Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Well, I'm at stage three with Madden.

It's the same every year:

Those are the first three stages of the five stages of grief as defined in Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's landmark On Death and Dying. They work just fine for sports videogames, too.

Every year (and I'm sure I wrote about this last year) I open up Madden and have ten "WTF?!!" moments in the first day. Terrible clock management. Lousy framerates. Abysmal presentation. Tons o' bugs carried over from the last version.


I skip stage two, but most people don't. This is where EA Sports gets treated like our slow cousin Lenny, who couldn't learn all the words to the Barbara Streisand song he was going to sing at the fourth grade talent competition but we applauded anyway. He tried so hard, we said. He just didn't have enough time, we said. He wasn't so bad, we said.

I may not know much, but I know this: EA Sports is not cousin Lenny, and their inability to manage the scope and schedule of their team sports game development is no one's fault but their own.

After skipping stage two, though, I go hard into stage three: bargaining. Maybe there are workarounds, I say.

Sometimes, there are. There were workarounds for practically everything that was a problem in NFL2K5, which is why it turned out to be such a great game. That only happened, though, because there were so many user options to turn features off and make adjustments in the game.

You can forget that with Madden. Here's EA Sports slogan for their 360 sports titles.
EA SPORTS: Here's Your Camera Angle, Bitches

And of course those associate producers who were giving interviews before the game was released are long gone by now, hidden deep inside salt mines that were originally designated for storing nuclear waste.

They store the source code there, too.

Still, though, I want to salvage something. So I'm fiddling with franchise mode, hoping to cobble together something mostly playable and somewhat enjoyable.

If I fail, and I usually do with Madden, I'll go on to stages four and five: depression, then acceptance.

Actually, I'm pre-loading stage four right now.

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