There is no doubt that Madden is the king of football, though at times it may be overly complicated to people that just want to pick up and play. This is the premise behind Madden NFL Arcade: to offer that quick pick up game of football. The question is, is simpler better?
The first thing you will notice is the players on the field, who look like cartoon versions of their real-life counterparts. Offensive linemen are really bulky, while cornerbacks are skinny. Madden NFL Arcade embraces this stylistic choice as a true arcade game. It is meant to be over the top, with non-realistic, over the top plays and players, and while it may lack the depth of a full-fledged Madden title, Arcade is extremely addictive and will keep you coming back for more.
The gameplay features a 5-on-5 game rather than the typical 11 on 11. Offensively, you have a quarterback, runningback, wide receiver, tight end, and an offensive lineman. Defense consists of a safety, two cornerbacks, a linebacker, and a defensive lineman.
It takes time for those used to Madden to adjust to the gameplay and speed of this title. It is meant to be quick and fun. When on offense, you will begin on your 20 yard line and have 4 downs to make it down the field and score. The entire field isn’t 100 yards though, it’s only 60, and the first player to make it to 30 points is the winner.
The game requires you to rethink your strategies, considering it’s only 5-on-5. One false move, and if you have a quarterback like Vince Young, it will be an easy touchdown as he runs past you. While the frenzied action is a lot of fun at times, it can also be a huge drawback for those that are still adjusting to the game when they jump online.
The gameplay isn’t the only thing that is simplified; so is the playcalling. The plays are chosen by picking either run, short pass, medium pass, or long pass on offense. When on defense, the choices are blitz, short coverage, medium coverage, and long coverage. While this may seem overly simplified, it works well in the game.