Madden NFL 06

Madden NFL 07
Game: Madden NFL 07
Platform: PS2
Studio: EA Sports
Rating: 8/10

GAME STUDIO DESCRIPTION: The official videogame license of the NFL and its players and in its 16th year of the franchise, Madden NFL 06 offers game changing innovation and complete NFL authenticity. With more than 40 million copies sold, Madden NFL Football continues to be the #1 football franchise.

For the first time in 10 years, the Madden NFL Football franchise has revolutionized its passing game-giving Madden NFL 06 the most groundbreaking and innovative offensive arsenal ever created. The new QB Vision Control lets you scan the field, look off defenders, and make perfect throws within your quarterback’s unique field of vision. QB Precision Placement lets you put the ball exactly where you want it. Madden NFL 06 brings authentic NFL passing to video games like never before.

Key Features

Major Offense and Passing Upgrades

* Quarterback Vision Control: Look off receivers and make heads turn with the revolutionary QB Vision Control mechanic. Each QB has a different field of vision, depending on his rating. It’s now tougher to hit receivers outside the QB Vision Control.

* Precision Placement: Choose exactly where to throw the ball-lead the receiver across the middle or take a little off a deep pass to set up a jump-ball.

* Additional Passing Features: Formation Specific Audibles-different audibles for different situations; Smart Routes- receivers adjust their routes to pick up first downs or cross the goal line; Head Tracking-players now turn their heads when looking for the ball-no more blind catches.

* Experience the Life of an NFL Player with NFL Superstar Mode

* NFL Superstar Mode: This entirely new single-player mode allows you to experience the life of an NFL player by earning one of more than 60 Personas ranging from MVP to Movie Star. Features include:

o World Map: Navigate real NFL city maps as you visit destinations like the barber shop and tattoo parlor.

o Personas: Define how you live your life on and off the field.
o Agents: Hire your ag ent and watch him get movie roles and endorsements for your NFL Superstar.

o Create a Star: Choose your parents, fill out an NFL combine registration form, and take the IQ test.

o Import Players: Bring your NCAA®Football Legend or NFL STREET 2 player into NFL Superstar Mode to give him a head start.
o Deep Storyline: More options include your house, My Web, endorsements, persona-specific attributes, mini-games and events, and the web.

PLAY: Outside of the new Quarterback Vision Control this version of Madden isn’t a wholesale change from last year’s version. The biggest problem is that nothing seems to have been enhanced and that you are buying this merely for the updated rosters.

The quarterback control is a decent upgrade but can get extremely irritating because it feels like you don’t have enough hands to roll out, find your receiver, focus on the receiver and then press the R2 button. Does it make being a quarterback a bit more realistic? Certainly, but does it make playing Madden more fun? Hardly.

The reason it is more realistic is because anyone that is a football fan knows that if a quarterback stares down his receiver chances are he’ll get intercepted. Now you can look off a receiver and then go back to them. In theory this is a great idea—but it doesn’t work well enough to enjoy it. It just takes too much time to implement it especially when you want a quick route. And if you have a rookie or young quarterback forget about being accurate. To be honest it only took a few preseason games for me to turn this feature off. One better feature is precision passing—which allows you to throw the ball high, low, in front, or behind in order to avoid the defender.

My favorite addition to the offense is the right, or ‘truck stick.’ If you press the stick forward your running back can run over defenders and if you press it backwards they stop in their tracks and avoid a tackle. If you press it at the wrong time your running back will end up falling to the ground. If anything changed on defense it’d be hard to notice. But then again why mess with something that is nearly perfect.

The game modes are a lot like the defense—seemingly unchanged.

There is one addition; Superstar mode which allows you to becoming a player and develop their career. Want to be a Brett Favre type player or a Terrell Owens? It’s up to you. The idea is fantastic too bad it’s a mess. No matter what you do it doesn’t seem to have any ramifications whatsoever on your player or rating. There is so much depth and so little meaning to it all.

GRAPHICS: It’s hard to be overly impressed with the graphics considering they are virtually the same as last year. One funny thing I’ve noticed is how bad many of the coaches are modeled. Play as the Buffalo Bills and check out Coach Mularkey. The model isn’t close.

Perhaps we as gamers want more and more and will get that with the new Xbox 360 and PS3 but its hard to be impressed anymore. The jagged edges all seem to stick out.

SOUND: It’s unfortunate that this might be the last time we hear John Madden with Al Michaels. Michaels is actually a lot more enjoyable than Madden. As for the rest of the in game sounds it’s nearly identical to the 2005 version. The soundtrack is eclectic but not necessarily good.

FRANKLY: Perhaps EA is spending too much time on the upcoming Xbox 360 release, ran out of ideas, or decided they didn’t need to innovate now that they have no competition for NFL games. Whatever it is the Madden 06 release is good only for roster updates—if that doesn’t matter to you than you can stick with the 2005 version and never miss a beat.

+ Richie Wright

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