Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Madden 09 first impressions (PS3)


This is what came out of my mouth after the first play from scrimmage this morning.

Like any Madden junkie there I was at the store at 10AM to pick up my reserved copy. Got home, ejected NBA 2K8 from the PS3, and inserted Madden 2009 (insert angelic "aahhhhhh" here). Before anything went down I signed in to EA Sports and got the current roster update - Jet Favre was official. Yikes.

Top new features:
-I know this is simply a product of the day and age we live in but the new visuals never cease to amaze me. The grass looks real, the view of the stadium from the outside before game time looks extremely real, and Adrian Peterson's 6-1 frame looks tall, like it should.

-Injury's. I've always hit the sim button for preseason and began playing the regular season with my squad. Usually, I turn off injuries for sim purposes but I just rolled the dice this year. What do I get? AP is out for 10 weeks with some tail bone issues. Damn. Restart. A bitter +1 for injuries in Madden 09.

-Throwing to receivers. As a former quarterback I understand the importance of throwing the ball before the receiver comes out of his break. On previous versions of Madden, this would cause the throw to go in the direction the player is running effectively eliminating this idea. What does Madden 09 promote? Throwing before a player is out of his break. Jim Rome would call this epic. +5 for Madden 09 in the AI department.

-End Zone celebrations. With Minnesota, you really don't have a guy who is known for his end zone antics so this is highly incomplete. But, when I did get into the end zone you have a couple choices. You can either hang out and let the play be over, or, you can go into specific spots in the end zone and press a button for your player to celebrate. What do I do? Celebrate, of course. 1st TD move-looking into the opposing team's croud, nodding, and dropping the ball; Very nice. 2nd TD move-dropped the ball and moon walked away from it; VERY NICE. 3rd TD move-backwards granny shot into the cross bar; YAHTZEE! Celebrations are the users option and so far have been a lot of fun. +2.

-Multiple hits. In previous Madden games I have felt that once a player has been hit and is committed to being tackled the player would take a nice little fall even if it looked like he was being tee'd off on by another linebackers at the same time. Madden 09 allows the player to be tee'd off on. No matter the situation, you can always be hit again...and again...and again...until you have reached the ground. +4.

Even the way players fall has been upgraded. In previous renditions a player would usually fall directly on his back, side, or front. This was okay, until I played Madden 09. Players get tossed around, land awkwardly, and get hurt after big hits. Coincidentally, Steve Smith made a reception and was immediately grabbed by the shoe by Antoine Winfield. While Steve tried to get away Darren Sharper cleaned his clock. Lights out, Steve. As I say during real NFL games, "he's not getting up."Sure enough, Steve Smith was out for the remainder of the game (1 quarter) with a bruised sternum. Wow. Good work, EA sports. +3.

-One of the only negatives I can point to through playing 3 games is the menu screens. They are basically identical to Madden 08. While this doesn't really matter, especially for game play, I was looking forward to a revamped page. -2.

My overall rating of Madden 09 on PS3 is high and you can bet I'll be spending some of my time off playing it. Cheers to EA, even though Brett Favre in a GB4 jersey are still on the cover...

What are your thoughts on Madden 2009?

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