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Madden NFL 20: Biggest Pet Peeves (Part 1)

Madden NFL 20

Madden NFL 20: Biggest Pet Peeves (Part 1)

For fans of football, the only thing you can rely upon as much as the release of a new Madden game each year is the accompanying disappointment when the game doesn’t live up to the kind of action on the gridiron that you’ll see across the NFL every week. For all the incremental improvements EA may make year after year in attempting to have their video game resemble the sport that we love, there are inevitably areas of the game that continually fall short when it comes to realism. These flaws constantly threaten to ruin the level of immersion one hopes to experience when playing the game.

Naturally, Madden 20 is no exception to that rule. In some respects, it’s even somewhat understandable. With regards to re-creating sports within video games, there may be no sport more complex than football. On any given play, there are 11 men on each side of the ball who are expected to behave in ways that show some level of human awareness, executing intricate play art while engaging in a number of nuanced interactions across a spectrum of positions that all demand something slightly different. It’s admittedly a tall order to have all that translate into something resembling real football.

But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to find glitches and oversights, some which have persisted for years, alongside faulty game mechanics that regularly ruin the fantasy that you’re playing an actual NFL game. Some of these are more minor annoyances than they are game-killers, but it’s precisely these subtle details that can derail the entire enterprise at times.

We’re not talking about broader issues like the run game being totally overpowered, or franchise mode not being everything we dream it could be. No, instead these pet peeves consist of things that too often will destroy any semblance of Madden representing something that you would see on a Sunday, and leave you scratching your head or even perhaps reaching for a different game.

Game Highlights

Let’s say you’ve just finished a game of Madden and you’d like to re-live some of the key plays that decided the outcome of the game. Fortunately, Madden 20 has you covered by allowing you to see the result of every single play that happened throughout the contest. So you go to utilize this feature by highlighting one specific play and click on the option to view a replay of the play in question, only to find an error message telling you that no replay actually exists of that play. Say what!?

To be clear, this doesn’t have to be just some inconsequential 2-yard run that has little impact on the game itself; this can instead be the key highlight of the game, like a 99-yard catch and run that was the defining moment of the result. It doesn’t matter — you still can’t view that play. Look, I understand if the game can’t store every single replay from a game, but I feel like viewing highlights from the game should at least mean having the opportunity to access all scoring plays. You know, like you’d see in an actual highlight reel of the game on any sports show.

While we’re at it, I’m old enough to remember when early editions of Madden had occasional interruptions to your game in order to show you highlights of other games that were happening at the same time, just as you would see such updates during games on Sundays. Now, here we are and they don’t have these kinds of breaking updates in franchise mode. How is that possible or even remotely acceptable from a Madden game in 2020?

QB Accuracy

Considering how in previous years of Madden that there’s been too little to differentiate the truly elite quarterbacks from the mediocre ones, it’s appreciated that in Madden 20 there’s at least been some effort to represent the gap in abilities that clearly exists. The trouble then in translating that gap to Madden 20 is how and when it exactly comes into play throughout the course of a game. The difference between the accuracy of an Aaron Rodgers and a Mitch Trubisky might be witnessed in real life by how Rodgers is able to lead a receiver perfectly with a throw in a tight window. Trubisky, on the other hand, could force that same receiver to make more of an adjustment with a throw slightly high or behind him. These minute differences aren’t reflected with all that much nuance in Madden 20.

Instead, the way these differences are shown within the game is that Rodgers will have pinpoint accuracy on a quick slant over the middle, while a lesser quarterback like Trubisky is more likely to toss the ball about five yards in front of his receiver. It’s fair to think that no NFL quarterback would miss quite this badly on routine throws. On top of that, there are probably better ways to show the subtle differences in ball placement between good, great and average quarterbacks that does not just involve making the lesser ones throw incredibly awful passes that make them look like Pop Warner quarterbacks rather than professionals.

Challenges

A common complaint for NFL coaches in 2019 would be that, despite the new rules regarding pass interference being something they can challenge (thanks to the no-call at the end of the Saints-Rams NFC Championship game last year), the officials rarely decide to change the call on the field whenever the red challenge flag is thrown. Similarly, Madden players have been forced to come to terms with the fact that even though there’s clearly an option within Madden 20 to challenge questionable calls during games, it’s likely that when you push pause and go to exercise that option, the game won’t actually allow you to challenge anything. Just as with those NFL coaches this year, you’re often left asking yourself “but why is it even in the game then?”

