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The most recognizable franchise in video game sports returns for a 20th season of gridiron action in Madden NFL 09. The constant tweaking of the series continues as well, with the "09" entry unveiling an assortment of new features and updated animations. The new Family Play feature incorporates one-button controls and assisted player movements so gamers of every age can compete at the same level as seasoned veterans. Franchise Mode has been updated as well, with a new point system that rewards gamers for things like winnings records, player development, increased attendance, and solid draft picks. The Fantasy Mode introduced in Madden NFL 08 returns with three new league champions, and gamers will have to overcome each squad's unique skills to reach title games held at the new Champions Stadium.
The gameplay has been bolstered by new animations, including the ability to fluidly string together multiple jukes and direct receivers while scrambling. Quarterback escapability has also been enhanced by the new Avoidance Stick, which gives the QB the option of fleeing pressure by scrambling in four different directions. Players who enjoy accumulating stats, or those who just don't have enough time to play full games, can now make use of the new "SuperSim" feature to simulate single plays, quarters, halves, or entire games. And those looking for a more immersing, RPG-like experience can once again live the life of a professional athlete in Superstar Mode, where earning points in practice helps players advance up the depth chart and reach contract goals. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide