Teen Game Review: “Madden 17” Xbox One

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Football season is just around the corner, my favorite time of year! Obviously with that means, well, soccer (also football, for any non-US folks out there) is already here, baseball is getting towards the post season, and that means more and more sports games for us! The first on the checklist is Madden 17, of course, by Electronic Arts (everyone probably knows this better as EA). With, I cannot count with my fingers and toes how many games they’ve made over the years, with Madden being center stage for quite a while now. It’s always up there with games that the majority of people look forward to, or, well don’t look forward to maybe. That’s difficult to word, but with games like Madden, there’s always gonna be controversy no matter what they do or don’t do. It’s nobody’s fault really, just the nature of things. “Is it the same as last year?,” is usually the first question people ask and I would use my appropriate response: “Nyes” (a combination of no and yes, for anyone confused, which was probably everyone including myself). It’s so difficult to judge if a game is different or isn’t, especially with a product that’s been out there for longer than I’ve been on Earth. So, I mean here I am to tell you how I’ve seen it so far myself.

2nd

Gameplay has gotta be first. Of course with Madden and…..uh…..practically every other game out there, gameplay is magnificently important, too important for me to put into words. How does it shape up to last year? So far, I think it’s noticeably better than last year for sure. I’ll get into graphics a little here in a bit, same as the soundtrack, but the graphics you can tell are even better than last year. It would be hard for me NOT to say that the graphics are the best I’ve ever seen them, and I think I’ve said that in the past few years. They’ve done an outstanding job in that department. It honestly feels like you’re watching your team’s duke it out on Sunday night. Back to what I was saying though, the gameplay feels smooth. The speed now isn’t as insane as it once was, wasn’t INSANE last year even, but when players that usually would’ve had 99 speed, have 94 or 95 instead, it feels a little better to me. It’s not as silly with that kind of stuff. Yes, it’s a game, but I personally always want the most realistic experience there. My expectations are usually high on that as well. The major complaint is online. You can run a couple or so plays over and over and over and you don’t get punished for it, it works if you know how to make it so that it works. Yes, I realize some games are like this. Call of Duty = People use a couple of guns and Fifa = People run the same formations and do cheap tactics to abuse the games’ mechanics. It’s the same here, and it sucks that games are like that. Obviously, with so many people playing, it couldn’t be perfect, it wouldn’t be possible. Somebody, somewhere, would find some cheap thing to do, they always would. It’s pretty lame though that I can sit back, I’m not amazing at football or anything, but sit back, choose a good assortment of plays that I would think work for this situation, and I lose to a guy who ran 4 different plays on defense the entire game and just ran the ball on offense. You can’t stop it sometimes. I don’t want to get accusatory or say they NEED to fix this right now, but it’s a major issue, especially concerning my enjoyment with the game overall, and everyone else’s enjoyment overall (except for the cheeser, of course).

Thankfully, however, offline is the best I’ve seen it since Madden 12 (my personal favorite Madden, still). I haven’t EVER, EVER, enjoyed playing against computer as much as I have on this game. I literally stopped playing franchise mode a couple of years ago because you’d either beat the computer by 40, or they’d squash you like a bug, and it didn’t matter what teams you chose really, or what settings you tried to conjure up. This year is a lot different. I haven’t tried many sliders yet (for those confused: sliders are the settings in that game so that, say, I want it so that the computer has a harder time throwing the ball. The base slider is 50, which is in between. 100 would be, perfect/wouldn’t ever miss, 0 would be “Uhhh have fun with that.”). I don’t know yet if you even HAVE to change sliders this year. In the past, you pretty much had to to enjoy playing against the CPU more. It’ll be interesting to see how I respond to myself in a month or so, maybe I’ll change my mind, but right now, it’s really fun. Like I mentioned against online people – same plays over and over again. That kind of junk doesn’t happen when you play computer, ever. It just doesn’t. Franchise mode is back, and I’m very happy about that. There’s also the ever-so-popular Ultimate Team, which is always uh, popular, especially with myself.

Bottom

Now the soundtrack, the soundtrack is for sure better this year. It’s not where a lot of people would like it to be, I cannot argue nor complain as I actually like a couple of the songs quite a bit. Honestly, I didn’t come into a Madden game anyways thinking, “Oh dang man, that soundtrack better be on FLEEEEEEEEEEEK!” See, I’m hip sometimes. It’s never really a concern of mine. Me sitting around listening to their music that they implement wasn’t ever at the top of my list. For some it might be, so I apologize if it isn’t to what you were hoping for. It isn’t amazing, but it sure isn’t terrible, or bad for that matter. The graphics are fantastic like I mentioned earlier, even though I flat out said I was going to mention them later, and then talk about them for like 3 sentences. Good job, me!

Overall wise, I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s better than last year. Is it incredible? I would say no. It’s very enjoyable on playing the computer end this year, which I’m very happy about. Online could be a lot better, especially with them STILL not having online team play back (3 people vs 3 people. It was awesome and they haven’t had it since Madden 12, I think. If not, Madden 13). The cheesy things you can do online make it almost unplayable at times. It’s nearly impossible to stop it unless you were aware of how to stop it miles away from knowing it was coming up, like you’re playing chess or something. The music is good, the gameplay is very fluid. The new running game system, which has been touted a lot, is pretty nice. Sometimes it’s a bit frustrating, like stopping a guy for less than 10 yards on 5 carries, and then he breaks 4 tackles and stiff arms another one for a 70 yard TD. I shouldn’t complain with that, seeing as I had a 95 yard run in my 5th game I played. I gotta say though, I enjoy playing it quite a bit. I’m glad I can take over a franchise and have fun with that again. I’m glad MUT is still playable and fun to mess around with, while bragging to my friends of course. A great football game once again. Could it be better? Of course, but this isn’t that far off from “better,” if you catch my drift. It’s pretty hard to make it any more amazing than it is, especially visually.

8.8

Visuals

9.5/10

Music/Sound Effects

8.5/10

Gameplay

9.0/10

Replay Value

9.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Fluid gameplay makes for a wonderful experience.
  • Stunning visuals make it that much more realistic.
  • A good soundtrack.
  • MUT and franchise mode are a better choice than online.

Cons

  • MUT and franchise mode are a better choice than online. I don't know whether this is good or bad still.
  • Could have better ways to stop people from abusing certain plays so much.
  • Needs online team play back, in some sort of form.

Clayton Crooks III

Clayton Crooks III (aka Ghost) is a regular contributor to the game section of Dis411. He enjoys watching his favorite teams (Lakers, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins and TN Volunteers), playing video games, traveling to Walt Disney World and playing with his two cats: Cassie and Sylvester.

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