When you mention American Football you either get blank stares or locked into a debate about which team, coach, player combo will reign supreme. And if your really serious you will pull up stats and details that will make the most hardened auditors excel spreadsheets look like scribble on a napkin.
Now when you mention American Football video games the undisputed champion is EA Sports Madden series. Much like the great Coach himself the series has consitently delivered winning season after winning season. Madden has consistently challenged itself and delivered a better gaming experience with each release, and is always keen to try different gaming technologies where possible.
Madden brings together everything that i love about American Football – Strategy, Teamwork and Brute Force.
While ive enjoyed the variations to the theme that each Madden has brought im loving Madden 13. The detail to the small things is awesome. Light changes during the game, rather than abruptly between each quarter, improved passing game and you can even partake in some “Tebowing”. Honestly touching only the tip of the iceberg here, there is a lot of mini changes here that make major improvements overall.
At the end of the day why change the classic right? tweak and improve, which is what EA have done. The game keeps up to date with current team lists of the NFL, expert commentary from ABC’s #1 sportscasters and sports uniforms with promises to unlock new ones as they become available. Madden 13 is a living breathing online virtualisation of the current NFL season.
In fact since 2004 EA have been running fully AI driven versions of Super Bowl engagements to predict winners. So far the predicitions have failed to pick a winner just once. Not bad for a computer game.
Apart from the start up time (hey in NZ it can take a while to update all the live data from EA servers) the game design is slick. Lets be honest this game is HUGE and often it was a mission just trying to get to the field, however Madden 13 has a nice game hub which allows you to build your player / coaching career or just plain race to the park to throw the ole pig skin around.
There is the kinect voice control which is both good and bad. Good in the sense that when it works you can create sudden changes in play or capitalize on momentum at an instant. And its Bad when you have not quite mastered the american accent, occasionally left shouting at the screen like the team has some suddenly lost their ears and you have developed spontenous touretz.
But to be honest, its not a major problem most of the time.
Madden 13 just feels like a great game, its fun and after playing you always think “Do i have time for one more match up”. No its not perfect, with the ocassional animation meltdown, but it feels more like watching a game from the arm chair with a cold beer and mates.