Madden 09 for the PS2: The Ups and Downs of the New Game

Madden ’09 just recently came out on August 12th and you are probably wondering, if you haven’t already bought it already, whether or not you should buy it. Maybe you’ve been a long time fan of the game, but aren’t sure if 09 will be any different than 08. Maybe you are a football fan who has never bought a copy or the game and is wondering if you should. I’m not going to tell you if you should or should not buy it, but I will give you helpful information to aid in your decision.
Price: Around $40 at most locations. You could probably get it online for cheaper.

Differences between 08 and 09: New superstar mode, better graphics, better soundtrack, franchise mode rating, updated rosters, supersim

New Superstar mode: They have made a few changes to the Superstar mode that I like. Now instead of being able to move yourself up on the depth chart, you have to earn your way up it by performing in games and practices. Practice points can be converted into attribute points that allow you to choose where to add them to your player instead of the computer automatically updating you. You now have more control over what kind of player your superstar is and becomes. You are signed to a contract so you actually know how much money you are making and you have goals so you know what you have to do to make the team again next season. My favorite difference is now, when you are on the bench, it supersims for you and you don’t have to watch every play simulate. That would waste a lot of time in the 08 version.

Better graphics: Madden 08’s graphics were good, but Madden 09’s blew me away. I have a tiny television and it still looks real. No more of the ball hitting the player in the back of the head. No more arms disappearing into another player’s body to make a tackle. It is just like you are watching and controlling a real football game. You also have more control over what you’re player does in the end zone but not much. Your touchdown celebration can either be subdued, over the top, or with a teammate.

Better soundtrack: Madden has always been known for having a nice soundtrack and 09 is no different. With songs from Linkin Park, Good Charlotte, All American Rejects, Gym Class Heroes, and The Offspring, it is my favorite Madden soundtrack.

Franchise mode rating: Franchise mode is essentially the same expect for after every season, you are given a report on how you are doing. The report is a point score compiled from your win-loss record, attendance, fan support, draft grade, number of Pro Bowlers etc. This is a good way of seeing how you are improving or not from year to year and decade to decade.

Updated rosters: As always, Madden has updated rosters for 2009. However, they were unable to make some updates before releasing the game. Kevin Jones is still a free agent as is Brian Griese. Adrian Peterson’s rating is too low, 95, in my opinion, and Brett Favre is not only not on the Jets, but not in the game at all. Jeremy Shockey and Jason Taylor are also on their 2008 teams, the Giants and Dolphins respectively. Those are small problems that shouldn’t bother the common fan who is just looking to play some football.

Supersim: They did not have this for PS2 before, only XBOX, but now PS2 has Supersim too. It allows you to simulate by play, drive, quarter, or game, and allows you to jump in at anytime.

Issues: Brett Favre, dropped passes, contracts

Brett Favre: Obviously the fact that formerly retired Brett Favre is back and now with the Jets, but not even in the game is a problem. He is also on the cover in the wrong jersey. However, since the whole Brett Favre saga took place after the finishing touches were put on the game, there is not much EA Sports could have done and what they could do, they did do. On their web site, you can get a print out of Favre on the Jets for the cover and instructions on how to create Favre in the game and stick him on the Jets.

Dropped passes: Probably the most unrealistic part of Madden is pass catching. How many times have you seen guys drop passes that hit their hands in real life? The answer is about 20 times less than that happens in Madden and 09 is no different. Both offense and defense often have butterfinger hands and drop an easily catchable ball. However, they make up for it with another high flying yet unrealistic catch. Madden needs to do something about this.

Contracts: One suggestion for Madden is a greed rating or a team oriented/self oriented meter. It would not affect rating, but it would make players of the same rating ask for more money than others in franchise mode, one thing it does not do now. It would also make a player more or less likely to holdout for more money. Also players should have a bust rating. It would be undiscoverable to a team drafting, but it would be the difference between drafting a Tom Brady and an Alex Smith. It happens in real life, but never in Madden.

I hope you’ve enjoyed and found this helpful.

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