A Tradition Like No Other

12 08 2008

Let’s play a guessing game on the importance of today’s date.  Here are your clues:

1.) It happens once a year in early to mid August. 

2.) It involves a couch, a controller, and presumably a lot of food.

3.) Lots of bosses in America are probably not happy, and are zeroed in on this date and have been since around 2000. 

4.) There is an icon involved, at least for sports nerds. Give up?  It’s the annual release of EA Sport’s John Madden Football video game! What started conceptually in 1989 for a then infant company has grown in drastic and somewhat ridiculous proportions.  The release of the John Madden football game is that big, ladies and gentlemen. Here are some of the details, for any and all interested:  1.) It is now available for a midnight purchase almost anywhere, following in the footsteps of other geek fests such as:  Star Wars movies, Harry Potter books, and casino openings.  (For the record, I purchased Madden this morning at exactly 12:09 am EST, and saw Star Wars: Episode III at it’s initial offering at my local theater in 2005.)  2.) There are country-wide tournaments that involve NFL, NBA, MLB, and probably not NHL players, 3.) It is the most popular video game franchise of all time, 4.) It’s anniversary, 20, is 5 times longer than the average marriage in America.  Some less-than refreshing statistics, to sociologists at least.  But, to truly appreciate this day, you must be apart of it, which i gladly was (much to the chagrin of my girlfriend).  So, without further ado, here’s my response and comments on this years installment of John Madden Football :

1.) Passing is way easier than last year.

2.) Running the ball is way harder.

3.) A cool, new feature called IQ that most will enjoy.

4.) Game play is truly amazing.  I mean, how do they top themselves every year?  Is there anything in pop culture nowadays that has an annual release and ALWAYS is better than the year before?  I say no.

5.) Reggie Brown is a mid-80’s WR.  As always, ratings are not up to my standards. Certain guys are over-rated, others under-rated.

6.) The line was longer this year than ever.  Seriously, do they have self-help books out yet?  MA (Madden Anonymous) meetings yet?  Tony Robbins should team up with Dr. Phil and look into this….

7.) Free food and drink this year again.  Again, better this year than last. Last year was .50 cent Lays originals and no drinks.  This year?  Combo’s and iced tea/soda.  A deadly combo (no pun intended) and just the right amount of carbs to get you to want to stay up all night and munch while playing Madden, followed by a pack of cigarettes and therapy because your first franchise took an ugly turn after you feel asleep on your unsuspecting dog. (Didn’t happen to me)

8.) Soundtrack is good from the Hip-Hop standpoint, as always, but suffers on the rock side.  A few nice songs, but mostly VERY hard metal. Good blend of college rock, though. {Side note: Video games, specifically Madden, constantly churn out great soundtracks.  Tell me you don’t have at least 2-3  video game soundtrack songs on your iPod.}

9.) Try playing me when I’m the Eagles and it’s a modest hour of the day. I dare you.





6 responses

12 08 2008
Michael DeLuca

Beat me to the punch on the review. I’ll just add my quick two cents before I get back to gaming…

Rating not up to standards – I’ve got to agree here. Seems like there’s a whole lot of 3rd and fourth receivers in the high 70’s. Might be good for competitive balance, but I prefer having big discrepencies in team and player skill levels.

Passing – I’ve always had a problem with not being ables to see your receivers running routes. It’s finally been fixed and it makes the game so much better.

Running – Definately seems more difficult. The lead blocking is also pretty tricky, I just keep running past everyone.

Graphics – The graphics are pretty sick. There’s some nice new animations and the self-controlled celebrations are kinda neat.

12 08 2008
Michael DeLuca

The backtrack feature is just nuts! it breaks down your play, shows where you made a mistake and then points out the open receiver. Should help to improve your gameplay, plus the graphics and analysis during the backtrack are just sick.

12 08 2008

Writers Note : They have a new feature that may help avoid the controllor hurl that most guys do now a days: The rewind feature after plays. You can choose to have 1, 3, 5, or unlimited in every game. The rewind feature essentially allows for a “mulligan.” Depending how ethical of a video gamer you are (or how anal) this feature will save a lot of guys a minimum of $35 bucks a year on the standard replacement controllor fee after you wing it at the TV when your corner blows coverage or your slow, beat up QB takes a huge sack.

12 08 2008
Michael DeLuca

That’s just a built in cheat to me. If it’s not part of real football…I don’t want it in the game.

As I continue to play, I’ll be adding a couple more thoughts…my current one…it’s really pissing me off that the kicker is the first guy down the field every time I kick off. He should just hang back and be the last guy to beat.

12 08 2008
Michael DeLuca

Field Goal Game is a lot more difficult as the long ones are much more difficult. It’s also very annoying that the commentator says it’s got the distance just before it falls short each time.

15 08 2008
Michael DeLuca

OK, so I just laid a vicious hot on some dude with Dawkins and he got up and did the B. Dawk bicep flex! Is he the only guy in the game who does this or was it just coincedence? If so, gotta love signature celebrations!

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