The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
This game is a tale of two bastardizations. In trying to satisfy both casual fans and those who want more depth, Madden NFL 10 for Wii tries to serve two masters. In the end I don’t think it achieves either goal.
At its most casual, Madden becomes unsatisfying when you can’t get a play you want or if throwing only to the hot route receiver is the wrong read for your QB. The latter is dangerous as it basically treats you like a rookie QB locking on to a single receiver, ignoring the rest of the field. This can quickly become a pick six if you’re not careful.
As you move up the difficulty ladder and add more layers to the game, you are basically jumping through more and more frustrating hoops to get access to gameplay features that are available to you more readily on the other versions of Madden. Wading through the advance play and pre-snap menus can cost you a delay of game, and not only are those pre-play options skeletal, the interface doesn’t accommodate for quick adjustments – particularly on defense. Add in the difficulty passing the ball the game presents in terms of both selecting a receiver and accuracy, and it’s going to be a long afternoon.
De-emphasizing the Superstar and Franchise modes from last year (they are unlockable via code), this game’s focus is on offering more multiplayer and co-op options. These include being able to play with invisibility, fast feet, lots of fumbles, and more. You can also wager showdown points before games and generate minigames during dramatic moments. I appreciate the spirit of these modes, but no matter how you shake things up, I just don’t think the gameplay can support this title.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
I don’t envy the developers of Madden NFL Wii. While EA’s NBA Live and NHL franchises get a pass from making inferior ports for Nintendo’s eccentric console, EA Tiburon must figure out a way to fit a square peg into a round hole. Their solution? Dumb down the standard Madden gameplay to a pick-up-and-play level, bury pre-snap controls and playbooks under the guise of providing easily intimidated users a clean interface, and dress the game up in a misguided “I’m on a Wii!” cartoon art style that betrays the best qualities of the sport, much like the Saturday morning cartoon ProStars starring Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Bo Jackson did in the ‘90s. Hiding the franchise and superstar modes with codes in favor of highlighting minigames also feels like a step in the wrong direction. While younger gamers may be content with this kiddie approach, many die-hard football fans who own the Wii are clamoring for a legit football experience, not a condescending collection of punt, pass, and kick minigames.