When it comes to Madden, I only got through two games before I’d had enough. Set to three minute quarters, and the game still felt like it went on far longer than necessary. It definitely didn’t help that I had no idea how to play. To be fair, I never played a tutorial because I assumed a football game couldn’t be that complicated. I was incredibly wrong.
For my first game, my main strategy was just to shout at the ball. When that didn’t work, I turned to frantically pushing buttons in a hopeful attempt it would do the right thing. This plan of action resulted in both some spectacular, awe-inspiring interceptions followed by lots of diving directly in the ground in the middle of the field.
I was definitely not football-literate enough to seriously play the game. The game kept asking me to pick plays from a seemingly infinite list, none of which made any sense and all looked like toddler scribbles of shapes and squiggles. My friend tried to tell me where I was going wrong, saying that my defence was weak against his run game—all words that I understood individually but meant nothing put together.
At this point, I was mostly just enjoying the killer playlist the game had between the plays. It was a high-energy rap mix that got me a little more hyped up about the game, at least momentarily. The graphics were fine, but I always felt a little uneasy when I looked at the players. There’s something unsettling about seeing “real people” acting and moving almostlike a normal human. Honestly I would have prefered if they were a little less realistic.
By the second game I was feeling more confident, or at least more resigned to failure. It turns out the game gets a lot more fun when you insert drinking game rules (21 and over of course).
For our last game, we decided to play our own “Brawl of the Wild”, choosing teams that had the same colors as MSU and U of M. Through a lot of screaming, angry button-pushing and luck, I led the “Cats” to a very impressive win over the “Griz.” Let’s hope that the real Cats are at least as good as I am at Madden. The bar is set pretty low.
Overall, I thought the game was fun, as long as you were playing with friends and don’t take it too seriously. It was overly complicated, but it turns out the most important part of success was just pure luck. If you’re not interested in actually attending the game in the cold, this could be a fine substitute if you want a football-themed weekend, even for a rookie player.