Wii

North America

Madden NFL 10

by Neal Ronaghan - August 12, 2009, 6:39 am PDT
Total comments: 26

9

Madden gets a Wii facelift in both graphics and gameplay, as this year's edition separates itself from the rest of the pack.

Since the success of the Wii, EA has tried to make the Wii version of Madden its own entity that appeals to a broader market and sets itself apart from the HD versions. They made large steps last year with the All-Play label, but this year they have finally done it. Madden NFL 10 for Wii focuses on arcade-like gameplay with new multiplayer-focused modes and an exaggerated, cartoony art style. It's a giant leap over its predecessor in most respects, but unfortunately stagnant in others.

There are some small control tweaks in the game that fix the issues in Madden '09. First off, the passing system is completely redone. Instead of holding down a button and gesturing with the Wii Remote, which had many flaws, now all you have to do is point at a receiver and press the A button. It's a bit jarring at first, but after you get used to it, it becomes easy to use. On the whole, there are fewer gestures than there were in past games; most controls are now mapped to buttons.

There are some other small changes as well. Almost every part of the game is controlled by the pointer. This doesn't improve the experience radically, but it is nice to see the pointer put to good use. The Call Your Shots option, which previously allowed you to change your receiver's routes before the snap, now also extends to defense. It allows you to easily switch a defender to a zone, man-to-man, or blitz defense. Also, the 5-on-5 game that was introduced last year plays a bigger role in this year's edition, as you can choose between that and regular 11-on-11 in almost every mode. The two game styles complement each other well, as one is more of an arcade game and the other is more realistic.

However, in one of the new modes, Madden Showdown, both styles can be made absurd and unrealistic. Showdown is a one-to-four player tournament where you play shorter games and can unleash multiple changes that make the game unpredictable and crazy. These Game Changers range from "fumbilitis", where every hit causes a fumble, to invisibility, where players randomly go invisible. You can turn any number of them on at the start of the mode, and it is a nice change of pace from regular games.

Surprisingly, tournaments in Madden Showdown aren't won by just winning games; instead you need to accrue the most Showdown Points. Everyone starts off with the same amount, and then you bet on who will win each game, and other predictions such as "who will score first?" or "who will get more sacks?" It makes each game a little more interesting, even if you're not playing in it. Still, if you win games in this mode, you're most likely going to get the most Showdown Points, so there is plenty of skill required.

The other big new mode is Road to the Super Bowl, which is the opposite of Madden Showdown. In this mode, you choose a team and try to take them to the Super Bowl, with up to four people playing for the same team simultaneously. The goal of the game is similar to Madden Showdown, as you try to gain as many points as you can, although there are no predictions. The points accumulate throughout the entire year for every player, and there is a leader board for the highest scores. If you do poorly in a game, you'll get benched and the computer will take over for your player, or the entire team if you're playing alone. This mode boils down to little more than a standard Season mode, but the fun multiplayer mechanic gives it legs.

One really cool addition to the game is the Huddle Up cooperative mode, which can only be used in Exhibition. In this mode, one player plays normally while the other uses the pointer à la Super Mario Galaxy's Co-Star Mode and knocks down opponents during play. You can choose between two degrees of this feature: Unlimited, which lets you knock down opponents as much as you want, or Regular, which grants you three knock downs a play. It's almost like you're playing House of the Dead, but instead of shooting zombies, you're knocking down big football players. What makes this mode even more fun is playing two-on-two, with each team having one player knocking down opponents. This is a small feature, but there is a wealth of fun to be had, both between kids and their parents, and for people like my friends and me.

Online play is once again present, and it remains largely unchanged from last year. You can play single games online with little to no lag. If you're a longtime fan of Madden, you might have noticed that Franchise mode hasn't been mentioned yet. That's because the Franchise, Superstar, and Situation modes can only be unlocked by a code that EA Sports will give out shortly after launch. These modes are all pretty much unchanged and feature none of the new pointer controls every other menu has.

