Madden NFL 07
Developer: EA Sports, Tiburon Games
Available for PS2, Xbox, 360, Game Cube, PSP
Every year, the Electronic Arts software company updates, fine-tunes and repackages its franchise game, Madden NFL, and releases it before the start of the football season. With the Xbox and PS2 platforms phasing into obsolescence, and the graphics capacity of those machines long since reached, it doesn’t look like a lot of work was spent developing the game this year.
Still, as Madden is the Holy Grail of sports games, what do you get for your annual contribution to the Madden household? You get a game that’s zippier, opens up the passing game more and allows skilled players to break off 80-yard runs at will.
The worst bugs from Madden 06 have been fixed and the new additions, such as the Run to Daylight mode, work well. If you didn’t like the passing cone introduced last year, you can still turn it off, although it’s on for online play.
Several new animations have been added, all of which are entertaining, such as when your lineman clotheslines the quarterback. The new animations do tend to slow the gameplay as the PS2 struggles and stutters between plays sometimes.
The Franchise mode is deep, allowing you to upgrade your stadiums, control the ticket and souvenir prices and trade players. I moved the Colts to Toronto after my Super Bowl win, just for the hell of it. But if you like the play-acting of recruiting players, developing teams and such, you may be better served with NCAA Football 07.
How realistic is it? As far as videogames go, it’s probably the truest rendition available. If you’re skilled at reading defenses, you can burn the corners or jam the DBs, just like in real life.
Assuming the game is realistic, Colts fans should be jubilant. In a season simulation, the Colts went 12-4, rolled through the playoffs and beat the Giants in the Super Bowl.