Madden, Me and The Commitment to Excellence

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With the NFL (National Football League) a week away to their season opener, gamers are booting up the latest American-football video game, EA Sports Madden NFL 11. With updated rosters, a new play-call system and an extensive multiplayer mode, Madden promises to be the best one yet, however, the game is inherently broken and unplayable. How?

There is no save function for in progress matches. With consumers age expanding, having a shorter and shorter play sessions, the ability not to save a match in progress in mid-game is video-game blasphemy (or a yellow flag).

I have played Madden since the Sega Genesis, a time where my older cousins played each match for quarters. I am not the greatest one-on-one human players, but I enjoy the franchise mode of comp-stomp with my fantasy draft of stars.

The problem is, as I grow older in age, I have less time to play and progress. In the past week, I had to quit three games in Franchise mode, a Raiders v Seahawks preseason match, because either; my two dogs needed their daily walk, time with my significant other and gym – not to get confused with the popular Gym, Tan, Laundry mantra. In general, life would interrupt all of my Raider games (and yes, I roll Silver and Black) with no TIVO or DVR to save my progress.

The only solutions was to either leave my PS3 on and return to the match at a later moment or forfeit the game (Al Davis would be so please). Leaving the PS3 on, as it hums like a Gatling gun, provided to be useless, as the Playstation is dedicated to be the entertainment provider of the household. Movies became unplayable, background downloading in limbo, and my PS3 became a Madden incumbator to saving a half-finished game.

The functionality of saving a match, literrally at any moment of progress, is really a common cornerstone video-games. PC gaming has had the feature for years, from first person shooters, RPGs and Real Time Strategy games. Why does Sports games have to be behind the curve? Especially in sport games like Football and Baseball, where the clock stops on certain plays or the game ends until there is a winner. My Madden games were lasting 40 minutes or longer, whereas FIFA matches last eight to ten minutes! The discrepency betweem games are huge.

So life continues to get in the way of my Madden matches, as Raiders v Seahawks on week 4 of preseason, became a never ending nightmare of replays, and try agains. For EA Sports, it is a feature worth implementing, as their audience continues to expand. That, or suffer sleeping on the couch with one eye open on the lookout of a disgruntled wife for the rest of their adult life. How do you think I managed to get to week four in pre-season, by not commiting to excellence?

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