|Dev: Electronic Arts North Carolina|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: March 27 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A|
The lack of content really is the biggest problem with the game, and I would almost be ready to accept the game as it is, if it weren't outshined directly by its DS predecessor. The last Madden game to be on the DS (which was released nearly two years ago, if anyone's counting) featured modes similar to the offerings on Madden NFL Football, but at least it had the courtesy to include online multiplayer. Seeing as how multiplayer is such a big part of the 3DS experience (with StreetPass and the new persistent online friends system), you would think Madden NFL Football would at least have a local multiplayer option if they couldn't implement anything online. But alas, this football game is one you are doomed to experience alone.
Visually, Madden NFL Football is disappointing as well. Player models all suffer from strange proportions, and animations are frequently awkward and don't always make sense. For instance, after making a tackle one of my players made a strange bridge-like movement over the tackled player's body before returning to the field via teleportation. Though these animation issues are humorous at first, they are all too frequent and show a general lack of polish in the game.
The 3D in the game works well enough, but it includes far too many "gimmick" shots. We get that when a player throws a ball it looks like it's coming towards you. The novelty has worn off. I'd much rather have 3D visuals that enhance the gameplay and give me a sense of really "being there" on the field. The 3D visuals also have some of the highest contrast I have encountered in a 3DS game, and if you have borderline sensitivity to 3DS images, Madden NFL Football will push your eyes to their limits. Ironically, the best part of the game's visual design is the loading screens, which feature some cool 3D images of football stadiums.
Madden NFL Football is a very simplistic game. I wonder if the game was rushed to market just so the next iteration of Madden, when it comes this fall, can make a better showing on the 3DS. If this is the case, and this initial offering of Madden was just released now so that the inevitable release of Madden 12 will be far enough away for football fans to feel good about purchasing it, then this is a sad day for gaming. Madden NFL Football feels like an over-long demo, and its $40 price tag is a hard thing to swallow for the amount of features that are present in the game. If there was more to do in the game, better production values, or even just a multiplayer mode or two, this Madden NFL Football could have been decent. But as it is, the experience is far too thin and definitely forgettable, which is perhaps what EA is banking on.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer