Okay, so first things first as the title of the article suggests we will be talking about the subject of Madden Football video games. I saw a group of members chatting about it in yesterday's open thread and figured I'd give my
unnecessary opinion two cents worth.The All-Access gets people to come into my post, but realistically I am not nearly as smart as the title sounds or as important.
Firstly, I am not an expert at Madden. I'm an 8 year Madden veteran with roughly over 2,000 career games logged, but yes I still go online and get my ass handed to me by some 8 year old kid who claims he's going to come to my house and do unspeakable things to my mother.
Secondly, the article requires that you have at least SOME knowledge of the game of Madden. I simply don't have the time or patience to describe what each button and play in the playbook does. This article is for people who are looking to get BETTER at Madden, if anyone cares at all really. I will do my best at keeping it separated for BEGINNERS, INTERMEDIATE PLAYERS AND ALL-PRO. (Because they still haven't fixed the AI in the All-Madden difficulty setting for any system).
Every year, right in the dread of summer most of us Vikings fans will scratch and scramble for anything football related. News is at a standstill. The months following the NFL Draft before training camp finally begins are absolutely dreadful. Some people like myself pass most of the time with Madden. If you don't have Madden and are considering it, get Madden 13. One reason, physics. Even if you don't want to listen to the train wreck that is Phil Simms announcing anything, the physics are the reason to buy this game. Every previous installment has pre-set animations for tacking, blocking, route running, etc. After about 10 games you will have seen just about every tackling animation the game has to offer and will get bored and frustrated knowing that there is no way in hell that William Gay just arm tackled Adrian Peterson.
If you are new to Madden, first rule! You are going to lose, ALOT.
Put it on the rookie difficulty setting and don't try to do too much. You are going to throw lots of bone headed INTS and INTS you don't agree with (I still do). Run simple slant routes and play 2 Man Under defense. You are going to get sacked multiple times and wonder why you only had 5 seconds to read your coverage and receivers. Save your controller and hair (because you probably don't have much left).
This next tip is also useful for intermediate players such as the gentleman yesterday talking about how he can't throw any pass because it automatically gets intercepted. The truth is until you've been playing for a long while, you won't be able to read defenses, but no so much that, you won't be able to know that the AI defender who is 5'6 and 160 pounds covering Megatron will somehow jump 10 feet across the field to intercept the ball and win the game. In time you'll learn with how covered the receiver is, where you can throw the ball. (And if you're me, sometimes you still don't care and just throw the ball anyway and hope the receiver will somehow catch it) I admit I'm the Brett Favre of Madden.
When you're just starting off in Madden, when you get your first completion it's easy to get cocky. But don't go for it on 4th and 29 and throw a deep bomb to try and be a show off. It'll get picked off and you will be pissed and threaten to return the game because "it's unbeatable, and why would they ever make such a stupid fu**king game.."
Keep it simple stupid!
If you find something is working well for you, go after it. Not on every down of course but play a simple style offense. Nickel and dime the defense all the way down the field if you have to. You aren't going to get a touchdown on every play until you can win on All-Pro and you feel like playing on Rookie to beat the Packers 131-0. (Which is superb fun by the way)
Slant routes are your best friend. I found they were the easiest routes to complete passes on and they worked consistently for me when I was a beginner. Also, play two man under defense for practically every down when you're just starting out if you don't know all the fancy defensive alignments just yet. You will be in a 4-3 defense. (4 defensive lineman and three linebackers) You'll have two outside corners or a third which would sub out a linebacker and two safeties playing deep zone. It sounds scary but these two things are your best friend.
I know there is at least one person who thought they could skip the Beginner section and head straight for intermediate because they've played one game of Madden in their life and they don't consider themselves a beginner. Don't skip, you cheater.
If you are a border-line Intermediate to All-Pro player, still don't try to be a genius and throw it deep to Harvin on every play. If you do you'll end up like me. In Madden 13 in Connected Careers mode, when Kurt Warner came out of retirement, I signed him to the Vikings. I went deep early and often. I played every single game in the season and finished the season with 52 TD's and an impossible 54 INTS. I still finished 16-0 but dammit you're missing the point.
