Madden 13 Wii U Impressions - Madden NFL 13 - Wii U -
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Madden NFL 13

Madden 13 Wii U Impressions

Nintendo's next-gen console is here, but how does Madden NFL 13 on the system stack up to those on the current platforms?

The fact that the Wii U released with games that were already released is a good and a bad thing. It's good that the system is supported out of the gate with marquee titles like Madden NFL 13, Mass Effect 3, and Batman: Arkham City. However, that's little solace if you've already played these titles.

The Wii U version of Madden 13 does has some exclusive features, but also drops some of those in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 editions. Nintendo console owners finally get a full fledged football game that doesn't use finicky motion controls, but this game doesn't stack up to those versions on the other systems.


Selecting plays on the GamePad is attractive, but it isn't any more beneficial than the normal method. Its biggest – and perhaps only – advantage is the hot route creator, which lets you draw in routes on the GamePad for receivers while you're at the line of scrimmage. In my experience, the routes transfered pretty well into the game, with receivers following – for good or bad – what I had drawn. On defense, this translates into being able to set up specific coverages for your players, such as blitzing or dropping back into coverage.

Other than designing custom hot routes on the fly, the GamePad features three GameFlow suggestions, the option to call a timeout (you can also call one by hitting the select button), all the plays you've set up in your gameplan, and a full playbook. The GamePad only offers three GameFlow plays, while the other console editions let you cycle through more. Perusing through the full playbook or making substitutions can drain the play clock quickly, and a slight lag can slow you down even further, so beware taking a delay of game penalty. If you are always pressed for time, perhaps the best option is to go into the settings and select the conventional playcall style in the game options menu. This disables GameFlow and drops you right into the formation menu when calling plays.

Other GamePad particulars include the ability to call audibles and SuperSim plays from the screen. Formation, coverage, and line shifts must still be done with the traditional onscreen menu.  I wish that EA Tiburon used the larger GamePad screen to present relevant info about the GameFlow plays other than just the play names, such as which formation they're from.

You can put the GamePad into Detached Mode, which allows you to play the full game just on the GamePad, but this must be done before a game starts. Madden NFL 13 supports the use of only one GamePad, although you can play head-to-head online with another person using a GamePad. The non-GamePad players in a local multiplayer session have to make due with using either a Pro Controller or the traditional Wii motion controller/nunchuk setup. This latter configuration does not use motion controls.


Many gamers might find the GamePad alluring, but don't forget that this version of the game is also missing some key features. Immediately noticeable is that the gameplay does not utilize EA Tiburon's Infinity physics engine, which is included in the PS3 and Xbox 360 editions. Although the engine on those platforms still needs work, the fact it isn't here means that the title on Wii U feels like Madden NFL 12. The Ultimate Team and Online Team Play features are also missing, although Connected Careers and online franchises remain.

When playing the game, you'll also notice that the graphics are decent, but they lack the high sheen of the other systems. Unfortunately, the frame rate is simply bad.

Finally, various online amenities such as text chat and the ability to send game invites to friends who aren't playing the game at that exact moment are missing. These omissions put the system behind the competition in Wii U's already lagging online feature set.

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  • This sounds exactly like what happened when the first Madden game released for the 360 couldn't hold up to the other versions.
  • Well that sucks for the five hardcore fans that are playing it on Nintendo platforms
  • I bought a Wii U for my son at Best Buy the first day they came out. It is his first set-top console. He loves it. But it seems as if the general consensus that I'm hearing around the Internet is that the U in Wii U stands for underpowered.
  • drawing the hot routes sounds cool, but im not going to buy madden twice in one year (already have the ps3 version).  madden needs to let us create custom plays and playbooks

  • Good job.

