Reviewed: September 6, 2008
Scan the field. Ed Reed is creeping into the box. Ray Lewis is coming in. Ok they tipped the blitz too early. Step back and think. Change to hot routes. Send Harrison on a ten yard post. Have Clark run an eight yard out. Motion Wayne to come in close to the line and have him run a slant. Eight seconds left on the play clock, hike the ball. Here comes the all out blitz, PERFECT!!! Everyone is slowed down and the perfect routes are being run. Everyone is open but Harrison has a step and a half lead on McAlister. Throw a bullet pass with a little touch and boom Harrison takes it down for a forty yard touchdown pass.
This is an every down play scenario that test your Madden IQ. Depending of how well you adjust depend on how high an IQ you have. This is one of the many new additions in the latest version of Madden, Madden NFL í09. Still after twenty years Madden adds or changes some things that just draws you in more than the year before. So strap on your chin strap and donít just go through the motions. Learn and build on your skills just like the real pros do every day and enjoy the best addition to date of Madden.
When you start your game you have multiple things to choose from, after accepting or declining the opportunity to go to the Madden Virtual Trainer. If you accept to go to the Virtual Trainer you will set up your Madden IQ and the game will adjust to fit it. You will then have the options of playing now, online options, mini games, and create your own player. Every option given to you will keep track of your Madden IQ and will adjust based on your IQ. The game will always be adjusting too, even out the playing field.
Play Now allows you to create a game against whoever you want. Madden '09 handles the same as every other version that has releaesed. You can throw different types of passes depending on how you hit the button for each receiver. Press quickly for a touch pass, press and hold for a second for a touch pass with some pop, and the press and hold hard for a bullet pass. To catch a pass you hold down triangle when the ball is right in front of the receiver.
Once you have the ball you can hit and of the buttons to perform a stiff arm, spin, hurdle, or dive move. Or you can use the right stick to perform highlight moves depending on how you move it. Defense is the same as always with using the right analog stick for a big hit while tackle is used by square. You can deflect a pass using the X button. It is the same as any other year.
There is a new addition that you will either love or hate, the rewind factor. This allows you to rewind the previous play up to a certain point and replay it. The defense or offense does adjust as well so donít expect the last play to unfold like it did before.
There are mini games that help build up your IQ as well. You have a forty yard dash, a bench press station, quarter back challenge, running back challenge, and much more. The mini games are just like the NFL combine for draft participants. You will go through most of these when you create your own player.
Also, when you create your player you have to fire agents, earn contracts, and try out for teams and build up your draft status. After or if you get drafted you have to work hard in training camp and build up the teamsí confidence while you are on the field. Go through interviews and everyday life scenarios on the field as you work on getting to and winning the Super Bowl.
Online is still one of the best features on this game. You can set up your online status to only play against people who are five levels either way with your IQs. Talk trash, adjust to each play, and build up your rank to see where you stack up against the best of the best online. The final feature online that is really cool is that it keeps all of your game stats as well. You can see your win loss record, passing yards, running yards, etc anytime you want.
Some of the areas in this game look flawless and other areas look like crap. The opening scenes when you see the stadium you are playing at simple looks amazing. No matter what the time of day the game is scheduled or weather that is occurring. After that you see the crowd, and it looks horrible. The people are really boxy with blurred faces, blurred clothing, and generic colors. It kind of ruins the previews shots.
But then all is made perfect again when you see the field and players coming out of the tunnel. I still canít get over how real the field looks, whether it is grass, turf, or the hybrid turf. The snow on the field is by far the best weather I have ever seen. Footprints are left until the snowfall fills them back in. And on top of that it actually affects the players during game play. It is simple amazing in every aspect. The players look good but could get better. The names are a little burry on their backs and there are some minor halos around them. Overall, this graphics are very smooth while playing and much better than last year in every category.
This is one of the few times that I feel I can give out a perfect ten and everyone will agree with it. From top to bottom the sound truly is perfect!! From the opening scenes to every game, you have great opening commentary as well as throughout the entire game. Chris Collingsworth does a masterful job of filling in for John Madden. His little comments and pointers surprising fit 95% of the time and were truly relevant and helpful at times.
On top of the great commentary the actual game sounds are even better. Even though the crowd doesnít look great, they certainly sound great. With great plays you feel the energy they give off and you feel their anguish on every bad play. If you are the home team you can quiet them down while on offense, and while you are on defense you can really get them fired up and loud to distract the offense.
After all that you still havenítí heard the best parts. The actual game play sounds are 11 out of 10. Letís start out with the opposing quarterbacks. All the mannerisms and sounds are spot on. Peyton Manning does all his ďfakeĒ play changes and leg hiking to the T. From then on it just gets better. From the grunts of being the hitter or the one being hit, the pads make that eerie cracking sounds, and the bodies hitting the turf are life like. Every detail is done perfectly and should receive nothing but tens on everyoneís reviews!
Finally, a game that is actually worth the full $60 you have to pay for it. I have never giving this category a 10 but I couldnít help but give it anything less. There is so much to do in this game that you will always have something that keeps you wanting to play more.
There are so many different season modes to play. After that you can create a character and play as them from day one and build them up to be drafted. After that you have so many mini games to choose from. Then if all of that isnít enough, you can play online. You can play straight up, or join leagues, or even create your own league. This game is easily worth $60 no questions asked.
This is the 20th version of Madden and it is still developing new things that make the game better than the previous year. Once again this year is far better than last year with better online play, your Madden IQ, and if you want to practice before you play the big boys online; you can play a game and use the rewind to help develop your gamer eye. This is a must have for any football fan and why wouldnít you want a game with a Brett Farve Packer cover and have him play for the J E T S Jets Jets Jets??!!