Madden NFL 07
Developers of sports games have one big problem: how do you make sure to have enough innovations and improvements in your yearly update to justify the price of the new title? EA and Madden NFL pose this question every year but with Madden NFL 07 on the Wii the answer was easy: the controls!
And these controls make this game a completely different experience. You learn the moves with mini tutorials, something that isn’t only perfect to learn the controls but accidentally also ideal to slowly get plunged into this sport if you don’t know it yet.
Both the offensive and defensive work becomes very intuitively translated and makes this a much more accessible NFL game than we’ve ever seen before. It’s only when you dig deeper into the more complex moves, and then mostly those in defense, that things have to happen a bit all too fast that your input doesn’t always gets registered as it should.
Don’t have any illusions though, you’ll need to invest quite some time to really control and enjoy the game. The reason for this is amongst other things due to the fact that we just don’t know the rules of this game and that there are a lot of terms and tactics that I (and I’m guessing most European gamers) know nothing about. Luckily there’s the handy Playbooks where you can choose some strategies but overall you’ll just be muddling along, something EA should really start thinking about if they want Madden to really break through in Europe.
Typical to Madden is the large quantity of content. There’s plenty of modes, a radio show, mini-games and of course the Franchise mode that guarantees several days of fun for the real fans. According to the accompanying text “Rookie Scouting” is the most important innovation and here you can go to work in more detail with new guys to later have a better idea on who to select. You can also create your own rookies and have them go through an entire career. When will we see fun stuff like this in FIFA?
Of course you don’t have to expect a visual leap forward but the graphics – that contrary to the controls have stood still – will rarely get you out of the experience. Only the models and animations start to look a bit aged and you can’t deny that we miss the sharpness of HD on our widescreen LCD. Concerning audio we can repeat what we say with just about any sports game: good soundtrack, good effects and commentary that gets repeated all too often.
Tired of swirling your controller alone? Then you can have fun with a couple of multiplayer mini-games where you can do some two-against-two matches. Although I couldn’t extensively test this mode – due to lack of friends and controllers – I does look very fun and reminds of a game of sports amongst friends in the garden. A fantastic extra that largely makes up for the lack of online possibilities.
We would really suggest Madden NFL 07 on the Wii. The good controls through the remote and nunchuck are a welcom change for newbies and at the same time make that we can enjoy the tons of content and endless possibilities easier. Of course there’s less progress on a technical side but the fact that this never hurts the game tells more about the good gameplay than about the mediocre graphics and sound. Certainly a suggestion if you want something else than a round ball for once!