|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP||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: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Depending on how you want to look at this, it's a positive or a negative. On the one hand, it's a fun way to change the pace and get everybody involved in every play. On the other, you're not really playing football anymore once these are turned on. This could be exactly what you want, to take a break from the average game, but once you have to plan for three consecutive fumbles, or turn on "it's alive" (where every tipped ball and dropped pass is a live ball), you have to play the game in an entirely different way. It's more intense and more involved for casual football fans, but don't bring any old strategies, because they're not welcome.
The controls have been stripped down a lot from previous installments, and it works to the game's benefit. Whereas in past games some complained that there were too many moves to remember and most just ended up flailing wildly, Madden 10 simplifies the motion commands down to the motions that actually feel like you're doing them (e.g. flick the Wii Remote down to try to swat a pass out of the air).
In terms of gameplay, there's a lot that's new and exciting. Foremost is the addition of the Call Your Shots feature on defense. It works really well, and with only two clicks you can manually reroute any defensive player to play any role you choose. You can change his path from blitz to zone defense with just a point and click. It works great in practice and adds a nice amount of strategic depth to a game that sorely needed it.
The best addition to the package, though, is undoubtedly having a 5-on-5 mode available in most game types. Let's face it, 11-on-11 football is pretty confusing, and there's a whole lot going on. It sort of defeats the purpose of scaling things down for the casual player if they can't understand what's going on. So, for the casual fans, 5-on-5 has been added, and it's by far the best way to play with a group of friends. Not only is it an easier and more exciting game to play, but each one of you gets to make a difference in the outcome of each play, rather than playing as the defensive end who gets two sacks a game on dozens of attempts.
Determining whether or not Madden 10 Wii is worth your money essentially comes down to a simple question of what you're looking for in a game. If you're a football fan who loves simulation and fine-tuning his team to strategic perfection, you're going to want to stick with the tried and true Madden formula on 360 or PS3. If you're looking for a fun game to play with some friends who aren't really all that interested in football or are relatively new to football, then Madden Wii is a good buy.
CCC Freelance Writer