One of the most anticipated video games each year is the latest edition of Madden NFL. The 2013 version is now available. I played it on Nintendo Wii and found it a great upgrade from the 2012 edition. I really like the Wii version, and I look forward to trying its counterparts on my other systems.
Madden NFL 13 is available for PlayStation Vita for $39.99, Nintendo Wii for $49.99, and PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for $59.99. It is available at most major outlets that sell video games, or direct from the EA Sports Website. Xbox 360 also has a downloadable demo available.
Graphics, sounds, and game play
The graphics and announcing are much clearer this year. Phil Sims and Jim Nantz announce and even do a brief pre-game show. I played as the Dallas Cowboys against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and my wife thought I was watching a live NFL game. She was amazed to hear it was the video game. I especially like the close-up replays that show the players' joy or frustration at the results of the plays.
Whenever I win the first time I play a new game, it means the controls are easy to learn. I was already familiar with the controls from previous editions, and not much has changed. Once I got used to them again, I could concentrate more on strategy and play calling.
The Wii gives choices of control styles, but I use the standard Wii remote. The nun chuck controls the ball carrier. I know when I want to run or pass, so calling plays is easy. I can choose from many plays from various formations. If I am not sure, then I can use the Ask Madden feature for advice. Ask Madden does not always give the best suggestions, and I still have to execute the plays.
To pass, I simply use the nun chuck to control the quarterback and press A to pass. I aim the remote where I want the ball to go, so I can lead my receivers. It takes me a lot of practice to make good passes, but Madden 13 has practice modes for that purpose.
Kicking is very easy on the Wii. Use the nun chuck to aim the kick. Farther kicks require less arrow movement. Press A and swing the remote down to snap the ball. Faster swings will give the kicker more power. Then, swing up to kick. I mastered field goals, kickoffs, and punts after only a few tries.
I am terrible at calling defensive plays, but I can tell if the offense is in a definite pass or run situation. The play graphs show what the players will do initially on each play. I can always Ask Madden, but I still have to execute. The computer will control all players until I press any button or move the joystick. I will often let the computer finish the play until I get a better feel for what the offense will do.
What I would like improved
I like seeing the statistics throughout the game. With other games, I have seen frequent stat updates as players score. So far, I have seen only a few in-game statistics in Madden NFL 13. More in-game statistics would make the game seem even more authentic.
Although the announcing sounds very good, I hear the same comments often throughout even a single game. For example, one game had three missed field goals. Nantz said the same comment about kicking far but not straight all three times. A wider variety of commentary would keep the announcing from getting tedious too fast.
Final rating: 4.5 footballs
I give Madden NFL 13 for Wii 4.5 footballs out of 5. It is easy to learn, has realistic graphics, and excellent sound effects. It skimps on commentary variety, but the announcing does sound good. I really like the Wii version, and I have already ordered copies for my other systems.
EA Sports, Madden NFL 13, easports.com/madden-nfl
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
More from this contributor:
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Nintendo Wii
- Madden NFL