Thursday, November 25, 2010

Game On: Let's Play 2.01 - Madden NFL 09 (Super Bowl Special)

Game: Madden NFL 09
System: Xbox 360
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Players: Adam Bradshaw
Wilson Garcia

Game Overview

Outside of the Wii “All-Play” edition, Madden NFL 09 looks much like any of the previous Madden football games released, though that is being said by someone who has never truly played a Madden game in his life. Added to the 2008 edition was a new camera system, improved sidelines, online video highlights which can be shared, improved online leagues, and tightened graphics. Modes cut from previous games including Bluff Play Art, Set Audibles, and Formation Subs return in this version as well. Weather specific animations, user celebrations, and new running engines all take place in this iteration as well.

Once again, hard to really tell whether the game is entirely brand new or just an improvement of the previous year’s game, especially from the outside. Either way, still looked like fun for those into football games.

The developer, EA Tiburon, has been the developer for Madden NFL since 1994, and with each iteration, the game has become more improved and streamlined as ever, as you will gladly see in this episode of Game On: Let’s Play.

Since then…

EA Tiburon has remained the leading developer for EA Sports, continually producing annual titles for its larger franchises. This includes the development of Madden NFL 10 and recently Madden NFL 11. EA Tiburon also continues to develop NCAA Football and Tiger Woods PGA Tour titles on annual basis (although it received the Tiger Woods franchise from EA Salt Lake in 2008).

The company recently released EA Sports MMA to counteract against THQ’s own fighting sport series, UFC Undisputed. As for upcoming releases, the company had been given NBA Elite 11 after EA Canada had failed to polish the title for release in late 2010. Even though that title was swiftly cancelled, EA Tiburon will now be handling the next edition of the series, NBA Elite 12. One can easily assume that EA Tiburon is working on the next iteration of Madden for all consoles as of this post.

The Let’s Play

Before the new semester would arise, we wanted to begin Game On: Let’s Play with a big bang. Both Adam and Wilson, big sports fans with an interest in shooting Madden NFL 09, wanted to record a match against one another. Considering the Super Bowl was on its way in early February, it seemed obvious to play them against each other in the scenario that would hit on Super Bowl XLIII. Adam, being a Bradshaw, took it upon himself to take the Pittsburgh Steelers, leaving the Arizona Cardinals to Wilson. How would it turn out?


Surprisingly off-the-wall, actually. Two cameras were set up, one in the back looking at the two vertically, in case someone stood up in delight (Adam did, at least a few times), and the other right next to the television. Because the two were sporting sports microphones, the audience was harder to hear than previous GOLP episodes, which resulted in the text popping in to state what they said, so long as it was something of note.

The actual game went quite well, as the two seemed fairly connected to the game itself. Adam and Wilson remained close, but the game shifted toward the former as the game progressed. What became hilarious was the number of interceptions in such a short timeframe. That and the massive scores that came about over the course of the game. It was funny to watch the actual game take place and end up similarly crazy, what with that 99-yard interception and all.

The actual final video had its issues, though. This was the only episode of Game On: Let’s Play to use visual layers in this way. A special backdrop animated in the background, complete with the show’s text scrolling along vertically. This was also the first episode during which the game was not captured via camera, but rather, captured by a Canopus capture card into a Macbook laptop. This turned out pretty well, as it would become the prime method of season 2’s capture process. As for the editing process, things went hairy for a long time. I usually edited the episodes on my laptop, but the raw game footage became extremely poor on the laptop, even though the footage was fine back on RTN’s computers. Also, editing in the office was atrocious, especially with Adobe requiring rendering everything for audio (which I needed) every time I opened the project.

The end result of that annoying editing process is a seemingly-half-assed episode, complete with mistakes here and there where the score should appear but does not. I apologize for that, but frankly, I was glad to have it off my back.

Thankfully, the rest of the season would turn out well…wouldn’t it?

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