|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2||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. 14, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
May 16, 2009 - Tiburon and EA are working hard on Madden NFL 10, trying to make this version the best yet across every major platform. Unlike most years, Madden NFL 10 will bring with it a host of important upgrades that should be game changing. Whether you plan on picking the title up for the tested PS2, the next-gen juggernauts, or the family-friendly Wii, Tiburon may surprise you with just how different this year will play.
As we all know, EA has been making a big push on the Wii as of late. Also, EA SPORTS has always treated the console with due respect, developing its titles specifically for it. After fumbling about just a bit in its first couple attempts, the developers may finally have the ideal version of the game for Nintendo's console. This year, a lot of attention has been paid to menu navigation, control schemes, and the visual presentation. For starters, players will be treated to a point-and-click interface that Tiburon feels is simply outstanding due to its precision and simplicity of organization.
Additionally, while familiar Wii controls will still be included, new, more intuitive schemes have been incorporated to greatly increase the game's appeal both to seasoned players and casual users. For instance, feints, juke moves, big hits, and receptions have all been refined to do away with overly dramatic movements of the past. This should make the game more accessible to core and first-time Madden players.
Also, the D-pad and throw mechanic for QBs has been put on the back burner. Now, the default passing controls make use of the Wii Remote's IR camera. This time around, players simply need to point at their desired receiver and tap or hold the A button depending on whether they want to lob or zip the ball in. According to the game's producers, this new mechanic makes it far easier for players to hit their receivers before the pocket crumbles around them. Again, this should make the experience better for both veteran and novice gamers.
Furthermore, rather than just aping a PS2-like presentation, the Wii version of Madden NFL 10 has been totally revamped visually. The new art style is cartoonish-looking, however, it not only fits the console, it also makes it incredibly easy for users to recognize for what tasks their players are best-suited. That way, even truly neophyte sports gamers will be able to pick up on the nuanced positional play of American football.
Finally, Wii owners can look forward to a host of online and local multiplayer features. Online support, like last year, will focus on head-to-head matches and have leaderboard and stat tracking. At home, a host of party-like mini-games as well as classic head-to-head and cooperative modes will be included to make Madden NFL 10 a game for a wide array of friends and family eager to spend a few hours hooting and hollering in the living room.
The development team for Madden NFL 10 seems downright giddy about the quality of their football offering. Certainly they've gone above and beyond trying to make it a completely fresh and refined experience. Of course, we'll have to wait until we get our hands on the title before making a final judgment, but we are nonetheless encouraged by what we've seen so far. Check back for our hands-on impressions during E3 2009, and then again for the final review when it launches on August 14th.
CCC Editor / News Director