Thursday, August 12, 2010

Madden Launch Week

Madden11 is out today (Tuesday) and it has become a hated day amongst wives/girlfriends nationwide (not yet worldwide a la FIFA). Madden is that type of game where you go through a vetting process: scouting out which friends to invite to break in the new edition, debating on which version to buy depending on your friends and where they reside - XBL or PSN (possibly Wii - ummm NO). Custom covers are a big deal and I think I am going to don the Brandon Marshall Fins custom this year. Opted to skip out on the midnight launch this year and capitalize on the $20 gaming credit via Amazon - still getting it on release day, but no midnight madness for me this year. Amazon Prime has been pretty good with the Release Day Deliveries so far - only 2 games I remember coming late, one of them was Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (which I remember caused quite an uproar on Twitter). Played through the demo quite a number of times and I must admit - Madden has been consistently adding, tweaking, and developing each year; it has been debatable on whether they make the game better or not, but I am surprised they have not stayed stagnant, especially with no competition.

It seems like the Madden series has been trying to make the game simpler and more accessible without rejecting its strong hardcore audience. It is great to hear that EA is responding to community feedback and patching the Strategy Pad to allow for the old pre-snap controls. Muscle memory and thought patterns are crucial in a game like Madden and hardcore users responded much in the way World Cup players complained about the Jabulani ball and NBA players responded to the synthetic faux-leather ball. I have yet to adapt to the 360's bumper buttons and prefer the placement of my trusty DualShock - just because my muscle memory is more in tune from my Madden PS2 days. I love the 360's trigger buttons for FPS but they feel unnatural for sports/fighting games and the bumpers feel too narrow and the placement is off for almost all genres of gaming. A 3rd party controller is necessary for me to play Madden on the 360 and rather than taking on that expense, I would rather just get the PS3 version; effectively neglecting my friends on XBL.

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