Last year, Madden glitzed its way onto next-gen platforms with sparkling graphics - lifelike stadiums, impeccable players models, feckless animations and solid gameplay. But the extras that current-gen users took for granted were missing. This year, that's all changed - but not for the better. The gameplay is better than ever, but the Superstar mode isn't properly executed and the minigames don't have the same oomph.
In fact, one of the game's greatest improvements spans all generations of consoles: updated rosters. Usually this wouldn't get a mention since it's a given, but every true football fan wants to see what the once-in-a-generation halfback Reggie Bush is made of. Of course there's Titans QB Vince Young, Cards QB Matt Leinart, and Broncos' QB Jay Cutler. But Bush is absolutely electric. If you saw him run the ball for USC, you know what we're talking about. He's a complete freak of nature - one that's nearly impossible to tackle. Just the chance to juke defenders into next week with Bush is worth the $60 price tag.
One of the reasons Bush, and star players running backs like him, can excel is the newfangled highlight stick which lives on the right analog. If you time it right, your player will turn into a whirling dervish of indefensible, ripping off one of forty broken tackle animations. And the moves differ depending on the back. Smaller backs like Warrick Dunn will try to evade when a tackler gloms on, while big-timers like T.J. Duckett will bring the pain by trying to crash through the would-be tackler.