Madden NFL 13: It was different

Screenshot Credit: Polygon.com

Madden NFL 13 was released just under ten years ago. While the game is extremely dated, many of it’s features are now the current foundation. I remember watching a video by a YouTuber named SoftDrinkTV, talking about how Madden 13 had killed the series. He cited Connected Careers, the expansion of Ultimate team, etc. I was confused, because MY experience with ’13 had been much different. Then I realized, the Vita edition was a whole different experience. The Franchise, superstar mode, no Ultimate team. I thought an article in that realm would be a fun write, and possibly a fun read. So with that, let’s talk about Madden NFL 13 for the Playstation Vita.

First, the hardware

Aaron Greenbaum/Looper.com

There’s obvious differences in hardware in this case. We’ll be talking about the Vita version of Madden NFL 13 primarily, but we will be making comparisons to the console version, and to future versions of Madden as we progress through the article. Madden 13 was also released on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, IOS, and obviously, Playstation Vita. We’ll focus on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions for comparisons primarily.

Presentation

Both versions have the CBS crew at the time of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. Both games have the same lines from the duo. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, in my experience of gameplay, don’t have rendered scenes in the broadcast, whereas they do on console editions. The broadcast graphics from the Vita are stripped down compared to the console editions, with no elaborate team introductions, and other toned-down aspects. The scoreboard on PS3 and Xbox is a bit more elaborate as well.

Team Intro for Seahawks, Credit: EA Sports
Console Scoreboard (Credit: N/A, Channel Link)
Vita Scoreboard (Credit: IGN)
Credit: Pastapadre.com

Gameplay

One of the big differences between the two versions is the Infinity Physics engine. Madden NFL 13 for PSVita did not include the use of the engine, which could be attributed to limited hardware capabilities on behalf of the Vita. Regardless, the gameplay of both versions is much better than what we have today. The Vita version played like it’s predecessors in Madden(s) 11 and 12.

One of my favorite parts of the Vita version are how you can control the LOS. The rear touchscreen allowed for line shifts and defensive front alignments, while the front touchscreen, especially on offense, made for some wacky fun. You could tap and flick a reciever on the screen to motion him. Best of all, you could draw your own “Hot Routes” on the screen. If I wanted my reciever to run in circles like a drunk guy fresh out of a bar, I could do that. Madden 13 wasn’t as polished on the Vita. However, the control you had gave it it’s own charm compared to it’s counterpart.

Modes

Madden NFL 13: Console

  • Connected Careers
  • Madden Ultimate Team (There were injuries I learned)
  • Madden Moments/Madden Moments Live
  • Play Now
  • Practice

Madden NFL 13: Vita

  • Franchise Mode
  • Superstar Mode
  • Madden Moments Live
  • Play Now
  • Practice

Franchise Mode

This is where the pendulum swings, the paradigm shifts, whatever you’d like to say. Madden NFL 13 for both of these consoles was not the same game. The console editions built the foundation for the current franchise today, which, in reality, isn’t all that great. The explanation was that the transition to online led to many fan-favorite features being stripped from Connected careers and the game itself. While plausible, full franchises had been done in recent Maddens at that time, all online. Connected Careers let you be a coach, player, or owner of an NFL team, with degrees of control for all three styles to reflect your role. It’s what we have today.

On the other hand, Madden NFL 13 on PSVita offered a much more expansive franchise in comparison to not only now, but connected careers at the time. Although Connected Careers was praised at the time, there were features present in traditional franchise mode that were/are not in CFM/CCM. These included:

  • Live Free Agent bidding
  • More Immersive scouting
  • Includes Scheme features from console version
  • Dedicated Retirement Screen
  • Stadium Naming Rights
  • Not Franchise specific, but Gyro-Kicking (Using the gyroscope to aim your kicks)
  • Licensed Coordinaters/Coaches
  • Hot/Cold Streaks
  • Player Roles

The Last Superstar Mode

Madden NFL 13 blended franchise and superstar mode, but the Vita edition kept them seperate. It’s swan song may be a little dissappointing, but having the option to play superstar mode is still fun at times. There are practice sessions where you can earn XP towards bettering your player. You can take a selfie and put yourself into the shoes of an NFL player. It controls like superstar mode always did, albiet stripped down.

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