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Hey there everyone! Another year has passed and another Madden game is behind us. Madden 15 certainly had it’s ups and downs but now we get a whole new game to play and love/hate. This article will be a very basic pro and con list from my perspective with an overall grade at the end. I have played and owned every single Madden game since 1996 and I am a HUGE fan of the series (in general). Enough about me, let’s get into the review!

PROS:

  • As they all do, the new game has updated graphics. Clearer fans, stadiums, and players is always a plus.
  • The main menu is much less clustered and seems much more user friendly. I wasn’t a huge fan of how packed the main menu seemed over the last few games.
  • Playing as the QB seems harder (in a good way) and more realistic. I am not a fan of the players who just scramble to right and dump off to the TE every single play. EA seems to have made it a bit harder so if you want to put up Hall of Fame style numbers you are going to have to earn it. I like keeping ’em honest!
  • The new game type Draft Champions is really fun. It’s pretty much as simple as that. It also caters to fans of Madden Ultimate team because you get rewards for MUT as you play in Draft Champions. Great addition to the game. Fantasy football players will love it because it gives you that draft fun as well as giving you a competitive game to play immediately following. I also applaud EA for working hard to reduce “poor sport gamers”. You know, the ones who quit if even the littlest thing doesn’t go their way. Well, in Draft Champions, the game makes you wait if you quit out of a game. It only lets you draft every 20 minutes so if you draft, then quit when you start the game, you are only penalizing yourself. They are adding extra incentive to stay and play and I am a huge fan of that.

CONS:

  • Head to Head mode is very flawed now. Let me make this VERY clear… I fear no competition and I can always hold my own. I love a good game and if I am beat fair and square then I still have a great time. What I don’t like, is playing against the same few teams EVERY SINGLE GAME. My first games of Madden Head to Head went: Me- Bears (every game), Opponent- Patriots, Seahawks, Patriots, Patriots. Fair weather Madden players who always play with the best team are extremely annoying. Period. This year they took out being able to see your opponents team which just makes every person pick the best teams. You have no idea what team you are facing until you are already in the game. I don’t mind playing against the best teams from time to time but I didn’t buy Madden, and all the 32 teams it came with, to only play against two of them.
  • One very big flaw I see is the fact that a game type as fun as Draft Champions doesn’t allow you to play friends. While I certainly understand their concern with boosting*, I don’t understand why they couldn’t simply make a version that was unranked and provided no rewards. It would be a lot of fun to be able to draft and then play a friend so I was a little disappointed when I found out it wasn’t an option.
  • My last con, although much more irritating to me, is on a similar topic as the first. Some of you may remember a game type that Madden came out with a few years ago called TeamPlay. It was a wonderful game type that allowed you to play on the same team as your friends (or match up with random people). Every single year that EA doesn’t bring that game type back I lose more and more respect for the game as a whole. It was easily right up there with MUT as far as popularity is concerned. What really bothers me is the fact that EA simply gave up and I am not a fan of quitters. They had some issues with matchmaking due to online users not having updated rosters. The game would have a few with updated rosters but the rest wouldn’t so it would simply kick everyone out. Instead of fixing the issues, EA just stop supporting the game type all together. I, as well as many people I know, would love to see it come back.

OVERALL GRADE: B

The game is great and I’m extremely happy they are making those “Scramble every single play to the right” style gamers work harder. I was getting irritated that Madden, for so long, only catered to scramble style play and neglected the fact that good pocket play is still a real thing in the NFL. It seems now that they are evening the playing field and that is a great step in the right direction. The lack of game types, and certainly the lack of TeamPlay, is what kept this game from getting an “A” grade. With all that said, I think it’s worth every dollar and I certainly suggest it to anyone who is a fan of the series.

 

*For those of you who are not familiar with “gamer talk”, boosting is a way to undeservingly get ahead in a game. For example: if Draft Champions allowed you to play ranked matches with your friends then many people would just have their friends lose to them (on purpose) over and over again to get MUT packs. Then they would turn around and do it for the other person and it would really mess up the ranking system and makes the game incredibly one sided. We really should be calling it cheating but apparently that is too offensive…

Paul Hickman covers the NFL for MFST, you can follow the site on Twitter @MyFntsySprtsTlk

 

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