FirstCuts: Madden 09 Demo Available Early

(Ed. Note: After sharing a home with TSB for eight months, FirstCuts is spinning off onto its own site by week's end.)
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Sure, it’s just a demo and it’s not like a store is selling copies of the game a week early, but the demo for Madden 09 is available a day earlier than anticipated. Ironically, I had fired up my Xbox 360 in the late stages of Team USA’s rout of Turkey to start the demo download for Facebreaker -- also available today on Xbox Live – when I saw Madden 09 available in the marketplace. ↵

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↵See! I wouldn’t lie to you. It wasn't scheduled to be released until Friday. There's even an ad up if you go to your Xbox Live dashboard, touting that it's coming in two days. So go forth and download the demo, then scurry back with your impressions. Do the same if you check out Facebreaker, too. More pictures and quick impressions after the jump. ↵

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↵The demo is just as promised: a look at the virtual trainer/Madden test, plus a chance to replay the Giants' final drive against the Patriots. ↵

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↵Maybe it's just me, but the players all look just a little cartoony? Or maybe I've been playing too much NCAA Football 09, and the NFL guys are just made to look bigger. The gameplay is extremely quick and as a result I saw a lot of this when I was trying to recreate the Giants' winning drive. ↵

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↵One major problem I've got with this Madden moment: using the current Giants roster -- one with Mario Manningham, who wasn't in the NFL last season -- in this replay of the Super Bowl. I think that will bug a lot of people. Jeremy Shockey, for the record, still is in a Giants uniform, but I'm not surprised that wasn't updated just for a demo. ↵

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↵But before you ever get into the Madden Moments section, you'll take your first Madden test and determine your IQ (see my shameful results).
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↵That virtual trainer, Tron-like holodeck is pretty cool. I did well on offense, but very so-so on defense, particularly against the run. It gives you a set of personalized settings based on your performance. It felt a little bit like the trainer in Prizefighter, where you have to respond quickly to button commands.
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↵So that's really it. Not a lot for a demo that's more than 1 GB, but it's a start as everyone waits for Aug. 12.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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