COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: EA Sport's Madden 13 Wii Review
I just received a review copy of EA Sport’s Madden 13 for the Nintendo Wii and I must say that it is a great game.
Now I am not really a huge fan of sports games, because I have never been good at them. I like them and will try to play them occasionally, but I couldn’t win a game to save my life.
The Madden series is very popular and Madden 13 was released last month, so I thought I would try it out.
When you start the game, you can select a bunch of different modes of play.
You can play an exhibition match, you can play against friends online, you can play Connected Career/franchise mode which I will talk about later. You can go to a trophy room and see different things you have achieved during game play. I really liked this feature.
I chose to play an exhibition game and of course I picked the Vikings and I played against their rivals the Green Bay Packers. You can also select a few different options before you play the game. You can choose if you want “Arcade mode” which is for Rookie players like me.
The controls are simple and when you are picking plays the top four best choices come up and you can select from them. There are hundreds of different plays, so instead of going through the entire offensive and defensive play book; ones that would work best come up. I really liked that, because I don’t know that much about football, but I was able to figure out in no time what the plays did and I was advancing down the field.
You could also choose “Game Flow mode which would pick the best play that you should do in a certain situation. I really liked this mode a lot, because it made playing the game so much easier for a rookie like me. The other mode was “conventional” and this let you go through the whole play book and you could pick which play you wanted to do. This would be great for advance players.
I thought the controls were really easy on the Wii. I was actually scoring touchdowns and I won my first game against the Packers. You can choose if you want to use the Wii controllers in two ways. One is where you have the controller vertical and you swing your arms down to punt and kick and you can move a cursor around on the field to select certain players or where you want to pass the ball.
For instance if you want to try and sack the quarterback, you move the cursor over him and hold the A button. The players will try and move to the quarterback on their own.
You can also choose to use the Wiimote horizontally and you use it like a controller.
The last way is to connect the “Classic” or “Classic Pro” controller and play that way. I liked that way also, but thought using the Wiimote and Nunchuck was the best way for me.
I really thought the graphics were really good. I have seen video of “Madden 13” on the PS3 and XBOX and they are not as good on the Wii, but pretty close.
There are a lot of cool new animations. When the game is loading you can see the outside of the arena that you are playing in. I picked the Metrodome for the Vikings and it looked just like it. The players are also very detailed and move smoothly down the field.
One thing that really stuck out to me was the commentary. This game features a new commentary track with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. The recorded over 9,000 unique new lines of commentary that was pulled from 82 hours of recorded material. I thought this was amazing. I played quite a few games and I don’t think I heard the same line twice. Everything they said was different and it was really fun listening to all of the facts and stats of each team and player.
Speaking of audio, some of the quarterbacks have their actual voices and cadences featured in the game. Some of the quarterbacks included are, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow and Michael Vick to name a few.
There are a lot of new features in “Madden 13.” EA Sports used “the infinity engine” when they created the game. This is a real-time physics engine that accounts for player attributes like mass, speed and body type. This also effects the player’s interactions with each other. The “infinity engine also calculates where a player will fall if he stumbles and will allow players to catch themselves and continue running.
Another new feature is the receiver awareness indicator. This is the first time it has ever been used in a Madden game. A little icon appears above a receivers head and when they are expecting the ball it lights up. You can still throw the ball to any receiver, but you will have to manually take control of them and move towards the ball.
There were many different things to do in Madden and there were a bunch of great options.
You can play a couple of different multiplayer games. You can play a “Road to the Super bowl” where you and your friends work together and play on a team and try to take it to the super bowl.
There was also the “Madden Showdown” where you and your friends can compete against each other with crazy or traditional football rules. Then there was a feature called “Huddle-Up” where you and your friends have special plays that will do different things that what you can do in the normal game.
You can also select to do a series of mini-games. You can practice all of the different offensive and defensive plays in Madden 13 such as passing, running and tackling. As you advance you unlock trophies and other things in the game like arenas and jersey’s. There is a ton of things to unlock and this makes the replay value great.
There is also a feature called “My Madden.” In here you can see the credits for the game, change game settings, see the current NFL rosters and see your awards and trophies that you unlocked.
The last thing that I want to mention is the “Connected Careers/Franchise” mode. I think it’s amazing and what makes “Madden 13” great. This is a new feature for the Madden series and for the first time creates an RPG element to a sports game. Your job is to make sure your team is the number one team in the NFL and to try and make as much money as you can. You can set the price for how much concessions are and how much fans pay for parking.
You can also choose how much money you want to spend to promote your team by using television, radio, paper, or billboards.
How much money you make determines on how many games you win and how well your team is ranked. There are different areas you can go to, to see how many fans you have and how much money you made. There are also people that will give you advice and will let you know how you are doing. One nice thing is that there are help menus all over that will explain what everything is and what you need to do.
You can also train your team and select all of the moves that are in your playbook. There are a ton of options that will help your team succeed.
Overall I really liked EA Sport’s “Madden 13” a lot for the Nintendo Wii. I really liked how the controls were really easy to lean and a rookie like me could just pick up the game and play, but also give an advance player the ability to make the game more challenging for them.
I also liked all of the new features like the connected career/franchise mode and I think this really added a lot to the game and made the replay value great. I would highly recommend “Madden 13” if you are a football fan or for someone who is not that good at sports games. It a great, fun and exciting game that will be enjoyed by everyone.
Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about latest entertainment news.