Madden 08 (Xbox 360) – Better than NCAA, but turnover happy

Madden 08 I rented NCAA 08 a few weeks back and was pretty much disappointed in the game, and became worried that Madden 08 would have the same issues. I was relieved that it didn’t have all the framerate stutters between the playcall and regular gameplay. Whenever there was a camera transition to show off the stadiums you’d get a really noticeable framerate stutter. I just don’t like the feeling that the $500+ that I spent on the system that was supposed to provide me with a next generation feel is actually giving me a headache due to a framerate stutter. You only go to the playcall menu.. uh… EVERY PLAY!!!  Luckily, this is not an issue with Madden 08.

I am actually going to go on the record as saying that in terms of animation and feel of the control this just might be my favorite Madden ever. It’s a bit faster than previous versions of the game, and I suspect that some might not like that. I personally prefer the speed and more arcadish feel for some reason. In the past I have been more of a simulation type guy, but I found myself really enjoying the pumped up speed.

 Unfortunately, there is a pretty significant turnover issue. Fumbles are just far too common and it really detracts from the game in all modes. At first I wanted to believe that maybe I just needed to protect the ball more, but after creating a player  with 99 carrying rating and employing more protect ball techniques it was obvious that this was still far too common an occurrence.  Perhaps it’s that the strip ball weighting wasn’t correctly tuned and it’s far too effective.  Last year the Bears were “strip ball” happy, and maybe they wanted to make this more of a factor in the game this year…. and maybe went a bit too far.

 Otherwise, I’m pretty happy with game especially the Superstar mode. Playing the game from the perspective of one player was a bit more enjoyable than I think I could have imagined. It really changes the game in that you start to really get upset with your coach and other players. If your QB throws a int, you feel far less responsible than playing the traditional way where you pretty much control whoever has the ball. When the coach is calling pass plays when he should be giving me the rock to get the job done on the ground, it kind of gives you that feeling that maybe you are unappreciated or being overlooked. 

 I did manage to become a hall of fame lock in 2 seasons and pretty much destroy all single season rushing records that might have existed. But somehow, we still couldn’t manage to win a super bowl since Lovey seemed quite intent on continuing to pass with Grossmann. Ironic ? Kind of reminds me of last year when the Bears went to the Super Bowl and Lovey decided we were going to try and win by passing against one of the best teams against the pass, instead of running on them since they were one of the worst teams against the rush,teams against the pass. 

 Ok.. I got off point, and I still have some issues with Lovey over last years horribly coached Super Bowl where we featured our weaknesses for some unknown reason.

 Ok.. back on point… Online I played oh.. about 5 games and my opponents quit on me all 5 times.  That was enough to have me pretty much decide on not wasting anymore time online. Somehow I didn’t even get rewarded with wins, it seems that somehow they can quit and I don’t get a win.  I think if I am up 21-0 in the first quarter and someone disconnects or quits…. I should be taking in a win, not just ranking points. By the way I’m not really a powerhouse, and I’ll have to admit that turnovers are what put me in a good position in all of these games. So, I guess I can see where maybe they were quitting because they felt cheated by the mass turnovers in the game.

I’m sure my opinion will change some in the coming weeks as I play more, but for now I’m really enjoying the game more than in the past few years.

 

 

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