Every August Football fanatics around the world are treated to the latest version of Madden NFL complete with updated rosters and features. This year EA Sports decided to up the ante by adding a dull arcade style football game over Xbox live and Psn titled Madden NFL Arcade. Here are a few reasons why you should pass on this game.
Madden NFL Arcade is an arcade stylized version of Madden but with the sole emphasis on playing football without the rules and guidelines associated with the sport. The game comes complete with all 32 NFL teams and operates as a 5-on-5-player experience similar to that of the NFL Street franchise. From the minute you take to the field you only have 4-5 downs and 60 yards to score a touchdown. You can score anywhere from 6 to 48 points to emerge victorious over your opponent. There are no special teams animations in the game and you are instead given a choice to go for the two point conversion or have the 1 point kick automatically added to your score.
To add to the challenge of gameplay each player is given the ability to use up to 13 gamechangers, which can greatly determine your effectiveness in each down. For example using the Molasses gamechanger can allow you to slow down your plays for accurate passes, while the Turbo gamechanger can do the exact opposite. When it comes to running plays you only have four options to choose from which are run, short pass, middle pass, and long pass. The A.I. Difficulty settings remain the same as the options in Madden NFL 10, making fans feel right at home. The simplified control system is meant to make this a pick up and play type of game that anyone can enjoy. There are also Leaderboards for those who decide to play online and check their ranking among others.
Madden NFL Arcade has several flaws that keep it from being a game worthy of the Madden brand. The graphics are on par with games from the previous generation of consoles with character models that look all too similar and lack fluidity while moving. While the gamechangers add fun to the game, there is no way of knowing when or if you will receive one. It would be helpful to have a system in place that would allow you to build up gamechangers based upon how well you execute on each individual play. There also are no roster updates, which can easily frustrate diehard fans if an important player is traded to another team. There are no season, franchise, or tournament modes, which only diminish the chances of this game ever having a high replayability value.
Among all these nagging issues, the most insulting thing about this game is its $15 price point. It’s no secret that one of the biggest criticisms about Madden 10 was EA Sports focus on using microtransactions to unlock other gameplay features. As a consumer you have the ability to buy whatever game or add-on you like, but for a Madden game the expectations should be higher. Being that there is no competition from other NFL sports games, EA Sports should strive to deliver a full package from day one. Had Arcade been included as part of the Madden 10 package then the missing features wouldn’t have been such a big deal.
Madden NFL Arcade is a fun, but forgettable title that’s lack of features easily make it one of the worst packages to buy. While the simple ability to pick up and play is appealing, it’s hard to justify paying $15 bucks for this when you could purchase any of the more creative independent games on Xbox live instead. If your one of the few who hasn’t bought a football game and are thinking about purchasing this, I would highly suggest you pick up Madden NFL 10. Otherwise playing Madden NFL Arcade would make you an easy target to tackle on any and every given Sunday.
This review was based on a retail download copy of the game for the Xbox 360 provided by EA Sports.