As a sports video game enthusiast, I will try nearly any game. I may also try the same game on multiple consoles. I played Madden NFL 12 on Nintendo Wii and rated it slightly above average but not the best. I then tried it on Playstation 2. I really enjoyed this version much more, and when I saw my son's friend play the PS 3 version, I became a bigger fan of the game.
Madden NFL 12 is available for Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2 and 3, and PSP. Prices vary depending on the system. I found my copy for PS 2 for $14.99 in May, 2012. Downloads onto PS 3 are also available. Some mobile devices, including iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android, have downloadable applications for under $10 depending on the device. Team rosters are accurate as of the beginning of the 2011 season.
Game play on PS 2
I found the game controls much easier on the PS 2. I first had trouble using both joysticks at the same time, but I got used to them after some practice. The left stick controls main player movement, and the right stick controls juking and faking. I have a hard time juking, but I like the challenge. The X button selects the menu options, chooses the plays, and snaps the ball. The other buttons select the receiver. That is much easier for me than pointing the Wii remote at the intended receiver. I like that after the snap the computer controls all players automatically until I press another button. That allowed me to study how each play works before I tried to take control myself.
I have never played or coached any football, so I have no knowledge of play calling. I play offense decently, but I am terrible on defense. I usually use the Ask Madden feature. The computerized Coach Madden will select the play. At first I thought this feature would really help. I realized that it is much more random than strategic, but that could just be my lack of defensive skill. I let the computer control defensive players. I rarely use Ask Madden on offense unless I just cannot decide what to do. On either side, I can ignore Madden's suggestions and still choose my own play.
The graphics on Playstation are much better than on the Wii. The images are sharper, and the players' faces and bodies are much more defined. The stadiums are very similar to the real ones. I say this even with my Wii on an HDTV and my PS 2 on an older standard television. Player movement also looks more fluid, and I have noticed more automatic close-up replays on close calls or spectacular plays on PS 2; either system allows player-controlled replays with zoom.
The play-by-play is a little robotic on both systems, but Chris Collinsworth on commentary sounds more natural. He offers both praise and criticism for play calling and execution. I noticed more variation in comments throughout several games on the Playstation version. I cannot tell for sure, but the PA announcer sounds very much like the legendary Gene Deckerhoff. It sounds just like the PA at the stadium. In addition, gamers who like to hear the players' grunts and collisions will enjoy the PS 2 and 3 versions.
As with most sports video games, Madden NFL 12 has exhibition and season modes, practice drills, and mini games on each system. However, this is the first one that I have seen suggest which skills to practice after a game. I follow the suggestions one at a time. In a short time, I got much better at passing, but I still get suggestions to practice running and defense.
Awaiting Madden NFL 13
After playing the Wii version of Madden NFL 12, I did not have the desire to wait for the new release. However, I give games fair chances. After playing it on Playstation 2 and seeing in on PS 3, I have changed my mind. I now look forward to the Madden NFL 13 - on both Wii and Playstation -- due later in 2012.
EA Sports, Madden NFL 13, easports.com/madden-nfl.
IGN Entertainment, Madden NFL 12, ign.com/games.
Playstation Network, Madden NFL 12, us.playstation.com/games.
Raymond grew up in the days of Atari and watched the progression of home video game consoles. He has played sports games on most consoles and personal computers as they became available. He now owns multiple game systems and enjoys most professional sports games. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau
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