Madden NFL 09 Review


THE virtual football

With the NFL Season underway, it is time for gamers to satiate their pigskin frenzy with the latest in the best selling Madden games from EA Sports. Madden 09 features a host of new features including a new animation system for even great realism and immersion into the world of the NFL.

Players can select from all 32 NFL teams and are able to select variables such as stadium, weather conditions as well as a to play a quick match or an entire season.

Gameplay is standard for what fans have come to expect from Madden and in a nice new feature, the game will adapt to your changing skill level and will set an appropriate challenge for a specific player’s skill. This will change as players gain more experience with the game.

Another nice feature is a tutorial by Coach madden that allows players to gain knowledge during halftime as well as post game and during strategic moments of the game.

One of my biggest frustrations with football games has been that many times I am forced to simply throw in a direction and do not have the ability to lay precision passes into a receiver amidst tight coverage.

Thankfully the designers at EA Sports have added a new feature that helps this situation greatly.

The Action Cam system allows players to deploy combo moves, break tackles, return missed field goals, and my favorite, user controlled celebrations.

Gameplay has the look and sound of a television broadcast and thanks to the in game commentary by Chris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond players do really get a true sense of being in the action.

Of course all the best graphics and features can only carry a sports game so far as the most important factor for gamers has always been gameplay.

In this area Madden 09 is a mixed bag. Slants, bootlegs, and QB sneaks work amazingly well, but sadly play action passes do not. There are also issues with the challenge system as it did not always work, and issues with the clock such as it continuing to run after a player has gone out of bounds.

Graphically the game shines as the animations are strong and fluid and does create the best looking football game to date.

Fans of the series will be happy to know that the online mode also includes a league play option as well as intense head to head action against fellow gamers.

At the end of the day, Madden 09 is a mixed bag. It offers amazing graphics and reality, but is hampered by some nagging issues. Fans of the series may not see this as the great leap forward that they had hoped for, but casual gamers or new fans in the series will see the game for what it is a solid and deeply entertaining football experience.

REPORT CARD : Madden 09
category rating comments
Creativity 5 Pretty good video considering MPEG conversion
Longevity 5 Not the most elegant solution, but works.
Graphics 4 Just hook up, load software, and go
Sound 4 Included software crashes often
Fun Factor 5 Cheaper than standalone dvd recorder, but at the cost of much more work
FINAL VERDICT: 5 out of 5 stars
Gareth Von Kallenbach is a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of entertainment site "Skewed and Reviewed".