Aside from that glaring miscue, Madden NFL 10 is a fantastic multiplayer game with fun new modes, refined controls, and simplified gameplay. You can compete in Madden Showdown mode, cooperate in Road to the Super Bowl, and terrorize in the Huddle Up mode. While you're still playing a regular old game of football, the variety of ways that you can play that game is grand and makes this a terrific title for casual football fans of any age.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
8 8 9 9 9 9
Graphics
8

The new art style looks good and helps make the game look better in comparison to the HD versions. The graphics still look a little rough around the edges, but they run smoothly.

Sound
8

Cris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond take over the announcing duties from John Madden and Al Michaels this year. They seem to have a lot to say, and while the commentary does loop, it's not as obnoxious as it has been in years past. Madden NFL 10 also features a good roster of licensed music and great sound effects.

Control
9

My big complaint from last year was the passing, and it has been fixed this year with the new point-and-click passing, which works wonderfully. The over-reliance on gestures was also changed, as a majority of those moves (spins, jukes, etc.) are now mapped to buttons.

Gameplay
9

If you're so inclined, you can just sit back and play a regular old game of football with the nice Wii controls, or you can try the new modes that offer crazy rules and unique takes on a classic game.

Lastability
9

The multiplayer modes provide good longevity, but you'll get the most out of the game from Franchise or Superstar mode, which are only unlocked by a cheat code.

Final
9

Madden NFL 10 joins the pantheon of great arcade sports games with new modes that offer vast multiplayer fun. The bulk of the single-player content, while completely unchanged from last year's game, is still great as well. EA Sports has finally succeeded in making Madden its own franchise on Wii, and hopefully the best is yet to come.

Summary

Pros
  • Awesome multiplayer modes
  • Huddle Up mode with four people
  • New art style fits the Wii well
Cons
  • Franchise and Superstar mode locked at the start
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

SteleAugust 12, 2009

Madden is... good?  :o

Does not compute.  ???

I have a love for football and a general like for Madden games. I was very sour on this game initially because of the lack of an easily accessible Franchise mode, which is the backbone of all Madden games.
Then I played it with friends, and I realized what EA and Tiburon did with this one: they made it more of an arcade game, and a great arcade game at that. And it still has Franchise mode for anyone who wants to just play by themselves.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusAugust 12, 2009

I played this at E3, and the arcade mode was a ton of fun. I think James and I went head to head.

It's a lot of fun playing with everything turned on, so people go randomly invisible, the whistle doesn't always blow right away, there is at least three or four fumbles a play, and it's all going super fast.

StogiAugust 12, 2009

Sounds like blitz. Color me intrigued.

DAaaMan64August 12, 2009

wow thats some weird shit right there.

I'd like to point out that right now, I think this is one of the only online reviews of Madden NFL 10 for Wii, or at least currently the only review that has a link on MetaCritic.

I am damn proud of that.

This actually sounds kind of awesome. I loved Blitz 2000 (on my Dreamcast) and this sounds like the closest thing to that, but it is a very strange turn for the Madden series.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterAugust 12, 2009

So, is it still a Football sim that has an additional arcade mode or is it a full arcade game?

Quote from: pap64

So, is it still a Football sim that has an additional arcade mode or is it a full arcade game?

It's a football game that has brand new arcade modes and still retains the sim-like Franchise mode (albeit the latter isn't updated and locked when you get the game)

MaxiAugust 12, 2009

I've always wanted a football game like this. Best of both worlds.

StratosAugust 12, 2009

A friend showed me Madden 09 and I actually enjoyed it. The only real sports game I've ever owned was Blitz 2002 because I loved playing Blitz.

I might get this because the arcade mode sounds really fun.

(By 'real' sports games I mean non-Mario sports games pretty much)

Tiger 10 is interesting me as well. It seems I might be turning a new leaf towards sports games.

SteleAugust 13, 2009

Saw a story on Yahoo! about paid DLC for Madden.  Any sign of this in the Wii version?

I know TW10 had some costumes available from the "online store" in-game.

Dan_DollAugust 13, 2009

Nintendo Power kind of crapped on this game, so this is a bit of a surprise for me. I think they couldn't adapt to the more arcade-style gameplay.

