What's up everybody!
Well it's August. Football is around the corner. Things are beginning to ramp up. Fantasy drafts and fantasy draft parties are being scheduled (and actually happening depending on your league). We're seeing news from camp. The good (Titus) AND the bad (Best). And for the first time in my life I can actually see a very good use for twitter. I'm actually having some guys over on sunday to have some beers and celebrate the return of football by watching the hall of fame game. (Seriously. A party for a preseason game that doesn't even have our teams in it. We've got it THAT bad.)
And the release of Madden, starring the amazing Calvin Johnson, is at the end of the month! For guys like me, who get paid monthly, now is the time to buy so I can still take advantage of pre-order bonuses. So the question is, where is the best place to buy it? More after the jump...
For me, where to buy really comes down to the pre-order bonus. Most everywhere has the game for 59.99, so the price isn't really the motivator. Browsing the pre-order bonuses, it seems to all come down to this Connected Careers mode. And, to be honest, I have no idea what it entails. I found a rundown of what it is on the EA website:
Offline Franchise, Online Franchise and Superstar mode are all gone. EA SPORTS has replaced them all with Connected Careers, which will put you in control of how you want to play Madden NFL 13. Be a coach or a player, play online or offline, it's all available in CC.
Online Franchise meets RPG; that’s about the best way to describe it. First of all, potential is dead. No more pre-determined ratings structure. You, as a coach, will get to decide how each player progresses in their career. XP (Experience Points) now become your life blood. ... the basic concept is that players will earn XP for their performance on the field. You can then allocate that XP towards ratings boosts across the different ratings categories
In years past, there were three main avenues for career mode enthusiasts like myself to live out their virtual dreams: Franchise Mode let you build a legacy through the means of running a team, and Superstar Mode allowed you to blaze a trail as an NFL player. If you wanted to be strictly a manager, and leave the on-field action up to the powers that be, that’s where NFL Head Coach 09 came in. Connected Careers contains elements of those three types of play, yet is so much more than simply putting all three modes under one menu. What Connected Careers is at the core is an experience built from the ground up allowing a user to play however they want, with the same capabilities shared between the offline and online versions for the first time ever.
Okay, so everybody at EA is really excited about this, I get it. I'm still not sure how it works though. From what I can gather, it seems like this is a big deal. Here's the thing though: I don't think I really care. I am a casual Madden player. I don't play online. As stupid as it sounds, I like to play as Lions players I know. I like to play a season or two with my Lions. I don't take the time to do drafts or trades or any sort of team management. (Besides the occasional messing with the depth chart) The truth is, I kinda lose enjoyment after season #2 or #3 because it is no longer the Lions team I'm playing with but a mish-mash of nameless dudes with generic faces. (And good luck getting Jason Hanson to stick around for a few years!) At that point I usually just start another one up altogether.
So, do I really care about the connected career modes?? Do I really care who I can use in this mode just because I bought it wherever I bought it?
I've narrowed it down to 2 vendors: Amazon.com and Gamestop.
Both will allow me to have the game on its release date.
Receive exclusive NFL legends John Madden and Barry Sanders for use in Madden Ultimate Team and the all-new Connected Careers mode. With Connected Careers, Madden NFL 13 will revolutionize the way sports video game career modes are played while Madden Ultimate Team allows you to experience virtual card collecting with new content and updates that mirror exciting NFL events throughout the entire year.
Pretty tempting... How could any Lions fan turn down Barry Sanders?
BUT Amazon offers:
Pre-order Madden NFL 13 and receive a $15 promotional credit toward the purchase of items shipped and sold by Amazon.com (certain exclusions apply, including but not limited to Kindle books, gift cards, and Amazon Appstore for Android apps). Also, pre-orders get the Andrew Luck Future Stars Draft Pick Madden Ultimate Team Card for immediate use in Madden NFL 12 and future use in Madden NFL 13 as well as the Amazon exclusive NFL Legends Joe Gibbs and Lawrence Taylor for use in Madden Ultimate Team and the Connected Careers mode.
Andrew Luck, Joe Gibbs, and Lawrence Taylor. Okay, I suppose that's cool. Not as cool as Barry, but a $15 credit is quite tempting. I mean, am I ever going to use Barry Sanders? I just want to play a season or two as the Lions. The REAL Lions from 2012. I'd love to have Barry in the backfield, (no offense KS or ML or JB) but I just don't see myself getting that deep into this. I like playing a game between the Lions and whoever they are playing that week with the actual players. That is one of the main reasons I buy Madden to begin with: the players' names. Franchises extended over multiple seasons ruins that.
More than that, is there a chance I can download some DLC that will open up Barry in the future if I do decide later I do want to get into that? If that's the case it's a no-brainer.
Plus, I have a slight problem with Gamestop, seeing as a large percentage of their revenue comes from used games, and the developers see none of that money. Not only do they not get that money, it is changing the gaming landscape as devs try to keep up. These pre-order bonuses are an excellent example. I fear in the future, because of Gamestop, it will be impossible to play a game in its entirety since certain aspects of the games will only be available at certain stores. Also, it has created this quandary I'm in right now where I'm unsure where to purchase the freakin' thing. I know this is all probably stupid to most of you, but it definitely makes me weary to give Gamestop my business since I don't want to add to this. (Though I do admit the outcome is most likely inevitable)
So, I came here to the POD, the best collection of Lions fans and football minds I have access to. I'm looking for some feedback from the smart people.
What have you guys heard about Connected Careers?
Where would you guys buy?
Am I freaking out too much just because of $15?
What do y'all think? I'm leaning towards Amazon, but only because I'm not sure I will even take full advantage of Barry. I hope this thread might help anybody else who is having this issue as well. Or, if you have other issues related to Madden, discuss below.