Madden 13 demo impressions (Vita)
Madden 13 is the Vita’s first football game. Usually when a sports genre gets released on a new platform, it tends to suffer, as was previously seen with the release of Madden Football for the Nintendo 3DS. The Madden 13 demo for the Vita has some ups and downs, but is overall a satisfying experience so far.
The first thing I noticed about the demo was the in game graphics. I was surprised at how well the Vita rendered 22 players while having the crowd, field and commentary going. The graphics looked like the PS3’s version of Madden 12, which was very impressive.
Controlling the game on a new platform takes some time getting used to. While the PS3 controller has two triggers on each side, the Vita only has one. This means that some gameplay tweaks have to be made just by the lack of physical buttons. I noticed that there wasn’t a swat pass button on defense, which is fine as long as the interception button (triangle) works properly.
One of the Vita versions new features is the ability to draw routes for your receivers using the touch screen. While this idea sounds great in theory, actually using it showed some problems. Drawing the line across the field makes the receiver start and stop in weird ways as he tries to run the route you drew. When I would throw to that receiver, the pass would be way off. I was using Tom Brady if anyone wanted to blame it on the quarterback. After multiple attempts to throw to the custom route player, I decided to use him as a decoy instead. This would throw off the defense and open up the players who would run their routes correctly.
Passing seemed much easier than running the ball. I don’t know if this was due to the Patriots not really having a running attack or if it’s generally easier to throw the ball in this version of the game. The computer, using the Giants, had a much easier time finding holes in my defense and exploited my zone coverage a few times with perfectly timed runs.
Two separate times after my receiver caught a pass I was able to break two tackles and run down the field for the score. The first time was with Rob Gronkowski, which makes sense, but the other was with Deion Branch, a smaller player not known for breaking tackles. It’ll be interesting to see if the retail product plays the same way or not.
In the console versions of Madden, I only user catch. In this game, it felt easier just to let the computer catch the ball for you and then control the receiver after he maintains possession. I’ll definitely have to work on user catching in the Vita version of the game to see how different it is from the console version.
Madden 13 might share the name of its console brethren, but it does not carry over two of its biggest features, the Infinity Engine and Connected Careers. While this is very unfortunate, running the new physics engine would be very tough on a new system. Connected careers would have been nice, but at least this version of the game has the standard Superstar and Franchise modes to fall back on.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Madden 13 Vita demo so far. It has a few hiccups that will hopefully be ironed out before the game releases on the 28th. I will be posting my impressions of the consoles versions of the game shortly.
How did you like the Madden 13 Vita demo? Are you going to be picking it up alongside the console version? Let me know in the comments below.