Madden NFL 17

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The next Madden curse victim. If you believe in curses, that is.

This time I won’t wait until Super Bowl time to do this review. I’ll review Madden NFL 17 right now.

Anyway, other than having Rob Gronkowski on the cover, the premise is the same. It’s football. So, how well is this sport translated to a video game this time?

Plot: N/A

Graphics: 8 out of 10

The look has taken a step forward. Players look extremely realistic, as does the field. Alas, no models for the commentators cost this game a point here.

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First Madden in which I’ve seen coaches in practice. Weird!

Sound: 5 out of 10

Commentary is done by Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis.They are uninspiring, less than insightful, and just plain mediocre. Of course, the same can be said for a number of real announcing teams, too. I miss Jim and Phil.

Typical Cleveland. Get off a big run just when halftime's about to void it.

Typical Cleveland. Get off a big run just when halftime’s about to void it.

Gameplay: 8 out of 10

This game continues to be fun and addicting. The run system was supposed to be altered, but I notice no change as such. Running looks like the same as usual to me.

One change I have noticed is those who have complained that receivers catch too easily have gotten heard. When you throw downfield or squeeze a ball into coverage, the chances of a drop have increased greatly. Also, quarterbacks seem more susceptible to fumbles. It seems easier to play defense now.

The talking heads won't shut up on twitter. Then again, who will?

The talking heads won’t shut up on Twitter. Then again, who will?

Challenge: 6 out of 10

Computer opponents are pretty much the same, with one exception. Those in Play Now mode or Franchise mode as a coach or owner are moderately challenging. A little cheap, particularly in the holding penalties that often coincide with your big plays, but not much.

4th and goal at the 5-yard line or as quarterbacks but it, "F*CK!!!"

4th and goal at the 5-yard line or as quarterbacks put it, “F*CK!!!”

Franchise mode as a player is another story. Several types of players have long been unfair to play as, because of how awful your CPU teammates are. Is it as bad? No. Worse! Stuff like CPU quarterbacks appearing to aim for cornerbacks and CPU receivers waiting until it’s too late to jump for deep balls make most positions difficult to play. Defensive end and defensive tackle are probably the best choices. Why? Because you can help out with both pass rushing and run stopping if you play right. You’re not at the mercy of inept teammates.

Overall: 7 out of 10

Not as good as the last two or three Maddens, unfortunately, but for a true football aficionado, it’s acceptable. Otherwise, this may not be the game for you.

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