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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Tiburon

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

August 14, 2009

 

 

‑ Mini-games and unlockables offer a variety of gameplay options much different than the usual hardcore Madden experience

‑ Completely rebuilt and redesigned graphics and gameplay are the best ever on the Wii, although new player models should have been level on the sideline

 

 

‑ Even with the Wii being incapable of the same high-end graphical performance of the Xbox 360 and PS3, bigheaded, small-bodied and cartoonish player visuals reminiscent of NFL Blitz are completely unappealing and frankly downright ugly

‑ While obviously trying to make it easy for even the very young and less-experienced, non-traditional (i.e., grandpa and grandma) gamers to play, All Play controls are just way too easy – a blind monkey could score touchdowns

 

 

Review: Madden NFL 08 (Wii)

Review: NCAA Football 08 (Wii)

Review: NHL 09 (360)

 

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Madden NFL 10

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

Madden players are a hardcore bunch of fanatical football gamers, devoting themselves in almost cult-like fashion to learning the intricacies and nuances of the newest rendition of the biggest-selling sports videogame franchise ever that comes each and every August. The Maddenites take their football gaming very seriously, especially on the Xbox 360 and PS3, all in the desire to achieve football videogaming glory.

 

madden nfl 10          madden nfl 10
 

On the Wii, however, “hardcore” and “Madden gamer” is an oxymoron combo. Yeah, we all know that there are Wii gamers that want to play NFL football on their console, too. But by its very nature the Wii is a family-friendly gaming machine. That casualness of the Wii gaming philosophy and catalog is addressed by

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Electronic Arts with the most assuredly not hardcore Wii version of Madden NFL 10 that is a completely and totally different Madden game than its Xbox 360-PS3 brethren.

Right from the start, gamers will be completely aware that the Wii version of Madden isn’t as hardcore as the Xbox360/PS3 Madden. Realizing that the Wii

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can’t handle the intricacy of the next-generation, high-resolution graphical appearance present on the Xbox 360 and PS3, EA has gone the complete opposite. Instead of realistic-looking player models, Wii Madden NFL 10 features cartoony, exaggerated player representations, right out of NFL Blitz, with bigheaded, small-bodied players that – for anybody expecting high-definition and realistic Xbox 360/PS3-quality visuals – will be completely unappealing and downright bizarrely ugly. To be fair, EA has put in a lot of work into upgrading the animations that do get tediously repetitive along with more detailed NFL stadiums and playing environments than in previous Wii Maddens.

Controls are the most obvious giveaway that this is certainly not a hardcore NFL videogame experience. The All Play controls are so ridiculously easy, that even a blind monkey could score touchdowns by simply pushing one button on the Wiimote. Of course, the controls can be upgraded to “Advanced” (closer to the Xbox 360/PS3 level), but that would defeat EA’s main purpose of providing a totally simple control schematic that will appeal to the typical casual (and oftentimes very young and/or inexperienced) Wii gamer.

 

madden nfl 10          madden nfl 10

 

How simple can the controls get? Simply point the Wiimote cursor at the receiver you want to toss the pigskin to and push the button. A completion on practically every pass is the result. Running is much harder trying to navigate using the Wiimote. Defensively, gamers are practically better off letting the in-game A.I. take over the tackling, because it’s near impossible to use the Wiimote on “D” to easily manipulate the player you want to at any given time. When you do gain control over a cornerback or safety, it’s way too easy to break up passes from the opposition.

Another feature that separates the Wii Madden is the heavy emphasis on mini-games, including a 5-on-5 mode that has each team out of the pads and in the shorts, a player look that really accentuates the exaggerated bobble-headed appearance of the player models. There is co-op gameplay that can be fun for families that are looking more for quality time than hardcore Madden action, and also an online mode.

With more emphasis on quick-hit, easy-to-play mini-games and casual-centric visuals with extremely basic controls, Madden NFL 10 on the Wii might as well be referred to as Madden Lite. However, while this offering would be totally unacceptable and inappropriate on either the Xbox 360 and the PS3, EA has smartly addressed the Wii marketplace and demographic with this game, and Wii gamers who want a casual bit of Madden that everybody in the family can play – from the youngest elementary school gamer up to grandpa without the hardcore aspect of the “grownup” version on the Xbox 360 and PS3.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(October 22, 2009)
 

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