Madden ’09: Madden-sized Disappointment

I finally got my hands on my copy of Madden ’09 earlier this week. I had actually gotten the game pre-ordered way back in early-July, but didn’t end up getting it until this week.

Let me get this part out of the way first: Dear EA Sports. For the love of god, please hire some fracking user interface designers. The user interface for Madden sucks, and seems to get worse every year. Quit spending all of your time making everything glossy and shiny. Just make it better. If you’re unsure of how to do this, WWDC might be a good place to start.

Moving on. My first impressions of the game went something like this:

  • Loading, Waiting, Loading, Waiting
  • Madden Test. Neat idea. What’s with the weird glassy field and see-through players?
  • Apparently I am close to all-madden on offense, but am still at rookie level on defense. Interesting. The combined IQ puts me at below 500.
  • Loading, Waiting, Loading, Waiting
  • Start up franchise mode. No need to save, I just started.
  • Start first game. Oh wait, I can practice for points. Umm, really confusing, I have no idea what I’m doing. OK, I completely buggered up whatever that was. Let’s start the goddamned game already.
  • Loading, Waiting, Loading, Waiting
  • Because of my offense in the madden test, playing offense now is completely impossible for me. I quickly throw one interception and punt twice. Despite my rookie-level defensive settings, the Jaguars quickly pass and rush their way down the field and score on me. This is not going very well.
  • What’s with all of the ridiculous camera angles?
  • Is it just me or is the game-pace faster?
  • Sometime in the late first quarter or early second, I call a play from the play call screen. The sound continues, but the screen freezes at the play call. I hear my players run the play I called, the controller vibrates, announcers continue talking. I can actually continue picking plays an even call timeouts, but the screen is completely frozen. I have to restart the game.
  • At this point, I realize that I had not saved anything yet and decide that maybe I would rather do something else.

That was Wednesday night. Thursday night went like this:

  • Repeat all steps from Wednesday night

So basically, I’ve attempted to play exactly two franchise games. I have not even made it to halftime without the game freezing on me. WTF EA Sports. This is the sorriest excuse of a release game. It is unplayable. Even worse, a quick Google search shows that I’m not the only one:

Madden Freeze Search

Keep in mind here that this game is brand new and I played it exactly twice; both times it froze. My PS3 is only a couple of months old as well. The official EA Forum has a thread about the freezing issues. It’s currently 37 pages long.

I was really hoping that this game would look great on the PS3. I didn’t expect for it not to work at all. I really hope that that class action lawsuit succeeds and they sue the shit out of EA.

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