Look, I get that it’s probably a little difficult and counter-intuitive to program referee mistakes into a game, but it’s quite another thing to be able to watch a replay where a receiver clearly doesn’t get both feet in bounds when making a catch and not be able to do a damn thing about it.

We’ll be back with part two of our pet peeves tomorrow. What are those smaller things that drive you crazy in Madden this year?

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  1. Where do I start? The fact that we're on the verge of Xbox Series X and PS5 and still presented on animations-based, calculated gameplay is a joke.  When the game wants pass breakups to happen (especially on All-Madden), it will have your open receiver contort his body into an animation that steers towards the nearest defender, popping the ball out, even when you trigger a possession catch.
     If ethics were ever a thing in video game development, EA would have been working on a brand new, physics-based game with a sophisticated AI backed by the sheer power of these new systems; as well as a system that captures the nuances, intricacies, and  decisions that happen on every single play in a game—in the trenches,; in the secondary; during tackles; pre-snap; special teams; ground game; with adjustments; and on and on and on.
    This may sound small but little things like how the crowd looks or the fact that it can be snowing or raining and the photographers or people who are supposed to be the assistant coaches are wearing shorts. I know these things are small but I think little things make the game very visually appealing. 
    QB accuracy is definitely my top peeve, and it forces me to not even play the game anymore. There's no way a NFL QB can't hit a 5-8 yard pass with zero pressure and a wide open receiver. It completely negates user skill/decision making.
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Operation Sports mobile app
    Decision making and play calling by the CPU. If guys who play this game on the PC can improve this with a program, EA Sports should be able to fix it with a patch for PS4 and Xbox One players 
    No cpu sideline or end zone awareness
    Placement of ball is sometimes incorrect (LOS)
    CPU QB play (decisions, running, accuracy, etc)
    Sacks usually out of control unless you edit players or sliders
    No formal slider definitions on exactly what they do and their behavior when lowering or increasing values
    Will not allow year to year roster importing
    C
    -Physics and player interaction are at the top of annoyances for me. I can’t stand seeing a player being tackled straight on and falling to his back to just all of a sudden completely reverse direction and fall forward for extra yards.
    -I’ve been a champion of player differentiation for years and there has been small baby steps this year. That being said, couldn’t agree more on quarterbacks. This should be the position they really gives us some nuance between the players.
    -Injury system with each passing year becomes more and more of a sore thumb. Poorly implanted.
    -How about a shout out for the multiple times the game is tweaked and changed from release date? I understand some things needed to be fixed post launch but getting a slider set to everyone’s like in a league is very frustrating. I spent more time the first couple months just playing around in test games than actually playing in my leagues trying to balance things with sliders.
    Commentary lines being triggered at the wrong time. I can deal with boring or repetitive lines but don’t tell me how I started my last drive with great field position when I started at my own one yard line
    QB accuracy is SPOT ON!
    I have Drew Lock and at times, he throws a pass so far off where it's intended it looks weird. I could understand a WR not on the same page as my QB, but many times the WR is wide open and it's passed 5 yards in front of him. Maybe he has some rating that he thinks it's a different play or something?
    Sadly, my biggest pet peeve cannot even be modded out on PC and has led me to go back to old Maddens. But the O-line will just not even try to block on certain plays and allow the QB to basically get insta-sacked. You can’t even throw the ball as soon as the snap is made in this case. It happens way too often.
    X-Factors were definitely made for competitive play and not franchise. Certain stats can really get out of hand with them on.
    I genuinely can’t remember much else since I only played it a small bit when the last mod was updated and didn’t really even deep drive into the game before that. Really wish I just bought it at the end of the year for $15 again, if at all since I’m just reverting back to old Maddens anyway . On the bright side, I’ve always wanted to go 10+ years into a CFM, which might happen with the direction Madden has been going.
    Play call and decision making, Tired of having a team at 4th and inches on the goal line and they never go for it. Everything missing in Franchise mode.
    @niftyjets you mentioned and I remember when “living worlds” came out they said the nfl crew would dress according to weather.  I never saw this implemented. 
    My pet peeve is lack of dynamic weather.  All other games have this, but not Madden..   Now the talk is  the consoles  will things graphically to Madden.. I hate to be a downer but I have heard since the original Xbox.  I am tired of excuses from EA on LoJack of resources keeping basic things out of Madden.  Madden  02 had a slider for weather and Madden 05  had dynamic  weather.  So now I just Madden for what it is.
    I have two pet peeves this year: RPOs and 4-verts. The CPU just does not run either well. RPOs are virtually guaranteed TFLs and 4-verts wind-up being either sacks or check downs.
    The inability to run RPOs is a bit more explicable as this is the first year they're in the game. But man....the CPU hasn't been able to effectively run 4-verts in ages...going back to last gen.
    JoshC1977
    I have two pet peeves this year: RPOs and 4-verts. The CPU just does not run either well. RPOs are virtually guaranteed TFLs and 4-verts wind-up being either sacks or check downs.
    The inability to run RPOs is a bit more explicable as this is the first year they're in the game. But man....the CPU hasn't been able to effectively run 4-verts in ages...going back to last gen.

