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Madden NFL 13 Demo: Wherein I Begin Constructing My Jim Nantz Voodoo Doll

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.

  • Super slow-mo at this point. Everything includes long pauses while he tries to figure out how best to sound boring. Slow down the commentary from Madden NFL 12 and have John Madden write all of his lines.
  • Inaccurate. There are plenty of new sayings - new triggers and the like - but they're all off. Any pass that isn't complete is one of five or six different "the quarterback sucks," admonishments. Now, I haven't lost yet - there's no sore loser here. But the passes were perfect. It's just annoying that the game can't recognize this stuff. Or rather, it's annoying that the developers were too lazy to recognize this stuff.
  • Repetition. Now, obviously, this is an issue with any video game. The problem is, I know there's a ton of stuff I haven't heard yet. And the game doesn't detect when it's JUST said something. Six plays in a row I dropped back to pass and Nantz said "The quarterback is going to drop back again. He's been brought down 'X amount of' times thus far. Let's see what happens." Or something along those lines. I'm already picking my next play by the time he's done.
  • "They're lining up ... in the kickoff return formation." WHAT ELSE WOULD THEY LINE UP IN?
  • "And a timeout called by the team." UHHH WHAT TEAM
  • "Alex Smith, the overall No. 1 pick." WHO SAYS THAT?
  • "The offensive line will be leaned on to protect their quarterback ... and also to make running lanes." thx bro didn't know that
  • "And I promise you ... third and short ... is a lot better than third and long!" OH MY GOD

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.