Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FAST PLAY; A New 'Madden NFL' to Tackle

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FAST PLAY; A New 'Madden NFL' to Tackle

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT McGINTY

Madden NFL 09 may have found a way around the "cover jinx" this year. Usually the athlete who graces the cover suffers some kind of season-ending ailment, but the gremlins might have some trouble finding quarterback Brett Favre. He's pictured in a Packers uniform even though he now starts for the Jets.

What they're selling: From EA Sports - "Live the NFL experience in all its brutal glory with Madden NFL 09 as you savor the thrill and punishment of professional football like you can find only in this renowned series."

What we're telling: It's easy to crow when you've completely eliminated the competition. Due to an exclusive NFL license, it's been years since we've seen another company produce an NFL game.

The nut graph: Each year Madden gets a little better, adds a few new features and tweaks the presentation.

This year it feels a little more polished with an added emphasis on being user-friendly.

It looks fantastic, with some really nice stadium effects and more unique animations. And it plays smoothly, accurately reflects the style and playbooks of every NFL team and has deep gameplay with enough statistics

and micromanagement to keep you busy for some time.

In other words, it's like last year's Madden with a little bit more.

Reasons to smile: You can update the rosters online, and if that Brett Favre picture on the cover is really bugging you, then you can download a newer version off easports.com. . . . You can set it to adapt the game's difficulty to change as you progress in the game, although this isn't very noticeable. . . . Nice feature set for online leagues, with stat-tracking and trades.

Reason to growl: Another year goes by where we wonder if this game could have been better with some competition.

robert.mcginty@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4250

'Madden NFL 09'

Rating: ***1/2 (3 1/2 stars) out of 4

System: PlayStation 3 and 2, Xbox 360 and Xbox, Nintendo Wii, PSP, Nintendo DS and PC.

Price: $40 to $60 for the console versions, $30 to $40 for the others.

Family guide: Rated E. Nothing you wouldn't see watching an NFL game on TV.

'NCAA FOOTBALL 09'

Rating: ***1/2 (3 1/2 stars) out of 4

System: PlayStation 3 and 2, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PSP, Nintendo DS and PC. …

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