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An important history lesson for you TRUE Steelers fans!

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Old 08-12-2008, 01:56 AM   #1
SteelersMongol
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Default CNN Review: 'Madden NFL 09' is a must-buy

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When Electronic Arts announced the retired Brett Favre as its 20th anniversary cover boy, it looked like the notorious "Madden" curse -- which had mangled the careers of Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and Shaun Alexander -- was finally broken.

Brett Favre, in his Packers uniform, graces the cover of "Madden NFL 09." Favre now plays for the New York Jets.

But when Favre decided to play again and was traded from the Packers to the New York Jets, it looked like the Curse simply reversed onto EA itself.

By the time the dust had settled, "Madden," the mega-selling football video-game franchise's latest installment was too far into production to switch Favre's wardrobe.

You'll be able to download rosters that feature Favre as Jets quarterback, and Gang Green diehards will be able to download a fresh "Madden" cover that puts the superstar in a New York uniform.

But all this chaos has distracted EA Sports from promoting "Madden 09" the way it would like: as the 20th anniversary edition of the longest-running franchise in sports video games.

EA has always delivered new features in each installment, but this year it's going long, stuffing nearly a dozen fresh game modes and gimmicks into the package. (I reviewed the Xbox 360 version; your mileage on other consoles may vary.)

One of the problems in a series with so much history is that it can be somewhat daunting to a newcomer. Many of the new features in "Madden 09" are geared toward helping the novice. For example, play selection can be as simple or as deep as you want it. At the easiest level, the computer will select your plays for you. Later on, you can arrange your playbook by play type (power run, quick pass) rather than by sometimes confusing formations like Z slant wide corner or double Z LB spy.

You start off with the Madden Test, which gauges your skill in passing, running, pass defense and run defense, then adjusts the game's difficulty to your strengths and weaknesses.

Each time you play a game, your skill level is adjusted according to your performance. If you're particularly weak in one area, you can go to the Virtual Trainer, a holodeck-like gridiron, and bone up on the necessary skills. I'm hoping all this will put a stop to the 56-7 blowouts my brother's been inflicting on me for the last 10 years.

A few more in-game features let you learn from your mistakes. Instead of kicking yourself over that end zone interception, you can hit the Rewind button and try the play again. Or you can watch a Backtrack video, in which the game shows you how you could have salvaged a botched play.

"Madden 09" also does a great job with onscreen menus that provide a helpful guide to all your options at the line of scrimmage.

The Franchise mode, where you lead a team through one season or more, has some nice upgrades as well. In Franchise Rivalry games against division rivals, the pressure is ratcheted up and everything becomes a little more difficult. (Difficulty also gets ramped up in the playoffs and Super Bowl.) For the truly hardcore, the Front Office mode lets you take charge of every aspect of your organization, from salaries to scouting.

I didn't have the chance to check out the online play, which offers one major addition: Online Leagues, which allow up to 32 competitors to create their own league in which they can draft and trade players and play any games on the schedule in any order they like.

Finally, there are Madden Moments, in which you can try to duplicate some of the most memorable events from the 2007-08 NFL season, like Devin Hester's two-touchdown-return game or David Tyree's catch in the Giants' Super Bowl comeback over the Patriots.

"Madden 09" brings back a variety of the more successful innovations of the last few years, such as the Weapons icons that spotlight individual players' unique talents; Ben Roethlisberger, for example, has the Cannon Arm, while Plaxico Burress has the Spectacular Catch. And the Superstar mode, in which you can build your own career from pre-draft workouts to Hall of Fame induction, is one of the most addictive challenges in any sports game.

As you'd expect, "Madden 09" looks better than ever, with high-definition graphics that come awfully close to the level of a network broadcast. The audio has undergone the most jarring change: Al Michaels, the veteran TV broadcaster, is gone, and John Madden himself has been demoted to the halftime show and the training levels. Their replacements in the booth, the bland Tom Hammond and the insufferable Cris Collinsworth, are poor substitutes.

The post-game recap: If you're a longtime "Madden" fan, you don't need me to tell you to buy this. If you're a newcomer, or if you just haven't played "Madden" in a few years, now is a good time to give it a fresh look.

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/pte....ap/index.html
Sounds like a must buy.

I just have the 2005 version, which I thought that I must have since that one has the Steelers team that got our 5th championship.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: CNN Review: 'Madden NFL 09' is a must-buy

I had to stand in line last night before Midnight at Gamestop for one for my kid. Darn you would think he just got his dreivers license when I got it for him. He now has the last 4 or 5 years editions and plays them online.

Did see the neighbor there a 50 year old dude buying it for himself, said he doesn't play the game itself he likes to play head coach and let the game play itself.

each thier own I guess, just glad it was my sons money.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: CNN Review: 'Madden NFL 09' is a must-buy

I will be picking my copy up in 2 hours
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: CNN Review: 'Madden NFL 09' is a must-buy

The gameplay of Madden has been much improved, but the franchise mode is still very much broken, just like last year.

I bought the collector's edition today and have mainly been playing NFL Head Coach 09. The coaching career mode is so in-depth, it is ridiculous. Very addictive. The actual game animation leaves a little bit to be desired, but of course that's not the reason people will want to play it anyway.

I have the feeling I'm going to end up selling Madden on Ebay again this year.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: CNN Review: 'Madden NFL 09' is a must-buy

Madden has been terrible since 04. This year is no different. Bullet passes don't arc, AT ALL. They fly like on a zip like a few inches above everyones heads and usually get picked off (if I get picked off by a defensive tackle one more time, I am going to SCREAM). I actually started playing 2k5 on my PS2 again and I have to say, graphics aside it is a much better game than Madden 09.


*Awaits the Maddenites to march on my house with pitchforks and torches
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: CNN Review: 'Madden NFL 09' is a must-buy

The only thing that I do not like about the games is that it is very hard to run the ball... Anyone else experience this problem or have suggestions on how to improve the run game.. In past maddens I would be able to have 100 plus yard rushing games... 2008 im lucky to get 50 yards

Also, I really wish the draft picks had higher ratings
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: CNN Review: 'Madden NFL 09' is a must-buy

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Originally Posted by BIGBENFASTWILLIE View Post
The only thing that I do not like about the games is that it is very hard to run the ball... Anyone else experience this problem or have suggestions on how to improve the run game.. In past maddens I would be able to have 100 plus yard rushing games... 2008 im lucky to get 50 yards

Also, I really wish the draft picks had higher ratings
You have to adjust your sliders. I usually play on All-Pro (All Madden is unrealistic IMO) with the AI levels on all 99, except for WR catching, and interceptions, those are on 85.

On my side, I put mine at 40-50, with the running game sliders up +2-4.

It's worked for me. Generally games are competitive.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: CNN Review: 'Madden NFL 09' is a must-buy

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Originally Posted by I_Bleed_Black_And_Gold View Post
I actually started playing 2k5 on my PS2 again and I have to say, graphics aside it is a much better game than Madden 09.
i always thought that even back then the graphics were way better than madden... and amen... by far a much better game.
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