgeball seems like it could just be something fun off on its own.

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  • Glen Willett

    Used to love QB Club drills back in the day. This might be fun for awhile, especially if they build in some XP bonuses for CFM.

  • MoneyMayweather

    I enjoyed the skill games in the 90s

  • WilsonRamos

    why is the pro bowl still not in the game you lazy morons ?

    • MoneyMayweather

      yeah I think the last game to have AFC NFC all star teams was NFL 2k5.

    • Iown You

      Exactly. Let’s see them actually put the Pro Bowl in the game at all before we start thinking about a Pro Bowl skills game.

      • What would be the purpose of a playable Pro Bowl though? Would anyone bother playing it if it were in? There’s nothing to get out of one since its just an exhibition (and with rules like no blitzing, and weird ones related to timeouts and possession changes) and wouldn’t impact anything in franchise mode.

        • Iown You

          So I can answer that with a question: why is it okay for people claiming to be developing a game that simulates the real NFL to get a pass on omitting a game that has appeared on the NFL schedule starting in 1939?

          Further, why would it be okay for them to put in mini-games from said Pro Bowl but not the actual Pro Bowl itself?

          I’m not trying to have it so open-ended there, but when you think about those questions, it really doesn’t make any sense. It’s like, just put the damn Pro Bowl in the game. It’s on the NFL schedule, it should be in an NFL game.

          It should also be noted that the Pro Bowl was in Madden up until at least Madden 10, so its removal is just another example of the head-scratching decisions this developer makes every year. Decisions that contradict the real NFL that they claim to be simulating.

          • And that’s a fair argument to make as well.

  • Smsixx

    “Madden already has arguably the best tutorial-like system in sports gaming”

    Because when you can’t make a game worth two shits…always point your efforts towards tutorial systems!

    Madden is definettly the best at this…I can’t even describe how well they show you where the Sega Genesis button commands are now at on a PS4/XBOX controller.

  • ClubSteve

    i’m in the minority here but i actually think playing the pro bowl in a video game is better than the actual game itself….the mini games would be a nice diversion from the franchise mode and such. at least make it available as dlc for purchase….for a small price, mind you.

  • ClubSteve

    went through my franchise mode and got to the super bowl, looking forward to playing the pro bowl as a nice diversion (and to see if any of my players made it in) and no dice. they show it and it just skips it right over. i guess, if it’s in the game, it’s not all in the game.