There is no pay-to-play in this game. DLC is an option, but I don't see anything more than updated rosters.

Quote from: Dan_Doll

Nintendo Power kind of crapped on this game, so this is a bit of a surprise for me. I think they couldn't adapt to the more arcade-style gameplay.

It's a jarring transition. I was very put off at first until I played it in multiplayer. To me, the game opens up considerably in multiplayer and is one of the first Madden games in probably more than 10 years that was fun to me in multiplayer.

SteleAugust 13, 2009

Quote from: Dan_Doll

Nintendo Power kind of crapped on this game, so this is a bit of a surprise for me. I think they couldn't adapt to the more arcade-style gameplay.

I saw posts about that today too.  Someone said they docked points for lack of franchise mode.  Apparently no one told them about the forthcoming code.  So supposedly they are revising their score in next month's issue...

Or so said some guys on the internet, however reliable that is.  :rolleyes:

That's funny. Especially with how many e-mails I got from the EA rep that was like "FRANCHISE MODE IS IN! YOU NEED A CODE!"

I think it's ridiculously stupid that EA doesn't just have the mode launch with the game, but I guess their logic is that the people who want it will find out how to get it.
Still, it's in the game, so I didn't feel comfortable docking it points for having a bullshit code up. I feel bad for any people looking forward to buying the Wii version at launch since it'll be gimped for a few days.

BlackNMild2k1August 14, 2009

I just want you all to know that this game (& the Wii in general) has ruined EA Sports forever!!!

Mop it upAugust 14, 2009

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

I just want you all to know that this game (& the Wii in general) has ruined EA Sports forever!!!

But I thought that sports games were casual...

StogiAugust 14, 2009

Quote:

Before the Wii, sports games were used to show how realistic games had become over the previous year

That's why Wii Sports is the most realistic sports game yet :rolleyes:

Quote:

"It was hard. A lot of people at that time thought they would move on from our studios--they wanted to chase the core consumer."

Just like fiends chase the dragon....

BlackNMild2k1August 14, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

I just want you all to know that this game (& the Wii in general) has ruined EA Sports forever!!!

But I thought that sports games were casual...

There were Mop_it_up... they were. Until "casual" was redefined of course.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterAugust 14, 2009

And yet, I seem to recall the Wii version of the Madden games receives the better opinions in the end.

KDR_11kAugust 14, 2009

Quote from: nron10

That's funny. Especially with how many e-mails I got from the EA rep that was like "FRANCHISE MODE IS IN! YOU NEED A CODE!"

I think it's ridiculously stupid that EA doesn't just have the mode launch with the game, but I guess their logic is that the people who want it will find out how to get it.
Still, it's in the game, so I didn't feel comfortable docking it points for having a bullshit code up. I feel bad for any people looking forward to buying the Wii version at launch since it'll be gimped for a few days.

How many people are going to know about that code? If the answer is less than 1 in 10 then it should be considered absent.

MaxiAugust 15, 2009

You guys want the unlock codes well here they are.

From the main menu, select EA Extras and then point and click on Enter Game Code. Enter the code as you see it below, without spaces in between each word.

Franchise Mode: TEAMPLAYER

Superstar Mode: EGOBOOST

Situation Mode: YOUCALLIT

Super Bowl Stadium: THEBIGSHOW

Pro Bowl Stadium: ALLSTARS

Master Code (unlocks everything): THEWORKS

http://www.digitalsomething.com/news/2517.html

StratosAugust 15, 2009

Maybe I missed the obvious here, but why did they lock them like that and why do they only unlock with a code and not through regular play? Having the ability to unlock them through regular play as well would have been at least slightly understandable. Slightly.

SteleAugust 16, 2009

Really doesn't make sense now.  Thought it was going to be some kind of serial number code, specific to versions, trying to combat piracy and/or used game sales or something.

Locking them with a regular type-in password that works on any copy doesn't make any sense at all.  ???

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Genre Sports
Developer Tiburon (EA)
OnlineYes

Worldwide Releases

na: Madden NFL 10
Release Aug 14, 2009
PublisherElectronic Arts

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