May 30, 2007 was a red-letter day for race fans with an Xbox 360. Forza Motorsport 2, probably the most anticipated driving game of the year, hits this day. But the type of road rage found in that game appeals more to gearheads and purists; not to mention those with fairly deep pockets. If you want a lighter, cheaper driving fix on this day of all things fast and motorized, look no further than this weeks Live Arcade offering: Mad Tracks.
Mad Tracks is less a racer and more a mix of
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Back in the mid-80s, someone thought it would be a great idea to create a series of toys that looked like a cross between baseballs and shrunken heads that looked like they’d been violently mauled by a rabid animal or a runaway semi-truck. Madballs were gross. Kids loved them. But a Madball-themed XBLA shooter released about 25 years after the fact just seems inherently wrong.
Madden games have always been the market leader for digital translations of America's most popular sport and nothing seems set to change as we enter the next gen. Admittedly, there's not much competition. Or, in fact, any at the moment.
So, as EA's leading franchise, what did we hope for? A game built from the bottom up specifically for Xbox 360? Yep. A Madden that looked absolutely gorgeous? Hell, yeah. A game that packed in all the modes we've come to love and expect over the years?
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
Those of us who love pro football games are tired of having scorn heaped upon us, and we're not going to take it anymore. While the rest of the video gaming world makes fun of us for blindly buying Madden every year (and often nothing else), we're quite content to ignore them and restart our NFL fantasies each summer.
Sure, the first couple of games for the next-generation consoles have been kinda middling, but the promise of a true event horizon has been building with each release. Happily,
Like the career arcs of many promising first-round draft picks, Madden’s next-generation games have steadily improved from unwatchable embarrassment to veteran excellence. Perhaps, then, we were expecting too much - or (more likely) the short development cycle allotted to Madden 09’s crew didn’t allow enough time for all their ideas to get fully implemented.
Cómo ocurre a veces en las carreras de algunos novatos meritorios, los juegos nuevo-generacion de Madden han mejorado calladamente desde una basura inaguantable a una veterania excelente. Quizás esperabamos demasiado, o (mas probable) el corto ciclo de desarrollo asignado a la pandilla del Madden 09 no les dio tiempo suficiente para poner en orden todas sus ideas. No importa.
The NFL has long prided itself on parity. Each new season has little, if anything, to do with the year that preceded it; players come and go with astonishing speed as 5-11 teams become Super Bowl competitors and champions fall apart. In many ways, the Madden games of the PS360 generation mirror this erratic arc.
The annual August release of Madden is a day of celebration for sporting types across the country. Classes are skipped, sick days are called in, and a whole lot of people geek out in delight. This season, most of us who participate in Maddenoliday will be happy; Madden 11 delivers another solid gridiron experience, stuffed with new features, old favorites, and some serious work under the hood. All that heavy lifting leaves the final presentation feeling a little unpolished, though, and a couple yards short of greatness...