Published on April 1st, 2011 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Madden NFL Football Review
Release: March 27th, 2011
MSRP: U.S. 39.99
While there is nothing new about Madden coming to a handheld device, there is something new about it coming to a handheld device in 3D. Madden NFL Football hit shelves on launch day for the Nintendo 3DS, but little was known about the games intentions. Questions like : “Who is going to be on the cover? “ “Will it be ready for online play?” And not to forget, “What modes are going to be available?” While EA-North Carolina it did quite a few things right, the answer to a few of these questions may not be the most comforting when it comes to making the Super Bowl journey with your favorite team.
Simply having the game on the Nintendo3DS gives the game immediate depth. While switching back and forth a few times to compare gameplay, it was easy to see why the game could do so well on this console. The field was actually something you could run down. The players on the defensive side of the ball genuinely look the distance and part. Not to mention that the quality of the graphics has increased to support something along the lines of the Wii or PlayStation2. Other representations you can find are things like taking the journey for a season to the Super Bowl.
Players can access this mode and endeavor down that grueling path to lead their team to Super Bowl XLV. This is also the first indication that we get on the generally fitted year and title that are aesthetics to the Madden genre. Also, Spotlight Moments make their return to continue to highlight big moves on the field and look great in 3D. Other modes include the single player, which can take the form of 11-on-11 or 5–on-5, and include the previous introduction of Gameflow. For those who are not familiar, Gameflow offers play calling based on the situation that is chose for the player in order to keep the game moving at a faster pace. The outcome is faster moving game, which makes it easier for not so die-hard fans, like myself, to complete a season at a decent pace.
Some other things that were noticeable in the Nintendo3DS version, were things like the stadiums structure. The screen and quality of the playing field drives authenticity and creates a fan oriented atmosphere. This is always one of the first, if not the first, things that are taken into consideration for sports games. “Okay, fans cheering and not just a cardboard piece of the stadium. Announcers sound great and provide meaningful and appropriate commentary. Players look the part. Good to go and ready for kick off!”
Bringing Madden to a console like the Nintendo3DS was probably considerably challenging. Not only was the team bringing the game to a next gen console, but it was also developed strictly for something that was meant to play in 3D all the time. With the game being made ready for launch date, it did show its premature colors in the final product.
One of the most noticeable areas caught my eye at the start up screen. Many of the familiar options are laid out and ready for the pickings. After scanning up and down a few times only one thought came to mind, “Where is the online mode?” This seemed like the most essential part of the handheld console from Nintendo that was supposed to be sporting promises for continous wireless connectivity. What exactly are we connecting to?
Another shortfall of this Madden title was in the general presentation of the game. Although there were noticeable improvements of the field design and fans, things like names on the backs of players’ jerseys were almost illegible. If it weren’t for the numbers, it would have left even the most keen sports fan to decipher each player.
Although the action is mostly occurring down wind, it took a few short moments here and there for my eyes to adjust to the screen. While this is not the first title played on the 3DS, it was the first that took some getting used to. The above portion of the screen holsters the score and time clock, while the bottom screen displays your players and play clock. At times my eyes were left adjusting to the top score and teams, but had trouble distinguishing the depth of players. It was almost as though it was in the way of the field and felt a little too close in the camera’s field of view.
Madden NFL Football has its moments. The game offers a totally new depth to the handheld sports genre, but does leave out a few important play calling decisions. The game also holds no multiplayer at the moment and does not include the franchise mode that was most noticeably included in the Nintendo Wii version of Madden 2011. The game is also missing key ingredients that would make it feel like it was actually completed and ready for launch. While you might want to check this out as a rental, this Madden didn’t quite make the roster of better Madden titles.
[xrr label=”Rating: 6/10″ rating=6/10]
+Visual Game Depth
+Call Your Shots/Spotlight Moment Represented