The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (May 2022)

  • @ffff0 In response to your question regarding The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt:

    I feel there is a need to revisit places to bring the story full circle. There are flaws in the third act and yes it isn't as good as the second, but I don't think it does damage to what The Witcher 3 managed to achieve overall. I don't think this comparison is apt, but the end of Mass Effect 3 was terrible, but the ride getting to it was splendid, and I think the Witcher 3 should be looked upon in a similar fashion, it's not about the where the ride ends, it's about the journey and all those amazing experiences you witness over that time.

  • @capnbobamous I think at times you need to spend time in the bogs to appreciate the beauty in other areas of the game. Spending too long in one area can grate, but I think with Wild Hunt spending a lot of time in a dank and grotty place helps you to look forward to all the majesty the game has to offer elsewhere. Personally I'm not against the idea of spending several hours in a dank place in a game, when there are so many beautifully eloquent locations you can explore later on. Diversity is what empowers The Witcher 3, and it does a meticulous job of giving you a mix of moods throughout.

  • @ffff0 said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (May 2022):

    Question for @bruno_saurus about Madden 07.

    As a sports-game outsider I have an impression that each new installment replaces previous one. Can you explain what is missing in modern Madden games compared to Madden 07 and why features that present only in latest games aren’t that significant?

    • So, with the PS3 and 360 iterations of Madden, they rebuilt the engine that would result in these early iterations being bare bones, specifically Madden 06 and 07 on these consoles. Madden 06 on the 360 had three modes you can play: Play Now, Online Play, and Franchise Mode which was not on this scale of detail as its PS2/Xbox Counterpart. With today’s Madden they haven’t truly recovered from those years I would say. EA likes to reduce features one year, and act as if they are some fancy new feature another year. For example, for Madden 20, one of the big features for the game that year was that they added the Pro Bowl. Again, they made a big deal because they added the Pro Bowl game to Franchise.
    • Something I liked that Madden 22 at least attempted, was a new scouting system for the NFL Draft. Since Madden 17 maybe(?), scouting was seeing players on a list and pressing a button three times to see their three most valuable skills to that position until you lose scouting points for that week. That isn’t reflective of scouting in general. The new Scouting System was changed to have regional scouts and have them all scout players throughout the year and you’ll get information as the year goes on, with certain weeks you get to pick Focus players to gain more info on them. HOWEVER! This is a very slow deliberate process that isn’t very fun. And for the information you get on these players, they might not even reflect things that would be helpful to know. You might want to Scout a WR, but you might not get certain ratings that would be helpful to know with a WR like Spectacular Catch. Or sometimes you might select three focus players, but you never see that information as the game bugs out. So the new scouting isn’t all that significant just yet to be a huge improvement over anything that was within the past five years. Even if that system for five years was very repetitive, at least it gives you stuff reflective on the player.
    • With Madden 07, there isn’t any scouting until the off-season, but in this session you have the Scouting Combine where you scout six or seven players you’re interested in to run Mini-Game type drills. Your performance will give you a Scouting paragraph. You also get to play in the College Football All-Star Game as a Senior Bowl type of display of scouting. Which has not been present in any Madden games since the PS2 era. You get to see how the QB you want throws under pressure, or how the Defensive Lineman you want stops the run in real in game situations.
    • You also have something I mentioned in another Question. Superstar Mode is basically just picking out of four positions and three of them are on Offense. So you don’t get that same value from that mode as you do in Madden 07.
    • A feature that is present in today’s Madden for over a decade now is Ultimate Team. Now, I have not touched this mode at all and do not intend to. But, this feature is sort of everything really wrong with EA today. Trying to maximize profits by having features that are the bare minimum of effort. My friend recently showed me a photo of a Practice Squad QB for the Dallas Cowboys having a 99 Overall rating card. Do I know what that overall actually does in Ultimate Team? No, but I know that that is not an important thing to do when there are still many issues EA Sports could address like constant gameplay bugs within the game.

