Review by digidestined87
Do You Know What Time It Is?
Tell me, do you know? It's football time; once again it's on as the Madden franchise takes the field for this year; however, the game isn't looking like the New England Patriots, but is still a playoff team like the Chargers, as some of the new features fail in the execution that has made the Madden franchise a dynasty. Using my trademark (actually, this is my first review, so I'm trademarking it now) G.A.M.E.S review system, I will tell where Madden scored a touchdown, or decided to go for 3.
Gameplay: Normally, this is where the great new Madden feature is cheered upon. And it will. The QB Vision Cone is a great addition to the series as it depicts with accuracy how important the vision of a QB really is; the Truck Stick is very good as well, letting you run over defenders with ease, provided you are a bruising back like Bettis or Jamal Lewis; the Truck Stick is well implemented, but the Cone doesn't work as well as it should because of the extremely fast pass rush. The blocking has been improved, but with the addition of the truck stick, playmaker blocking has been removed, forcing you to depend on the AI to block accurately, which on the most part, it does well; however, there are some setbacks as your G may just stand around as the DT comes crashing in and mauls your RB or QB. On defense, it's more of the same, with all playmaker and hit stick features returning, and the ability to shade defenders on a WR's outside or inside shoulder helps a lot; think your opponent likes to take his big TE through the middle? Shade his inside shoulder to shut down his route.
All in all, an OK year for Madden. Gameplay gets an 8/10.
Artwork (aka graphics): More of the same; the most work that went into the graphics this year is the WR actually "looking in the football" as he catches passes. Celebrations have also been reworked; all of them were taken from NFL Street 2, except for the somersaults. EA mailed this one in, and it's still damn good. Artwork gets 9/10.
Music: Once again, Madden delivers on the music by delivering rap acts such as Slim Thug and Memphis Bleek, rock bands such as Disturbed and Godsmack, and for all football buffs, some tracks from the NFL Films vault, such as The Equalizer, which is used in many commercials today, and Round-Up, which is used in the Rookie Campbell's Soup commercials; these tracks have also been remixed by Da Riffs to give these tracks some funk, and they did a good job as well. Music gets a 10/10.
Entertainment Value (or Replay Value): Madden has always had high replay value due to online and franchise. With the addition of Superstar Mode (which you'll probably play once; I'll explain later), this is slightly increased, but still worthy of a 10/10.
Story (or in Madden's case, Superstar/Franchise Mode): I'll go with the high point in this one first; Franchise has had minimal changes, the only thing added was the Gameplan, which allows you to run a play five times in practice against another preset play; do well, and you will get a preparation ratings boost on the two plays; still, Franchise is the highlight of this game.
Now, for Superstar Mode. This was supposed to the second best addition to this game;however, this mode drops the ball; after signing your agent, taking the IQ Test, and being drafted, you MUST play through 40 some odd practices to make sure your player's awareness or stamina doesn't make a drastic drop; next year, simming a practice shouldn't be the same as going out on the field and discussing the new Slim Thug CD while randomly running plays horribly; and I'm sure as a rookie, you'd want some guidance, but TD shouldn't call you about every single thing or every website he finds; if there were more choices you as a player could make, such as where you want to go when traded (most players have a choice, don't they, Eli Manning?) this mode might have more of a chance. Simply riding on the shoulders on Franchise Mode, Story gets a 6/10.
It is not a franchise year for Madden, but still an enjoyable game nonetheless. All in all, Madden NFL 06 gets an 8.5/10, or by the GameFAQS standards, 8/10 (Superstar Mode alone gets this game rounded down.)
Rating: 4.0 - Great
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