Monday, October 03, 2005

Next-Gen Madden

IGN has a preview of Madden 360 up. I wouldn't normally link to any IGN content, but given how little information has come out about the game, they've got me this time. Here's the link:

It's not possible to determine whether EA is using this version as an opportunity to take the franchise in another direction, or whether the feature set is solely due to time constraints, but allow me to dig through the IGN marketing bullshit for you and extract some highlights:
--there's no Madden in Madden. There's going to be a "local radio announcer" who will broadcast the games with a "hometown bias." Listen, it could be those barking dogs singing Christmas songs and it would still be an upgrade from Madden/Michaels. That announcing engine is the worst in contemporary sports games. Maybe EA has finally acknowledged that and sees this as a chance to make an improvement. Next year, they could do something like use the hometown announcer for most games and "save" Madden/Michaels for "national telecasts" and the playoffs.

--Allegedly there will be three times as many animations. I say "allegedly" because they claim there are already 5,000 in the current engine, and unless 3,500 of them are of guys getting tackled by bouncing off each other, I think they're fibbing. So there will allegedly be 15,000 in the 360 version, and I can only hope that the tackling animations are at least as good as last-gen's ESPN NFL2K6.

--No Owner mode. That's fine by me, because setting the price of snacks at the concession stand is about as much fun as getting beaten by a claw hammer while your assailant whistles a medley of show tunes.

--No Superstar mode. I already talked about how much fun Superstar mode wasn't during the Madden 2006 impressions column. Another good deletion.

Again, I don't know if this is a time constraint issue or EA actually has some idea of what sucks, but they've removed a whole lot of suckage.

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