  • For @bruno_saurus regarding Madden 07

    1.) For a while, I was on the yearly installment of NCAA/Madden for about 4 or so years, particularly during middle school. As such, I got tired of the minimal improvements plus my tastes being developed elsewhere. Because of this, I NEVER played a previous entry when the new one came. Leading me to ask: How does Madden 07 hold up today when compared to the many, MANY years of Maddens since? How does it really differentiate itself?

    • It differentiates a lot from today. The Superstar Mode of Madden 07 is today replaced by Face of the Franchise. The differences between these two are that you only get four options to your position: Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver, and Linebacker compared to in Madden 07, you can be all 24 starting positions, which gives that mode alone, a lot of replayability from time to time. So if you wanted to be the next Jalen Ramsey or Aaron Donald, you are out of luck in Madden 22. Another reason Madden 07 differentiates itself is that Historic Teams aren’t present at all in any mode that isn’t named Ultimate Team where they have Historic Players, but no teams from the Pittsburgh Steelers Dynasty of the 70’s or the Dynasty of the Green Bay Packers of the 60’s. You don’t really get that historical value of today’s Madden. Now, yes all of these Historic Teams’ players are named just POSITION # etc, but it is much better than not having any teams at all. Even NFL Europe was last seen in this game!
    • Madden over the years has been accustomed to switching engines for no real reason needed except EA wanting to save money where they can. Starting in Madden 19, they switched to the Frostbite engine. Madden 19 is one of the worst bug-ridden Maddens of recent memory: For example if you want some entertainment. As well as the Franchise mode being the same stuff with no updates for years until there was a Twitter Hashtag trending for it to be changed. So other than just a roster update, I don’t really find values of new Madden’s until proven otherwise.

    2.) Speaking as someone who prefers the College level exponentially more than the Pros, I don’t have any inclination to play any Madden. So, I know this is an incredibly difficult question and you state in your presentation several different features that makes Madden 07 stand out, but I ask: How (or in what ways) is Madden 07, fun?

    • Other than maybe this game featuring some of my favorite players of All-Time like Ed Reed, Sean Taylor, Ladanian Tomlinson, Troy Polamalu, just for namesake, Lofa Tatupu; you’re able to Create-a-Team, Player, or even a darn Fan. So you have options of making it a varied experience each time you play it. I’m not saying this is a game I need to play everyday for the rest of my life, but each time you play it once a year or so, you get this varied experience if you so desire. The only way to can even have a team that isn’t in the NFL in Madden’s Franchise is to relocate your team. And even then you can’t create a team in that type of regard. You have a few teams you pick from and a few cities you pick from and that’s it.
    • In Madden 07, you type out any city you want. So if you want to have a team in Alaska, go for it! That brings in a lot of fun for me as a creative person. But it’s also a simple system. You pick your colors, your logo from the list, and you make your uniforms (Home, Away, Alternate Home, Alternate Away). But you can still also relocate teams in the franchise mode! Sadly a part does bring down fun for me a bit in this process though, is that you can make new uniforms for teams, but you cannot use any NFL Logos on helmets. So if you picked the Tennessee Titans and wanted to update their uniforms, you would have to just keep a blank helmet in mind. Or you can just relocate the Titans again.
    • The Franchise mode besides the creative side, also just offers more immersion for me than today’s Madden. With the Tony Bruno show, the Newspaper Central that is more keen to actual important information in regards to teams or players unlike the Twitter feed in today’s Madden with saying things like “Oh wow an Alternate Uniform for the Panthers today”.
    • Another reason is gameplay honestly. You get an actual polished experience here. You don’t get that type of experience in today’s Madden. I will have game bugs every time I play Madden 22. Like the game continuing on from the 1st Half after a missed Field Goal.

  • @capnbobamous said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (May 2022):

    Question for @Shoulderguy:
    Tell me a bit about the ending of 3. It is something that is so controversial, and for many completely ruined the series. So then Bioware made an alternate ending, which was just as controversial, and for those like ffff0, replaced something that didn't need replacing. What do you think about the ending, and does it hurt the overall package of the series?

