Madden NFL 09: All-Play Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PS2 | PSP
Madden NFL 09: All-Play box art
System: X360, PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Tiburon 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 12, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Madden 2009 All-Play marks the 20th year of Madden NFL games and the third installment of Madden Football on the Wii, culminating into what is the longest running, sports video game series. All-Play 2009 is a solid addition to the series and takes the gameplay features from the traditional aspect and couples them with an updated party play in what turns out to be a very good game. However, it's seen somewhat less of an improvement than what was hoped for.

Madden NFL 09: All-Play screenshot

First and foremost, the new All-Play builds on the 2007 and 2008 releases for Madden Wii and grows in many areas, though there are definitely places where the game is still lacking. The gameplay is much more enveloping and hard hits definitely look and feel a lot better, but the interface remains almost entirely the same. Franchise and Superstar mode are almost untouched from '07 and '08, which is very disappointing to say the least. Players that traditionally have gone through the game for an in-depth and hardcore gaming experience likely won't find this game to be up to par. It's definitely getting closer in some areas, but the lack of improvements is a major setback.

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The plus side is there definitely are some improvements. In-game features, such as the All-Play controls scheme, are a lot of fun, easy to pick up on, and optional (in case traditional play calling is a bit too much of a stretch for you). The game is definitely much better with a Nunchuk, but if that's not an option, the controller-only layout is still easily used. With the single controller, running direction is controlled by the A.I., but alternative moves such as spins, jukes, and stiff arms are all controlled by the computer, which works out great for the casual player or someone who hasn't had much experience with the Madden franchise. The major issue with using a controller with no Nunchuk is the occasional goof by the A.I. There were a few instances where players would careen out of the way to run out of bounds just before scoring a touchdown.

Madden NFL 09: All-Play screenshot

The real fun of the game comes in the new 5-on-5 mode. This mode casts franchise teams in a very Wii-like game environment, with over sized heads, bright colors, and, overall, a more cartoon-like look of things. This is where most of your time playing through games will likely be spent instead of the traditional gameplay. 5-on-5 mode is much better than the 2-on-2 from the previous years' releases. It's easy to get carried away with the backyard-style football and, the best part is, even players with no football game experience will pick-up on the play-style very quickly and easily. The only issue is when an opponent figures out there are no penalties called and destroys a receiver twenty yards before the ball even gets there in an almost NFL Blitz way.

Madden NFL 09: All-Play screenshot

Screenshots / Images
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