''Sure as the sun rising every day, you can bet every August another Madden video game will be out. This year the game celebrates its 20th anniversary of big hits and big plays. 2009 marks the fourth year of the Madden monopoly on NFL football, and the fourth year of the game on next-gen consoles. Last year's effort was a splendid work, but looked even better coming after two years of mediocrity on the 360. While Madden 08 was a good game, there were still plenty of features that fans felt should've been included. The Monday before this year's game released was probably the most grueling wait of my life. After getting it home at 12:45 AM, only one question remained: Was this going to be the game next-gen football sim that Maddenites have been looking for?
The game begins with John Madden himself introducing you to one of the new features EA has been touting, Madden IQ. The test breaks the computer difficulty down to four components: Passing and Rushing Offense, and Passing and Rushing Defense. How you do in these four tests will give you an IQ, which you have the option of making your default difficulty. If you're great at passing, but terrible at running, the game will tailor how hard it plays against you in those four situations. While at first glance this seems like a brilliant idea, the offensive tests are very simple, and the defensive tests are insanely frustrating. A newcomer could score as high as a Madden vet, and be completely screwed when starting their season against the computer. Luckily, your IQ constantly changes depending on how you play. To me, it would've been better to let a player earn their IQ from playing a game or two, versus taking the test, and possibly being frustrated by the stifling AI.''