With a differentiating market, graphical capability, and (most notably) control scheme, multiplatform titles would be best advised to put special attention into the Wii version to ensure its’ success on the platform and its’ corresponding large (yet specific) install base.  Starting with the introduction of the All-Play control scheme in earlier EA sports titles, Madden 10 for the Wii builds on that with a new light hearted art style, expansion of existing casual modes, and the introduction of new modes focused on local multiplayer.  We take a look at Madden 10 for the Wii and see if it does what you would expect from a Wii title well (whether you like it or not), while keeping in tact the appeal of a Madden game that so many people devour yearly.

The Pros

The assumption that the majority of Wii owners look for casual, multiplayer game play are only reinforced with Madden 10. Expanded is the 5 on 5 mode that is now playable in most game types as opposed to the standard 11 on 11. 5 on 5 naturally opens up the game, giving it a more arcade feel and a faster pace. This is complimented by the now cartoon-like art style where players are given an over-exaggerated look based on there position as opposed to realistic character models and face scans.

big guy: tackle, tall skinny guy: run and catch, well rounded guy: throw

big guy: tackle, tall skinny guy: run and catch, well rounded guy: throw

In addition, new modes introduced in the Wii verision of Madden 10 are substantially based on opening up the game of football to a broader audience as opposed to sports simulation junkies.  First is the Madden Challenge where variables can be set to extreme levels like more common fumbles, ball still live after an incomplete/dropped pass, temporary invisibility, turbo speed, one down only, and passing or running plays only.  As 1 to 4 players compete in these competitions for overall points, the active competitors and bystanders of the 4 are also able to wager points beforehand by predicting the outcome of the competition and specific wagers like most passing yards etc. to win points and gain an overall points advantage.  Secondly is the more team based multiplayer mode entitled Road to the Superbowl where 1-4 players are able compete in a season, half season and playoffs only tenures.  The goal of Road to Superbowl is to play through the series of games well enough to avoid being benched before or during a game.  At any point during the tenure of games all players involved are benched at the same time, the game ends.

When it comes to the most prevalent difference a Wii game has against any other console, Madden 10 provides player with an improved All-Play control scheme for defense with point and tackle, in addition to Huddle-up that allows non-gamer types to assist the main player by shutting down selected members of the opposing team at any given time with the Wii-mote.  On offense, there are two main control schemes with point and pass where players select a target to pass to with the wii mote, and directional passing where you choose the target with the d-pad and throw via motion.

The Cons

The variety of the offensive controls available is appreciated, but it does feel a bit finicky regardless of which one you choose. With point and pass, it seems the game does get bit confused when throwing towards a direction where more than one receiver is in the vicinity leading to a toss up as  to which receiver it will go to.  With directional passing, the motion controls seem to be a bit unresponsive and every so often when you intend to make a pass you end up just dropping back more and/or getting sacked.

I'll just throw it that a way and hope Owens catches it

I'll just throw it that a way and hope Owens catches it

It doesn’t say much for core single player modes when they are not even available at the beginning of game, needing to be unlocked.  Once unlocked, the classic modes such as Franchise and Superstar seem old and tired.  With all the improvements and emphasis on making Madden for the Wii a casual multiplayer experience, the lack of improvement and higher customization for single player modes for the Wii gives you the impression that those looking for a one player experience need not apply.

Here’s the Deal

Madden 10 for the Wii successfully brings NFL football to the casual market while creating an enjoyable local multi-player experience.  The faster paced 5 on 5 is now playable in more modes, and the Madden Challenge along with The Road to Superbowl enhance the multiplayer experience whether it be cooperative or competitive.  However, those looking for a complimentary single player experience may be left a little disappointed and the offensive controls do need a bit improvement in the accuracy department. 6.9/10  Sean C.


~ by shonathan on August 28, 2009.

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