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So you wanna be a superstar?



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This past Tuesday, EA Sports unveiled Madden NFL 06 for the media and a select group of NFL stars, including Tony Gonzalez, Daunte Culpepper, Michael Strahan, Byron Leftwich, and Madden 06 cover athlete Donovan McNabb. While this was the first time most of the NFL players had a chance to see the new passing mechanics in the game, the event also served as the official debut of one of the game's newest features: NFL superstar mode. We had a chance to check out this mode and talk with a few of the NFL stars about their own experiences as superstars in the NFL

As you've read in our previous coverage of Madden 06, NFL superstar mode is an entirely new addition to the series--one that allows you to play multiple seasons in the game through the eyes of a single created player. You won't be dealing with franchise concerns, such as concession prices and salary caps here. Instead, your entire focus will be on living the life of an NFL player from the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft all the way through your retirement from the game. Along the way you'll be taking part in many of the kinds of on- and off-season activities (both the mundane and unique) that make up the schedule of an NFL player.

First things first: You start your journey in superstar mode by either creating an entirely new player, importing an NCAA Football 06 legend player, or your favorite NFL Street 2 athlete. Should you choose to create a superstar from scratch, you'll begin with a unique starting point--your virtual parents, whose particular combination of DNA will join to create your player and partially determine what kind of player he'll be in the NFL. Both your father and your mother will have specific traits that will be passed on to your player, some of which may be useful to a player's career. Parents have three attributes--IQ, profession, and hobby--and all three will help mold your football destiny (or at least the position you end up playing). Just as in real life, you can't choose your parents in Madden 06 but you can choose as many different randomly generated combinations as you like until you come up with that perfect pair of progenitors that give you the best shot at making it in the NFL.

Once you've got your DNA squared away, it's time to name your created player, assign him a position (just because your parents made a punter, doesn't mean you have to play that position), and then design his appearance. You can choose your player's overall bulk, add muscle or fat to his upper and lower body, and choose from a number of different equipment variations. Interestingly, as you adjust these physical attributes, your appearance rating will adjust accordingly. Big muscles will up your rating, but only to a certain point. Similarly, a little junk in the trunk is OK, but if you start going J.Lo with your player, your rating will suffer. Presumably, the more attractive you are, the more opportunities for TV spots and sponsorships later on in the game, which begs the question: Why would anyone create an ugly superstar?

Now that you know what you look like, you're ready to move into your modest apartment. Forget your huge NFL-sized paycheck; you'll still start out in an unpretentious flat, perfect for a rookie scrub. This will be your superstar HQ, where you can check on everything from your personal text messages from your mentor (who just happens to be former Bronco's running back Terrell Davis) and agent, to your career and game-by-game stats via your personal computer. There's more to the PC than just stats, however. It will also be where you can find your personal fan site devoted to your accomplishments, keep tabs of your endorsement and movie deals, check up on teams throughout the league, as well as check out agents vying for the chance to represent you, and a lot more

Media Savvy

Your apartment also includes the centerpiece of your superstar life--your schedule. Here, you'll find every on- and off-season activity that takes place in superstar mode--everything from practices and game-plan sessions, to movie shoots, Madden Bowl parties, and, of course, the weekly games themselves. Before draft and training camps begin, you'll get a chance to meet your mentor, and this is where Davis will give you a rundown on many of the features in this mode, such as agent signing, the NFL Draft, and the importance of your image on and off the field. As TD explains in the mentor meeting, there's more to the NFL superstar mode than just wracking up numbers on the field. You'll have a number of different factors to take into consideration as you guide your career, including exposure, popularity, and your personality type (all of which depend on the kinds of choices you make in the mode).

