Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Not down with Madden

I was an early Madden's player. I remember buying the original 1990 version as well as Joe Montana Football for the Sega Genesis and playing them both until 3 AM. I had "Down with Madden since 1992" as a tagline in my bio; I'd actually been playing it longer, of course, but it was good line from the 2000 theme song by Ludacris.

I was so good at it that whenever I was challenged by someone who thought he was good - a teenage friend of the family, an Italian Army captain - I didn't just beat them, I usually destroyed them with scores in the 63-0 range. But I gradually lost interest in the annual updates around 2006, as the 2005 version was the last one I remember playing much on the then-new machines before switching back to my favored version of 2003 on the PS/2. All the improved graphics on the newer machines were essentially lost on me, as the advances in graphics seemingly came at the cost of gameplay and gimmick features.

So, I'm glad I dropped out of Team Madden before this latest SJW abomination, which is so much of a woke joke that the current players almost unanimously hate it.

Colin Kaepernick's Overall rating 

2016: 74

2020: 81

It's fascinating to see how not playing for four years can improve a quarterback's performance. On the other hand, as one wag put it, why shouldn't EA reward him for not having another four-INT game since the last game of the 2016 season.

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Blogger Canadian Warlord September 09, 2020 1:14 PM  

Tecmo Bowl and Mutant League Football were alright, for the casual fan, back in the day.

But Madden has been a staple, too much time spent on it, to ignore. Anything that's popular has to be subverted. And it's beyond popular - witness the "Madden Bowl" which started as a friendly joke between players of the super bowl but became basically a tradition.

Blogger LES September 09, 2020 1:18 PM  

Team Madden

Blogger ZhukovG September 09, 2020 1:19 PM  

Perhaps in a future NFL season, any team with a White QB or Head Coach will have to start each game with a 15 yard penalty and loss of down for systemic racism.

Blogger Balkan Yankee September 09, 2020 1:24 PM  

These days, the powers that be are hellbent to hit themselves with hammers every chance they get.

Blogger NP_see September 09, 2020 1:26 PM  

Madden 99 was what got me into football.

Blogger yoyoyoBigD September 09, 2020 1:34 PM  

2016: 74
2020: 81

He deserves it, if you use Kaepernick in the game the blacks from opposing team will kneel

Blogger Argus Bacchus September 09, 2020 1:37 PM  

If Intellivision or Atari had tried this kind of thing with its Football games back in the late 70's/early 80's, Kaepernick's nose and afro would have required half of the available pixels.

Blogger DannyDanger September 09, 2020 1:40 PM  

Pretty woke; but can you control it so your whole team takes a knee during the anthem? Can you customize player gear to display the name of your favorite jogger? Will the commentators refer to the players using they/them pronouns?

Blogger Coyotewise September 09, 2020 1:50 PM  

Which video game version of football had the true to life game clock, so that a game would actually take 4 hrs to play? I only know it from your game design class when you described it. That cracked me up.

Blogger Sillon September 09, 2020 1:58 PM  

One of those days we'll talk about FIFA EA and the surprise mechanics.

Blogger VD September 09, 2020 2:10 PM  

Which video game version of football had the true to life game clock

NFL Football for Intellivision. Even worse, it was only two-player.

Blogger SemiSpook37 September 09, 2020 2:13 PM  

Well, it's even worse than that. Madden '21 has been the first entry in the past 5-6 years that has been WORSE than previous iterations. When it hit a couple of weeks ago, its Metacritic value was 0.2. Ouch.

The sad part is that yeah, while Sack-or-Pick is available, nobody's going to pick him up. Even in the video game realm, people aren't THAT desparate.

Blogger Canadian Warlord September 09, 2020 2:22 PM  

Ha, I forgot about the Atari football. Never figured out if that was a feature or a bug, running away from the play and appearing in front of it. It's like the defense team had unlimited safeties!

Blogger RadixMalorum September 09, 2020 2:32 PM  

Colin Kaepernick's Overall rating got the woke affirmative action boost.

Blogger Evstratios September 09, 2020 2:33 PM  

Man, do i love the music and fx from that gen. My brother and i were nintendo, pretty sure i have the 91 cartridge around somewhere. Whats funny is he'll have an even higher rating next year. Such decline.

Surely enough on your plate as it is but if Rebel's Run does well enough may we please have a Throne of Bones or Chuck Dixon RPG or tactical wargame a la fantasy general? With absolutely everything in such a dismal state, we desperately need you coming for blood in that sphere.

Blogger rikjames.313 September 09, 2020 2:38 PM  

When I got down to the 2016/2020 rating portion of this post, I laughed. Not just a snort or chuckle.

