Review by antonios00627

Reviewed: 11/18/05

Old School Reviewer Reviews Madden "Not up to par."

While I dreamed of the day that I would see ESPN NFL2K6, EA killed that notion and gave us re-hashed and slightly re-hashed stool. This game is not completely horrible but it's like the choses inmates have for dinner, eat or don't eat. EA's mindset, play or don't play. Or simply shank the competition and steal theirs also. Also, did anyone notice EA stole ideas from an old Genesis game? Read on.

Graphics: 7/10

This would of taken a bigger hit if it wasn't for some of the new animations, such as getting tackled by having your feet taken out from under you suddenly or the fail stiffarm tackle, taken down like a rodeo calf routine. The uniforms are good for the most part and the computer did use alternative jerseys when the colors of the two teams would of made it hard to tell the difference between the players.

One of the minor things they added was the helmet being able to be knocked off, which adds the "ohhh's" but also the "duh's" when your hatless player, Thurman Thomas's it, (forgets where his helmet is) and walks off without acknowledging it's gone. Also, if you no-huddle, it magically appears back on his head.

Also I did say for the most part, the computer did pick the alternative jersey, sometimes I had to watch a replay to really see that it was not my guy I was throwing too. And I know the referees are a part of the field but I run into them atleast 1-2 times a game when I scramble. Is this realistic? Not in the football I watch on Sundays.

Sound: 8/10

The sound is great, all the sounds you would expect, even the trash talking from players on the field. But here is the first re-hashed 90's Genesis rip. The "uh" sound that one makes when he does a "hit/trunk" stick move (analog stick)

Um...I'm a huge Deion Sanders fan (yes I even have his music CD) and I know that in this Primetime game for the Genesis, that same sound happened when you tackled with a particular button. Your character would stand over the downed player and yell, similar to the cut scene in Madden when you make a big hit. Short of that this, the sound kicks donkey.

Commentatoring sucks as usually. I don't like the announcer telling my opponent how many LB's I have on the field or that I changed my play, even though you can visually see some of the changes, LB's and DB's animation is not that different, and I don't want my opponent knowing I have 5 guys with 70 speed trying to cover his speed blazers. Also, get the team/player names right.

And when are they going to say for once, that an 1/11 team playing a 12/0 team is not " a classic in the making" or some cheese ball line like that?

Music: 9/10

Enough music too choose from for any type of fan and almost all of it is great. With each installment in the Madden series I noticed that I'm keep leaving more and more songs turned on. I sometimes don't want to start a drill or leave a menu because a certain song is jamming. Great job EA.

The only reason this is not a 10 is because I think that they should try to include some of the previous years tunes to give it a continuous feel, that way you don't feel like it's a brand new game, because usually the game play clearly reminds you that you are playing re-hashed Madden and let's you down, help brace us for it

Gameplay: 6/10 with New Passing turned off, 4/10 with it on.

If the running game wasn't decent, the whole game would get a 2. Running the ball is solid in most aspects but the lead blockers sometimes are blind or take awful angles and miss the guy they are trying to block completely. This does happen in the NFL, just not this often.

While on the other hand the computer seems to be able to make you engage with a blocker that is not even facing you, simply so that LT can run past you for an 80 yard gain. It seems that some players have an extra gear when the computer using him (a guy with 80 speed or so) and outrun everyone, while my Trung Candidate (97 speed) will get tackled from behind by D-Lineman. It would not be so bad if the team I was playing against had one person on their defense with 95 speed or so but they usually don't.

Passing with the new feature turned off has been watered down so that you have to use this craptacular new passing feature to throw deep. With it turned off, for some reason, no matter who have you are, you either throw it EXACTLY to where you receiver IS, or so far an overthrow that Superman couldn't reach it. Throwing short works just fine, I have played through 3 seasons and average 150 yards passing/2-3 TD's each game due to this. Only lost one game and won 3 Super Bowls. Realistic? Not even close.

What makes this "new" feature ineffective is that you have to push the button twice to throw the ball! First time to look at him and the second time to actually throw the ball. But oh it's not even that simple, you have to hold down one of the shoulder keys and push the correct button or you'll pump fake, and we all know how effective the pump fake is, almost as effect as the Block Punt Formation for actually blocking a punt. Nil.

And the thing that really chaps my hide, is that this is not a NEW FEATURE!!
Dust off you Deion Sander's Primetime for Sega, and maybe even an the Joe Montana before that one and you will find that passing feature right there. It didn't work then, it doesn't work now.

They did change one thing, you don't have to use the spy glass vision to see the field, now you get to pushes several buttons for a simple pass instead. It's wasn't bad enough they killed the civilization but they stole their worthless artifacts too. I'm not going to even get into how last year EA stole the optional routes that were in the run and shoot playbooks in the old Montana Sega games, and they don't even work as good in Madden.

Superstar Mode: 6/10

Great idea but seems rushed. Is T.D. the only mentor? I haven't tried the defensive side of the ball but T.D. was always the mentor on the offensive side.

Also, I tried the draft several times and it seem that no matter the position or abilities only 7-10 teams ever drafted me. The apartment thing is cool, but the cell phone concept wears thin. How many times can you receive the EXACT same call? T.D. sounds like he rode the short bus (hope he doesn't sound that way in real life.

Don't get me wrong it's kinda cool to set back and control one player but if you are really only in control of that one player, why do we have control of the depth chart? but not the ability to sign players? Or see any offseason things that affect the team? You can't see pro bowl voting, nothing. Also, if I'm the rookie QB, I'm going to make myself the starter and throw 90 percent of the time. How is this realistic? Maybe their should be a mode were you actually only control that player and everything else is based on how the team is. Say a team personality? Real life players avoid certain teams because of their play style. Eli Manning refused to go the S.D. but probably would of if he could do all the play calling and organized the depth chart to his likings.

And has anyone played out your contract? I have and it lackluster to say the least. You talk to your agent one time, he asks if you want to say or go. If you choose stay, you get a contract of X amount that you had NO input regarding and if you say leave, he immediately says these are the teams interested. You get about 5 names/contracts chooses. Pick one and that is your new team. Umm...say as a QB, wouldn't you like to know what the receiving corps looks like? How good is the lineman? etc. You get nothing. I had to write down the names, re-load my game and look at the teams, then talk to my agent. It's seems like he should give you the list and X amount of days to make you decision.

Also, it seems that you are only rewarded for "Professional" image when it comes to endorsements, what? Bad boys don't get deals? Yeah right. It's the No Fun Leagues influence that made this mode weaker than it could over been. Interviews you sometimes get asked the SAME question back to back or one question later. The whole things seems rushed. Kinda disappointed.

Online: ???

Don't play it, have no idea.

Overall, it's a decent game with an average learning curve, that would of probably had it's tail handed to them by the ESPN, but who will ever know?
Can someone else please step up? CBS Sports maybe? Anyone? SNK rebirth? An Football Stars or something? PLEASE!!

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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