Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Smells Like Turducken

Megadrive is the way to go

I miss the days of the NFL2k/Madden rivalry -- two great football games that raced neck and neck to provide the best football product available. Madden would allow fantasy drafting, 2K would allow online fantasy drafting...etc. Then Madden bought the NFL for a limited license. Madden stopped innovating (tell me the difference between 2006-2008), and left all of us hoping that at the end of the licensing deal things would go back to normal.

Alas, it is not to be.

Madden and Electronic Arts just re-upped to extend the agreement into 2013, ultimately sealing the fate of football for the next five years. If you don't get the problem here, I'll help you out:

Without competition, EA is free to do what they've been doing with the Madden franchise -- polish the graphics, add some animations, update the roster and ship it. No gameplay changes (other than the occasional quirk), and nothing monumental. Madden is a simulator, and a very entertaining one at that. I understand the "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" approach, but what about the rest of us who would rather play NFL Blitz or NFL2k for a different challenge? Nada. With the NFL exclusivity locked into place, ONLY Madden gets to use the real NFL teams and players (which explained the "All-Pro Football" 2K game last year). Maybe I don't WANT to play a game where I need to give hot routes to my offensive linemen -- I just want to use the Bears.

It's really a shame, because so many games are great because of how they interpret the sport. How many people remember running amok as "Tecmo Bo" in Tecmo Bowl? What about the Madden ambulance driving onto the field for an injury in the old days (classic)? No more. Sure, we could still have a unique game with fake teams (Like "Super Hi Impact," back in the day) but there's something to be said for playing with your hometown squad and dominating.

The upside is that at least, hey, Madden is a solid game. Imagine if Madden was crap and was the only NFL game available. Yeah, you'd still probably buy it (EA knows this, by the way), but that doesn't mean it's OK. 2K tried this last year with MLB 2k6, and that didn't go over so well (this year we have MLB '08: The Show and MLB 2k8). Even still, at least baseball will have innovation -- I've never loved being a pitcher so much as I did in MLB 2k7.

There is one thing they got right, though: Madden says Devin Hester is a perfect "100" for speed.

It's a simulator, after all.

1 comment:

Josh said...

MLB 06 and 07 the show have all been the best games. 2k sucks. Screw ea for being lame