V-Day: 56 Reasons Why Madden NFL Sucks
By Mike V.
Originally Published on April 27, 2011
(Internet Archive Capture of Original)

Are ya ready for some football?

Last week, we brought Mike V. into the offices, sat him down and had a long talk about his future with the company. We told him we needed something approachable, something not riddled with lies, something normal. Please, we begged him, please just write us a Top 10 List or something. It'll be easy, we said.

This is my eloquent introduction. Let's get into this hot mess:

1. Lack of Progression
Aside from the updated rosters, Madden doesn't really make any significant changes that are worthy of another 60 dollar purchase. Same game, same engine, maybe the fans in the stadiums look a little more realistic. And the commentators seem ever so slightly less robotic. That's it.

It's pretty much the same as Pirates of the Caribbean. All the sequels are the same crap, just slightly different. Maybe Johnny Depp recites a line from the first movie but in an ironic way, and you get a little chuckle. You still sit there, having paid good money for a recycled experience.Your wife is next to you putting on a fake smile, because the kids are there. She knows where you were last night. She's sitting there, smiling, planning. Don't sleep in your house tonight. It's not safe.

2. The "Gamers"
College was awesome. Me and my friends would play video games in between rounds of ookie-cookie, but there was always that one bro who wanted to play Madden. We were busy trying to beat Ninja Gaiden or Metal Gear, and some backwards-hatted guy that none of us liked would walk by our doorway and sorta slow down, so he could get a good look at what we were doing. Then he'd approached us innocently enough.

You goin' to Delta-Phi later, bro?"

"Hey dudes, you're playing video games, huh?" And he'd stand awkwardly in the front of our room for fifteen or twenty minutes until he finally made his move. "So...any of you guys play Madden?"

Cut to two hours later when he's in my room, playing my Xbox, talking shit to my roommate, wearing my Giants jersey and making out with my girlfriend. What the hell, bro?

3. The Madden Curse
While entire articles have been written about this alleged curse that strikes the player on the cover each year, I will condense all the information into six sentences of stupidity. Roman Polanski was on the cover of Madden '77, and we all know how that ended up.

Just do a quick Google search for "Madden Curse" and you'll undoubtedly find some awesome Angelfire page about the injuries and statistical declines that players on the cover have had, despite the fact that the NFL is plagued with injuries and that a player usually makes it on the cover of Madden when they have an outstanding year; statistically speaking (and by using common sense) it'd be unrealistic to maintain stats of that caliber for another season. But you have a freely hosted webpage, you must be right.

For the new Madden, you can vote for who you want to be on the cover or something, and no one really cares.

4. Kinectless
I don't even like the Kinect, but I think it's stupid that Madden 12 isn't going to use it. I'd be way more inclined to buy the newest Madden blunder if I had the option to play as the quarterback using motion control.

Does anyone remember the Sega Activator? I remember the commercial: a little kid was fighting Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, and when the kid kicked, his character on the game kicked. When he punched, his character punched. It was awesome. Of course, it was all bullshit, because the controller didn't function like that, but the Kinect does.

I can see it now, dropping back in my living room, looking across the field of my flat screen, throwing an imaginary ball to the wide receiver, sending pictures of my balls via text message to a reporter. Man, Madden would be a lot better if I could do all that.

Maybe it's too realistic for fans. They already know they aren't good at the sport, why humiliate them when they realize they aren't even good at a simulation of a sport? Ain't no 300 pound Madden gamer gonna want to stand up and play a video game, let alone move his body around like he isn't a waste of human matter.

5. It's Still Not "NBA Jam: Madden Edition"
All any developer has to do with any sports game is make it the way NBA Jam was made. For the first 23 years of my life, I thought basketball games only had 2 players from each team on the court at once. I only found out it was actually 5-on-5 last week. I felt like I had been living a lie, but not really, because no one likes basketball.

NBA Jam had improper proportions, unrealistic physics and low-end graphics, but it had heart.

NBA Jam was incredible. You could dunk or shoot. Go for the dunk, obviously, where you jump completely over the basket, and then slam that ball into oblivion. Heroes dunk. Or you could shoot, and the way of aiming was by randomly hitting the shoot button and hoping the ball went through the hoop. Heroes never shoot, except for the full-court final second toss up.

Of course, the greatest feature of NBA Jam (and any game ever) is the "on fire" bonus. Sink three baskets in a row, and you're on fire. That means that the ball is literally on fire. And for some reason, you shoot better with an object that is on fire. Nearly every "wacky" sports game that has come out since NBA Jam has used the "on fire" mode in some way, including Halo 2 and Red Dead Redemption.

6 - 56. The Complete Discography of Eagle Eye Cherry
Sure, "Save Tonight" was everyone's favorite song in 1998, but going 1-for-51 is less than a 2% success rate. What if condoms only had a 2% success rate? I mean, I guess it doesn't matter because of my court-ordered sterilization (worth it), but you guys might actually care about those sort of percentages. The numbers don't lie, my friends. Madden is awful.