    The original ending and the new ending of Mass Effect 3 did not ruin the journey for me. Maybe it just comes down to expectations, because I didn't view the ending as the payoff for all of Mass Effect. For me, the entire trilogy was the payoff. The last hour of Mass Effect 3 does not erase how great the previous 80 hours was.

  • @capnbobamous For me, my interpretation is Nate is consistently in a, "it's either them or me" situation when the gunfire breaks out. In the line of work of "procuring valuable antiquities" as it were, almost everyone regardless of affiliation/loyalty must be willing to kill to reap the riches everyone seeks, and Nate always tries (and practically almost always fails, dependent upon the player in many situations) to not follow that model.

    Does this mean Nate ever wants to? Not at all. There are several examples where he would prefer to involve himself in subterfuge or the non-lethal approach. To avoid bringing the rest of the franchise into this answer, I'll pull the auction: The plan is for Nate, Sam, and Sully to steal the cross when the power is out and extract without none being the wiser. He explicitly tells Sam there should not be any guns on the mission when he discovers a firearm (though Sam points out it's a tranquilizer). And by the end, as things often do in Uncharted, mercenaries bring out their weapons and open fire.

    So, as always, Nate must find a way to survive. It's never his first choice. It's never a preferred choice. But for all the smooth-talking wise cracks he tries to use, he can't just stand there and be shot. And he never seeks to hunt out his enemy. The climax on the pirate ship is a perfect example of this: In the swordfight with Rafe, once he initially comes out on top, he says to Rafe he's taking Sam and leaving the ship, but if Rafe wants to burn with it, he's welcome to. Surrounding by a burning ship and temporarily having the upper hand, he still doesn't want to kill Rafe. However, Rafe won't let it go, so Nate must continue to fight to survive. He ultimately kills Rafe with by cutting down a hanging smattering of treasure, but he had no other options.

    And another major plus about what I say in my presentation regarding the feeling like there are fewer "large" combat encounters is there are several you CAN skip (Primarily in Madagascar), or stealth your way through. There's even several trophies where you have to get reach certain sections without killing or even being seen (The Cemetary in Scotland, getting to and driving Elena's Jeep shortly after you reunite with her, and playing the ENTIRE segment from being Marooned to reaching the Treasury [which I think is two or three chapters] without killing a soul.).

    So when people complain about Ludonarrative Dissonance, personally speaking, I've felt like it's been a complaint for something to complain about.

    And in regards to not seeing a rebuttal, with how I write out my presentations, I typically write more so as a stream of consciousness with a rough outline to keep myself on track (thus how I close my first full paragraph). And every time, without fail, I'm over the limitations and have to make edits/cuts. However, I DO always want to make sure I mention criticisms/cons/negatives/etc. so in the event I don't fully address it/them, I can have the opportunity to answer questions such as yours, so thank you! ^.^

  • Response to @Capnbobamous questions about open areas in Dragon Age: Inquisition and comparison to Dragon Age: Origins.

    Dragon Age: Origins is one of my most played games (I’ve completed 4 playthroughs), but when I’ve played it the last time in 2014, I really felt how poorly this game aged. Firstly, while everyone else is fully voiced your protagonist is not, despite communicating a lot. You may call this nitpicking, but I can’t help but feel that my hero is detached from the rest of the world, which makes harder to get immersed.
    Secondly, the combat and gameplay in general feel way too slow, and as a result some areas, especially main quest areas, significantly outstay their welcome. This is not my preference for action-packed games – I’ve played Divinity: Original Sin 2 (which is even slower) and loved it – this is because nothing really necessitates such slow pace as the vast majority of encounters require next to zero tactical decisions.
    Thirdly, getting progression for many side quests in Dragon Age: Origins is a pain in the ass as it requires a “random” encounter while you travel between major locations. If you have 10 such quests in a queue, it will take a while before you’ll get the one you want, and literally nothing in the game tells you how much more you need to travel back and forth. Nor does the game tells you that you are traveling between a pair of locations on a correct map. In fact, the game doesn’t tell you that you need to travel to progress at all.
    These and other issues make Dragon Age: Origins a bumpy ride. Its story and characters are still great, and choices you make are still impactful, but the act of playing the game really detracts from that experience. Meanwhile, Dragon Age: Inquisition doesn’t stand in its own way and still looks and feels like a high-budget modern release (I’ve replayed it two years ago, and absolutely nothing stood out to me in a negative way). You can make a case that story-wise Dragon Age: Origins is better than Inquisition, but we are talking about games as a whole here, and I have no doubts that as a whole Dragon Age: Inquisition is much better game than Origins.

