Review by papajohn3289

Reviewed: 08/22/05

Madden's revamps and additions make the game twice as solid as before

Madden's got a long history behind it and always has been known to get increasinbgly better every year. 2004 introduced playmakers and completely revamped the way we play Madden to make the player feel like he finally has power over the entire game, which made multiplayer games completely epic. 2005 introduced enhanced defensive maneuvers, including "Hit Stick" which knocks the player over like a prisoner in "The Longest Yard", as well as having graphbics that compare to the best looking games to date, while still having an addictive and solid offensive control. But never has a Madden game become more revamped as in Madden NFL 2006.

Many of you already know that Madden has been known for it's incredibly addictive Franchise mode, which gets more and more addictive every year. Whether it's taking your favorite team into a season for a shot at the big game or creating one by picking 49 different players in a "Fantasy Draft," which has a similar feel to the "Rookie Draft" that happens a few months before the season, to make what you would see as a Superbowl-winning group of players. However, you have a different option in this game. EA has added an NFL Superstar mode, in which YOU, the player, are drafted into the NFL and play for the team as a specific poisition identified by genetics. You get assigned a random group of parents and from them you are assigned a position, whether it be WR, HB, QB, or MLB, or any other position. Lucky for you, you already are good enough for the NFL, and have a default overall rating of 80. With that number, you could start QB for the Ravens, since Boller downgraded to a 79 in this game. Once you pass an IQ test and are drafted to a team, you head to Training Camp, play the preseason, and play through your entire season just as you would in an actual Franchise. You can hire and fire agents, check the practice field whenever you want, and are interviewed on a very frequent basis. And you can keep playing until you're 37, and retire and get elected into the Hall of Fame, and become a true NFL legend. This mode is the greatest thing EA has every put in a Madden game. You can still play the ever-addicting Franchise mode, but NFL superstar is definetly better.

Two other things were added to EA's gameplan this year. A definitive improvement over the running game is the truck stick. You are no longer a sitting duck when dodge past the linebackers only to be faced with an 81-overall FS tackling you before you reach the first down on 3rd and 10, even though your RB is LT. You can simply "Truck Stick" the guy, which will knock him down before he has a chance to do that to you, which is done in the same way as "Hit Stick," with the left analog stick.

The other thing is obvious: QB Vision. This has completely revamped the style in which you pass. Instead of having the entire field visible to you, a bright cone emits from the QB's eyes, and if the ball is thrown to a receiver in that cone, "Precision Passing" will occur, which will give you a better chance of hitting the guy. If the receiver is not in the cone, the pass will likely be overthown or intercepted, or dropped. By pressing R2 followed by the receiver's button, the cone will lock on to him. Also, the receiver with the orange route shown at the time the play is called will have the cone locked onto him. The cone will be wider for vets like McNabb, Manning, Culpepper, and Brady, but will be smaller for less skilled QB's like Tommy Maddox and Alex Smith. You can also move the cone with the left analog stick.

Now for the review:

Presentation: 10/10: This is a trademark for EA to have great presentation in Madden games. Team footage, cameos by Pro Bowlers and s and fans, as well as masterfully created menus make this one a winner. Loading is fast and it keeps you busy while you read stats of your favorite NFL players.

Graphics: 8/10: These are still great but there have been no improvements from last year. We would like to see players without helmets that we can recognize by looking at them, not the same people that look like everbody else.

Sound: 8/10: "Boom! Now that is what football is all about." Is still there. Commentary obviously still needs work. The tracks are still simply ok, good ones are "The Beast," "Bat Country," "Night Drive," and "Dance, Dance." but some of them are not worth listening to. Football trademark songs like "The Equalizer," "Classic Battle," and "A Chilling Championship" are also here, I guess these came with the football liscense.

Gameplay: 10/10: This is the best Madden gameplay to date. QB Vision and Truck Stick are two things that you couldn't picture the franchise without after playing this game. It always leaves the question though: "How do they improve next year?" Can't wait to see in Madden 2007 on the next-gen systems.

Lasting Appeal 10/10: You'll never want to stop playing. Franchise after franchise, Superstar season after season, it's not a gift to play this game; it's a privilege.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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