This is possibly the biggest boo boo decent players can make. They know how to score a few touchdowns so they think they can be gun slingin happy out there and you throw 10 INTS in a game. (I've done it). Keep it simple. Work your slant routes. Use your directional passing. Use your outside corner routes as well. Try to stay away from bubble screens and wildcat plays that don't get you much but you're so stubborn you continue to use them. Sure its fun as hell to throw for 500 Yards, 7 TD's and 0 Picks on only 7 Pass attempts, but focus on getting better first. Log at least a few hundred games in Madden before you consider yourself "Elite"
I sure hope to hell you are an ALL-Pro Madden player cause I've got the best information for you. If you can play and win by a comfortable margin on ALL-PRO I'm going to assume you know a fair amount about the game of Madden. I'm about to give you a KILLER online tip.
Any all-pro player who's ever played online has seen that people (at least the matchups I get) favor vertical passing or a mobile QB. Patriots, Ravens, Packers, Eagles, and 49ers are all examples of the teams I see the most.
When you are on defense. Play Cover-3. The WHOLE GAME. This tip works especially if you are playing with the 49er's. The other offense will try to run slants and you'll get interceptions the whole game. The disadvantages of a cover three are on corner routes and up the seam with the tight end or 3rd reciever on the depth chart, (A button on Xbox and X button on Playstation) If you notice them playing the seam when you play cover three, switch to Cover 2 Zone. It takes care of the seam pretty well. I still lose online, I just lose a whole lot less because for one simple reason or another, people just can't figure out how to shake the cover three even when I use it on every down.
If you are playing with a mobile quarterback in the cover 3, set the MLB to QB Spy. Sometimes they'll try to run anyway but if you're playing decent enough zone you'll be able to get the stop relatively quickly.
Also, when online and offline, get comfortable with the no huddle offense and audibles. The opponent only has 3 time outs and when you're good enough you'll be able to switch plays and keep the other guy pissed off. When a player is pissed off, he either over pursues, or tries to show off and beat you deep. If you're playing cover 3 and he does it, watch the INT's stack up.
Here's how I play defense with the Vikings:
Either Cover 3 or Two Man Under
Bring Robison inside adjacent to Kevin Willams and have him blitz on Cover three. I've found this much more effective than standard outside gap play, all game. When the defense is running 5 wide, play cover three, but have your defense back up off the recievers. (Simply press up on the directional D-Pad while on defense)
I run a variation of the two man under.
Bring your MLB to a QB Spy and have your LE and RE curl to the flats. These two defenses work exceptionally.
On offense I use Carolina's playbook for one single play..
Triple Option Switch:
The quarterback will begin to roll out to the right or left. Based on the defense you'll then be able to pitch it to the back and have him block, or the defense will bite on the running back you'll be in the clear.
I created my own Vikings team with the Draft Class on 2013, custom made by myself on Xbox. (I don't have too much time on my hands or anything)
With these ratings I've obviously been drinking purple kool aid.
Sharriff Floyd - 90 OVERALL
Xavier Rhodes - 82 OVERALL
Cordarrelle Patterson - 84 OVERALL
Gerald Hodges - 72 OVERALL
Michael Mauti- 74 OVERALL
Jeff Baca - 71 OVERALL
Jeff Hodges- 79 OVERALL
Joe Webb (since you can't change the players position in Madden 13 anymore) - 74 OVERALL
I also traded Percy and Toine, signed Jennings, Bishop and Matt Cassel, and just went 16-0 with this team. My hardest game was the Cardinals game during the regular season as it was one of the screw off games the AI gives you from time to time. Every booger I flicked got intercepted and I squeaked out 20-17.
Remember, AWARENESS is the single handed most affecting attribute that impacts overall score of a player. Always use your connected career points for deep accuracy for Christian Ponder.
I don't want to make this article too long or unorganized (more than it already is) but if you have any OTHER questions please feel free to ask in the comments below. I don't write loads of articles for the DN, but I figured I'd give this one a shot. Also, remember this is simply my opinion on how to play Madden and it may and probably will differ drastically from some of you other Madden - Gurus. If you'd like to make your own post, go ahead. But for now, SKOL VIKES.