Madden NFL 13 PS Vita Review
Did EA Fumble This Game ?
I’ll admit that I’m not an NFL addict; in fact I probably couldn’t even name five players but I do love playing the games, there’s something about picking the right play and then patiently waiting for your teammates to run in position whilst trying to avoid the sack that provides a real thrill.
It would have been easy to pick up the PS3 version but I decided to grab the Vita version (not available in the UK, you’ll have to look on eBay or import it) as it seemed like a perfect fit. The Vita is designed for quick gaming fixes on the go and I only ever played Madden in short bursts on the PS3.
The gameplay feels great, you pick your play either through the standard menus like on the PS3 with the option to sort plays via type, players or Maddens suggestions or you can pick up the pace and quick select the next play that the game suggests with the option to alter how aggressive that play should be through a new feature called “GameFlow.”
EA have taken advantage of the touch screen by allowing you to draw your own routes using the touchscreen, a neat little feature. You can also use the touchscreen to tap players to take control of or flick receivers to start them on a run. The back touchpad is used for twisting and turning whilst running with the ball and works wonderfully really immersing you in the game and allows you to pull off some great moves.
Graphically the game is split. The players and field look fantastic. The details on the players are great to look at and the face modelling is impressive. The field looks equally impressive with all the marks and team logos sharp and clear.
To make this possible EA have had to cut back on the graphics for the spectators resulting in them looking like something from a PS1 game.
The presentation of the matches is very nice graphics appear during plays showing stats and team lineups, the commentary is very good and you feel like you’re watching a game live on TV.
The game doesn’t run on the shiny new engine which powers its console counterparts but I don’t think that’s a huge problem. I’ve still had moments where I smack into another player and you can really feel it.
In terms of game modes you have two quick play modes exhibition and Super Bowl XLVII. Then there’s franchise mode where you take a team through preseason and hopefully into post season and the Superbowl.
Be a NFL Superstar mode lets you take a single player through his career, practising your craft on the practice field before playing league games. You can sim through the parts that don’t involve your character and the thing that impressed me was hearing the coach talking to you through the headset.
Madden Moments Live challenges you to recreate classic moments from the last two NFL seasons and earn more points than your friends.
Finally there’s a practice mode where you can brush up on your skills.
Online the game supports everything you’d want invites, stats tracking and lobbies. You can customise your games to suit your preferences and whilst the graphics are dumbed down to provide a smoother experience it’s still a great fun. There does seem to be a bug where you can’t input a move that pops up occasionally but if you let the selection time out it will work second time around.
The game isn’t perfect, the menus feel a bit lagy at times, the cut scenes can be a bit choppy and jerky and the crowd look bad, really bad. However none of these things affect the most important thing, playing American Football.
Overall this game provides a solid American football experience, it has its blemishes and it’s not as pretty or using the same engine as the console version but it’s still great fun and provides a great on the go experience.
By Aaron Kalair
PSOnline purchased their copy of Madden NFL 13