Madden NFL 13 – Vita Review: Sacked By Poor Performance Issues
Madden NFL 13
As Madden NFL makes its debut on the PlayStation Vita with Madden NFL 13, I have to ask, is this the Madden experience we’ve been waiting for? Unfortunately not! Madden NFL 13 on the PlayStation Vita has all the game modes we expect along with some decent visuals, however, the gameplay that we expect from a Madden game is brought down by absolutely horrible frame rate issues. You’ll notice the issues most during the pre-game and in-between play animations that they show. The gameplay isn’t as bad as those animations, but it still falters. The entire experience just doesn’t feel smooth and you’ll have moments where it feels like it “jumps” on you because of poor performance. It’s a very strange feeling when you are running the ball and that happens. Now hopefully we’ll see a patch that fixes this issue, because this issue doesn’t make the game fun to play at all. Still, it’s most definitely playable and if you can put up with the issue, you can still enjoy a game.
You know when you play a game online and you’ve experienced that slight lag when it’s not nearly as smooth of a gameplay experience as when you play it offline – yet it is still playable? That’s exactly how the offline gameplay feels in Madden NFL 13 for the PlayStation Vita. It’s playable, but not fully enjoyable. You’ll also notice the slow-down during the play selection and browsing the menus or changing the menu options, it’s just bad all around.
Now Madden NFL 13 on the Vita still has some good features including use of the touch screen which is probably the best feature. You can do things like select your defender and design your defense the way you want for each particular play. Select a defender and slide him towards the QB if you want him to blitz or slide him toward a gap that you want him to cover. Offensively you will be able to change the route that your wide receivers will run; this in my opinion is the best way to select a hot route for your receivers. Now when they run the routes, it hasn’t always looked the smoothest, but they pretty much run the route the way you drew it up on the touch screen. This makes for a lot of fun when running your passing offense. The other feature used with the Vita is the use of the motion sensor when lining up your kick-offs or field goal attempts.
The game also has some audio issues to make note of as the commentary can end up being absolutely horrible. I’ve had moments where they talk about it being late in the year even though it’s still week 2. I’ve had moments where they would mention that the other team turned it over on downs when it was I who went for it and turned it over on downs. Like everything else in the game, it just wasn’t polished enough and ends up coming across very weak.
The game of football seems to handle well and is what you can expect from the Madden series, but it’s just hard to tell when the flow of the game is constantly being interrupted. Still, while putting up with that issue, you can play game modes such as, become an NFL superstar, dynasty mode and of course an online game. If the game wasn’t bothered by poor frame rate issues that kills the smoothness of the gameplay, this could have easily been a great game of football to take with you anywhere you go. Until that issue is fixed, stick with the console version which is a fantastic game of football. If they do end up patching this problem, then you might want to reconsider picking up Madden NFL 13 on the Vita if you need football while on the go.
Note: Unfortunately, like MLB: The Show, you can’t transfer your game back and forth from Vita and PS3.