    As for the padding and useless objectives in open-world areas, I can’t agree with this statement. Yes, there are some side quests like “find all 6 medallions” or “visit all 12 regions”, but there aren’t a lot of them, none of them are mandatory and none of them are infuriating (you don’t need to grind enemies for a random drop or something like that). In fact, if you explore the map, those quests are usually get completed automatically, and you get a sweet increase to your Power. And you need those “padding” and quest-less spaces to make the world believable – otherwise we’ll get a game in which long-forgotten ruins are shouting distance away from a researcher who sends you to find them.

  • Hello all! I have compiled all my questions and am ready to unleash them upon you all. I liken my set of questions to an exam, but there's no pressure involved with this in the slightest.

    Here comes two questions for every panel member-let em rain!


    1. Do you think that HALO’s legacy has had more of an impact on Xbox than the general videogame community, and if you think the latter how do you feel HALO is a monumental accomplishment in videogames overall?
    2. I’m not into HALO and when I played the original HALO it was hard to get into. Do you think HALO caters to a particular audience and that it might be too hardcore for the mainstream?
    3. How would you convince gamers in 2022 to play Inquisition over the countless fantasy RPGs out there?
    4. I look back at Inquisition as a forgotten game from 2014-why do you feel this is?
    5. In my mind, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is the pinnacle of the Uncharted series. Does Uncharted 4 do anything truly new that none of its predecessors have done before?
    6. I feel like Uncharted 4 began a trend on PS4 regarding more serious storytelling in games, do you feel that impacts negatively on what the series has been known for?
      1.Do you think the damage done by Mass Effect 3’s original ending tarnishes the legacy of the games any?
    7. Do you think vanilla Commander Shepherd is a bit too wooden for a protagonist?
    8. A sports game is an uncanny choice for Hall of Greats-what does Madden 07 do to stand out from all of them?
      2.The last Madden game I played properly was 2003, what advancements have been made since that games release-provided you’ve played 2003 of course?
      1.Arkham Asylum’s combat has been called janky by some so why do you think it is part of why Arkham Asylum is great?
      2.Do you think Arkham Asylum’s linearity is something of a detriment compared to the more freeform structure of Arkham City and Arkham Knight?

  • @jdincinerator

    1.) In terms of things not done in any Uncharted prior:

    • The first thing that jumps to mind is the stealth icons/open level design to make stealth a more viable and rewarding option (which I mention in my presentation).
    • Driving jeeps/boats is quite fun, particularly the former because of where you are and what you're doing. The winch on the front of the jeep provides some puzzle mechanics on how to pull the jeep up muddy slopes or break wooden beams for optional treasures for example.
    • Related to the vehicles, the dynamic conversation system. For example: You're in the jeep and Sam and Sully are talking. You see a ruin so you stop and hop out. They'll say something like, "Oh we'll finish this later then." After you've finished exploring and jump back in the jeep, after a second, one of the characters will say, "What were you saying?" or "Where was I?" and pick up where they left off.
    • Sam. Kind of a cop-out answer but still the truth.
    • The dialogue choices. Quite few and not really consequential, but still neat to have three unique dialogues per situation and you can only have one per playthrough in these moments.

    I'm sure I'm forgetting others, but these instantly sprang to mind.

    2.) Not at all, as in my view, every Uncharted has had serious moments as well as a ton of levity. It's kind of what Uncharted's campy identity is to an extent. Personally, I don't see Uncharted 4 as any more or less serious than any of the others in the series.

