Senior Writer Josh Hill reviews the new EA Sports Madden 12 in an in-depth 5 part review. All major gaming modes will be explored and reviewed to the fullest extent so you know what you’re buying in Madden 12. EA Sports is in no way affiliated with Pewter Plank or Fansided. In Part 2 of 5, the SUPERSTAR MODE is broken down and reviewed.
Last year’s Superstar Mode was a painful failure to me. The painful part comes from paying for the game (which I feel was really worth about $20), and the failure was in just about everything imaginable. It seemed like EA put too much time into perfecting the pickup game and not into crafting a deep game for the hardcore NFL fan. Madden 11’s failure’s were also highlighted in neon colors by being directly compared to NBA2K11, which I considered the best edition of a sports game ever due to its immense depth and ace presentation. The NBA2K11 Superstar Modedidn’t allow you to skim it. You had to play it or it wasn’t fun. You had to learn it or you wouldn’t go anywhere. You had to practice or you wouldn’t get better. Madden 11 was cotton candy compared to this.
Now, Madden 12 moves past its predecessor in terms of (put very bluntly) Superstar Mode doesn’t suck. When you enter the menu, you will be prompted with a series of options. First is what kind of Superstar Mode would you like to play? You can either create your own player from scratch (sort of), pick a current NFL rookie to play out his career, or import a player from NCAA 12.
Past the customizability of creating your own superstar, the modes don’t differ very much, if at all. If you choose to create your own superstar, you will choose everything from equipment to style of play to traits.
This isn’t without its annoying flaws.
Unlike NBA2K11 and many other games where you customize your player, EA is still slacking in the full customization mode. By this, I mean you cannot have total control over every aspect of your player’s face, hair, shape, ect. This has a lot to do with the fact you never see your player’s face but when you do it doesn’t feel like something you created. Instead you’re given a list of faces that are exact ports for last year’s edition.
Another flaw is in the style and traits menus. In these menus you select what type of throwing motion you would like your player to have. It lists two boxes: one for QB style and one for Stance Style. Having two boxes implies you can customize both; you can’t. If you choose Josh Freeman’s release style, you have his stance as well. Not a major gripe but just another constraint. The traits menu is
new and allows you to select the playing traits you want your player to have. These include how likely your player is to tuck and run with the ball, how he operates under pressure, if he will fight for extra yards and so on. There is no point cost for these, rather a series of free options. It’s a nice feature but on options like ‘Drops Open Catches’ is anyone going to really select YES?
Speaking of point costs, that’s how you determine your rating. You are given 1500 points to spend initially. Your player position choice determines how much attributes cost. After you select this and your equipment (which is a very deep and open process if you want it to be) you have another option menu.
On this screen you can select whether you wish to enter the NFL Draft, or choose to be a walk on like you walked down to One Buc Place and tried out. You select which team you want to try out for and you are on roster for that team. There is really nothing else to it. You don’t even have to try out.
If you select NFL Draft mode, you are immediately drafted by a team after selecting it. EA has removed all pre-draft activities.
Where you would have tried to raise your draft status in previous versions, the goal is now to beef yourself up in the pre-season where now it actually matters how you do. Or so you would think.
EA drops the ball hard again this year; they just made it look fancier.
In the preseason, you will have training camps to complete where you run 10 plays and based off your performance, you earn (or lose) points that you can then use to beef up attributes. Same formula goes for playing games.
Where EA drops the ball is no matter how good or poor you do in the preseason, you will ALWAYS begin the season as a starter on your team no matter your overall. However, if you are a 67 overall it will not be a cake walk for you. The game is more difficult this year which is a plus and does make you want to try harder in the preseason, but there is no competition or consequence for not performing well.
Mostly everything else is the same here that it was last year. If you request a trade, you get traded immediately unlike NBA2K11 which makes you continue to play and based off your performance a team makes an offer on you. Also unlike a very cool feature in NBA that I thought would get ported to EA and Madden was post game press conferences where you are asked questions and based on your answers, your team chemistry, popularity league-wide, and fan-wise is affected. Once you’ve had cool features like that, paying the same price for something lacking it isn’t a fun reality.
Overall, the Madden 12 Superstar Mode is improved upon from last year’s embarrassment but if only slightly. The added features of player traits and making the preseason meaningful are pluses, but to be blunt it’s lipstick on an attractive pig that is Madden’s Superstar Mode.
Superstar Mode Rating: 4 out of 10
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