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The Sports Nerd: NFL Draft In Madden Series

With the NFL draft in our rearview mirror, I got to thinking. With all of the attention, emotion, and research that goes into the NFL draft, how has such a monumental moment in football gotten so little attention in this generation of gaming?  With Madden being the only NFL game, there possibly lies the issue. With no competition, forward innovation isn’t being pushed so we only get a facelift on games that should be fixed deep within. Gameplay issues, glitches, online, and a plethora of items stock the “please fix lists” of gamers. I’m only writing this as a simple observance while watching this weekend’s festivity, of something that has been overlooked in Madden.

NBA 2K12 got it somewhat right this year, giving a full presentation to your ‘My Player’ being drafted and shaking hands with Commissioner David Stern.  While this isn’t present in NBA 2K12’s franchise mode, at least it’s in the game.  Going back to last generation, NFL 2K5 (yes, the game everyone is missing) even got it right, going as far as having Mel Kiper Jr. enrolled in the game.  You were able to get reviews on players throughout the season and get an idea as to who would be the clear-cut “can’t miss prospects” just as in real life where you can see which collegiate players are improving their draft stock or falling in ranks.  Kiper also gave a review of draft picks he felt would be great contributors and an overall review of what teams made good picks.

So why has it come to the point where Madden can’t seem to get it right, even after games have laid the foundation to a great emphasis on their sport’s draft.  Yea, they have done more to improve the picking logic and gave us more to do leading up to the draft.  After that, it falls flat with nothing outside of text and numbers. No, I don’t want a full-on presentation for the entire draft, but the first round would be good.  Even if it’s just the top ten picks, I think that would be sufficient.  They make the presentation for guys hopping off buses and getting ready in the locker room so they should be able to show a few guys in tuxes shaking the good old commissioner’s hand.  Heck, they even do the annual trip to the White House and photo op.

I haven’t gotten my hands on this year’s iteration so there may be something new hiding inside, but let’s not get our hopes up.  This is just a thought for thoughtful minds and avid sport gamers who follow closely to the real thing.  Hopefully we can get both gameplay and a bit of presentation additions to the draft in the future.  With additions to the games presentation dealing with broadcast and other elements to make it look as if you’re watching a televised game, why not go a step further and pull gamers even deeper into the experience.  Just a thought!

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