What will be better?!? Madden 2004 vs Sega ESPN (NFL2k4)

Football’s around the corner… so anyway,
here’s the feature list from the folks at EA and Sega…

Madden NFL 2004 is the most complete, deep, and authentic sports video game ever made, making it the ultimate competitive judge for gamers!
New Playmaker Control - Make pre-snap adjustments to your receiver routes, direct receiver routes during a scramble, direct blocking down field during a run, or read and react to the offense to deliver a crushing tackle.

New Owner Mode - Hire your own staff, set your team’s ticket and concession prices and more. Build your own stadium will millions of possible stadium combinations including various luxury boxes, scoreboards, tunnel entrances, and premium seating locations. Reward key players with signing bonuses and boost player attributes by participating in Mini-Camp drills.

All-New Game Presentation - Now you will never leave the playing field. Keep your players on the field during the play-calling screen. Watch all the highlights in split-screen replay and revel in new player accuracy details like dreadlocks, tattoo replicas, and four new helmet styles.

Most Realistic NFL Playbooks Ever! - Tons of new trick plays, multiple formation variations, and the deepest NFL playbooks from all 32 officialy licensed Coaches Club Head Coaches and NFLC licensed Assistant Coaches.

New Specialty Animations And Game Enhancements - Including new QB scramble transitions to improve throwing on the run, stumbles, bone-crushing open field blocks, whirlwind defensive reaction moves, sideline wrap tackles, and out of bound pushes. Change your personnel at the play-calling screen to create match-ups in your favor in any offensive formation.

New Video Tutorials - Presented by Al Michaels and Melissa Stark, these tutorials make the game even more friendly to new gamers. Both basic and advanced topics are covered.

New Madden Moments And EA SPORTS Bio - Relive or change the outcome of the greatest NFL games of all time. Track your most memorable accomplishments across all EA SPORTS games and unlock special rewards by playing multiple titles including NCAA Football 2004, NBA Live 2004, NASCAR Thunder 2004 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004.

EA SPORTS TraxJukebox - Select menu music from a list of over 15 cutting-edge rock bands and hot new hip-hop artists.

First-Person Football - A revolutionary first-person mode, gives you the power to play NFL football through the eyes of any player on the field!

ESPN Presentation - Nothing compares to a stellar ESPN broadcast, complete with a new level of integration of scores, highlights, stats and overlays that further blur the line between a Sunday Night Football telecast and the game.

Untouchable Gameplay - Responsive controls give you command over every aspect of the game, including the ability to tap into the power of your player with “The Charge” – a new way to boost your performance.

Groundbreaking Animations - Unbelievable gang tackles, dazzling sideline grabs, and double-team blocks heighten the action, while smooth post-play animations accurately capture the exciting player celebrations and on-field disappointments that follow.

New Play-Calling System - No matter your experience, the all-new interface – complete with updated NFL team playbooks – will quicken your decisions on the field.

Stunning Visuals - New close-ups of all of the action including crowd scenes, cheerleaders and sideline players that bring more emotion to the game. Amazing player models, new fields, and sidelines bring it even closer to reality!

Advanced Online Play - Take your game online on the Xbox video game system from Microsoft with fast head-to-head play, downloadable rosters, chat, and more.

Challenge System - Flags can go either way, but in a tough game you want every advantage. Don’t like the call? No problem, throw the red flag and get a second opinion.

Multi-Player Franchise - Why play franchise mode alone? Now you and all of your buddies can get together and pit your team management skills against each other head-to-head for ultimate bragging rights.

The Sega one sounds interesting with the first person mode! Plus I’ve started to like the Sega football series with the controls… ever since the DC versions.


Where’s the NFL Fever 2004 love? Right now I’m leaning towards Madden since the Sega series proved to be a little too tough for me (I suck). I always found the graphics in Madden a little lacking though.l

Um… yeah… they sucked before the DC versions. :)

For the first time since the first DC version, I’m probably not going to get to play Sega’s game because I don’t have an assignment for it (unless I buy it - which is unlikely, too many good games coming at around the same time). I’ve switched between Madden and Sega for years now. When Sega debuted I preferred that one, then Madden had a better game the next year, Sega two years ago, and Madden was clearly (to me) better last year. I like the helmet cam, but I can’t imagine actually playing that way.

