Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Suckling at the teat of EA Sports 

It's that time of year again, friends: Madden '09 time! Yesterday was Madden Day in America. Or as EA Sports executives surely call it: "Free Money Day."

First off, I want to say how amusing I find it that instead of putting an up-and-comer on the cover like they've been doing, they paid tribute to Brett Favre's "retirement." I also want to know who the people are that are downloading and printing out a new Favre-as-a-Jet jacket cover and putting it in the case. I mean, I have many anal-retentive, OCD behaviors, but come on.

Anyway, I got my copy yesterday. They've added a feature that actually seems pretty damn cool. When you turn it on, you take a "Madden Test" that gives you an initial Madden IQ. This is used to set your play level, instead of the traditional levels of "Rookie," "Pro," etc. that we've seen on sports games since time immemorial. It's constantly changing, and I think it adjusts when you play someone who's much better or much worse than you, to make things more competitive.

They also got rid of the no-name EA Sports Radio play-by-play guy, replacing him with Tom Hammond and Cris Collinsworth. Much smoother sound. There are a few other nifty things, like a "Rewind" feature that lets you take a mulligan on a play (or as many plays as you want, if you set it that way).

But the most important thing is that we who are obsessed with having all the current Steelers represented in the virtual world can now work on getting our rookies up to par. "Lime-Ass Sweed! Lime-Ass Sweed!"

Incidentally, to make room for the new Madden under the salary cap, I sold my Nintendo GameCube to a strange man who smelled funny.

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