Madden NFL ’96

"Hey Bro, you look tired. Why don't we just chill and play some Madden?"
"Hey Bro, you look tired. Why don't we just chill and play some Madden?"

Hot damn has the Madden series ever changed in just a year! Apparently all the wicked shit was way too fucking cool for ’95, because Madden NFL ’96 is stuffed to the MOTHERFUCKING BRIM with the best MOTHERFUCKING BRIM-STUFFERS that I’ve seen in a video game!

Don’t believe me? Check this out:

  • Every time you start a new game, a complex algorithm generates the likelihood of the football being filled with reasonably powerful explosives, three different kinds of pig guts, William Burroughs-esque ‘cut-ups’ from seventeen magazine that mostly focus on fall fashions and skincare, a dead hummingbird, polyhedral dice (if these roll out as 00 then your team’s players are the strongest), mustard, or whatever is normally inside a football!
  • One of your players is French!
  • The phrase “Illegal Procedure” as pictured in  Jared’s review of Madden NFL ’95 has been replaced with the more accurate and honest “No More Abortions on the Field.” Madden NFL ’96 is too busy ROCKING THE FUCK OUT OF A MOTHERFUCKING OVERSTUFFED BRIM to mince words!
  • If you beat this game without swearing at it at all, a secret ending is unlocked! The secret ending is pinhole camera footage of John Madden making love to his wife as only he can: with the penis attached to his body.
  • Jared mentioned the settings for the weather, but did they ever expand on these! Not only can you choose “Night,” but now there’s also “Darkest Night,” “John Carpenter Fog,” and the ever-amusing “Locusts!” setting.
  • There’s a series of razor sharp knives that pop up out of the field at random locations (and sometimes in the stands) that leave the arena looking like the floor of a sports-themed abattoir. The phrase “MEAT IS MURDER” then scrolls across the screen before John Madden’s head slowly rises from the bottom left corner and winks at you, letting you know that’s not really how he feels about meat. He actually likes it a lot. I mean, just look at him.
  • During the halftime show the cheerleaders carry a banner that has the number of the Bro Rape Hotline. For the record it’s 1-800-BRORAPE(276-7273). If you get an out of service message it means they’re overloaded with calls.
  • Two randomly selected players on opposing teams will be magnetically attracted to one another, both romantically and because they fly through the air to crash into each other’s bodies, sometimes fatally. If this happens during the halftime show, the banner with the Bro Rape Hotline number will linger another ten seconds and the camera will zoom in on their tangled bodies.
  • Speaking of the halftime show, if you pick up your monitor or television and shake it as hard as you can, some of the cheerleaders’ clothes will fall off.
  • In order to simplify the complicated commands given during a football game, set NERD MODE to ON, and receive such messages as “Throw the ball to that guy who will then run to the left as fast as he can, hopefully not getting hurt by the other big men in this craaaazy game of violence!”

I’ve only scratched the surface of the new features in this game, and it’s already clear to see why the Madden series is the beloved football-simulating standby of people who like games where you simulate football. It’s like John Madden always says: “Is that a camera? Deborah, someone is watching us! Call the police!”

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