Thursday, November 3, 2011

This is Football?


 "The absence of structure isn't always Freedom, sometimes its CHAOS."

So yesterday, we were bored and decided to pop in some Madden 12. While we can't play the game regularly because of the number of exploits that ruin competitive gameplay, we needed a break from hoops and BF3 so we decided to enjoy some good ol' fashioned football.

Bad Idea.

I should have remembered that this is the time of year when exploits are in full-force. With the benefit of the internet, loopholes in gameplay spread faster than wildfire. So my first game is my Texans against the Pats. First thing i notice? 24/7 No-Huddle...sigh...gosh that's annoying. On defense he consistently stops my runs from power sets by blitzing out of Quarter Defense. We don't know about you, but there's a basic element of football strategy that just gets thrown out the window when a pass defense can stone a run formation. It's the basketball equivalent of having your PG guard the other team's Center--works like a charm in Madden though. While I don't see anything wrong with no-huddle from time to time, the whole game? It'd be nice if Madden resembled something close to NFL football from time to time, I mean really? The Play Now lobby is like the the Ninth Level of Hell with all of the little Madden Demons and Trolls. Other than that, this guy isn't very good but he does have this one little gem of an exploit. From time to time he calls a 2WR, 1TE, 2RB set and then he audibles into a 5WR set and spreads out my defense. While that shouldn't be an issue normally as most backs aren't great receivers (shouldn't being  the operative word here; almost everyone in Madden has glue hands, couple that with the speed some HBs possess and its a lethal combination, the fact that they're not good receivers in real life is a non-issue, apparently) but this guy has Kevin Faulk matched up on a LB so its an issue. Then we realize that the defender assigned to defend Faulk (who's on the strong-side of the formation) is the weakside LB. How in the world?

Something told us that a few Madden games were going to be more trouble than they were worth--we should have known better. No big deal right? Just use the man align command to make the defender match up with his assignment, right? Atleast that's what it says in the instruction manual. So we do that.....and our LB moves about 3 inches closer to his assigned man. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson: D'OH! 

"Why we subject ourselves to this cacophony of loopholes and glitches is beyond me." We think as we start to move our LB into position, but before we can, he quick-snaps us and my LB is atleast ten yards away when Faulk catches the ball and gets about another 10 RAC yards. All we can do is shake our head, "So man defense is out of the question." Herein lies the problem, when the offense can dictate that the defense plays zone because of loopholes in man defense there is a big issue, now the offense KNOWS to expect zone (or blitz) and will be ready to exploit the holes there. There's no way we can be expected to do all our audibles, move all our players into position because the AI can't matchup and make any other adjustments, its just too much. Next, he runs a double move route with Faulk and no matter how many times my 88 rated MLB (Demeco Ryans) sees the route, he falls for it over and over. Sure would be nice if we had some kind of adaptive AI (especially with our high AWR players) that way, people would have to save the better plays in their playbook for when they need them like they do in reality. And even though i'm still running out of power sets, even though he's in quarter, we never get a ground game worth mentioning. But after all that, he throws two picks and we win 28-14. It's a hollow victory, because it doesn't remotely resemble football--feels more like a virtual game of "I bet I can exploit the AI better than you can".

I guess i'm a glutton for punishment because I play one more. Next up? Drew Brees and the Saints. Should be FUN. The first thing I notice is that All-Day No Huddle and exploiting the broken man align is pretty popular, as this guy has the same gameplan. Sure would be nice to see a few false-starts to dissuade people doing that 24/7. He scores first with the infamous "throw it up and user catch" offense and also shows me the beauty of doing Onside Kicks after each score. UGH. Sure would be nice if attempting onside kicks was limited as well. After one score I make the mistake of letting the power bar go past 70% on my XP try. He goes into some familiar formation and easily blocks it. What the? Didn't the last patch notes say this was fixed? You know what? NEVERMIND. I remind myself not to need a FG longer than 20 yards or so to win the game. Then I shake my head after noticing my prize free agent CB (Joseph) refusing to matchup with Colston in a Twins formation. Instead he lines up just outside of Jimmy Graham leaving a LB on one of the league's best WRs. I swear I can't make this stuff up. In the end although he goes for it on every fourth down in the game, (and converts about 60% of them) Brees throws a bad pass on 4th & 5 with 2:03 left and we run out the clock winning 37-31. That's funny, because I don't feel like I won anything.

Many people will say, "you need to play only your friends, join a good community." Keep in mind there are times when my friends aren't on and when no Community Games are available. This is why many people don't play online. In those cases, Play Now is the only alternative and this mockery of football is what Madden Online has devolved into, its not enjoyable, fun or in the spirit of football--not remotely.


  1. spot on bro. great read!

  2. It was hard to not giggle a bit while reading this. The writer is a casual Madden player who wasn't familiar with his coverages and became easily overwhelmed by all the things he needed to do to overcome his opponents.

    As a casual player, he's not familiar with the nuances of the game - so he calls them all exploits. They aren't. At least not exploits of the game - but of the player.

