Get your football spike on in Madden 09

Followers of football games will surely remember the first next-gen Madden game, Madden NFL 06 on the Xbox 360. It was a mere shell of its old-gen counterparts (the PS2/Xbox/GC versions) — it left out a lot of the features that were present in the non-HD iterations. By now, they’ve re-inserted most of what they excised from Madden 06, and this is actually something that’s pretty new on top of that.

If you weren’t aware, GameStop has its own blog at https://www.gamestop.com/gs/blog/. From now on, they’re going to present a new Madden NFL 09 feature every Monday (they even came up with the super-clever name of “Madden Mondays”). Since the blog (stupidly) doesn’t have any permalinks to their entries, you’ll have to just scroll down to see the Madden 09 post.

The first reveal came this past Monday, April 14th, and the big surprise was… wait for it… user-controlled touchdown celebrations! I remember doing something kinda like it on the PS2 Madden games — where you could press certain buttons while running toward the end zone to do things like raise your arm in the air — but this is taking things to the next level.

After a touchdown, you’ll still have control of your player. Just push the “celebration” button (from the image below, it looks to be the Y button on the Xbox 360), and you’ll see some crazy stuff. EA Tiburon will even be programming in player-specific celebrations, so if you just threw a 65-yard TD pass to T.O., you might be in for some Sharpie action.

In addition, there will be localized celebrations in different end zone “Hot Spots” — for example, if you ran into the middle of the end zone, your player might dunk the football over the goal post. Certain stadiums will also have their own celebrations (hence the Lambeau Leap header image). Finally, a hidden control will allow you to steal your opponent’s celebration, to really stick it to him/her. I wonder if they’ll have a helmet-throwing celebration, after which you’d be tagged with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty…

Samit Sarkar