November 24, 2008

Don't Let Madden Intimidate You

Goozer (aka Jimmy James 70) Says: If you’re like me, you probably like football, and you turn the games on Sunday morning and keep them on till Sunday night. When Monday night rolls around, I at least check to see who’s playing and more often than not, I’ll turn the game on regardless of who’s on. But watching the game is really the extent of it. I don’t paint my face when I go to a game, I don’t scream and yell while in the sports bar, and if I miss a game I really don’t care much. I’m a sofa-fan.

When EA releases their latest iteration of Madden NFL, it might pique the interest of sofa-fans enough to check the reviews and to see who’s on the cover, but football sofa-fans are more likely to purchase an FPS or an RPG over a sports game.

And plus, isn’t Madden NFL an extremely complicated game that requires the smarts of a professional coach? The idea of choosing formations, routes, and knowing the difference between a pitch and sweep versus a trap play can makes me want to curl up on the couch with a bag of chips and check to see if the Vikings are on (being born and raised in MN gave me purple blood).

A little over a year ago, I was browsing through Target’s game department, and I see a rack of books with a title something like, Madden NFL 08 Strategy Guide. I picked this weighty tome up, must have been 500 pages, and I started flipping through the pages. The book contained the most in-depth descriptions of more plays and more options than I could ever want to know. I quickly put the book down and walked away slowly, thinking, I’ll never play Madden NFL. Ever. Way too complicated.

Recently, I had a couple thousand points burning a hole in my Goozex pocket, and I thought to myself, you have to at least try the game. If it’s too far over your head, then just trade it back and get your points back. No problem.

After playing Madden NFL 09, let me just say right now, I’m partially addicted to this game. I also recently received Mercenaries 2, and the two games are competing for game time. I really kind of thought Mercs 2 would make me forget all about Madden, but it didn’t. I can’t wait to get back on the field. It’s tough to beat the feeling of completing a 20-yard pass and running another 30 yards for the touchdown, and then topping it off with a dunk over the goal post. It’s fun. It’s thrilling. And at the intermediate level, the play calling is exactly at my level of football intelligence. I’m recommending this one.

It’s value on Goozex dropped to 950 points the day I received it. So, I might be taking a loss on this one. But hopefully as the playoffs approach, interest in the game might revive and the point value will go back up to the full 1000 points. But I’m not too worried about it. I might even hold on to this one for a while. You can get it off of eBay for under $40.