    He may not have had time to make the correct adjustments - but a SERIOUS MADDEN PLAYER WOULD HAVE.

    I recommend that he commit to Madden if he expects to play online against the world. He simply isn't prepared for the full experience yet.

  3. actually i've played online for some time. keep in mind that just because sometimes we've adapted to an exploit, doesn't mean there isn't one. the fact that I won, doesn't change the fact that these issues need addressing. but for the sake of argument let's say I am casual describe for me how to deal with the fact that our best CBs don't match-up in twins, quarter can stop the run and how man align being broken doesn't cripple gameplay.

  4. hav 2 disagree with you tnt, tht stuff should be patched. you "i dont have a problem wit it" guys are funny.

  5. Sounds like you aren't a very good football player, with Iffy, true football IQ.

    I will give you that it sounds like the guy you played was rather cheap, i dislike ppl who blitz non-stop out of nickle/quarter formations. Not realalistic. But it is possible to stop it. Power runs, and exploit man to man match-ups to find a match-up you like. I always use the panthers. If someone runs man, i use motions to get my TE greg olsen matched-up against the worst guy in coverage, usually LB or SS. Greg whoops em. FIRST DOWN!!!

    quit your b-itchin and learn football. nothing wrong with audibles or no huddle

  6. @TNT, what about glitch blocking fg and xps? you need to kick a 50 yarder to win the game. now what?

  7. anonymous i'm 71-29 (with about or 6 disconnect losses) with Houston, so pretty good and iffy are probably a little off.

    you use mismatches? bravo, i applaud you. tell you the truth, a mismatch i wouldn't have minded one bit. all i want is my defender to go stand right in front of the guy he's matched up with when i use man align. continuing to stand on the wrong side of the formation and being out of position to make a play isn't cool one bit.

  8. Because you aren't familiar with the nuances of the game-play does NOT mean they are exploits. Far from it. The defense has just as much time to adjust as the offense, and aligning your defenders correctly is not difficult if you have a little experience.

    I will grant you, Madden online is a bit of an "arcade" football experience, which is unfortunate. But glitches, loopholes and exploits? No.
    None of what you described qualifies as anything close to an exploit.

  9. i dont ever comment but the defense has just as much time as the offense? lol!! the offense decides when the play will start genius.

  10. i can't believe you guys are missing this. he's clearly better than these people, so he understands how to beat the exploits. he's saying that the exploits he has to go against are totally unnecessary. there's no reason that "man align" shouldn't move the players to where they're DIRECTLY in front of the man. you won't always have time to move the players manually and neither should you have to. I'm sure he tried power runs against the quarters defense, being that that's what he stated, but they didn't work, which isn't football.

  11. The defense sees the entire player package BEFORE the play starts so yeeees they have every bit as much time as the offense genius - learn how to play before you insult someone that is better than you at something as stupid as a game.


    That is by far the least efficient way of moving your defenders - I can move and adjust my defense entirely in about 4-5 seconds at most and you almost never have adjust your entire defensive play call. Youtube can teach you how to play decent basic Madden defense in about half an hour.

  12. I mean, he gets how to play defense within the madden structure (and so do i) he's just saying there's certain things, being that this is football you shouldn't have to go through. such as man align not aligning players, no huddle every play, flipping plays so players are mismatched and such. it's not about winning here, it's about how the game actually plays.

  13. @ iblievn5

    I don't disagree with what you are saying actually, or what he said in that regard.

    My point was really that they are not exploits and that Madden at it's heart (at least atm) is a pretty arcadey football video game. And I think you are saying the same thing in a different way TBH. I don't think either of us thinks this is a GOOD thing, lol.

    He implies his opponents are borderline cheating which clearly they aren't. Madden online can be annoying if you are looking for actual football rather than something closer to any other online gaming experience. If you weren't straddled with pre-conceived notions of how those players "should" play the game (lack of no-huddle, quick snaps etc) you might view the experience as another video game and never think of their play as expoits - which they aren't. Annoying? Probably. Would I rather have Madden be more realistic? Of course. But don't overstate your case to make a point and stretch the truth in the process.

  14. better than you at something as stupid as a game? PROVE IT. its money-where-your-mouth is time now. add me on PSN: justud27. and don't worry about me trying to grab a frontrunner either. I'm a Giants fan.

  15. iblievn5 hit the nail on the head. its not enjoyable. i want to play FOOTBALL--which is why i haven't played since. Madden was on the right track in 2004-2005 with Fair Play rules. then they listened to the casuals who complained (and will buy the game anyway) and took it out. worst move ever.

    and while i agree the defense sees the whole package, what if the offense is in one of those spread sets I mentioned (so your LB covering the RB is on the wrong side of the formation) with a WR you want to play press on and one who you want to shade inside? (keeps running slants) still got as much time as the offense? (who only needs to snap the ball)probably not. Defense is reactionary by nature. ACCEPT IT.