Madden 13: Review of Early Connected Careers Experience
How deep are you into your Connected Careers experience for Madden 13? I'm sure a good number of gamers have already entered their second season, even though the game just released on August 28 (August 24 via EA Season Pass).
I've probably scoured every aspect of every mode of this game in an effort to create useful content, but because I've dedicated myself to providing expansive coverage of the game, I haven't had a chance to play for fun as much as I would like.
I stole a few hours to get my own personal CC experience started as both a coach and a player. I must say, this is mode is tons of fun.
I even used the EA Game Face PC and Mac application to personalize my coach and player.
Connected Careers as a Coach and as a Player
Breaking news: Brian Mazique is the new head coach of the Chicago Bears? Yes, and I have the images from my Xbox 360 to prove it.
I made myself a coach, but I went the legendary route with the player I created.
Ladies and gentleman, Bo Jackson is back. I even gave him a neck roll.
Bo is one of my all-time favorites, so I decided to create him using Game Face and restart his injury-shortened career.
As a coach, the mode basically functions as a traditional franchise mode with a few additions and subtractions. You're in the role of a coach, but you still control everything with the team. You'll be playing the games, calling the plays and making all the personnel moves.
You have specific goals, and if they are not met, you will be fired.
It's fun to watch the Twitter feed after each week. It delivers the virtual news about your CC from real-life NFL analysts and experts, like Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller.
Essentially, the mode is the same if you play as a player, but minus a ton of duties. You only control the one single guy, much like the Be A Superstar mode from Madden games in the past.
You don't handle player personnel moves, and you can't actually get fired, but you can get demoted on the depth chart and lose tons of playing time.
You can request a trade, though you still have to wait for your request to be granted.
As a coach, beyond getting fired, you can also resign and choose another team to coach.
If you get tired of controlling any player or coach you use in CC (not just limited to the ones you create) you can retire them.
This is assuming you're using a created character. If you chose an existing player or coach, (even legends like Jerry Rice and John Madden can be unlocked) you can simply choose another player or coach to control.
Considering you can take all of the options I just mentioned and join or create a CC that allows for up to 31 other gamers across the world to compete, this concept takes the franchise and online franchise mode to a new level.
The only things I miss with CC that were present in the traditional franchise modes are:
1) the ability to edit players and use them in your CC. You can edit players for Play Now mode, but not for CC.
2) you can't use a fantasy draft at the outset of your CC, you must use the default or EA updated rosters, and you don't have the option to watch or play for the games that aren't set to human-control in your CC.
3) you can no longer import rosters from NCAA Football 13 as your incoming draft class.
Those are small-to-moderate details, but still things I wish were included. The ideal situation would have been to have CC and the traditional franchise mode available.
But I guess nothing is perfect.
I'm Talking About Practice....Practice
The practice sessions are so awesome, even Allen Iverson would love them.
They are basically situational scrimmages against a generic team—that I creatively called the Practice Squad.
Your team is given a scenario and a task for the practice session. If you successfully complete the task, your team is awarded XP points.
The XP Points can be used to develop your influence over your team, which improves play or can be applied directly to player development. It is a great way to not only make the practice sessions relevant, but they are really necessary to succeed on the game.
After the practice session is done, it's game time. You can scout your opponent and focus on certain areas in your preparation, but now it's time to play.
The events leading up to the game actually add to the intrigue. This is really great because it makes the actual games the weekly event that they should be.
Take a look at these videos of my CC as a player and a coach.
As I mentioned, I am "Da New Coach" in Chicago, and Bo Jackson is back for the Oakland Raiders. Here are the first episodes in my YouTube series for both aspects of CC:
What would you grade Connected Careers?
The result and performance during the game dictates your take of XP points and your Hall of Fame score. The latter is essentially the entire point of playing the CC mode.
You're attempting to guide your player or coach to Canton. Your coach or player receives points for their accomplishments. Once you have acquired enough points, you are eligible for the Hall of Fame.
The point totals are adjusted per position if you play as a player. You will be compared to other greats—who have been given Hall of Fame scores—to judge your Hall worthiness.
I'm enjoying the mode and the game overall. If you haven't given this mode a spin yet, you should.
Though it isn't perfect, it is still an awesome concept with great potential.
Follow Brian Mazique and Franchiseplay on YouTube and Twitter for reactions, analysis and news from the world of sports and sports video games
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