Blogger buwaya September 09, 2020 2:58 PM  

I bought the PC version in the 1980's I recall. It must have been out in that form before 1990. I did it for assimilation-educational reasons, in order to learn American football, prompted by a friend of mine when we were working at an aerospace contractor, years before the "peace dividend", so it must have been back then. He was a Floridian and a Dolphins fan, so I was also.

That study put me in a favorable place when wooing my (American) wife-to-be shortly after. She was a Joe Montana era Niners fan. So I strategically changed my preference, and the rest is history.

Thank you John Madden!

Blogger Matt September 09, 2020 3:01 PM  

Will EA be putting out updates every time a violent black criminal is shot by law enforcement to put his name on the players helmets too?

Blogger Chip Hazard September 09, 2020 3:30 PM  

Colin Kaepernick's Overall rating
2016: 74
2020: 81


Also, Hahaha, I remember "John Elway's Quarterback" for the NES.

Regarding Elway, O.J.'s chickenshit end run brought some mirth by way of a "Slow White Bronco" joke.

Blogger Skyler the Weird September 09, 2020 3:32 PM  

EA is so converged the made Panthers running back Christian McCaffery a Black guy because it's impossible for a White guy to have 1000 yards rushing and 1000 yards receiving in the same season.

Blogger wEz September 09, 2020 3:59 PM  

The first time I read Vox was in that same video game column for the pioneer press here in Minnesota. I remember him quoting Trent Reznor in the piece and thinking how unique and articulate he came across. That was probably 2002ish. Damn I'm old.

Blogger MaskettaMan September 09, 2020 4:19 PM  

You can pick up an old Madden at GameStop for like $2. Plenty of quality games to choose from.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash September 09, 2020 4:49 PM  

At this rate, Kaepernick's rating will be over 90 by 2026. By 2032 he will be the best quarterback in the history of football.

Blogger Oswald September 09, 2020 4:50 PM  

Why is Kaepernick even in the game? He is not in the league.

Wait a minute I found this quote from EA vis the peacock:

In a statement via the official Madden Twitter, EA calls Kaepernick “one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback.” The team at EA Sports says millions of Madden NFL fans want to see Kaepernick back in the game. The statement continued, “Knowing that our EA SPORTS experiences are platforms for players to create, we want to make Madden NFL a place that reflects Colin’s position and talent, rates him as a starting QB, and empowers our fans to express their hopes for the future of football. We’ve worked with Colin to make this possible, and we’re excited to bring it to all of you today.”

He even has a signature move when he scores a black power fist.

Millions of fans apparently want it, but how many millions don't want it?

Blogger Crunchy Cachalot September 09, 2020 4:58 PM  

@20 - On Madden for PC page on Origin, there's not one white face on the entire page. I doubt it's any better for the filthy console peasants.

Blogger Crunchy Cachalot September 09, 2020 5:07 PM  

Colin Kaepernick's Overall rating got the woke affirmative action boost.

Of course it did, because most SJWs know less about sprots than the gamma haters. I remember one butch lesbo who was ranted about the "homophobia' of the league because Michael Sam (remember him?) wasn't instantly a superstar. Shortly after her rant, she asked me "Everybody who wants to gets drafted, right?"

Blogger sammibandit September 09, 2020 5:28 PM  

On the other hand, as one wag put it, why shouldn't EA reward him for not having another four-INT game since the last game of the 2016 season.

Ouch! Hahahahahaha.

Blogger bramley says "Enoch was right" September 09, 2020 5:28 PM  

I tried Madden back in the Sega Megadrive (Genesis to you lot) days as well, but couldnt work out why the game kept stopping when you ran with the ball and resetting back to a scrum/huddle thing. I was never into rugger so didnt understand the passing backwards bit. Gave up and just played ice hockey instead, trying to get into fist fights, that was more fun.

Blogger Oswald September 09, 2020 5:39 PM  

I always liked the way in an early version EA football, you could blow your hamstring and still score.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash September 09, 2020 5:41 PM  

Oswald wrote:Millions of fans apparently want it, but how many millions don't want it?
No, there are not millions of fans who want Kaepernick. There simply aren't. There may be millions who want him in the game to shove one up the nose of all you deplorable white supremes out there, but they are not fans who would buy the game.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash September 09, 2020 5:42 PM  

And by including Kaepernick, they delve even further into the fantasy side of the game.

Blogger Section 8A September 09, 2020 5:46 PM  

Wait til they bring Phil Simms back. Youz aint seen nothin yet.

Blogger Oswald September 09, 2020 5:58 PM  

29. You are right.
30. Good one. It is also fantasy that they think this will increase the bottom line.

Blogger Noah B. September 09, 2020 6:41 PM  

Next year, communist football: when one team scores, the other team gets half of the points

Blogger Hammerli 280 September 09, 2020 6:43 PM  

@15: A Selenoth wargame would be neat. Vox's background in game design really shows, the various sides are well balanced.

