Football fans can now “win on the road” with the best portable Madden NFL football video game yet. Last year Madden debuted on the Nintendo 3DS with Madden NFL Football and now this year Madden NFL 13 debuts on the PlayStation Vita. Madden NFL 13 on the handheld PlayStation Vita console offers a nice broadcast style presentation, familiar game modes, simple controls/functions, and special action exclusive only on the Vita console.
Madden NFL 13 debuts on the PlayStation Vita, delivering the ultimate NFL experience on a handheld. Become an NFL Superstar or build the league’s next Dynasty utilizing the Vita’s touch screens that provide unprecedented control, unlocking new layers of gameplay and feature depth. Experience Sundays like never before with all-new commentary from Jim Nantz and Phil Simms as you battle friends online and climb the leaderboard with each victory, or use the motion sensor function to control direction when kicking field goals. Madden NFL 13 for Vita lets NFL fans dominate at home or while on the road.
The game modes include the familiar “play now” mode where players can battle the CPU in exhibition, Super Bowl, and even holiday match-ups.
Gameplay expands with extensive one-player experiences in the franchise and “be an NFL superstar” modes. The franchise mode begins with a team selection then setup options (injuries, trade deadlines, salary caps, etc.). Players build a long-standing football dynasty that includes pro scouting, preseason roster cuts, free agent systems, and practice scenarios.
The superstar mode lets players create individual stars on a chosen team or a different scenario with the ultimate goal of reaching the Hall of Fame. In this mode players earn or lose points for their personal protégé in game and practices while progressing through events organized by calendar like training camp. Players can also retire their superstars or request a trade.
The online head-to-head and match games get two players into some great gridiron on the go. This any time online play mode connects to player leaderboards (win-loss records – I’ve got a .500 record so far). The live online options allow for five player pauses each and a real-time new ticker runs on the bottom center screen so players can always stay connected with actual NFL news.
The Madden Moments game mode updates online throughout the season and offers specific scenarios from memorable games amid past NFL seasons. So far the game includes the Best of 2010 and 2011 (five scenarios each).
Control and functions are responsive and smooth with the Vita’s dual analog sticks. Players can get into a nice gameflow while also having options to expand actions and play calling.
The Vita’s front and rear touch screens provide exclusive player actions where players in all positions can make special moves easier than traditional control schemes.
Offensive play callers can draw special routes for their wide receivers when they see an opening in the defense. Press the L button then touch draw the new route right on the screen.
Quarterbacks can avoid a sack by quickly touch the rear touch screen (best when using an open palm hold on Vita edges so fingers are open to quickly respond). Defenders can easily knock away passes or strip the ball.
Kickers also get a nice advantage on the Vita by using the Vita’s motion sensor to choose the direction. The power bar build gradually but the stopping point (a little early) down then up
These special actions are always optional, but give players considerable advantages so invest in that small learning curve – it’s worth the time. Players can easily put their real face in the game with Vita’s built in cameras.
Great overall presentation, camera angles, sound effects, and play-by-play commentary from Phil Simms and Jim Nantz who even pick up on the special actions and play calls made by players. This game requires only 30 MB hard drive space to run. Even with unavoidable comparisons to the console game versions, Madden NFL 13 on the PlayStation Vita is the best handheld football video game.
Madden NFL 13 is also available in a PS Vita Wi-fi Bundle for $249.99 and on Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 with Kinect capabilities. Players can also unlock bonus content, an ultimate team pack used on the PlayStation 3 version, when playing an online game on the PlayStation 3 version and on the PlayStation Vita.
Review: Madden NFL 13
Where to Buy: Amazon.com and other stores
What I Like: online mode, high replay value especially with Franchise & Superstar modes, smooth gameplay visuals, Vita exclusive special actions to ease gameplay, overall broadcast style presentation
What Needs Improvement: cross play/saving connectivity with the PlayStation 3 version, secondary visuals (fans, environments, etc.)
Source: Copy provided by publisher