A few years ago, the developers at Electronic Arts (EA for short) attained exclusive rights to the NFL license to produce the already widely popular Madden video game series. This meant that no other video game developer out there, could put out a video game with NFL players, names and likenesses in their video games! By attaining this exclusive license, EA effectively knocked out the competition in the football video game market. In essence, Madden is the only football game with the names and likenesses of real NFL players. To many in the video game industry, this was a very smart and lucrative deal for EA. For the Maddenites out there, myself included, we were skeptical. The John Madden franchise only had one real competitor, and they were the developers at Visual Concepts.
Visual Concepts are the brainchild of the 2k series of sports games that include,baseball, hockey, college football and of course, the NFL. In the 2005-06 season of NFL football, the developers at Visual Concepts did something unheard of in video games. They sold their popular NFL2k5 football series for 20 bucks! The gaming community had mixed reviews, and the game was really good. For 20 bucks you can beat it! I was surprised when I found out! I don’t know if they were trying to make a statement about pricing in video games, but coincidentally the following year, the NFL gave the people at EA the exclusive rights to the NFL license in video games. (I personally think that Visual Concepts pissed off the NFL with the price of their game.)
The first year of the exclusive license, in my opinion, wasn’t so great. Madden ’05 was released with the same hype as the other Madden’s. To the true Maddenites out there, it was just okay, nothing special. With the ever growing influence of the Xbox console system, Madden ’06 slowly started to become known as the game to play on XBOX. This was a shift from the earlier years of Madden. True Maddenites know that Madden was played best on the PS2! The XBOX 360 changed all that with Madden ’07 and ’08. The yearly Madden tournament was no longer played on PS2, the XBOX 360 was the new home of MADDEN. Maddenites were okay with this shift, it took some time to get used to the Xbox 360 joystick, but as long as we could play the game, we could care less. However , we were still waiting for that Madden that was gonna us say WOW! Madden ’09 is that game!!!
First of all, Madden ’09 is the best graphically it has ever been. Madden has always been good graphically, but ’09 has some of the best. Gone are the stiff, statuesque player models from Madden ’07 and ’08. My main complaint on Madden’07 and ’08 were the stiff player models. The player models didn’t move like NFL players. They moved like statues. It seemed like the developers concentrated more on the wrinkles in the player uniforms and the player arms. They fixed these problems in ’09 and made the player models look and move more realistic.
In the beginning of Madden ’09 there is a new feature called the Madden IQ test. What the test does is measure you on how well do in the four main areas of the game: rushing, passing, rush defense and pass defense. from this point in the game, your Madden IQ is used in conjunction with another new feature, the Madden My Skill feature. The My Skill feature adjusts the computer difficulty of the game as you play! So eventually you will get to play against the computer on the coveted All-Madden level! One of my favorite features of the game is the EA Sports Backtrack. This feature shows you the mistakes that you have made during the game. If you throw and interception, it shows you who was open. If you are blitzed and sacked, it shows you where you should have been looking, instead of down the throat of the blitzing linebacker! This is a tool that both the rookie and veteran Maddenite can benefit from.
All in all, I am very impressed! This is the game that Maddenites everywhere have been waiting for! You will not be disappointed! Some games are worth the wait. Madden ’09 is that game!
Ken White is a video game junkie and a lifetime Madden player. If you want to read more visit my blog at:[http://klw5200-maddenitesunite.blogspot.com]