Review by Kaoii

Reviewed: 08/10/05

I was shocked, and not in a great way.

Now before I do any reviewing at all, I'm going to tell you folks that I'm actually going to compare this game with previous Madden titles, since the Madden series is supposed to be a progressive thing every year.

Basically, I pick up a copy of Madden each year. I have always been surprised and increasingly impressed every year over the new features, the new visuals, and the changes in the gameplay. This year, however, I got a different response from this game. Read on to know why.

Graphics: 6/10
Ok I'm going to go ahead and say that no, the graphics are not bad. However, I'd just like to see something new or updated like we've come to expect each year. Improved (or at least changed!) graphics to at least keep us from being bored.

The graphics this year are completely identical from Madden 2004. Besides the different menu's and the different GUI, everything is exactly the same.

Sound: 7/10
The overall sound is pretty good, if not repetitive. You'll start to hear the commentators say the same thing over, and over, and over, and over. Other than that, it's pretty realistic. You're going to hear the fans shouting, you're going to hear the players shouting at each other, basically anything you would expect to hear at an NFL game, you will hear in Madden 2006.

Some people say that the EA Trax have been getting worse and worse since Madden 2003. I can't review on this because this is purely based on opinion, however it would have been nice to instead of get about 80% rap and 20% rock, for them to be evened out a bit.

Gameplay: 5/10
Before reading on, I'm going to compare this gameplay with the gameplay of previous Madden titles, so fanboys please don't send me the hate mail.

One of the biggest features this year is the Quarterback Passing Vision. This is first change that has been made with the passing game for ten years. Now, I'm going to explain why. There was nothing wrong with the passing game to begin with. Some people love this feature, some people like me absolutely hate it. Fortunately, you can disable it.

Second, the new Superstar Mode. You get to the live the life of an NFL Superstar. You can even import your characters from other EA titles like NCAA Football 2006, which I thought was pretty cool. However, if you start a new character it's another story. One thing I noticed was, you are only given set appearances to use. A lot of gamers just want to put themselves in the game, but no. You can't do that, based on the decision of your parents (which dont have appearances themselves) you are forced to have a particular appearance for the entire superstar game. Some people may not have any problems with this, I did.

Superstar involves mostly chat puzzles, etc. It's fun but it will most likely get old.

Franchise mode is back and just as good as it was in Madden 2005. I have no negative comments to make regarding it.

The major thing that pulls the gameplay down in Madden 2006 is the seemingly infinate amount of bugs in the game. Considering how poorly (in my opinion) the Quarterback Passing Vision was done (it couldve been a lot better) and how clunky some parts of the game look, I can only assume it was rushed. I'm sure if there was actually competition this year from ESPN, these bugs would never have happened. I am sure many will agree.

I don't have time to list all of the bugs, so I'll name one out of the bunch that I noticed that really got me down. Never, and I mean never, have I seen an NFL broadcast that had the Quarterback having negative passing yards. Apparently, if you get a sack, your Quarterback loses passing yards. Unless I'm mistaken, that isn't in the NFL rules.

Replayability: 10/10
There is a huge amount of replayability in this game. With all of the game modes like Franchise and Superstar, and then multiplayer, you'll be playing it for a long time.

Buy or Rent? This depends. If you are completely new to the Madden scene, I would recommend you BUY the game. If you are going from Madden 2005 to this game, I would most definately recommend you RENT.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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