    Speaking of RPOs, another of mine is that so many run plays have been turned in to RPOs so you can’t flip the direction of the play at the line of scrimmage without flipping the entire formation
    Ea= money grubbers, I believe it's all about the ! Visually a joke, instant replay...a joke . God awful entrances and stadium sounds.....a joke! Dont get me wrong I like playing it for fun, but does not get you pumped up for Sunday's. Controls may be getting a little better.... Madden should be one heck of a game by now, but if they would create the perfect game, we wouldn't keep buying each year and that would mean less !
    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    Spill, Force, Alley is completely broken. The leverage of defensive fronts and player leverage in general are nonexistent. Major part of football absent. Kind of ridiculous for a football game that’s been around this long to omit basic football. But, unfortunately most of the public doesn’t even know.
    Challenge system has been trash for sometime.* Heck, I've even been denied touchdowns after challenging when the replay clearly shows I got two feet in.* No sports game needs competition more than this title.* The NFL only cares that EA's checks clear and they don't really care about the quality of this product.* EA has no real reason to address this game's issues because it is the only licensed NFL game in town. * My pet peeve is that on PC my game along with many others have had a sound stuttering issue since release and it hasn't been addressed or acknowledged to the public (Even though EA reps have acknowledged it in threads where people have complained about it).
    Screens are still horrible.. And in franchise..how is it that for the 2020 season the Raiders are still in Oakland and the rams/chargers are not in their new stadiums? On Madden 16 the new Vikings stadium was in the game a year before it actually opened.....
    Not having the ability to select generic playbooks for created coaches in franchise. I know you can select them before starting a game but I find having to do that before every game a pain.
    Not being able to relocate or just make new custom uniforms for teams like in NBA 2k
    And pass coverage is still sooooo brain dead. Covering empty grass with no threats, man to man coverage is basically useless, shading cbs inside or outside and still watching them get beat easily when the route goes where you told them it would.
    All things mentioned are definitely legit pet peeves. One of mine is the fact all franchise games start in eastern standard time. West coast 4 PM eastern standard time games should have a 1 PM lighting for the game.
    Agent89
    Where do I start? The fact that we're on the verge of Xbox Series X and PS5 and still presented on animations-based, calculated gameplay is a joke. *When the game wants pass breakups to happen (especially on All-Madden), it will have your open receiver contort his body into an animation that steers towards the nearest defender, popping the ball out, even when you trigger a possession catch.
    *If ethics were ever a thing in video game development, EA would have been working on a brand new, physics-based game with a sophisticated AI backed by the sheer power of these new systems; as well as a system that captures the nuances, intricacies, and *decisions that happen on every single play in a game—in the trenches,; in the secondary; during tackles; pre-snap; special teams; ground game; with adjustments; and on and on and on.