Blogger Manuel September 09, 2020 6:47 PM  

yeah the late 90s-early oughts were the high point of Madden. But now we have to hear about that Italian army captain story.

Blogger FallofthaEmpire September 09, 2020 6:57 PM  

Good to see that EA is getting nicely scalded for creating possibly the worst game ever created. There aren't many decent games to play anymore, other than maybe Call of Duty to be honest.

Blogger Middle American Water Tower Man September 09, 2020 7:25 PM  

Did Anybody play Madden online? My prime was 2003 thru 2008. I got ranked in the top 100 online playing with the broncos and Tim Tebow one year. Having a good audibles set up is key.

Blogger Barbarossa September 09, 2020 7:42 PM  

What a bunch of sexist homophobes! They put Kapernick in, but they leave out the soccer chick who kicked a 50-yard FG on a practice field...with no one rushing at her...and her needing a 10-yard drop? I know if I had to choose between her and Justin Tucker, I'm totally going with Girl Power!

Blogger LZ September 09, 2020 7:54 PM  

I've been playing NHL 96 on my old Genesis console. Still holds up.

Blogger ScottC September 09, 2020 8:40 PM  

The thing I didn't like about Joe Montana Football was how the highest difficulty setting made the cpu unstoppable. The cpu's strategy doesn't change to make the game harder, what makes it harder is the players are impossible to sack.

Haven't played Madden since I was a little kid in the 90s.

Two sports games that have improved by leaps and bounds over the years are the NHL games and the new UFC series. Wish EA would make a new boxing game.

Blogger Jose Miguel September 09, 2020 8:47 PM  

It would be hilarious if the next version of American football is owned by Tim Tebow.

Blogger Retrenched September 09, 2020 9:28 PM  

A lot of EA sports games from the early to mid 2000s were still really good, like NHL 2002, Madden 2005 and NCAA Football 07. But they've been getting worse and worse since they got their exclusive license for the NFL. Getting lazy I think.

Blogger FallofthaEmpire September 09, 2020 9:36 PM  

ZhukovG wrote:Perhaps in a future NFL season, any team with a White QB or Head Coach will have to start each game with a 15 yard penalty and loss of down for systemic racism.

Current Babylon Bee headline, future possibility.

Blogger John Rockwell September 09, 2020 10:06 PM  

How fall EA have fallen. They used to put out very good games.

Now since Andrew Wilson got in. Those that loved Madden have become a Cash Cow while the product got worse and worse.

A very resilient Golden Goose that haven't died yet.

Every year buying a worse game. And every year feeding the greed of EA.

Blogger Luke September 09, 2020 10:16 PM  

Joe Montana Football, Joe's play only.

That's the ultimate way to relive the glory days.

Blogger Lightning Hands September 10, 2020 1:24 AM  

That Madden ‘90 video is so refreshing; when sound effects and BGM weren’t blaring every second.

Blogger Retrenched September 10, 2020 2:24 AM  

I loved Joe Montana Football for Genesis. Still one of my all time favorites. Remember how you could use the onside kick to keep the computer from ever getting the ball?

Blogger basementhomebrewer September 10, 2020 9:17 AM  

Pretty sure "millions of fans" translates to 2 people on their development team. Last time I played a Madden it let you create your own player. Is that not a feature anymore? The people who wanted him could have always done that if it is.

Blogger Arthur Isaac September 10, 2020 12:16 PM  

I think the number 81 is inherently racist. Why put limitations on an obvious god among me. Selecting Colin for your team should result in an immediate victory. I hope to see him in all the sports titles, first person shooters, fantasy and science fictions titles and mobile games. If Colin doesn't equal win the country should burn. (It's getting hard to amplify to ridiculous these days).

Blogger matthewmp111 September 10, 2020 1:04 PM  

I absolutely loved Joe Montana football, but amongst my friends I was about the only one. I thought it was superior to Madden in most ways.

Blogger Richard Martel September 10, 2020 7:37 PM  

Ahhh i have great memories of Tecmo Bowl from my youth. Simpler times, either before everything was subverted or before i realized it!

Blogger MrNiceguy September 11, 2020 9:41 AM  

I'm betting we'll see a lot of people putting up highlight videos of Kappy getting sacked repeatedly.

There will likely be a few people buying the game solely for that purpose.

Blogger MrNiceguy September 11, 2020 10:00 AM  

Tecmo Bowl was how I learned how football works. Tecmo Super Bowl was a great follow-up; added some depth and included the full league with the actual team names, plus the ability to customize your roster and playbook.

I remember playing through a single-player season where I changed the playbook for every other team. Set all the running plays to run the same side and all the pass plays to "waste time in the backfield" options like the flea-flicker. Guaranteed a 3-and-out every person, but you had to rotate your cornerback to avoid injury, since he was making almost every stop.

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