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Madden for Beginners?

NaturalNarcissistNaturalNarcissist Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Games and Technology
Hey all,

So I've suddeny got an indescribable urge to play a football game again. The problem is that I haven't played one since the old gameday series for the PSX and Madden intimidates the hell out of me. I'm thinking about picking up a used copy of Madden 09, but I'm terrified that I'll be way out of my depth. Are other editions of the game kinder to newbies? Any sort of walkthrough out there that could teach the raw basics to me?

This whole damn thing started because of watching Friday Night Lights. I know the basics of football, but would have utterly no idea what sort of defensive plays to run etc etc.

NaturalNarcissist on

Posts

  • DashuiDashui Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I haven't played any football games for probably over ten years, but I played Madden 2010 and it was fairly easy to get into. It offers you recommended plays so if you're not familiar with the plays it eases you into the gameplay.

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  • Operator-COperator-C Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I just got Madden 10 for Christmas and I've been putting a lot of time into it. I played Madden 07, 08, and 09, but infrequently, and I haven't really been into football since the early 20-aughts. Anyway, my point is I'm really getting into Madden 10, but I'm a bit of a newbie -- I get the basics of the game, and the sport, but I was getting my butt kicked right away.

    Here are a few things I learned recently which might help you and any other fellow beginners (pros, correct me if I'm wrong about any of these):

    Keep your finger off the sprint button. I don't know about you, but I have (or had) a bad habit of holding the right trigger as soon as my running back received the ball, or my receiver caught the ball, or when rushing into the offensive linemen while controlling a member of the defense. This is a bad idea. As a running back, wait until you manage to break free from the line, past the defensive linemen (and the linebackers). When he's not sprinting, the controlled player will perform his special moves more effectively, and you'll have more time to change his direction if a new hole opens up in the line (or one closes).

    When your player is being tackled, constantly click up on the right analog stick. I believe this is called trucking, and it might net you a yard or two. Sometimes you can even break free.

    Go into game options and change the game speed to very slow. By default it's set to slow. I found the game a lot easier after this.

    Don't be ashamed to set the difficulty to Rookie or Pro. Also, do the Madden Test to see where it places your skill level. However, I don't know if I recommend playing on the MySkill difficulty since I thought the Rushing test was a little too easy. I scored around Rookie or Pro in all the tests, which I find agreeable, but I found the Rushing test too easy and it scored me at All Pro, almost Madden level. Then when in a game I found running the ball much too difficult.

    The practice mode is very useful.

    I hope this is helpful. Again, if any Madden vets find any of this to be inaccurate or otherwise bad advice, please correct it.

    Edit: I suppose much of this information might be useful for Madden 10 only. So, keep that in mind.

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  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    It might be helpful to spend some practice games focusing on specific moves so that you can learn them well. For example, in one game concentrate on the spin move when running, so that you can learn the timing. Then play a game using stiff arm instead, and so forth. On defense, decide to play one game as a lineman, then switch to linebacker on the next game, then switch to secondary, so that you get a feel for each one.

    Operator's right about keeping away from sprinting, that was always my weakness. I'd run into my own lineman and lose all momentum instead of waiting a half second and finding the hole instead.

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I would spring for Madden 10 as opposed to 9 (and really, for Football Manager 10 or whatever they call it.) Madden 09 is missing some (IMO) key features, and madden 10 has come down in price by now.

    generally speaking, at this point madden has gotten pretty good at scaling the difficulty to your ability, so I wouldn't worry about that. The Madden test is actually a pretty poor way of setting your difficulty (it will tend to make it hilariously easy to pass, hilariously difficult to run, and the reverse for the CPU), but you can edit the settings yourself if the default difficulties don't do it for you

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  • NaturalNarcissistNaturalNarcissist Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    After dicking around with 09 versus 10, I splurged and picked up 10. Now I know that these are borderline idiot questions but here goes...

    1) Is it a good idea to take control of receivers, guide them to the ball, and then press triangle to catch? Or should I AI just do this for me.

    2) What does it mean when plays are highlighted yellow/orange on the play select screen?

    3) It seems to me that on Offense I can Spin, hurdle, dive, stiff arm, and a ton of stuff with the right analog stick. When the hell would I use these any of these other the other?

