If EA Was Serious About The Vita, Madden NFL ’13 Is Not A Great Way To Show It

I don’t buy Madden every year. It just isn’t something I find value in. I tend to wait for those massive upgrade years where EA decides it’s time to punch the critics in the face and come out big. I’ve played the new Madden on the Xbox 360, but only after playing the Vita version. I did buy Madden last year and this makes it the first time I’ve ever bought back to back years of our annual football game. However, this time I went a different direction and purchased it for a portable.

To be honest, I just needed more reasons to play my Vita. I love the thing, it’s an amazing handheld but I’ve beaten all the games I own and…you know what, we all know the issues with the Vita by now. I’m not going to reiterate it. Let’s just say, I am shopping for reasons to plug in my Vita every week, charge it up, and use it. So I picked up Madden NFL ’13 for this thing and booted it in excitement. I had just came back from my fourth fantasy football draft and I drafted a damn good team. I was high in the spirits of football, let me tell you.

Well that’s where the magic hit its peak, because after spending time with the Vita version of this year’s Madden, I just can’t be happy with my purchase. EA must have left town when the development for this version began because it is a train wreck.

I will answer the most pressing question some people have about this version. Is the football playable? Yes. It is the most playable aspect of the game but it isn’t the best, either. In fact, nothing in Madden NFL ’13 for the Vita can be considered “the best”. Let’s look at the chart, shall we?


  • This is last year’s Madden with a new face. You know how so many people complain that Madden is the same thing every year with a roster update for $60? Well, this is a shinning example of what those people talk about. Madden ’13 on the Vita is just ’12 with a face lift.
  • The new physics engine is not here. Don’t come to the Vita hoping to experience that lovely new physics engine on the go because apparently it isn’t welcomed on the handheld front. Madden ’13 on the Vita is the same old experience no matter where or how you hit an opposing ball carrier.
  • The menus are so laggy that I actually get frustrated waiting for the next play. First off, getting into a game from the main menu will take you minutes. From the loading to the… loading of the menus, you’ll be waiting a bit. The menus are very laggy and in some cases don’t even open for seconds at a time. Good example? You rush down the field with a great drive but hit 4th and goal after some incompletions. You want to kick a field goal? Either wait and wait for the menu to lazily pop-up or frantic hit the X button hoping something will happen. It’s annoying and very frustrating.
  • Online play is very limited. I hope you don’t expect to take a franchise online with the Vita because that’s not going to happen. The only things you can do online is update rosters, check leaderboards, join lobbies, and last by not least, go head-to-head with another player. Yes, exhibition games are the only form of online gameplay in Madden NFL ’13 for the Vita.
  • Roster updates are almost non-existent. Mike Kafka is still on the Eagles. Why? Where are the roster updates for the Vita? There was one since the game came out and short of going through every transaction and making changes manually I am beginning to think that Kafka will still be on the depth chart heading into Week 2 of the regular season.
  • Announcer track is shorter than console version. The new announcers are on the Vita, yes, but their lines seemed to have been cut on here. I hear a lot more on the console version of Madden ’13 than on the Vita. In fact, it comes to a point when these two are saying the same thing every set of four downs. It gets extremely annoying and I feel like I’m playing Smackdown vs. Raw 2009-2011.
  • No Cross-Play with the PS3. Seriously? Well, you know what? I can see why. It isn’t even the same game! MLB 12 The Show is just about 90% or more the same game across the board. Madden ’13? There is a full year difference. So no, there is no Cross-Play here nor is there the discount for buying the PS3 version and getting the Vita version for $20 or cheaper. Tell you the truth, I’d be satisfied if I only payed about $15 for this. That’s about what it’s worth. A used copy of Madden ’12.


I was going to review this game but I think it’s better if I stick to just alerting you to this travesty of a version. The Vita is much better than this and I actually call shame on EA for not taking advantage of it. Also, with how gamers are pining for the next big thing on the Vita, why did EA not throw every new feature onto this version and market the crap out of it? That would surely make your console bundle a hot seller.

EA missed a huge opportunity here. Instead, they released a dated and very different product from what is right next to it in the New Releases section. If you are going to buy Madden this year because you normally do or you’re buying into the hype of ’13 (which, by the way, is very good on the consoles) then stay away from the Vita version. If anything, stay away from it just to help teach EA a lesson. Vita owners aren’t going to put up with this.