  • @Capnbobamous Xbox Live not being ready in time for Halo 1's multiplayer is one of the great travesties in modern gaming history. The weapon set is the most satisfying of all Halos (yes, including the supposedly "overpowered" pistol), and the three large maps - Blood Gulch, Sidewinder, and Boarding Action (the best Snipers map in the series) - are also some of the best of their type in the series; I think only Halo 2's Headlong can compete. Halo 1 maps overall are more open and flexible than those in later installments, which had their metas pretty much solidified on launch day. The respawn system adds to this flexibility - your respawn point is affected by your teammates positions, which top level players can favorably manipulate.

    The light physics also add a lot to the fun factor. Big jumps without grenades, indestructible vehicles flying off small hills, explosions launching bodies everywhere, and top level players being able to use grenades to launch spawned weapons and powerups towards themselves.

    One thing that's both a positive and a negative is the high skill ceiling. It has supported a competitive community to this day, but casual players will get absolutely creamed by them. Later Halos, while 'stiffer', are much easier to be competitive in.

    You can get an approximation of what online could've been in PC and MCC, but they have terrible netcode (and the LAN code is inaccurate too). But back in the day, if you could wrangle together four Xboxes, four CRT TVs, and 16 controllers, the experience was just as legendary as GoldenEye...but way less attainable.

    That said, single-Xbox four-player splitscreen was also a great time; just not as epic as the big battles.

  • Response to @JDINCINERATOR about convincing gamers to play Dragon Age: Inquisition in 2022 and its current popularity.

    RPG is a popular genre and there are numerous excellent games, but if you want a AAA dark fantasy game, there isn’t much besides Dragon Age and The Witcher. However, you want to play Dragon Age: Inquisition not because you have no other options – this is an excellent game with incredibly detailed world, rich characters, grand environments, captivating soundtrack, flexible combat system and choices that are way more complicated than being good or bad. And if that’s not enough, this is The Game Awards’ first ever Game of the Year. And Dragon Age: Inquisition looks and feels like a modern game – you don’t need to deal with any limitations of “that era of gaming”, like you often do when playing something from the past. And it’s on Game Pass.

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is still bellowed and definitely not forgotten. This may be an imperfect indicator, but it has roughly the same amount of current players on Steam as Dark Souls: Remastered and God of War despite the fact that it was added to Steam only in 2020 and the vast majority of PC players have an Origin copy.

  • @jdincinerator said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (May 2022):


    1. Do you think that HALO’s legacy has had more of an impact on Xbox than the general videogame community, and if you think the latter how do you feel HALO is a monumental accomplishment in videogames overall?
    2. I’m not into HALO and when I played the original HALO it was hard to get into. Do you think HALO caters to a particular audience and that it might be too hardcore for the mainstream?
    1. The original Halo was a touchstone release. Not only did it singlehandedly drive sales of the Xbox to be immediately competitive against established market leaders, it got 10/10s and Game of the Year awards everywhere. Halo 2 kept the momentum going by being not only THE pillar of Xbox Live by far, but a pillar of online gaming in general. Other online FPSes like SOCOM, Counter-Strike, and Unreal Tournament were certainly big, but Halo figuratively rolled off the tongue easier. At the time, MMOs like Everquest and World of Warcraft may have been the only online games bigger. And somehow, Halo 3 was even more mainstream. It was the Madden of online gaming to WoW's FIFA. Of course, with Modern Warfare, Call of Duty tore the throne away. But Halo very much helped create the environment for its success.

    While Halo's sequels were greater successes in terms of playerbase, they've kept the central elements of the first game - the story, characters, gameplay formula, weapons, sound effects, and music - to this day.

