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The Madden '13 demo has been officially released and with that debut, SB Nation's James Brady was able to release the ratings for the San Francisco 49ers. After reviewing them, some left me enthused while others just seemed misinformed, lazy ratings choices.
There was certainly an expected overall jump in the team's rating (89) from the 2010 season to the 2011 season. What San Francisco did last year by winning 14 games and making it to the NFC Championship game could not go ignored. However, when it got down to really analyzing lesser known individual players, EA Sports struggled a bit.
Below we'll breakdown the selections the creators at EA hit on, and identify others they missed.
Kyle Williams, WR - 69 Overall
I think Williams was being sold short on this one - his physical abilities alone should put him above a 70. He has speed, agility, acceleration and solid hands as a receiver. When he was asked to step up during the season when the 49ers had injuries, San Francisco kept winning.
The Madden creators no doubt had the NFC Championship game in mind when rating Kyle Williams.
New Rating: 75
Bruce Miller, FB - 77 Overall
Miller had an incredible rookie campaign, and that's without considering his transition from collegiate defensive end to professional full back. He excelled at the position, learning in a shortened league-year and winning the job from veteran Moran Norris. Miller has a high ceiling going forward, given how he performed in his first year.
He was the starting lead blocker for the league's 8th best rushing attack in 2012. And with a new stable of diverse backs, the NFL should take notice of Miller's versatility as blocker, and even a receiver out of the backfield.
New Rating: 84
Andy Lee, P - 95 Overall
It doesn't get more consistent or more impeccable than Andy Lee. It's not that a 95 rating is bad, but for a player that has mastered his craft as well as Lee has, the All-Pro punter should have the highest possible rating.
For a punter, he is a very important and highly valued member of the 49ers. San Francisco just rewarded Lee with a six-year, $20.5 million contract.
New Rating: 99
Ring of Honor:
Ray McDonald, DT - 92 Overall
It was incredibly nice to see McDonald receive such a rating. As a backup player, he has fluttered in the low 70's since he entered the league. McDonald took on a starting role in 2011 and exceeded expectations in his first year. Haloti Ngata was a defensive lineman that had this rating in Madden '11, so it's saying something.
Donte Whitner, SS - 88 Overall
Whitner, like McDonald, was someone else fans could have expected to be snubbed - but they weren't. I think Whitner's rating suits him. It's a solid grade that allows him room to improve. But it's as solid as a rating as safeties get in Madden; pass rushers, wide receivers and running backs typically have an abundance of 90+ players, and strong safeties not so much.
Mike Iupati, LG - 91 Overall
Iupati deserved to break 90 and he does in Madden ‘13. He is one of the league's most ferocious interior linemen, and plays an intricate role in the 49ers successful ground attack. As a former first rounder, Iupati has proven to be a great acquisition for the future of this 49ers offensive line.
For more on the San Francisco 49ers, check out Niners Nation
Yesterday, I got to posting some impressions of the demo for Madden NFL 13. The gist of which is that I was very pleased with the way things were going. It's hard to really gauge the new physics engine, as it seems more like really solid animations than it does a whole new way of detecting collisions. That being said, I wanted to highlight one glaring negative: the commentary.
It's hard to get right, I understand that. Madden NFL 12 had abysmal commentary. Gus Johnson's poorly mixed audio was always five seconds behind and always at five different volumes. Cris Collinsworth was exceptionally annoying, ranting about his wife and a bath robe or some such. But Jim Nantz and Phil Simms manage to be ten times worse.
It's more Natntz than Simms. I'm really bad with commentary guys when it comes to actually watching the NFL, so I don't know if he's always this bad, but his delivery is so slow. It's not just the mixing either - he's slow, and says the stupidest things. I'm actually angry right now. I want to snap my game disc but I can't because it's a demo. OK, I'm not really angry. Let's break it down after the jump.
Now, let's all hope that this is just a symptom of it being a demo. Past Madden games have seen the level of commentary go up from demo to full game, presumably because only a limited amount of lines are on the download for the demo. That being said, if this sample size is representative of what's to come, then Madden NFL 13 may just have the worst commentary of any sports game ever.
And the demo doesn't let you turn down the commentary either. The full game better have that. Oh man it better have that. Time to play the demo some more on mute and enjoy those sexy, sexy tackle animations. I just never thought I'd be wishing for Cris Collinsworth back.
Stick with this Story Stream for all of your Madden NFL 13 news and updates. Don't forget to Tweet @sbnbayarea or @JamesBradySBN with your thoughts on the demo for a chance to win a free copy of the full game upon release.
As if fans of the Madden franchise needed more of a reason to purchase the new Madden NFL 13, that is scheduled to drop in August, Amazon and Gamestop have posted their pre-order incentives for the game and they include some new dimensions to the game, according to Pasta Padre.
The features include exclusive legends for use in Ultimate Team and the brand new Connected Careers mode. Ultimate Team is a card game within the Madden franchise, while it's still unclear what Connected Careers is supposed to be. EA is following in the footsteps of the NBA 2K franchise which found success bringing back past players as focal points of their game and its promotion.
This isn't the first time legends have been introduced to Ultimate Team as Walter Payton was featured in Madden 11 and others were on the Collector's Edition of Madden 12. As of now, Amazon announced that Joe Gibbs and Lawrence Taylor will be featured and Gamestop is featuring John Madden and Barry Sanders. Best Buy and Wal Mart have not made their announcements yet.
For more on the Madden NFL 13 release, be sure to check out Pasta Padre.
Madden NFL 12 was a great game, and we'll follow along as news comes out about Madden NFL 13, to see if EA Sports can build on it. Feature reveals are planned all throughout the coming months leading to the game's August release, so stay tuned.