Some thoughts on Madden NFL 2004

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Damien, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. Damien

    Damien Supporting Actor

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    I haven't played nearly enough to really, but here are some really first impressions...

    The first thing you'll be asked to do after the intro is select your favorite team. This does the exact same thing as in NCAA where it converts the menu screens into the team you picked colors. The menu's are even cleaner than last years game as well, there is no confusion in navigation or anything. The EA sports Extra's shows off every EA sports title being released(small trailers), and also features the annual madden bowl video. Madden 101 has Melissa Stark introducing a topic, then AL takes over and explains it. It's just like NCAA, but here is my first gripe with the game. Al Michels is too professional and at sometimes sounds dead and you can almost predict what he's going to say next. This applies for the tutorial video's as well as the in-game commentary, which he does a sound job in but shows very little enthusiasm. The lack of the emotion from NCAA is defenitely a downgrade, minor but noticable to me. Madden doesn't sound bad, but it could be better than it is. I'll just say you can tell that they spend a lot less time in the booth versus sega's announcers. Speaking of sound, it also is a downgrade from NCAA. No build up of the crowd during open field gains, sparse stadium noise, and average player chat. In-game it sounds like a remix of last years game, and that isn't a good thing at all given all the time the sound designers had to work with. The soundtrack is a winner though, it is just as good as last years. I think it's played too much in the games...and no football anthems are on at all, a contrast to the games sim gameplay. The options aren't much different, but you do have the choice of an accelerated clock.

    Graphics - Some more details in player models...the big guys look different then the rb frame wise. The attempt to get up to ESPN by adding dreadlocks etc hanging out of the helmets is laughable though. Otherwise the game isn't much different then last year in this area. If you played NCAA, you won't find much to impress you. The intro's and overall atmosphere and cut-scenes are better in that game. I haven't noticed many animations at all that aren't present in NCAA besides gang tackles. The hits feel a little weak too. The stadiums look good, especially the lighting. But overall when compared to Sega's game in realism(player models/stadiums), and NCAA's flash, Madden is at the back of the pack. One ingenious thing I almost forgot is the playbook does show instant replays while choosing your play, that's really nice to have.

    Gameplay - It's enhanced a in a lot of little ways. Not changed, enhanced. I haven't spent a lot of time with playmaker to make any judgement, but it seems to be something that was carefully implemented and it can add a lot of strategy to the game online. The playbooks, just from 2 games, are totally revamped. You can sub packages from the play-call screen as well. Again people with the most football knowledge will be rewarded. The db's play a TON better and the blocking and special teams has been improved considerbly. The qb rush is also much more realistic. But don't be suprised to feel a little deja vu when you play it for the first time.

    Modes - Owner Mode looks stellar and probably is. This adds a lot of depth to franchise mode. It isn't just about setting prices for hot dogs, it's the real deal. If you were thinking about buying the game for this, go ahead and do so. Mini-camp is integrated into franchise, and trading players has been tweaked to make it more realistic.
    Online - haven't gone on yet(i will after I'm done writing this!)...saw online tournaments in the booklet.
    Mini-camp - same as last year
    features:
    ea bio tracks everything you do, very cool.
    Another note, no greatest games or trophy rooms from NCAA. I guess you can't have everything.
     
  2. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    What system version did you pick up? Assuming PS2 since you are talking about online at the end there...

    Anyone know how many blocks a full set of madden saved files takes up for GC and PS2?
     
  3. Damien

    Damien Supporting Actor

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  4. RudyN

    RudyN Supporting Actor

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    Looks like I won't be getting my copy until Thursday, but some early reports are claiming there is a glitch on the Xbox which will not allow you to import NCAA 2004 draft classes to Madden.
     
  5. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Someone pointed out recently to me that the players don't have much variety, ie Warrick Dunn really doesn't look dramatically different then Ricky Williams, as far as the player model goes. Sega seems to do a better job of this, has that been fixed in Madden? NCAA 2004, all the players really look the same, except for slightly pudgier lineman. They are all about the same height, which sucks.

    How about defensive playbooks? Is there just one, or does each team have their own defensive plays, and not formations they don't use? (Steelers shouldn't run a 4-3 for instance).

    I'll be picking up my copy this afternoon, just curious for now [​IMG]. I'm getting the PS2 version as well, for the online play. Tempted by the PC one, but PC games have no resale value on eBay.
     
  6. Mike Pattee

    Mike Pattee Second Unit

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    Hmm I hope that xbox glitch isn't in there since I was going to get madden today for xbox because I have NCAA for xbox. I was weighing online play vs roster importing and hard drive. I figure I'll get my online play from ESPN. But if I can't import I may just go ps2 for madden.
     
  7. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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    Hooray!

    My copy's coming from FedEx today. And I paid nothing extra for shipping.

    Oh, I just can't wait for Saturday...my new 61" Samsung DLP set is arriving. I'll be in widescreen football heaven.

    (then I'll have to get ESPN football for XBox to see 720p!)

    I'll post my impressions, being a former Sega-only purchaser.
     
  8. Damien

    Damien Supporting Actor

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  9. Eman_Ramos

    Eman_Ramos Stunt Coordinator

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    Quick thoughts:

    Graphically, this game is much better than last year's, IMHO.

    Gameplay-wise, not much has changed. But I like how you can audible your WR to run a slant route now. That's pretty cool.

    And...did they reuse the Cheerleader Cards from last year?? Unacceptable.
     
  10. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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  11. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    I just picked it up today for PS2 at best buy. They had a ton in stock. So now I get to sit here are read the manual until I get to play after work. I didn't pick up the network adapter yet. I'm not quite ready to lose to a bunch of 12 year olds yet.
     
  12. Chris Flynn

    Chris Flynn Second Unit

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    I bought the PS2 version yesterday, along with the PS2 Network Adapter.

    If anyone wants to give it a try online, let me know. I suck at it, and I don't have a headset mic thing, but I'd love to try it out online against some people.
     
  13. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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  14. Peter Manojlovich

    Peter Manojlovich Second Unit

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  15. RudyN

    RudyN Supporting Actor

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    http://www.maddenmania.com/forums/sh...&threadid=2344

     
  16. Andrew Grall

    Andrew Grall Supporting Actor

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    Wow! Maybe the new discs will be X-Box Live compatible!!!!


    Ok....

    Maybe not...
     
  17. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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  18. AndrewW

    AndrewW Stunt Coordinator

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    Could someone explain this 'playmaker' feature? What is it and what does it enhance? Also, does the new online seem to have got rid of the ability to cheat? Quit at the end etc....I think if you quit you lose..
     
  19. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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  20. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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    You can also use Playmaker when you're running to direct blockers in a certain direction. On defense, you can use it to change your coverage to pass or run coverage after the snap (though you only have 1 second to do it).

    There's a really good breakdown of these controls that you can view within the game.
     

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