    1. To a degree. Its design does have a somewhat overwhelming quality. Its two-weapon system requires more thought, as does its open-concept levels and roaming enemy squads. The missions are quite long too. Doom, GoldenEye, Gears of War, and Call of Duty all have had a better pick-up-and-play quality. The multiplayer though, if you had friends who played it, had a great party atmosphere. And while it may not have cast the absolute biggest net, elements of Halo have infused themselves into the gamer consciousness. Master Chief, the main music theme, the Warthog. It's not Super Mario Bros., but it's not a game that only found fame in the energy drink chugging speedrun MLG crowd either.

  • Reply to @jdincinerator's questions:

    1. Frankly I think it's absurd to call the combat janky. I can understand not enjoying it, everybody has different tastes, but it is easily one of the tightest combat experiences out there. It is remarkably fluid and polished, and I think jank implies that it is broken in some way, or at least rough around the edges, and that is simply not the case with Arkham. It's cool if the combat isn't for you though. Like I said, everybody has different tastes and different combat systems they prefer, but I personally adore it. It's so clean, so fast, and so pristinely executed that I have a blast with every encounter. Combat is a hugely important part of the game, and in my opinion they knocked it out of the park.

    2. Absolutely not. As I said in my presentation, I love the open world of Arkham City, but an open world is not inherently better than a linear space. They accomplish different things. Arkham Asylum is one of the best linear action/adventure games out there, and the level design is impeccable. City has great open environments, and Asylum has great linear ones. They are both excellent, and Asylum's linearity is absolutely not a detriment in the slightest.

  • Hey all, here is a compilation of everything we have so far. I have updated the original post as well. We have one more day of cross-examination, and if we get more I will make sure this is up to date. If you notice any mistakes let me know. Doing this at two in the morning so I'm a bit tired.

    Also I would like to remind @Shoulderguy and @bruno_saurus that you still have unanswered questions. Anyway here it is:

    Halo: Combat Evolved

    Dragon Age: Inquisition

    Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

    Mass Effect Legendary Edition

    Madden 07

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

    Batman: Arkham Asylum

  • Two questions for @JDINCINERATOR

    1. Compared to The Elder Scrolls (Oblivion and Skyrim), how open and interactive is The Witcher III's world? I've always heard gushing praise of the game, often namedropping the open world, but every time I've looked at gameplay videos, I've seen a world that looks quite nice, but doesn't feel fully tangible. Like, there's a sense of being of funneled in certain directions, and going off completely randomly instead of following trails and markers resulting in nothing fruitful. Have I somehow been looking at the wrong stuff each time?

    2. How "edgy" are the characters and dialogue? I've heard praise of the narrative elements, but when I've tried watching some, it seems somewhat crass and shallow. Are there notable heavier/mindful plot elements, or is 'edgelordery' its raison d'etre?

  • @oscillator

    1. I think The Witcher 3 is quite open and vast-it's truly a marvel to explore all the cities and village-like areas, it's simply teeming with beauty. As for interaction, I think there is plenty to sink your teeth into and perhaps it's not always by following waypoints and markers where you will find the most fruitfulness. It's the sense the stories told within The Witcher 3 are diverse and built with the surroundings in mind that makes the game so enthralling. You namedropped Oblivion and Skyrim, which are quite limiting and rigid with interactions, whereas The Witcher flows wonderfully, I've seen no static encounters in the game.

    2. There are many stories and characters that give you a wide array of vibes. One character recommends that Geralt wipes his arse before a mission is to be undertaken, and Geralt's deadpan sense of humor offers plenty of unexpected chuckles. I think those who watch gameplay footage as opposed to experiencing it properly, won't find the excellent sense of humor and delicious shreds of sharply-written script so easily.

    Crass and shallow is quite a scathing remark to me, but I understand it would appear wooden at first. I think generally if you sit down and play The Witcher 3, hours and days will go by and the more you will see what the game is truly hiding underneath the surface. Many games of its ilk give you a huge open-world that is straightforward, soulless and checklisty.By comparison spending time with The Witcher 3 is akin to spending time getting to know your new partner-the quirks and idiosyncrasies become more apparent the more you know them.

