Early Madden 10 Wii Preview

Posted April 29th, 2009 at 11:55 pm


Ever since the Wii exploded onto the scene there has been the question what the user base would respond to when it came to licensed sports games. By in large the efforts so far have been met with apathy. The only one that has been a real success is the Tiger Woods series. That and Grand Slam Tennis now get the enhancement that comes with Wii MotionPlus. Nascar Kart Racing recently joined the success column as they went away from sim to completely arcade. However team sports games don’t  seem to translate as well to the console and attempts to straddle the hardcore-casual line (All-Play) have not worked out.

Thankfully EA Sports seems to have realized this and we’re seeing the start of a new direction for the Wii with Madden 10. No one gets excited about playing the PS2 version of Madden on the Wii. Instead the idea was to create a completely new and fun experience. This is the first year the Wii version has been developed at the Tiburon studio which is significant and should result in better offerings going forward.

Madden 09 on the Wii was a decent game. Outside of the 5 on 5 mode however there really wasn’t any reason to play that over the 360/PS3 version. Even as the game tried to be attractive to the casual crowd it remained a little over-complicated and unnatural to play.

The most obvious change for 10 is the new art style which presents five different body types, all of which are exaggerated to fit the different positions. The Wii version isn’t supposed to be completely serious so having that unique look is refreshing. I got a good laugh out of seeing Matt Hasselbeck so oddly shaped. The graphics aren’t going to be spectacular so they should attempt what they can to offset that. The cartooney style they have this year does an admirable job. I almost thought they could’ve gone more ridiculous looking though. It half looks like they went for the new style and half that it was unintended and just a result of the mediocre graphics of the Wii.

Last year the game introduced “Call Your Shot” where you could draw receiver routes on the screen and run quasi-created plays. For 10 they’ve added what is being called “Call Your Coverage” to defense. Simply point on and select a player and then place their assignment. Choosing an offensive player they will be put into man on that individual while choosing an open area will put them in a zone coverage.

The controls in 09 were deemed to be too complicated so they were simplified this year. Instead of selecting the receiver then making a throwing motion you just point the wiimote at the receiver you want to throw to and hit the button. Also instead of having different moves based on the motion made now just shake the wiimote and the game will make the best suited move for the situation. The old control scheme can be switched back to, but really I think the crowd who just wants to play and enjoy the game will like the changes that have been made.

All the stadiums have been completely re-built. While they aren’t 100% accurate they are a reasonable representation of their real-life counterparts. The gameplay screen is easier to read with score and clock now much larger.

I was encouraged by what I saw of Madden 10 on the Wii. These are just some basic changes that have been made to the game and the new direction it is headed. They developers seem know what has to be done and that is to create something that attracts the casual/family crowd as well as those purchasing it as a complimentary title to the 360/PS3 version.