Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Madden 20XX

Madden's teaser trailer for the inevitable yearly release came out last week.

The big "innovation" this year is FieldSENSE (boy, those capital letters are dramatic, aren't they?), and part of this feature is a revolutionary branching animation system. 

Well, it's revolutionary in the sense that they've announced a revolutionary branching animation system four times in the last decade. 

It will be incrementally better, because nothing in Madden is significantly better from year to year. The franchise is a battleship now, and significant course corrections take years to effect. 

The funny part of all this is that Backbreaker had unique tackling animations in 2009, and they looked great. 

Part of being a battleship is that there's bloat, and man, Madden is bloated. Just getting through a single game is so tedious, because there is so much between-play trash you have to watch. Either that, or you press and hold buttons between every single play to skip the tedium. You'd think there'd be a way for us to choose an ultra-streamlined presentation in the options, wouldn't you? Maybe something like The Show, which has offered that option for years. 

Madden, though, decided to copy the NFL's own presentation as closely as possible. The problem is that the NFL's own presentation is itself horribly bloated. So the entire game is an exercise in tedium.

If you're interested in something besides Madden, in the AAA space, you have no choices, because Madden locked down the NFL license when NFL2K had them running scared in 2004. However, in the indie space, there's a terrific retro game called Legend Bowl. The developer is incredibly hard-working and has added all kinds of features since release. It's fast-paced and fun and I highly recommend it.

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