Monday, August 01, 2005


Thought I'd take a few to post some general impressions to date. Overall, the game has a smooth feel to it like the last 2 Madden's have had, and it almost appears as if you're playing with the offensive capability of '04 along with the defensive ability of '05 - so actually a really good mix.

First know - I'm not that great at Madden, and it pains me to say so. I recorded roughly 8 online games last year, 2 offline games, some practice mode and a whole lot of trivia (loved that trivia option). In '04 I played a franchise some 30 games or so along with a few games of online, so I'm basically far from the judge on how the game is. That said, I played online last night and I was ready to use this thing as a coaster - I mean, I suck.

I ran the ball with moderate success, I mean I think I put down some 60+ yards/game in the 3 games I played against the 49ers, but I couldn't flat out pass for shit. Carson Palmer has a fairly small vision cone, and when the blitz would come in pretty quick I had a lot of problems progressing WR's. I'd always fixate my vision cone on a WR prior to the snap, and the MM guy I was playing would almost certainly shade that WR. By the time I'd look to where perhaps his assignment was or spot an open man, it was like I didn't have time to switch my cone to him cause by that time the rush had broken free and I was picking grass out of my helmet. I don't by any means think I hold onto the ball excessively, it was just really quick and will definitely take some practice to get used to.

It's a really cool addition and I'm guessing I'm not running it 100% correctly either. I'm yet to read the instructions what with me being a guy and all, so I'm sure I haven't quite found the best possible way to do it. Rich Eisen meets you at the beginning of the game to explain this feature to you, apparently next time I need to listen to what he has to say and actually perhaps get better at the game.

And the Bengals oughta be pretty good this year, lot of weapons on offense and Chris Henry certainly received some love. We think he's going to be pretty big in Cincinnati, and after my few days with the game I think he's going to be noticeable part of the offense in that as well.

Like I said running the ball was pretty good (actually I said it was "moderate" but I meant "good"). Rudi Johnson received a rating of 90 this year and rightfully so, and as such I was able to mount up behind my massive offensive line and move the ball. FB Jeremi Johnson is a tank this year and he reflects it on the field, seemingly always falling forward in short yardage situations and laying out some devastating blocks amongst the front 7 of the defense. However, unlike NCAA I wasn't able to ride this philosophy all the way to the end zone, as I think I only scored 2 TD's - a 76-yard PA pass to Johnson and an 82-yard pass to Warrick over the middle to where he hurdled the SS to sprint to the end zone. It sounds like shades of NCAA with the long passes, but believe me they were certainly honest and the pass to Johnson saw him beat his man by at least 4 steps - it wasn't even close.

Trying to think what else I have. Hmm...

I've done 2 years worth of drafting on Madden via the NCAA draft classes, posted the results in a thread here, and I'm going to do a few more projects related to that. I'm somewhat curious as to where Race For the Heisman players end up, I wanna know where Teddy Ginn gets drafted and I'm going to check on the Madden generated draft for ratings and anomalies. Right now, it appears as if there's quite a few "wtf" picks by the AI in the Madden, like the Falcons drafting a RB in the first round 2 years in a row or the Packers taking a LB to be buried 4 deep in that OLB trio. I think the true sims will again take control of the teams and draft for them, but overall with free agency and the draft I think teams look out for their better interests fairly well.


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