Done with Madden and Back to NCAA (For now at least.)

Well, I played a couple more games of Madden 07 on the 360 over the weekend and I’m just not feeling it. The interface, as it has for a while now, just feels awkward (and not particularly responsive), and I think the on-field gameplay isn’t nearly as engaging as NCAA 2007. That’s purely a matter of opinion, but I just can’t justifying throwing Madden into my 360 when I have NCAA sitting right next to it.

Truthfully, I can’t say I gave Madden an overly fair shake. I didn’t really touch the sliders to see if anything could be done with QB Accuracy, DB coverage (and pass deflections), etc. But when I’m having plenty of fun with NCAA, why bother trying to enjoy a game that I know isn’t in my wheelhouse. I played an end of season Michigan vs. Ohio State game on Monday that was an blast. Now, it was a little nutty that the win landed me (10-2) in the National Championship game against an 11-1 Louisville team. I had the #3 and #4 rankings in the RPI and coach’s polls respectively, yet somehow the BCS poll had me #2. God bless strength of schdule, I guess. (The number two team in the other polls was 11-1 West Virginia. Penn State, who got the tie-break against me for the Big 10 title was ranked #3 in the coaches poll and #4 in the RPI. I bet both those teams feel pretty well snubbed. As well they should.)

Last night I played the National Championship game. I was really thrilled to see the crowd coloring representative of both teams. I was less than tickled when I pulled out the win to see all the players on the field just freeze in place while the booth crew yammered on with their generic, “They won it all, blah, blah, blah.” Talk about underwhelming. Seriously, how much effort could it possibly have taken to have the players run around the field, arms in the air, celebrating a little?

All that said, I will be giving the Madden franchise a second look (hopefully in a few days). I’ve got the DS version of Madden up in my Gamefly GameQ. I’m not exactly holding my breath for it, but I’ll take a look and see what it has to offer. My hope is they came up with some juicy ways to use the stylus to manage rosters and personnel and such that’ll make the franchise portion of the game a more enjoyable to work with than the tedium of roster management on the 360.

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