The lights are on
I have only really played the store demo not for re-sale edition of Madden 2012. This IS an upgrade from the demo available on xbox live as it allows full freedom of the exhibition mode(choose any team, play on any difficulty, play anywhere and quarter lengths of your choosing, etc). It was lacking a franchise section and the other modes of play.
That being said, one other thing I HOPE the demo was lacking which would be included in the final release was polish. Although from Kato's review... it sounds like that got left out too. I played as my Denver Broncos and then just played against a random team for a few minutes just to get a feel for the game. I played at home and changed the weather to heavy snow(love playing in snow and wanted to give the in game graphics engine a work out).
I only played about 3 minutes. The game looks ok in spurts... The uniforms look fairly clean and animations look solid per say. I did not play long enough to gauge the capability of the AI(O-line blocking, defensive pass coverage, WR awareness, etc). but I did play long enough to see bad tackling, bad special teams AI coverage, and also very bad graphics. I got towards the end zone and saw the "snow drifts" that EA was trying to pass off towards the start of the stands. The best way I could describe them would be to say this: wad up a piece of paper, take a picture of it and put that picture in your PC/laptop. Then take a picture from something(a picture of you and your family from the last family reunion for example), and cut and paste the wadded up piece of paper and put it somewhere in the background... and that is EA's sorry excuse for a snow drift. I immediately walked away in disgust. I didn't even finish my drive and score(from about the 10). If I had, I am sure I would have saw the snow drift disappear as the camera angle changed to show the 2D image disappear in a side view. I have never been so disappointed in a Madden release(not since the first release for the 360, which was Exhibition mode only for a full price game).
Unless all of the other AI mishaps that Kato mentioned are SERIOUSLY and QUICKLY corrected in a major content patch(which won't happen), my score will stay a 4 and Madden will go another year without being on my shelves(been Madden free since '08). NCAA's XBLA demo was rather unpolished as well, but the game was a major increase in performance from that and so I had hope this would be the same. I to this day cannot understand how the same company(yes different HQ's handle the games but... they have phones!) can release one football game and have it be fantastic year in and year out.. then a month later release something that 5 college dudes could have made over winter break. Combined with Kato's described experience and my own few minutes of play(as well as a handful of demo games on XBLA) this game sounds like yet another lackluster performance from EA's NFL monopoly. Can the contract end any sooner? We are waiting in the wings 2kSports! Waiting in the wings!
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