After the mentor meeting, you'll have your first meeting with the media. There's not much to it really; it's a simple question and answer session where you have a number of ways to respond to a few generic questions, such as "What position would you like to play other than your own?" and "What kind of food do you like to eat?" Just how you answer those questions presumably affects how your public perception is shaped, but in the beginning of superstar mode, it's difficult to see this perception in action. With the interview complete, it's time to sign an agent. Being a rookie (and presumably a second- or third-round pick at that), you won't have the Drew Rosenhaus' of the world to choose from. Instead, only a handful of agents will be willing to take you on. You do have some room to be picky, however, and because agents are rated in categories, such as negotiation, influence, interview, and endorsements, you'll want to pick the guy who can guide your career in the direction you wish. Some of the higher-profile player reps will also be able to gain access to the Performance Institute, a training ground where you can bump your players' stats through a number of off-season drills, but you won't have access to them right away. The good news is that you can hire a new agent at any time, so after some tangible onfield success, feel free to can your current rep and go with someone who's better able to get you access to the PI and someone who can--yeah, we'll say it--"show you the money."

With your agent on board, we now come to perhaps the strangest portion of NFL superstar mode: the IQ test. Based in part on the real-life Wonderlic test, a personality assessment tool given by the NFL to incoming rookies, the IQ test in Madden 06 is a series of 20 questions for which you have two minutes to answer as many as you possibly can. Sample questions include: What kind of bird would you be? How wide is Lambeau Field? If you were drafted to replace a sure Hall of Famer, how would you approach it? Do you consider yourself sarcastic? Proud is to humble as generous is to (blank)? What is the capital of California? As you can see, not all of the questions have a verifiable answer, which makes the scores we received questionable. To find out what NFL players like Byron Leftwich and Tony Gonzalez had to say about their experiences with the Wonderlic test and the rest of the pre-draft hoopla, be sure to check out the interviews in our Madden NFL 06 media page, or check out this post in the GameSpot Sports journal.

Once you're drafted by a random team (and expect to be taken some time in the third round), you'll notice that many of the attributes in your apartment that were once inaccessible to you can now be viewed. Your fan site is much more useful, for example, with new features that let you see your season and career goals (there are even some fan-created paintings of your created player to enjoy). You'll also have access to the city map, where you can visit a number of locales throughout your home city, such as the tattoo parlor and barber shop, the Performance Institute (provided your agent can get you in), the stadium, or even your agent's office. Visiting your agent gives you some opportunities for marketing your personality. For example, you can go Joe Namath and guarantee victories, or Terrell Owens, and complain about coaches and demand trades until you're blue in the face.

During the training camps, you'll be spending most of your time in practice, where you can practice plays (either chosen by you or at random). As you take reps, each play is judged on your effectiveness. If your superstar is an offensive player, you'll want to gain yards; if you're on defense, stopping the ball is your prime objective. Depending on how well you play, you'll earn points and, the more points you earn, the better chance your created player has for improving his stats. You'll have practices during the regular season as well, along with specific game-plan sessions, which will give you special game situations to practice set plays--such as defending against the run, or correctly executing a screen pass. These game-plan sessions will not only earn you development points, but they'll also give you a heads-up of what to look for when you go up against your next opponent.

The Legacy of The Boz

If you've ever seen Howie Long's Firestorm or Brian Bosworth's Stone Cold then you know exactly how "good" movies starring NFL stars can be. Nonetheless, their stellar work should not discourage you from taking any film roles that may come your way in superstar mode. Filming a movie in this mode is really only about memorizing your lines. You'll be shown a page of the movie script along with your highlighted line. Next, you'll be asked to choose that exact line from a multiple-choice list in order to complete your scene. Do this four times and, boom, you're done. You'll even get some feedback from the director based on your performance (which essentially boils down to the quality of your memory). Your movie won't be released until the following off-season, so you'll be able to get right back to the action on the field in the regular season and worry about your box office pull later.
As the season rolls along, you'll get plenty of e-mail from your mentor, agent, and others who will keep you abreast of happenings in the league, react to any outlandish predictions you make or complaints you register, and generally just keep tabs on you. You'll also be accessing your personal Web site to check up on your exposure, visibility, and marketability ratings, as well as to see your personality type. Are you a team player, a disrupter, or a Hall of Famer in the making? Your personal home page will help you keep track of your development throughout your career.

