Publishers: EA Sports
Developers: HB Studios
Release Date: August 28, 2012 (NA) – August 31, 2012 (EU)
System: PlayStation Vita
Madden NFL 13 Review
What immediately stands against Madden 13 for the Vita is its title. This same company released Fifa on the Vita without the “12” but for Madden they’ve insisted on keeping the “13”. What this does is it creates the illusion that this title shares the same feature set as the console but for a long time we’ve known this would be a derivative of Madden 12. With all of this in mind, this is by far the best handheld football game ever released. I’m not a huge football fan and I’m not a huge Madden fan but I am a fan of console experiences on the go.
Touch My Franchise
The last Madden I played was Madden 11 so even though this is a rehash of Madden 12; it was a fairly new experience to me. I read that there are some roster issues but honestly I’m not the one that would notice. I know at least once my roster was updated so I’d like to believe any roster issues have been resolved.
Jumping right into franchise mode I decided to go with the M.V.PETA himself, Michael Vick and the Eagles. On the field the game plays much like it does…or did last year but the Vita hardware allows for a more… “Hands-on” experience (See what I did there?). The angle and direction of your kicks are now controlled by tilting and turning the Vita and certain actions on the field can be triggered using the rear touch panel.
The most innovative feature involves the touch screen. Not only can you select players and put them in motion by touching them but you can also draw your own pass routes rather than calling audibles. At first it would seem as if you’d never have enough time to do this but the clock is frozen during this process. I can imagine this being something we’ve already seen on the 3DS and possibly the DS but this iteration is definitely more solid overall.
Are You A Superstar?
In Superstar mode you’re able to take your picture with the Vita camera and put yourself in the game. After creating your player and selecting a position you can enter the draft or select a desired team. In this mode you are strictly the player you created so depending on what position you play, you might find yourself doing a ton of simulating.
Between games you can engage in practices and your performance in all activities earns you points to improve your superstar. This mode is a nice change of pace but what I’ve found is that you can still earn trophies even though the majority of gameplay is simulation. I guess this a plus for those of us that enjoy collecting but if you’d like to feel like you’ve earned your trophies, you’ve been warned.
Madden Moments place in scenarios from previous seasons where you have the chance to re-create the miraculous. I’m sure I’ll eventually learn to enjoy this mode but the one challenge I attempted kind of got the best of me…over and over again.
And since we’re on the subject of “over and over again”, be prepared to hear the same commentary over and over again. That’s not to say it isn’t done well, it’s just limited. Finally, one of the most exciting moments in football, the booth review is almost pointless because there are times when a play will be overturned and yet not go into effect.
Hail Mary or QB Kneel
This is not the most polished Madden experience but where it matters (gameplay) it is an enjoyable experience. If it seems too easy, do yourself a favor and change difficulty. (You might just change it back.) Sadly, my online experience has only resulted in dropped games in which neither user was penalized other than by not being able to finish the game. There are also latency issues which are to be expected but hopefully a patch will iron out these kinks.
Clearly there wasn’t a lot put into this title but it succeeds in key areas making the experience worthwhile. Given care and a full development cycle we can look forward to console integrated features and the other bells and whistles. Still, with all that I can find wrong, it’s hard to take away from the fact that it’s fun to sack quarterbacks, snatch interceptions and go for it on 4th down whenever and wherever.
+ Console football experience on the go
+ Ability to draw routes with your finger
– Questionable online experience
– Logic and performance issues throughout