Review by Def Freak7

Reviewed: 08/11/05

HAIL TO THE FOOTBALL KING! Or the only choice you got!

As we all know, EA has become a greedy pig and snatched up the NFL license all for itself. Of course, EA has been known to deal out some of the best football games to date, even if last year's version I think fell to ESPN NFL 2K5. They do what they do every year, which is deliver some of the best football playing ever, and with a couple new additions, this year is no exception.

GRAPHICS: 8/10
Well, this area has always been just okay for the Madden series. Even though this year looks better, it still really isn't up to par. The player models look detailed in the muscular body, their facial animations are emotional, but unfortunately, all of them get repetitive real quick. The crowd is also more detailed this year, but again, they get reptitive. The replays are pretty well detailed, but again not as good as ESPN was last year. You'd think that now that EA got rid of their competition, they could rip-off their ideas without getting sued. All of the animations during plays look pretty well the same as last year. There are a couple of improvements, but nothing that really departs the series in any way, and that since they're alone, they could at least not half-ass it.

SOUND: 7/10
Man, this area is always the worst for the Madden series. They do have a playlist of popular current rock songs like last year. The commentary by John Madden and some other dude I don't care about. It's detailed and is just like ABC's Monday Night Football, but that again gets repetitive real quick. All in all, it's not much different than last year. I wish they would have gotten more into some of the stuff that ESPN did so it could be better.

GAMEPLAY: 10/10
WOOHOO! LIKE EVERY OTHER YEAR, THIS IS AWESOME!!! A lot of the football mechanics of playing have come back, including the "Hit Stick". But now, you can pretty much do the same thing on offense, called the "Truck Stick". Instead of tackling when you flick the stick, you do a juke maneuver that you can use to outwit your opponents. Like the Hit Stick, if you flick this and it works you'll get a huge momentum boost. If you fail, you're more likely to fumble. The other thing that they added really boosts the game's difficulty to really FREAKING HARD! It's called "QB Vision" and "Precision Passing". When you snap the ball, the QB has this little scanning field in front of him, and you can simply line it up with whoever you wanna pass it to for greater accuracy. But this takes up more time, so the defense could very well blitz you. With Precision Passing, you can use the analog stick to change how you pass, whether it's a bullet pass, whether it's in front or behind, whether it's a high loft, whether there's backspin on it, the works. Unfortunately, this provides for more chances to make an incomplete pass should you flick wrong.
Other than that, all the usual modes are here, regular games, tutorials, Franchise mode, yada yada. The new mode here is "Superstar Mode". You basically play as one NFL rookie and go through a full blown pro career just playing as this guy. You first have to do an IQ test and then do training camps to impress scouts, who then help to decide your fate in the NFL Draft. From there, you go through and play games to increase your stats and perform better, which allows you to get new stuff like things for your house, haircuts and tattoos. It's a pretty neat addition to this game as a bypass for the usual modes. All in all, Madden delivers exactly what it has to: a fantastic playing NFL game to stand alone because the company's greedy! Grrr.

MULTIPLAYER: 10/10
Huh, DDDDUUUUUHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! You've got online play for football game that's even more fun, since right now the actual players won't be as hard as the computer since the game is hard to play against the computer. You can also use your guy from Superstar mode in your rosters! That's awesome. More fun multiplayer in the other modes as well, proves this year's edition to be another great area of Madden.

OVERALL:
This year delivers what we expect from EA. Although, now that they don't have any more competition, you'd think they could hornswaggle the other good stuff ESPN had over it.

FINAL SCORE: 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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