After your rookie season is complete, you'll likely have some endorsement deals lined up, courtesy of your agent. Endorsements are organized by locale, so some spots will be for companies local to your team and others will be for nationwide ads. All endorsements have requisites you must meet in order to sign on, and these involve different attributes of your superstar, such as visibility, popularity, exposure, along with criteria of a more esoteric nature, such as speed and stamina. Some you won't be eligible for at all, depending on your preferred position. A defensive lineman, for example, usually won't be able to get that sweet "Rush Delivery" endorsement, as it requires a "throw power" rating of 90. This, of course, begs the question of why it would even show up on the list in the first place. All in all, the endorsements in superstar mode are a pretty hands-off affair, and they're more of an amusing aside to the mode's more-meaty features.

Once you have a few seasons under your belt, and perhaps a play-off or pro bowl appearance or two, you'll enjoy the benefits of an upgraded pad. You'll go from your bare-bones apartment to a nice loft and ultimately to a mansion worthy of an NFL superstar. It's mostly just window dressings, however, as the same functionality you had in your apartment--your PC, your e-mail machine, city map, schedule, and so on--will all still be in place, just in a slightly slicker package.

While there is certainly plenty to do in superstar mode, there did seem to be some gaps in the build we played. Some of the voice messages weren't in place yet and it seems like there sometimes is a lack of follow-up in the mode when you're offered movie roles or interview opportunities, some of which never materialize. Hopefully these quirks will be ironed out in the final version of the game.[/b]


Screenshots : http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/sports/maddenn...creenindex.html


This kind of thing would be ideal for a Rugby Game. Start at club rugby level with a pack of random club names i.e the This is Football series, get picked up by a NPC, Currie Cup, Low Ranking GP e.t.c Team, then move up to S12/a Henieken Cup team then go International.

The Media thing will work well, play like crap or miss a last minute Penalty you get mocked and scorned, score a hat-trick or injure Jonny Wilkinson and get treated like a hero.
..haha..ill create rupeni caucaunibuca and be wr....put myself in free agency and be worth zip and when i get chosen ill carve cbs and ss just rupeni carves up backlines and when they offer me a big deal ill be the man..and not turn up at training..go clubbing and ****..haha..rad
Originally posted by THE CHIROPRACTOR101@Jul 11 2005, 09:41 PM
..haha..ill create rupeni caucaunibuca and be wr....put myself in free agency and be worth zip and when i get chosen ill carve cbs and ss just rupeni carves up backlines and when they offer me a big deal ill be the man..and not turn up at training..go clubbing and ****..haha..rad
Lol. That was f***ing gold.
Im gonna see how much you can get the Media to hate you. Then i'll carve up for the first 2 years - then play like crap, each year demanding more and more money.
yeah that mode looks sick

i'd try to get into the starting line up then be there for a good year playing good, then start to just play around with all the other features, and just try get more money

I'd prolly try to be a quarterback, but being 3rd round pick i'd prolly end up like jamie fox on any given sunday
^what?..a whining *****?

ill be caucau first round...do that for a couple years
and then ill be a rb jonah lomu and enter the draft at 18 and have super stats that lomu has..100break tackle,95acc,95 speed..-0.034 brain power
2defence awarness,1 tackle ability..woohoo cat wait fo dis game
Meh, if you have Jonah as a running back you wouldnt have to to worry about Defensive stats anyway.

Hopefully you dont always get picked up in the 3rd round, it would be awesome if you able to say be a top 5 pick... or even the No.1 overall pick. Hopefully you can pull a John Elway or an Eli Manning and get drafted 1st overall and then throw a sulk because you would rather play Baseball then play for the Colts or Daddy doesnt want you to go to the Chargers so you demand a trade, therefore making the Fans hate you and be the butt end of jokes...
hahaha true...but jonah hates his daddy
and im gonna be a gangsta jonah..grew up n the hood and the only talent is football and when im invited too like special activities ill beat little kids up and be a badboy..yeah..and ill beat on my teammates or tell journalist secrets.."culpeppers got skiddy undies"...hahaha
is this madden cmon on xbox,ps2 or only on the next gen consoles?
PS2, XBox, GC, PC and the 360 at the moment.