  • @bruno_saurus

    1. A sports game is an uncanny choice for Hall of Greats-what does Madden 07 do to stand out from all of them?
    • I definitely get this game will likely get banned because of its competition, but also its genre. However! This is one of the most in-depth Madden’s of this era, and probably still today. Sure the graphics are obviously better today, but the amount of things you could do in 22 are dwarfed in comparison to 07. Practices are more actual practices because you aren’t wearing a full NFL gameday uniform to them. You actually are wearing Training Camp like uniforms which just helps the immersion a bit more compared to today. As far as other sports games, The Show, FIFA, NBA 2K, and NHL I am not as versed in compared to Madden. I play them from time-to-time, but not following these series as much as Madden. NCAA Football has also been in a dormant coffin until they announced the return of it last year. I love the additions of Creating a Stadium in The Show, but it can get too complicated and I would much rather download one from the servers.
    • Another reason this specific era of Madden stands out for me is the announce team. You have Al Michaels and the man who the game is named after, JOHN MADDEN. This is one of the last games these two would appear together in the Madden series. In the next-gen version of Madden 09, John Madden would show up as a virtual holographic version of himself helping guide the player with NFL tutorials. But, some players never saw this man because they knew the game too much to care. You see him when you boot up the game or the first time and that’s it.
    1. The last Madden game I played properly was 2003, what advancements have been made since that games release-provided you’ve played 2003 of course?
    • Starting off, in Madden 2004, Owner Mode was introduced! This let you control all the prices for various things like tickets, jerseys, parkings, relocating your team, etc! This also brought in coaching staffs that you can manage each year to help improve your team! 2005 brought in the legendary Hit Stick letting you hit the offense with more ferocity. The Defense was also given more control with pre-snap adjustments you counteract offensive adjustments. 2005 also brought in Storyline Central implementing the Tony Bruno Show, National and Local Newspapers introducing more immersion to the game itself. 2006 introduced the Truck Stick to counteract the Hit Stick from the previous year for more powerful running backs. It also introduced the Superstar Mode for created players and such! 2007 introduced the Highlight Stick to help all Running Backs, not just the bruising Running Backs. It also introduced the Lead Blocking Control to control blockers for your Running Back to find a clear running lane. The implementation of all of these features helps make Madden 07 one of my favorites. For Madden 08, they took away the Tony Bruno show on the PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube versions, and the UI is just cleaner to me in 07 and less flashy.

  • Question for @bruno_saurus:

    In your screenshot for Superstar mode, you have the character's parents and their IQs. What's going on there? Not a complaint or anything, just genuinely curious what that's about and how it ties into the gameplay of the mode.

    • So here you pick your parents and dependent on some of that information, you get recommended a position. If your Dad was a Pro Bowl WR, you would be picked to play that position! Overall, the parental IQ does seem just like a fun nonsensical thing for backstory for your player. I am not entirely sure how much it plays into the actual career as you have to take a 20 question IQ Test before the Draft anyways, but it is another fun addition of depth that isn't really present in today's Career Mode.You just pick one of the four positions offered and that's about all the setup you get.

  • Also, sorry I haven't had the time to actually ask any questions. It's been quite a hectic seven days of work and life on weekends! So please everyone forgive me this one time.

  • Two questions for @bruno_saurus

    1. I have virtually no experience playing Madden, but I did briefly dabble in a couple other football games, around 2005. They came across to me as being obtuse for people who aren't really, really into football. You're offered dozens of plays to select, but can't tell the difference between most of them. And all these teams and players don't feel different in a gameplay sense. With four downs/chances, it feels like you can 'brute force' a positive result by picking the most basic looking plays over and over.

    Are 360-era and newer Madden titles considerably more advanced and polished in gameplay compared to older Madden titles/other football series, as in does play selection/team+roster knowledge/how well you execute a play, make a very clear difference in how well you do, and for newbies, do they help you 'get' how to play well?

    1. Is the draw of Madden more the things surrounding the on-field gameplay, like managing teams? Is experiencing the flavour of a football league more key to a football fan enjoying it than the actual playing of football?