Isn’t ESPN coming out, like, 3 weeks after Madden and a week or so after the season starts? Sega needs to take a year off and correct that timing error. It’s hurting them more than they realize every year.

The extra week or so might give them time to make the rosters more complete!


They launched right with Madden last year and lost big. This year, they’re letting the Madden fever die down and hoping to get a bigger slice because folks will have the bux and not have to make a decision between the two so much as pick up their football game because it’s either A.) better or B.) something new.

It’s not a bad strategy. IIRC, the first NFL Gameday from Sony which was a great football game was sold after Madden for that year.

I’m getting ESPN Football. A few buddies and mine are going to play that over XBox Live, which will be good. Glad to see the challenge system made the final cut - I can remember a few times over the past years where I had to bite my tongue over a call or two.

This first person view sounds very interesting. Now it may feel a lot more like playing football in real life again for me. I’m sure there will be people who won’t like it from the start, but then again, they aren’t the kind that adapt and prefer little change in their tastes.

I’d love to try QBing from the first person view. My concern with it is that with a console controller, you won’t be able to whip your view around quickly enough to maintain situational awareness. That may be a non-issue though since you don’t need to precisely target the receivers, just hit the appropriate button.

Seems like ESPN Football should make an attempt to get out before Madden so the on-the-fence buyer might jump at it.

How is the FP view working? Is there some kind of minimap displayed then or will you run into the ‘overview’ problem described by Supertanker?

You might be thinking of 1995/6 when EA decided to can Madden '96 because Gameday looked so much better, among other reasons.

I thought Gameday competed with Madden that first year. You’d have to dig through Moby Games to figure it out and even then they’re not always 100% accurate.

Either way, launching first wouldn’t help. People would just wait. It didn’t help Dreamcast to launch before PS2 either. In this case, the brand is so ingrained in people’s minds, it’ll take a miracle for someone to stop the juggernaut. It’s hard to imagine how much more can be done with video game football that would be revolutionary and make people change. Even then, EA devotes so many resources to it, they’d probably come up with that innovation first.

Probably the best time to take EA on was when games went from 2D to 3D. Sony managed to do well in those rounds, but since then they’ve been the bottom dweller for reasons unknown. Microsoft doesn’t seem to be succeeding in doing anything to stop the juggernaut in the online generation either.

Despite the lack of an online franchise mode (once again), I will be picking up Madden.

It’s pretty weak not having the online franchise mode that was present just a couple years ago. I had planned on just not buying the game this year, but my friends who I played with in the online franchise modes are getting it and are going to handrecord stats for a league.

I will be getting 2k4 for a change of pace after getting Madden 2001, 2002, and 2003. I played a little teaser on an Xbox demo disc and it looked and played well and the play calling is improved 100% from last years bizarre method. Also, I may actually get Live! at some point so having that option is always good.

My friend is going to pickup Madden 2004 and we will probably trade them after a while to see what the other one is missing.

– Xaroc

I’m looking forward to playing both, but I’ll probably be renting Madden to check it out where as I’ll be buying NFL2k4.

I’m not sure how the gameplay will stack up, but one really big draw for NFL Fever (if you have an Xbox, natch) is that with Live and the new LiveWeb thing, they’re going to organize actual online leagues and tournaments and stuff. And you can go to the web page and look up game stats, player stats by gamertag, etc. If you’re really into the online thing, it could be a big deal.

Me, I’m not that into football. I tool around with the games for a week or two, then put them away forever. :shrug:

EA is planning tournaments and the like for Madden online play on PS2 also.

Yeah Boss, but Live has a lot of advantages here.

  1. Everyone is broadband
  2. Live is a closed system
  3. Gamertags

The new stuff in Madden looks like mostly fluff to me. I could care less about the owner mode so I can set concession prices and build stadiums(is this supposed to be SimFootbal or what?). I don’t see much thats changes actual gameplay. Then again like some have said what else is their to change, besides trying to bump the graphics some more.

I’d be happy sticking with Madden 03 and gettting a roster update.

I was originally sort of quasi-sold on Madden but now that I really look at it, I feel like I could get almost the exact same game with 2003 (for the stuff I would use… owner mode doesn’t do it for me). I wish the Madden series would make better use of the XBox hardware as well. Maybe I’ll just wait a bit and see how Fever and ESPN turn out.

That owner mode actually sounds pretty sweet. I’ve always preferred Madden for its management utilities.