I dont think the PS3 will be out in time.
Fark Madden Superstar Mode... Look at this ****

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Road to Sunday First Look
For months, gamers have been speculating on just how EA Sports' competitors would respond to the publisher scooping up the NFL license. With America's most popular sports license off the table, how would companies fight back? And how could they differentiate their football products from the EA Sports/Madden juggernaut? With the announcement of Road to Sunday, 989 Sports' answer is here, and it's sure to surprise people.

With no NFL teams, likenesses, or players available to them, the Sony development team has gone to the drawing board to create an entirely fictional football game--one free of recognizable names and logos, and free from the kinds of content constraints that an NFL-licensed ***le might be subjected to. In the Road to Sunday football universe, pro sports mingles with organized crime, gambling rings, and, get this, underground fighting leagues. It's a volatile combination--one that will excite some gamers and leave others scratching their heads. These disparate elements coalesce in the game through a story mode that sounds like a Scarface knockoff crossed with Any Given Sunday.

Here's how the plot breaks down: When the owner of the LA Show, one of the teams in the 12-team fictional National American Football Association (NAFA), dies in a mysterious yacht explosion, his son takes over the team. The problem is, the son has a gambling problem and owes a Jamaican gangster a boatload of cash. In order to pay back the cash owed to the boss, he needs to make money as fast as possible. Unfortunately, winning on the football field won't be enough to relieve that debt, so in the interest of saving his skin, the new ownership seeks out new ways of supplementing his income using the LA Show's roster of talent. This is where another NAFA--the North American Fighting Association--comes into play. By entering members of your football team into these underground fights, you can hope to earn the cash you owe the boss by the end of the season. Gambling also plays a part in your bottom line, as you'll be able to play games like Texas Hold 'Em and Blackjack, or even hit up the local sports bookie and place bets on that particular week's games.

While little is known about the actual mechanics of the fighting tournaments, or how exactly the mission-based storyline will play out, we do know that winning these fighting tournaments will increase your individual player attributes and/or add to the coffers of your ownership. Conversely, any injuries suffered during these punishing tourneys will carry over to that week's game, creating a risk-versus-reward scenario that will play out for each week in the season. Players will also be able to participate in rhythm-based workout routines to improve attributes on the field and in the ring.

While the smorgasbord of gaming styles that make up Road to Sunday's story mode is still mostly unknown, what we do know of the football action in the game looks promising. In addition to flashy fictional teams with names like Waikiki Wave, Chicago Firehawk, and Miami Makos, the game will also have a new take, dubbed position-specific gameplay. As the name implies, PSG revolves around the impact positions on the field--quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and kickers on offense; linebackers, linemen, and secondary on defense. The most unique aspect of this system looks to be the perspective from which you play the game. When playing as a wide receiver, for example, the challenge in PSG will be getting to the pass while fighting through double coverage. The camera will be swung out to your side of the field, and as the play unfolds it will be your duty to be at the right place at the right time. Playing from another position on the field, such as defensive end, will give you an entirely new perspective of the action on the field.

With PSG's unique angle comes special position-specific moves and missions. A defensive end will be able to jump at the snap of the ball and bull-rush the quarterback as he attempts to fulfill headhunter missions that require him to crush the QB. Receivers and backs will have the ability to shake off tackles or get loose from coverage. As the game progresses and each player's abilities improve, you'll also have the opportunity to earn special moves seemingly akin to the gamebreaker moves found in EA Sports Big's Street series.

While you won't need to use the PSG option for every play, you will have the opportunity to "call" it when choosing a play. Essentially you control when and how often you wish to use this position-based scheme of making plays. Also, each team's game plan will affect the kinds of options you have available to you in PSG mode. Playing from QB PSG in a west coast-style offense will mean you'll be looking to dump out short passes and keep the clock moving. It will also affect how you game-plan against another team. If you know your opponent has a weak run defense, you'll want to make sure you take full advantage of the running back PSG to break down that defense.

While we only saw concept art and a few screenshots from Road to Sunday, and nothing of the game's planned fighting mode, it's very clear that 989 is trying something very different with its upcoming football game. A trailer is expected to be shown at this year's E3, and we'll have much more on this game in the coming months.[/b]

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