I was hoping to submit a user review of EA's "Madden 06" for PSP, but this game is buggy beyond belief. For days, users have been trying to get EA's attention through their "EA Nation" forums, to little or no avail. As a heads up, here's a quick run down of the situation.
In Franchise mode, the game will power off the PSP console under disparate conditions and at random times. EA's 'work arounds' to date (after ignoring the problem for days) is to:
- Pick up a high-rated Free Agent (they suggest Ty Law, who apparently isn't an FA, but there is a 'roster' issue to be discussed later)
- 'Sim' the first two weeks of the regular season
- Disable all music
- Enable 'both' lines (Line-of-Scrimmage and First Down)
Based on the user reports over in the EA forums, none of these tips have individually, nor in any combination, alleviated the lockup/shutdown problem.
In addition to the lockup/shutdown issue, the game also suffers from virtually unplayable 'Online' mode via wireless, contrary to the back of the box which claims 'Compete head-to-head via local wireless or against anyone, anywhere over the Internet.' Apparently, there are stability issues with the gaming server, resulting in an extremely low number of successful game connections. Those players who do manage to get a game going typically report random disconnects, with resulting 'stat' damage (DNF %, W/L ratio, etc.).
As if randomly shutting down the users console and lack of reliable online gaming weren't enough black eyes for one game launch...EA is also advising users to *not* download the online roster updates, as they are corrupt and will result in an inability to play online. There have been no reports of corrupt roster issues affecting single-player modes.
When you take in the big picture of what these individual bugs add up to, it isn't pretty. Essentially, "Madden 06" for PSP is an expensive, single-player vs. CPU, no-franchise/no-career/no-online football simulation. On the positive side, what I can see of the graphics are incredible, the game play is well executed with the exception of occasional pauses, and the music tracks are decent, if a little heavy on the hip-hop. As a preview for "Madden 07," it's not half bad. Right.
Some members over there (on EA) have reported that calls to EA support are ineffective, as EA is claiming not to know anything about the bugs. Sony customer support says EA hasn't notified them of any problems with the game or the hardware, either. Most retail outlets won't take the opened game back for a refund but will cheerfully exchange it for an unopened copy of the same buggy game.
After the 'player size' issue with the Madden 06 roster update, one has to wonder if EA isn't sitting on fourth down and long...and attempting to go for it.
I'm boycotting, too. Frankly, EA just doesn't release the games that I want to play. The only time I have played the new madden is when my friend rented it. Honestly, this is bullshit, and I am happy to see it. This shows that lack of competition and greed only breed shitty titles.