Should you buy this year’s Madden?

By Aaron Graff, Austin Miller

EA Sports released “Madden 16”, the newest edition of the well-known franchise, and it might be both the best and worst installment. 

How?

Hearing, “EA Sports, it’s in the game” for the first time every year is like Christmas to us. It is music to our ears.

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But that experience was delayed this year, and we are not the only ones.

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Luckily, EA Sports customer service was responsive, and Christmas was saved.

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Visually, it is the greatest Madden of all-time, but that is expected every year.

As far as gameplay, I was skeptical about the new catching tactics. The player can hit multiple buttons to have different kind of catches depending on the situation. Do they want to aggressively catch the ball and go down, or do they want to catch it and turn up field right after? The same style works on defense.

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The skepticism quickly ended, as catching is probably the most on point it has ever been.

“Madden 15” had a problem with receivers hardly ever being able to catch a ball against their smaller, cornerback counterparts. But “Madden 16” overcorrects this problem by giving receivers glue-covered gloves, snatching nearly any ball in their vicinity. 

Odell Beckham Jr., this year’s cover athlete, made one of the greatest catches in NFL history last season by grabbing a ball behind his head with one hand while falling to the ground. This one-of-a-kind catch dominated highlight reels for weeks, but happens multiple times per game in “Madden 16.”

The worst kind of people air it out all the time and get lucky excessively. They will have even more success this year.

Even in game modes like “Madden Ultimate Team” and the new “Draft Champions,” it seems more balls are caught, occasionally the opposite team doing so.

“Draft Champions” acts as the offspring between “Ultimate Team” and fantasy football, allowing gamers to select 15 good players to improve a randomized base team of mediocre players. 

This new mode is definitely fun and perfect for those who get bored by the long-term commitment of “Franchise” because the team only lasts for three games. After that, you can wash your hands of the team and try again. Drafting the right team is a great challenge because three random players of different positions appear at a time for selection. There is no guarantee those positions will come back in later rounds. 

You may regret passing on LeSean McCoy to draft Justin Houston and improve the defense, only to not have another running back show up for selection. It definitely provides a challenge never seen in Madden before.

“Madden 16” does what you expect it to. It looks pretty, has fun game types and lets couch potatoes sit on their butts, believing they made it to the NFL. Unfortunately, gameplay — the most important part — fixes a previous problem by creating another.

3.5 stars out of 5

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