"Shaun Ellis, I choose you!"
As I sat on the comfy sofa at the EA Summer Showcase bathed in bluish light, I pondered the nature of my opponent. When the person I paired up to play one of the most iconic sports franchises of all time started off by telling me that she had never played a sports game on a console, let alone in real life, I probably should have put some money on the match. This is after I imagined my virtual NFL world, where the Jets went on to conquer the Saints in a double-digit-shut out, making my chocolaty mocha-chino from the endless coffee bar at the event all that more delicious.
Like past titles in the series, Madden 2012 has many unique game modes but none of them were readily available during the demo. But have no fear, Madden devotees, as you still have all the customizable features afforded to you by career modes in the past. EA Sports have even expanded features of the Franchise mode to increase roster size and make rookie scouting and free-agent bidding more efficient. Custom playbooks are still available, allowing more adventurous players to take an existing play and completely tailor them to their own taste.
One of the most interesting new features of the game is Dynamic Player Performance, which essentially gives your team players
namby-pamby feelings. Throughout the course of a game/career in franchise mode, each players confidence will fluctuate according to their performance.
As someone who spent a large amount of her youth playing Madden on the Sega Game Gear and original Xbox, I can tell you that the evolution of this franchise has been impressive. I remember watching my uncle and his friends lug numerous TV sets into my grandmother's house to have "Madden Parties" when I was in elementary school. Oh, what a barbaric time that was. I wish I had a time machine so I could take an Xbox 360 back to my grandma's house and watch a room full of grown men crap their pants.
If fantasy football just isn't cutting it for you anymore, Madden NFL 2012 is what you should be playing when it hits the digital gridiron August 30, 2011.