    4) Either Madden has piss poor presentation, or I'm missing something. I turned on auto replays and so far I've seen maybe one or two replays in a single quarter, and then the next will be EIGHT. And it's never the crucial plays. Throw the ball ten yards? REPLAY! Make an interception and then run the ball down the field for an 85 YD touchdown? NOTHING. (And how do we not get replays on any play that has a flag called on it? That's just annoying and shoddy. How am I supposed to know what I did wrong?)

    5) No real end-game ceremony? Just a highlights reel? Really? That's it?

    6) I'm still trying to take in the controls, but how the heck would I pitch the ball? I.E. Two of us are running towards the endzone, and i'd like to throw it to the dude next to me.

    7) What's the benefit of the QB play where he kneels?

    8) Also , what the advantage of pressing R3 and the QB throws the ball out of bounds. Instant penalty. Wouldn't taking the sack be preferable?

  • DarianDarian Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    7) What's the benefit of the QB play where he kneels?

    Run out the clock at the end of the half or game; the clock keeps moving between plays if someone is tackled in bounds. It's known as "victory formation" because it is generally used by the winning team at the end of the game to run out the clock while minimizing the risk of a turnover.

  • TreTre Registered User
    edited January 2010
    After dicking around with 09 versus 10, I splurged and picked up 10. Now I know that these are borderline idiot questions but here goes...

    1) Is it a good idea to take control of receivers, guide them to the ball, and then press triangle to catch? Or should I AI just do this for me.

    2) What does it mean when plays are highlighted yellow/orange on the play select screen?

    3) It seems to me that on Offense I can Spin, hurdle, dive, stiff arm, and a ton of stuff with the right analog stick. When the hell would I use these any of these other the other?

    4) Either Madden has piss poor presentation, or I'm missing something. I turned on auto replays and so far I've seen maybe one or two replays in a single quarter, and then the next will be EIGHT. And it's never the crucial plays. Throw the ball ten yards? REPLAY! Make an interception and then run the ball down the field for an 85 YD touchdown? NOTHING. (And how do we not get replays on any play that has a flag called on it? That's just annoying and shoddy. How am I supposed to know what I did wrong?)

    5) No real end-game ceremony? Just a highlights reel? Really? That's it?

    6) I'm still trying to take in the controls, but how the heck would I pitch the ball? I.E. Two of us are running towards the endzone, and i'd like to throw it to the dude next to me.

    7) What's the benefit of the QB play where he kneels?

    8) Also , what the advantage of pressing R3 and the QB throws the ball out of bounds. Instant penalty. Wouldn't taking the sack be preferable?


    I haven't played Madden 10 but these are pretty general football questions so:

    1. I usually let the AI control the receiver as they will usually run the route better and time the catch perfectly. Although when lobbing the ball up in the air, sometimes I find it useful to take the control of the receiver myself so I can make a good adjustment on the ball.

    2. Not 100% sure, but just taking a guess I would say it has something to do with that player's energy.

    3. Spin is good when you're running and want to change directions while still keeping some forward momentum. I use stiff arm primarily when running down the sideline and a defender is trying to approach me from the side. Hurdle is rarely ever used and I remember it being done automatically in previous Madden games. Dive is really only useful for when you're forced to scramble with your QB and you don't want to take a big hit that causes you to fumble. I usually only use spin and juke though.

    4. Sounds like typical ass programming by EA.

    5. Pretty standard EA laziness.

    6. Pitch is left trigger/L2 usually. I would avoid using it unless your heading to the endzone with a player trailing and only 1 defender to beat as it could potentially lead to a fumble. It's usually pretty easy to beat a defender in that situation anyway with a quick spin or juke.

    7. Running out the clock, victory formation.

    8. Throwing the ball away in order to avoid the sack and loss of yards is always preferred . There are a couple of rules here however. First, you must be outside the tackle box, which is an imaginary area between where the two offensive tackles line up. Second, the thrown away ball must make it past the line of scrimmage. This is less important for Madden, as I believe a thrown away ball always goes past the line of scrimmage.

    Hope this helps.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    1) unless you're really good at it, just let the AI do it

    2) it measures how tired that player is. Green is normal, yellow is getting tired, red is like, crawling off the field as soon as you stop running the hurry up

    3) basically just different moves are appropriate for different situations and some players are better at doing one than doing others. The running minigames actually do a pretty good job of introducing you to this

    4) that's just madden. The heuristic it uses to decide when or how to replay something has always been a little spotty, and it got worse (in 9, at least) when they added the collinsworth breakdown thing. Just turn auto-replay off and do it on your own whenever you want to see a replay. Looking at the user replay will lock you out of challenging the play, though.

