Madden NFL 12 for Wii Slightly Above Average: A Sports Video Game Review

I really enjoy sports video games, but I admittedly have not tried recent versions of Madden NFL until March 2012. I then tried Madden NFL 12 from EA Sports. I played it on Nintendo Wii. I quickly learned how to play the game and navigate through its features.

Although I would not consider this game one of my most favorites, I do rate it slightly above average in keeping me entertained.

Availability

I played Madden NFL 12 on Nintendo Wii, but it also is available for Playstation 2 and 3 and PSP for $39.99-$59.99, depending on the system. It is even available on some mobile devices, including iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android for under $10, depending on the device. Rosters are accurate as of the beginning of the 2011-2012 season.

Graphics

I like my sports games to look real. The graphics are not the best, but they are good. The playing fields have grass cuts similar to those on real fields with the alternating shades of green between each 5-yard line. That makes it easier to tell where the line of scrimmage is. Each field also has the same logos that the real fields have. Player movement is close to realistic but a bit herky-jerky. I would prefer that the game showed camera angles from the side with the ball in play as we see on television broadcasts, but the end zone shots are fine.

Close-up replays happen automatically after a big hit or big play, and users can make their own replays in normal, fast, or slow speeds while choosing the camera angles and zoom. Big hits look bone crushingly exciting in slow-motion close-ups.

After scoring a touchdown, users get to choose which type of end zone celebration to perform. Choices are between dances, swaggers, high-fives, or just strutting off the field.

Game play

Madden NFL 12 offers choices on play selection. On any given offensive or defensive down, users get to choose their own plays or have the computer choose for them. I did both equally as often, and I also used the Ask Madden feature in which John Madden suggests which play to use. Sometimes his suggestion works and sometimes it does not, but it also comes down to how well I executed the play.

Rookie level proved far too easy, even though I have not played a Madden game in a long time. I got bored with it fast because it posed no challenge. By only the second day, I had the game I moved up to pro level. That challenged me more and made it more fun to play while I mastered passing and running. Higher levels take a lot more skill and practice to master, and it will take me a while to make it that far, a challenge that I like. I found that I could change levels even during a game.

Offense took some work, but I figured out how to run and pass fairly easily. The game has practice modes and competitions, but I figured it out more easily during regular game play. On the Wii, I play using the horizontal controls that act more like the classic controller. I could not play the practice modes because the conventional Wii controls were too difficult to figure out, especially for completing a pass. Users get to choose the style that works better for them.

Learning to kick was the easiest skill to master, just by watching the power and accuracy meter. As it reaches the top, push the necessary button for power. Then, let the bar get into the accuracy range and press the button again. After only a few practice kicks, I could boot a fifty-yard field goal with ease.

Users can set quarter lengths to any time up to 15 minutes. There is very little halftime recap, which I like because it keeps the game moving. Users can save the game at any point and finish at a later time.

Announcers

Gus Johnson performs the play-by-play, and Chris Collinsworth does the commentary. The play-by-play sounds choppy and forced, but the commentary sounds much more natural and conversational. The announcers rarely use the players' names, and they repeat the same statements throughout even the same game.

Wi-Fi capability

Madden NFL 12 on Wii allows users to play against opponents from anywhere in the world through Wi-Fi connection. The graphics lose quality in Wi-Fi mode, but the gameplay does not change at all. Should the opponent leave before the game ends, then the user may elect to end the game or finish it against the computer.

Above average but not the best

Madden NFL 12 on Nintendo Wii is an above average football video game, but I would not call it one of my favorites. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate it a 6 or 7. I like the gameplay, but the graphics and announcing are not up to today's technological capabilities. I plan to try other versions of the game on other consoles, and I will also make sure to try Madden NFL 13 on multiple consoles when it becomes available in August 2012.

Source:

EA Sports, Madden NFL 12 , easports.com/madden-nfl.

Raymond grew up in the days of Atari and witnessed 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 many professional sports games. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau.

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Updated Monday, Mar 26, 2012