Seven things we want to see in Madden 12

4) For the live-and-breathers: media machine

One of the coolest things NCAA Football 11 introduced was the ability for you to manage your dynasties and write online fan fiction via Dynasty Wire. If the witty emails, hosted Ustreams, and hilarious game recaps from our current Madden online franchise are any indication (yes, we’re that into it), a Madden version of Dynasty Wire would be more entertaining than visiting on a typical day. How NCAA got Dynasty Wire and Madden didn’t, we’ll never know. That needs to change.

Above: See that helmet? That’s a college player. Please don’t make us jealous of his game

3) For the always onliners: better access to our online teams

Would a real NFL coach be allowed to coach the team only on game days? Never. But that’s what some hardcore players are up against. If you’re lucky enough to be in a good online franchise league, you know how magical that can be. Competing against real people over multiple virtual seasons with trades and free agency is just sensational. However, there’s no way to use your online team’s roster offline for practice or, for that matter, anything else.

Above: Exhibit #1: It was “Any Given Sunday”, not “Only on Sunday”. What do you mean it doesn’t apply? It has Cameron Diaz and that guy who smells women

All you can do is play the regularly scheduled games, and that’s it. The best way to fall in love with your drafted players and newly acquired vets is to get to know them in practices and exhibitions. Too bad that’s impossible right now.

2) For the as-seen-on-TVers: performance polish

Our biggest gripe about Madden 11 was the litany of small-but-annoying presentation issues that grated on us from the start. Between the crazily-flopping ball physics on certain incomplete passes, half-second hiccups when the ball is snapped, or the constantly-repeating, arm-pumping linebacker in the brief cutscene before the teams line up, you play enough Madden and these things drive you crazy. Once and for all, these nagging visual miscues need to go away; we’re too far into this generation to not have a silky-smooth experience like MLB The Show or NHL 11.

Above: Clay Matthews offers the developers a hug “THIS big” if they fix the presentation glitches for next year’s version

1) For the rebuilding years: don%26rsquo;t create Madden 12

This is obviously the craziest idea of all, but how about instead of cranking out a solid-but-overall-very-much-the-same game, you just give us updated rosters and some franchise improvements for $10? We’d love to see Madden go through a 2-year development cycle so that each new release is something spectacular instead of just good. Based on the declining sales numbers, we have a feeling that there would be a whole lot of people who would love that too. While we understand that this is a foolish wish (clearly it’s more profitable for EA to build and sell full Maddens every year) it would ultimately make Madden more special and build a ton of goodwill. And if Madden alternated years with NCAA Football? You might see Madden’s decreases offset by some monster gains in NCAA.

Above: It’ll never happen, but we can dream, can’t we?

Feb 6, 2011

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