    Couldn’t agree more with you. Out of all the sports games this game has the stiffest animations I’ve seen. Every move just looks so off and unnatural. Physics don’t mean anything. Sadly, I don’t see any of this changing especially since the game always sells well.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ik Ik but mines is the hand warmer and towel placement you barely see anybody in the league wear their hand warmers in the front especially the skill players and towels. Towels are either placed in the back or sides
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I could go on for a LONG time about aspects of Madden that need improvement, but here are a few small issues that would qualify as pet peeves:

    • Having so many home throwback uniforms without accompanying road versions
    • All the glitches and bugs present with roster sharing over the past two years
    • Still not having a dedicated long snapper position or a holder position on the depth chart
    • Long-standing issues with player cards within Franchise (no teams on the "Career Stats" tab, no cumulative career stats on the card, performances not in chronological order on the "Season Stats" tab, no injury or transaction histories)
    • The lack of kickoff return and coverage teams in formation subs
    • QB's taking too many unnecessary sacks by tucking the ball instead of trying to get a pass off. I've seen the throwing animations get interrupted very awkwardly when a defender is looming.
    • The lack of a weather setting that does a good job of replicating sunny, September afternoon games like this one
    • The option to have a blue line-of-scrimmage line present on the field
    • The lack of a free practice feature within Ultimate Team
    1. The wind has been broken for years. Impacts special teams by tilting the advantage to the team kicking into the strong wind, even in retractable roof stadiums.
    2. Custom playbooks is bare bones, along with game planning. We should have the ability to organize our plays by formations, concepts, runs vs. pass. Game plan play call suggestions still has the 4 minute offense bug.
    3. Hit Sticks...the suctioning and warping of players, especially from behind a ball carrier is beyond frustrating, especially how often they cause fumbles. Do we see this on Sundays?
    4. EA’s habit of reviving old features and calling them new. Would love to finally see the vision cone from PS2 return to make awareness matter to differentiate QB’s.
    5. User lurking and being able to see the whole field and constantly cut on a dime as a user without getting tired. Each defender should have a line of sight rating or hidden vision cone. Users shouldn’t be able to run around recklessly and see the entire field and cover so many routes. They should fatigue faster and get subbed out.
    6. QB’s rolling out to the sidelines and throwing across the field or deep with pinpoint accuracy.
    7. Kicking is still too easy, especially with wind. Make the controller rumble and make the kicking meter like the pitching meter in The Show.
    8. EA still having the exclusive license.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I have many Pet Peeves about this game. (I play the PC version).
    1. Ball Physics and clipping through walls and such. The ball still disappears into oblivion when thrown into the endzone or sidelines.
    2. No Refs on the field.
    3. The same relocation teams and uniforms for years now with no real personality for the teams.
    4. Relocating and keeping the same team name will net you being the Brooklyn Browns with Cleveland across the chest.
    5. No real difference in running back styles. Walter Payton runs just like Jim Brown and Earl Campbell.
    6. Still feels like a compilation of play now games that constitute a franchise mode.
    7. Once you edit a draft class, you lose all draft stories.
    8. I am ok with X-factors but the balance is off. If I run 3 time for over 10 yards to activate the X-factor, I can almost tell when the CPU is going to stop me for a loss to deactivate it.
    9. Helpless animations that dictate the outcome of the play. I simply know when the DB is going to activate the animation to knock the ball out of my hands on a catch or knock it up in the air for a tipped int. The canned animation break the ebb and flow of the game usually.
    10. The anti shut-out mode that kicks on that predetermines that a badly beaten team will in fact score to break the shut out. No matter what defenses you run, chances are, you will give up the score.
    These are just my quick 10 pet peeves. I could go on for at least 20 more. I hate the fact I have no other viable options for a football game.
    SOU7GLO
    1. The wind has been broken for years. Impacts special teams by tilting the advantage to the team kicking into the strong wind, even in retractable roof stadiums.
    2. Custom playbooks is bare bones, along with game planning. We should have the ability to organize our plays by formations, concepts, runs vs. pass. Game plan play call suggestions still has the 4 minute offense bug.
    3. Hit Sticks...the suctioning and warping of players, especially from behind a ball carrier is beyond frustrating, especially how often they cause fumbles. Do we see this on Sundays?
    4. EA’s habit of reviving old features and calling them new. Would love to finally see the vision cone from PS2 return to make awareness matter to differentiate QB’s.
    5. User lurking and being able to see the whole field and constantly cut on a dime as a user without getting tired. Each defender should have a line of sight rating or hidden vision cone. Users shouldn’t be able to run around recklessly and see the entire field and cover so many routes. They should fatigue faster and get subbed out.
    6. QB’s rolling out to the sidelines and throwing across the field or deep with pinpoint accuracy.
    7. Kicking is still too easy, especially with wind. Make the controller rumble and make the kicking meter like the pitching meter in The Show.
    8. EA still having the exclusive license.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    Yeah I hate the user **** but you gotta figure how to outplay it
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    roadman
    Challenges haven't worked in forever, not sure when they will work properly.
    Penalties or lack of penalties is one of my pet peeve's.

