A couple of months back I was able to get my hands on a Nintendo Wii. Like the rest of the world, my Wii came with the Sports Pack. In addition to that, I picked up Madden 2008. I gave Madden a shot and found it a little tough to play, being new to the Wii control and all, so I stuck with the Sports Pack.
The Sports Pack was a lot of fun and kept me entertained for a while. Once I started getting bored with it, and felt more comfortable using the Wii remote, I gave Madden a try once again.
Over the years I’ve owned many of the Madden games for Playstation and Playstation 2. I’ve never been all that great at it, but I have a good time when playing. The Wii version didn’t seem much different in the way the game played, it just required you flail your arms around to make things happen (a lot of fun).
A couple of weeks before Christmas my wife had me come up with a Christmas list, like she does every year. Each year it is the same thing, I spend a bunch of time racking my brain to come up with a list of things that I sort of want, but aren’t terribly important to me.
On my list I included Madden 2009. To my surprise, I received the game for Christmas from my sister in-law. After the holiday settled down, and my wife played Mario Kart Wii a little less, I popped my game into the system and gave it a whirl.
Once loaded, you find yourself on a menu screen much like 08, except there are added party modes. The five on five mini-games are far less serious than the game itself is. They feature very simple play calling on a fifty-yard field. You get four downs to get it into the end zone, fail and the ball is turned over to your opponent. Each touchdown gets you a single point. The short field and play system make these mini games move quickly.
After experimenting with the mini games, I headed into Franchise Mode. I prefer this mode because it allows me to switch players throughout the game and doesn’t lock me into running a number of plays without seeing any action.
The game play is much different in this release. Unlike in 2008, when selecting plays you remain on the field. Selection is simple and fairly straightforward which seems to make the game move a little faster.
Before entering the game, your prompted to select your Mii, which is displayed throughout the game. When a penalty is called, another Mii takes the place of the referee. This makes for a cartoon-ish feel that takes away some of the realism of older versions.
The game also features a new all-play system, which makes passing much simpler. Players are highlighted in red or green to show them as being covered or open. This takes away a lot of control and was disabled shortly after toying with it.
All in all, I think that Madden 2009 is a fun game that will keep me occupied for the time being. Every couple of days I load up the game and play the next week in my ongoing season. The new release is a lot more approachable to new players, but it takes away from the seriousness than I’ve come to enjoy with the series.
Also, after making a key play, there is a sequence which prompts you to get up and do a celebratory dance. This was fun for the first couple times but gets old really fast.