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Games, like pizza, are always good when they’re free. Of course when EA sends us a game, it’s not really free, given we’re expected to “work,” reviewing the game in earnest in the comfort of our man cave. I “worked” all night last night on the new Madden 10, gladly applying foot to booty with my favorite bruising back, Brandon Jacobs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 6'4 and 265 lbs, Brandon Jacobs is bigger than any linebacker in the league, safeties and corners beware you'll need more than one person to bring him down.

I focused on Madden 10’s online play, since that’s where I spend the majority of my time when dodging dinners at the in-laws or diaper changing. Online play is and always will be a battle of wit, much like two MC’s engaged in a delicate lyrical ballet of cursing, dissing, and self-aggrandizing. This year, online features really haven’t changed much, which, in my opinion, goes along with the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The same old question is, is it worth the money to buy this year’s game, or stick with last year’s Madden? I’ll answer that after I’ve written a couple hundred more words.

The bread and butter of Madden 10 online gameplay is the Online Franchise mode. This is where you can join a league of up to 32 players and everyone picks a team to run with for an entire NFL season. Like I said, Brandon Jacobs is a blast to play with, so I chose the New York Giants. Plus, I have a man crush on any NFL QB with the last name Manning, so it all works out. I’ll keep you updated on how I fare against the unique mix of friends and strangers that makes up the rest of the league as we go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The brand new digitalized Texas Stadium, only thing that would make this prettier is if the Cowboys didn’t play in it.

New to Madden 10 this year is online cooperative play. This is a great feature if you’ve got sissy friends who hate playing against you *cough*CJ Preece*cough*cough* – they can now join your team and play with you instead of against you. All that remains is deciding who is master (QB) and who is servant (RB, WR, TE, O-line). Thanks to my large, NFL Tight End frame, I dominate meatspace, so I play whichever position I want to. Co-op play is a lot of fun, but at times it can be frustrating if your teammate is not as elite as you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two cover athletes, Troy Polamalu with his sexy Lion’s mane, and the best receiver in the league, Larry Fitzgerald.

Speaking of elite…EA Tiburon have taken extra measures to lighten your wallet. This year they offer an Elite status to players for a one-time fee of $4.99. Now it sounds great: Elite servers, Elite game difficulty for those “Elite” gamers, and it might help weed out the occasional punk 10-year-old that curses like a sailor. The flipside is you may also end up running home crying to mommy if you get spanked. Pick your poison.

My Verdict

Madden 10 online play is still fun. It’s different every time you play, and helps me escape from the day to day. Sure, you’ll still run into the “exploit whores” that make any game boring for everyone but them, but you take the good with the bad. Online play is still my favorite way to wind down while simultaneously throwing my controller at every interception and cursing at every fumble, and Madden 10 is the only football game for me. My homeskillet and Player cohort CJ Preece will be reviewing the single player aspects of Madden 10, so check back in a day or two for his verdict.

In the meantime, enjoy! Hopefully we’ll meet up online sometime this season, but be warned: I’ll be mercilessly putting cleat marks on your grill with Brandon Jacobs. My Gamertag is Kookookachoo23 if you’re up to the challenge.
 

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