gamers (95%) found this review helpful
I got this with the special edition of madden and have a month of experience with it, so I have seen most of what there is to see in this game. I was surprised by what I liked the most about this game, and it wasn't the gameday stuff. The roster building, drafting and trading system is completely changed from madden. Rather than simply tinker with prices as you did in madden, there is an actual live auction for free agents and assistant coaches. It is deeper and more fun than anything I'd seen in madden, and if you're into fantasy football or particularly like the GM mode in Madden, this should be a rental based on the offseason alone.
The gameday planning is fairly disappointing, and while the interface and scheduling is far better than the last version, the game comes up short on a few accounts. There is very little gametime adjustment or halftime speeches or anything like what you see in movies. It's just calling plays and occasionally activating boosts, but on the whole, very little has been improved from Madden and the obvious downside is you can't play. Oh, and there are no audibles so the no huddle is really lame. In fact madden's play adjustment at the line is far better in just about every way.
The career mode is fairly deep, with RPG elements, approval ratings to worry about, player egos, play designing, and injuries. It is truly were the game shines and this prevents it from failure.
gamers (93%) found this review helpful
I am a 32 male that has loved playing dynasty mode in Madden and NCCA Football for years. The Madden Dynasty mode always was very lacking when compared to NCAA football. But now, with NFL Head coach 2009, I think there is a closer match.
So in this game, you are the Bill Parcells of the Miami Dolphins, you are a teams Executive Vice President. So you have the ability to hire the coach (or create your own) and the rest of your staff. Then you have to keep the owner, the staff, players, media all happy. This is done by a goal system and of course winning. For example, the owner might give you a goal to acquire a QB that is at least 85 or do not draft a 'bust' in the 1st two rounds.
I can go on and on about the details, but one of the best parts of this game is something called player potential. When you draft a player or sign a free agent, a stat called potential is hidden. Once you have them on your team, this number is revealed. So let’s say you acquire a player rated at a 75. Well their potential could be 75 or higher, such as 95. This means that by playing him in games, he can become an elite player. In the Madden games, this type of stat was never known. The coolest thing about this is that is makes the draft amazingly fun.
So you can draft a 1st round pick that is and 79, with a potential of an 80. This would be considered a bust as you just signed him to a very large contract. But you can draft a 6th round pick of a 70, that has a potential of a 95, now you have a sleeper. Of course, if you never play the player, he can never develop into the elite player. So by really spending the time in figuring out how to find the sleepers and avoiding the busts, you really feel like you are the VP.
Oh, and you need to sim as watching the games is not fun. So if you are 12 year old and love playing actual Madden games, then this game is not for you. But if you really want to feel like Bill Parcells and build an elite team, then this is a great game.
gamers (100%) found this review helpful
If you want a game where your main focus is the intricacies of managing an NFL team, this is for you. The menu is fairly difficult during games, but rather easy to use during out of game segments. If you like playing football, don't be a coach, and don't play a game called Head Coach, but if you want the details (lots and lots of details), try this one.