    LOL yes sir my man you know thats my biggest pet peeve also..The taking out of DH and nerfing the PI were some bad mistakes that hurt the game...I dont know who came up with the stat that DH and PI average one a game but someone clearly isnt looking at football on Sunday.. PI is called so often now that their is a actual gameplanning strategy to draw PIs in certain yardage situations..The challenge system is awful as well..I just wish they assigned someone to look at the games to provide realistic simulation input on development to include penalties, play calling etc..rating adjusters at games are good but thats the only thing getting adjusted is ratings.. The latest patches have moved the needle as far as gameplay but there is so much more that can and should be done..
    edaddy
    ..I dont know who came up with the stat that DH and PI average one a game but someone clearly isnt looking at football on Sunday...

    Actual penalty rate data from 2018 ... from pro football reference ... perhaps they do look .... not that it would be necessary to get this correct, just a simple fact search rather than going off a hunch or your own perception
    briz1046
    Actual penalty rate data from 2018 ... from pro football reference ... perhaps they do look .... not that it would be necessary to get this correct, just a simple fact search rather than going off a hunch or your own perception

    No I watch football every week and my eyes can tell me that there is way more than less than one PI and DH a game ..like any other data it's skewed.. I just watched the Giants committ 3 PI in the first quarter last week ..Man even coaches challenge of PI average out to 1 a game..not a fact search my man look at a game on Sunday and you tell me how many you see...yea my perception.. There calling PI on hail Marys now which im sure will skew your 2018 data my friend and I say all this because it's a point of emphasis this year if you don't see that as well as the complaints from players and coaches each week then you might want to visit that...out
    edaddy
    No I watch football every week and my eyes can tell me that there is way more than less than one PI and DH a game ..like any other data it's skewed.. I just watched the Giants committ 3 PI in the first quarter last week ..Man even coaches challenge of PI average out to 1 a game..not a fact search my man look at a game on Sunday and you tell me how many you see...yea my perception.. There calling PI on hail Marys now which im sure will skew your 2018 data my friend and I say all this because it's a point of emphasis this year if you don't see that as well as the complaints from players and coaches each week then you might want to visit that...out

    Did you watch EVERY game ? I'd suggest not , using your own experiences and relying on your own memory , obviously biases your viewpoint , this is why sites such as Pro Football Reference exist , so we have accurate data to refer to and arent reliant on our own incomplete experience, heres this years data so far , which isnt significantly different despite the so called emphasis on these penalties
    I really cant see how you can argue this , unless your somehow suggesting EA , the NFL and an independent site etc are colluding to lie to ??
    I’m a little troubled how out of all the issues this game has specifically with the gameplay and how inorganic it feels people are complaining about hand towels and stuff of that nature. This game’s physics are terrible. The animations are poor and way behind other sports games. Aesthetics are important and so are many other things, but let’s fix the meat and potatoes (gameplay) first.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Artman22
    I’m a little troubled how out of all the issues this game has specifically with the gameplay and how inorganic it feels people are complaining about hand towels and stuff of that nature. This game’s physics are terrible. The animations are poor and way behind other sports games. Aesthetics are important and so are many other things, but let’s fix the meat and potatoes (gameplay) first.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    That is fine you feel that way, but not everyone's priorities line up with one another. Also, I don't think it's fair to knock other people's opinions, just because they differ from yours.
    kjwill22
    Yeah I hate the user **** but you gotta figure how to outplay it
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    True. Doesn’t stop it from being an eyesore or pet peeve. It would be cool and more challenging to have users depend on line of sight/awareness more, weighted physics, and factoring in fatigue.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

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