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Checkpoint: NFL 2014-15 Edition

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Checkpoint - NFL 2014-15 Edition

It’s week one of the NFL season and I am not as excited as I could be. Part of it can be attributed to the long and rather uneventful Thursday night game. I didn’t mind it before but after World Cup soccer and tennis over the summer, the barrage of stoppages and commercials is jarring.

I’m sure it’ll be a non-issue once later today when I can flip between several games and not have to wade through ads. Those single games will test my patience though. I’m almost willing to give in to ads on jerseys if it meant more game time and less ad time.

I’m not against sports titles. I’ve played my share of NBA Live, NBA 2K, Formula 1 and lately, a lot of FIFA demo. But there’s one type of sports game which I’m not much of a fan of and that’s football.

I’ve been giving my lack of interest in Madden NFL some thought and the bottom line is that it just doesn’t represent my experience with the NFL accurately.

  1. Animations and interactions – A lot of it comes down to the animation and how unrealistic or unnatural the players appear when they interact with each other — especially during tackles. It’s tough to get that to look right but that’s a huge part of the appeal of football. Whether it’s stilted animations of the past or rag doll limpness of tackling in modern games, there’s always something off about how Madden games animate.
  2. By default, it’s not TV broadcast accurate – I like playing sports game and pretend like I’m playing the TV broadcast of an actual game. The default views of NBA, soccer and baseball games are close to being broadcast accurate. These games are usually playable with these views and helps the fantasy of playing as those teams in  real games. No one will ever mistaken a Madden game with a real game because the “behind the QB” view are not common during live plays. You may see that view in replays or analysis but not during a live play.
  3. Unnatural commentary – Is it due to the poor implementation or is due to the fact that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms aren’t great? It’s likely both and botching commentary often ruins the fantasy of simulating the sport.

Those are some of my issues with Madden NFL but they’re not all deal breakers. The first point is the most important to me and if one day brings out a Madden game that just looks too good to pass up, I’ll give the demo a try. For now, I’ll just continue to sit those games out.

Destiny comes out this week but my brother and I still have to finish Diablo III’s Reaper of Souls campaign. If we forgo some football, we can probably finish it on time.

I finished Hitman GO on the iPad. It’s amazing. You should get it for free.

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