August 14, 2007

Today is the day, today is the day

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Video Games

It’s finally here. After months of anticipation and painful waiting, this year’s version of Madden is released today. Madden 08 is particularly special to me since this is the first next-gen version of the game I’ll be playing. Some adaption will be needed I’m sure but after taking God’s team (the Dallas Cowboys) and re-working a few crucial things, not even the supped-up Patriots will be able to stop me.

New this year is the “Weapons” feature which adds some depth to the strategy of the game as well as makes the good players even better and more valuable. Also, for the first time ever in the Madden series, a player has achieved a rating of 100. Devin Hester’s speed is certainly worthy of the honour, but I think that something like this should have gone to a more established player. Like how about giving Peyton Manning 100 in awareness? He certainly is worthy.

What I can only hope is that a few issues are addressed. Firstly, how about some sort of AI that would cause teams to switch ineffective starters mid-season if they’re struggling? It would certainly add some more realism into the game to see an inept Kurt Warner pulled in favour of a promising rookie like Matt Leinart.

Also, while most statistics will develop and regress over time, attributes like speed, strength and throwing power will never increase. They should be able to over time since their real-life counterparts can by simply hitting the gym.

While I could go on for a long period of time, I’m sure that, even if you are a Madden player, you might have left the site by now so I’ll give one last quarrel before heading out to pick up my copy of the game: Why do no players get injured in mid-week? Players pick up cuts, bruises and sprains all too often in practice. Excluding a factor like that devalues the game’s realism. At the very least, could it not be a toggle-able option for franchise mode?

Expect a review tomorrow if I can pry myself away for enough time to write one.

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