The first couple of Maddens released on Wii were great adaptations of the franchise for the system. More than that, they also showed that the Wii had the potential to make a very immersive Madden experience. Sadly, the last couple of Wii releases have been dragged down by half-baked ideas that were poorly executed. Here are a few suggestions to put Madden on Wii back on track.
Releases two versions of the game
This year and last year's Madden tried to appeal to casual gamers by stripping out some of the more hardcore features and giving the game a cartoony, less realistic look. At the same time, the controls were refined to near perfection, making the Wii versions arguably the best playing versions of the game. They have also included options to simplify the controls and make the football rules more similar to a playground game. Despite these simplifications, those who were not interested in Madden before did not become any more interested in it. The actual game of football is still too complicated for a non-fan to pick up in a few minutes. Plus, the simplified controls were too simple, gamers hardly feel in control of what is happening on screen at all. The hardcore Madden fans were angered by the stripping of features and loss of realism.
The solution is simple. EA should release a realistic, hardcore version of Madden in stores. Then it should release a cartoony unrealistic game on WiiWare. They are doing something similar on the 360, releasing a Madden NFL Arcade on XBLA and PSN this year. This would cater to both target audiences that EA is trying to reach.
Bring back John Madden
Cris Collinsworth recently replaced John Madden as the in-game Madden commentator. He is a decent broadcaster but he is no John Madden. Now that Madden has retired he must have more time on his hands. EA could get him to come in between each season to record some new commentary. This would keep the play-by-play fresher and allow more player specific commentary. EA could get Madden and Collinsworth in there together, they have the rights to both.
Revamp the presentation
EA needs to rebuild the Madden engine specifically for the Wii. The Wii version will not be able to compete graphically with the HD versions but it can still look a lot better and more realistic. Before moving to the cartoony look of this year, EA had simply been recycling the graphics engine from the last generation for the Wii.