    5) who cares

    6) Lateral is mapped (depends on platform probably), should be in the manual or on the running controls screen.

    7) you do it whenever you want to run the clock out and not take any risk of a fumble/injury. It's more a matter of realism than utility in videogame football, though.

    8) throwing it away is occaisionally useful, although in madden it seems like you're usually better off just tucking the ball and running. I don't think madden actually checks to see if the ball went past the line or not, but it doesn't really matter as you can't control where the QB throws it when you hit the "throw away" button anyway.

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Now I know that these are borderline idiot questions but here goes...

    Not borderline-idiot so much as borderline-never-watched-football. :D I keed, I keed ...
    1) Is it a good idea to take control of receivers, guide them to the ball, and then press triangle to catch? Or should I AI just do this for me.

    I have never, in any football game since the NES, done well by taking manual control of receivers. I inevitably end up 10 yards away from where the QB is throwing the ball. I only control receivers after the catch is made.
    3) It seems to me that on Offense I can Spin, hurdle, dive, stiff arm, and a ton of stuff with the right analog stick. When the hell would I use these any of these other the other?

    Different moves are for different methods of evasion. You spin when someone is tackling you and you want to move laterally, or when you run into a mob and want to bounce outside of it. You dive when you just need to cover a couple more yards from where you are now. Stiff arms are for when you're running and an opponent is using the run-into-you version of tackling and you want to hold them off for a bit.

    Practice will tell you which works better in which situations.
    4) Either Madden has piss poor presentation, or I'm missing something.

    I miss out on replays by accidentally hitting an extra button at the end of the play. You can (IIRC) hit pause and go into the menu and choose to view a replay on just about every down.
    5) No real end-game ceremony? Just a highlights reel? Really? That's it?

    There aren't really end-game ceremonies in football, except for, like, three games out of the year.
    6) I'm still trying to take in the controls, but how the heck would I pitch the ball? I.E. Two of us are running towards the endzone, and i'd like to throw it to the dude next to me.

    That's probably in the manual.
    7) What's the benefit of the QB play where he kneels?

    Each time you set up a play, you get a certain amount of time to do so, which is measured by the play clock. The play clock runs down from 40 seconds, and if you don't call a play and hike the ball in that time period, you get a penalty (Delay of Game).

    However, let's say that there's 1:30 left in the game, you're winning by 3, and you just got the ball - so it's 1st and 10 on your 20 yard line.

    If you run a real offensive play, there's a chance you might screw up - throw an interception, fumble, lose a bunch of yards, throw an incomplete pass which stops the clock, get someone injured, etc. - and because the game is so close, you don't want to risk that. What you can do, instead, is call the kneel-down play (also called the victory formation).

    On your first play, the game clock (1:30 minutes left) starts as soon as you hike the ball. Running the play (your quarterback kneels down) takes, let's say, a second (1:29 left). Then, the play clock resets and starts (:40), and it's now 2nd and 11. You call the same play, and let the play clock wind all the way down to 1s left before hiking the ball. The play again takes about a second to run. Now, the game clock only has 0:49 left on it, and it's now 3rd and 12.

    By running the same play two more times, you can run out the game clock entirely, thus denying your opponent a chance to get the ball back via luck (fumble, interception, etc.) or skill (by stopping your regular plays quickly and forcing you to punt).

    You win!
    8) Also , what the advantage of pressing R3 and the QB throws the ball out of bounds. Instant penalty. Wouldn't taking the sack be preferable?

    You aren't allowed to throw it out of bounds in order to avoid a sack unless you meet a couple requirements:

    1. You have to be "outside the tackle box" - as in, you have to have moved far enough to the side (left or right) to be closer to the sideline than the offensive tackles, the two linemen on the outside of the normal offensive line (from the middle, it goes Center, Offensive Guard, and Offensive Tackle). So, basically, you have to be near-ish the sidelines.
    2. You have to get the ball past the original line of scrimmage. That means you have to throw the ball forward enough such that it passes where you started the play.

    --or---

    1. You have to throw in the general direction of a receiver, such that the ref's can make a reasonable judgement that you were trying to throw it to that guy but screwed up.

    Relying on the second option is chancy both in real life and in the game, so keep that in mind.

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