Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Games I HATE - Vol. 2

Madden

I'm sorry, but I just don't get football games.

I just don't.

This has been an on-going problem ever since I started playing video games. I'd pop in the cartridge/disc, randomly select plays, and then try and run the ball from 87 yards back.

Every time.

As a sport, I can see the challenge of football. I can see the skill involved, the athleticism required. I can see that it is a difficult game with complex strategies.

As a video game...

I don't get it.

Every year, every single year, a new Madden game drops like a nuclear weapon and lays waste to the game sales charts. People line up for that shit.

And it's the same game every year.

Names change.

Occasionally jerseys change.

But it's the same freaking game.

They're not even subtle about it. They don't even try and hide the similarities from us. Hell, they practically revel in it.

And still, the Madden fans eat that shit up.

I'm sure there is a type of person that the Madden games are designed for. I'm sure there is a kind of person who these games speak to on a pseudo-spiritual level.

I'm sure I'm not that type of person.

The menu screens pop up with what I'm sure are very nicely drawn plays, patterns of lines and players, runs and passes. Lots of them, each with their own subtle intricacies and interactions.

I almost feel bad for picking them at random.

Somewhere, on a couch filled with loose change and crushed doritos, a noble football aficionado, a digital grid-iron gladiator sits pouring over those screens making life or death (or second down) choices wearing a tattered football jersey stained not with blood and sweat, but with dried nacho cheese. He deliberates over each choice as if he were actually competing to win a Superbowl ring instead of a few bits in a save file.

Not me.

I pick whichever screen looks like the one where I, the quarterback, run the ball towards their end of the field.

If I ever pass the ball, it means one of two things has happened:

1) I, in my infinite wisdom, have seen my play crumble around me and, as the opposing team rushes in to decapitate me, I throw the ball as one final hail Mary play

2) my finger slipped

I suck at football games.

There. I said it.

But I suck at them because I really don't see the value in getting better at it.

I'm sure I could scour websites and playbooks and slowly become a master of everything football. I could names plays and players. I could tell you who won the Heisman Trophy in 1998.

Ricky Williams, by the way.

I could do all of that.

But that sounds like a lot of freaking work.

I don't like work.

So no.

Madden is a very popular series. Madden is a staple amongst sports game players and practically a retail god.

Madden can kiss my ass.

14 Comments:

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Ricardo said...

I know what you mean Dave and its not just Madden games but pretty much all sports game.

Over here my brother is a big FIFA fan and shit, the game's barely any different from what it was 5 years ago.

Just slightly better graphics, slightly smarter AI but thats about it. It's the same game every time.

The fact that I'm not really a soccer fan doesn't makes it any more appealing to me...

 
At 10:46 PM, Blogger Leut said...

Only sports game I can tolerate is Wii Sports.

All other ones are just stupid.

(yep thats it. no sarcasm today)

 
At 11:21 PM, Blogger Dxoh said...

I don't get the reasoning behind sports videogames, either. One of the biggest reasons people play videogames is so they can do things they can't do in real life, without spending a huge amount of money, dying, or going to prison. I could go buy a football for a few bucks, grab a couple friends, and go to a park to play football. Cheap, low risk of death or injury, and I won't be arrested. And it is sure a hell of a lotta more fun than Madden. Hmm... maybe sports videogames are for those with no friends?

 
At 7:47 AM, Blogger Master said...

My problem isn't that they are the same. My problem is they keep making them more complicated. Same goes for games like FF or MK.

It is why I liked earlier Maddens and MK 1 and 2, but now you have to push a bajillion buttons in a matter of seconds to do some combo or play. No thanks don't want to learn it.

As for games like FF and such all the job classes and combinations and varations of jobs and leveling of them and all that. Not for me.

Why I liked 7 so much. Simple get materia, let grow, done.

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger J. Scarper said...

I'm not even going to leave a well-crafted comment on the state of sports today or why sports games don't appeal to me.

I'm just going to point out that the last line is classic [GM] Dave.

 
At 8:34 AM, Blogger Kyle said...

I don't like sports games either.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Troy said...

I've never understood releasing a new sports game every year.

It's lame.

And I find it absolutely amazing that it does so well.

It's like the people who play them don't even care they're playing the same game they already have 5 copies of.

Or maybe they don't even know it's the same. But that though brings me dangerously close to losing every drop of hope i have for humanity. And i don't know how many drops i really have left to lose.

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger Tristan Kain said...

The local EB has a dedicated shelf - nearly a third of the size of the rest of the PS2 used collection on its own - for absolutely -nothing- but old PS2 sports titles. They also take up a large portion of the selection at the local pawn shops.

If the games were actually any good, you'd think people would keep them, no?

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger Dyamalos said...

Guy>> I wanna trade in madded (Previous year)
Employee>> We can give you 5$ trade credit.
Guy>> but you're going to sell it for 30!
Employee>>I know, but since the new one has come out, we have an over abundance of trade ins for last years game
Guy>>But I was going to get the new one!
Employee>>Same as everyone, did you preorder? We don't have any copies for people who didn't preorder.
Guy>>Yes I did, gimme my game! (Pays 50-60$ for the same game he payed 50-60$ for the previous year. oh wait, scratch that, 45-55$! Can't forget that trade credit!)

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Hylian said...

My friend who plays these games justifies it with "but they change the rosters every year!"

He also throws the "well, your rpg games are the same exact gameplay!"

Look, they update the names, and the jerseys... but they still use the same damn models for each player. The point of the football game doesn't ever change.

The rpg game? It's got story, DIFFERENT characters, theatrics, plot, and a DIFFERENT BATTLE SYSTEM every game. Yes, it's a fantasy game about saving the world... but last I checked saving the world is a lot more fun than winning a freakin football game.

He's one of the people to line up and buy the next game. As a programmer, I have to say that the way they make new games is simply switching out the old database of names with the new one for the year (maybe a day's worth of work to make). Sure, they update the graphics, but it's all the same. No real skill added. If you were good at last year's game, you'll probably do just as well at this one. There's no thinking involved anymore.

Sports games give you no challenge. They simply give jocks a reason to play with us nerds :P

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Rabid Ferrets of DOOM!!!™ said...

@dxoh
Even people with no friends can join a local league.

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger Suraht said...

For the people that can't stand Madden, I always recommend Blitz: The League and it's sequel.

Juicing players, hiring prostitutes to make opposing players tired, betting on games, and a lot of graphic injuries up to and including ruptured testicles.

It also has gameplay similar to the old Tecmo Bowl games.

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger Tim said...

I'm just gonna leave this here:

http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/04/19/report-retired-nfl-players-plan-sue-ea-madden

 
At 6:07 AM, Blogger Rabite said...

Only sport game I've ever been able to enjoy was NBA Jam on Genny/SNES.

The funny thing about EA sports games is that all they really NEED to do is release a DLC pack every year to update the roster. Maybe release a DLC pack to add whatever crap they were planning to add to the new game and call it a day. Then every say... 3-5 years release a new disk. But they won't. They wouldn't make anywhere near as much money that way.

 

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