  • I don't see the sense in porting the game when such an important part of the engine had to be excluded. It basically sounds like Madden 12 with touch screen controls.
  • More and more evidence that Nintendo released a new cash grab console for $350 that is underpowered with slow ram. Hate me all you want Nintendo fanboys but the writing is on the wall. It's criminal what Nintendo is doing! When the PS4/X720 are 5 years old Nintendo will release another new console that's just catching up with the PS4/X720. I know Mario, Zelda and Metroid are great but when are you going to stop drinking the Nintedo Cool-Aid? Hate seeing gamers getting taken to the wood shed!
  • Thats what I've been worried about with the Wii U. Having a few exclusives that are fun is one thing but if you can't have the edge on other consoles in multiplatform games... Not only did you not really put out a next gen console, but it's not something I would want to get. But it's still super early in the life, hopefully they can catch up and fix things like this before it becomes the reputation of the system
  • It isn't looking good for the ole Wii U, but I'm keeping my hopes up.
  • This sounds like the typical rigmarole for a new console launch. Several ports of last-gen games, not always coming off stronger. Nothing to get your panties in a bind all stuffed up your craw. Anyone who knows video games knows this is pretty much standard. The Xbox 360 launch ports faced similar issues--reviewing weaker than their PS2 counterparts. It takes time for developers to break in new systems and get to know them. The best (fastest, cheapest, easiest) way to test the waters is to take what's already done, and move it over to the new platform.
  • oh, this is informative.
  • This is unbelievable to hear the mouths of babes dissing a week old system. As a former software developer, I can assure you that Nintendo's development kits have just barely came out of beta and none of the tools have had time to be optimized. The initial run of PS3 and XBOX 360 titles were woefully under-performing and basically looked like crap. By this time next year, the development kits will have matured and developers will have a handle on the system.

    Just wait people.. The killer games are coming.. and SMBWU is a decent start... Don't shoot the horse before the race starts..

  • @RezidentHazard (rides again) I get it, you love Nintendo. Get over yourself! Just because you love Nintendo doesn't mean Nintendo hasn't made serious mistakes with the WiiU. No amount of posturing from you is going to change the fact that Nintendo bailed on the Wii to only sell a non-next gen console for $350! The Wii sales were stagnant so they had to do something. We'll release a console that is a little better in some areas and poor in others for $350. We will once again gimmick the crap out of our single touch tablet controller to trick gamers into buying our new console. Enjoy your controller that last 2-3 hours before you have to plug it in. Enjoy the freezing. Enjoy the underpowered process and slow ram that is preventing developers from making certain PS3/X360 games for the WiiU. You spent $350 and you now feel compelled to justify your purchase. Good luck drinking that cool-aid. The Wii should have been what the WiiU is now! You made a mistake and now you have to live with it. Nice sound research and purchasing decision.....NOT!
  • I thought the Wii U was supposed to be a next-gen system. How are they not able to implement basic features?
  • That is really lame you can't use a 2nd legit gamepad when playing local multiplayer, as that would have been a great way to hide plays, how lame.

  • That is really lame you can't use a 2nd legit gamepad when playing local multiplayer, as that would have been a great way to hide plays, how lame.
  • Too bad.

  • its too early to judge nintendo...they're evolution of gaming is always first-to-none, but if this is a next-gen system, why is the online for the Wii U almost non-existent?  if you're going to compete nintendo, the online service should've been the second item on the list to complete behind the tablet and hd graphics...its still too early, but come on nintendo, step your game up...

  • It's a shame that some folks want to trash Nintendo within just one week. You know what's destroying gaming one word "FANBOYS".  Look you can't trash a system in one week when most companies are just starting to work with the Dev kits. The system wether you fanboys want to believe it or not is next-generation. Right now its not being used to its potential. No system ever gets used to its full potential when its released. I been gaming since Atari and watching every system come out all these years they all follow the same pattern. System comes out with ports because companies want to make money off the hot new system. Year 2 games start to look like companies actually put work into them cause the system now has a foothold in the market. It's always gonna be this way. It's the business side of gaming which. Causes system launch games to look like current generation. So to you Fanboys please educated yourself before you come on here trash talking because it makes you sound stupid to troll and rant because you gave your heart to a system instead of a woman or man.

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