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First Madden 12 Features Announced

Madden 12 has a few surprise enhancementsWe aren’t even a week out of the NFL season and it is already time to start talking about the Madden 12. The Madden video game is getting a jump start and new Madden 12 features have been released. Let’s just say one of these new Madden options should make Sean Payton very happy.

The boys over at EA Sports posted a blog on Super Bowl Sunday featuring Madden 12 creative director Ian Cummings. It was announced that you will see surprise onside kicks in Madden for the first time ever in the history of the game. “Tuner sets “, have also been added making tweaks to the game after its release easier than ever before.

The big news here is the addition of the surprise onside kick in Madden 12. Obviously this is a feature that will only appeal to Madden online game play. I have been playing Madden for twenty years and I can’t ever remember thinking to myself, “I wish I could surprise onside kick.” Yet in all honesty I don’t play Madden online often at all because the thought of being humbled by some 11-year old kid in Wisconsin is not my ideal way to spend a Saturday night…anymore.

At first thought, surprise onside kicks seem nearly impossible to use as a “surprise” in the Madden video game’s current setup. However, the boys at EA Sports sound like they did a real nice job of creating Madden 12 controls that would allow players to spring the onside kick on their opponents without being caught in the game calling screen.

Ian Cummings explained how to use the surprise onside kick to ESPN.com. “So how we do it is you start your kick meter like you normally would by pressing the A button on the 360 or the X button on the PS3, but then on your last button press, when you’re stopping the meter for your accuracy, you choose the B button or the circle button and that ends up switching things up to the surprise onside kick. He’ll line up and look like he’s about to kick normally, but then the animation switches up at the last second. It does use the aim of the kick arrow, but it doesn’t go all the way to the sidelines. We’re trying to keep it more towards the middle of the field so we can tune this so there aren’t too many variables that enable someone to recover the ball every time. It also takes the power into account a little bit, but the majority of the power will come from the tuner sets so that if we find someone has an exploit, we can update that more quickly and make it more random, adjusting things after ship.”

Wow, that actually sounds pretty cool. It also sounds like they really nailed the “surprise” aspect with the kick. Of course for someone as uncoordinated as myself it may take me a few weeks to perfect, but that is what the practice mode is for right?

The other interesting part of this news is that the surprise onside kick option will be limited. Instead of receiving endless amounts of surprise onside kicks during a game the player will only get 1 opportunity to make the kick…until someone figures out a glitch of course. I love it! I could see some gamers going nuts with this taking the fun out of the game. However,  I’d like to see some kind of an adjustment made where you aren’t limited to the number of surprise onside kicks if you are down by more than 17 points at the start of the fourth quarter.

It is a gutsy call to make in a Madden game. I have attempted many onside kicks in Madden and rarely do they work. I hope that the developers tweak it in a way to give players a better chance than the way they game is currently developed.

“Tuner sets” will also be in Madden 12. I am not a hardcore video game junkie so I had to do a little research on exactly what a tuner set was. From what I gather it breaks the game down into multiple data sets which make updating the game easier for EA Sports. In other words, instead of releasing a patch for the entire game (which could take awhile) anytime developers want to make a simple change, they can go in and alter specific data which in theory makes the updates come easier and faster.

Call me crazy but here is a wild thought that I am sure nobody at EA ever thought of. How about just testing the game a lot more before releasing it to the public? I know it is a ridiculous thought but it can be really frustrating to get the game on the Maddenoliday, open it up, play it, and run into glitch after glitch that doesn’t get fixed for a month. All they’d have to do is hire one of these genius players on Madden forums that find every glitch in the game within 24 hours to nip this immediately but I guess these tuner sets will help alleviate the wait for the fixes so it is a good thing.

Any guesses as to who will get the Madden 12 curse? With the new kicking feature I wonder if it would be a kicker like Adam Vinateri or Garrett Hartley? For the record, last year’s Madden 11 cover player Drew Brees suffered an MCL injury last season which I am sure impacted his play, in addition to being upset by one of the worst playoff teams in the history of the NFL in the Wild Card round.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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