by Robert Matelsky
reviewed on X360
The Madden franchise has lost some of its flare over the last few years. In the first half of the decade Madden was untouchable - the best of the best. With its next-gen debut in 2006 it lost its greatness. The first two showings on the 360 were average at best. With the fans expecting more from the series, they were a disappointment to say the least. This year, EA hopes to deliver the first worthy football game on next-gen systems. Does it score a touchdown or will it fumble the ball in the end zone?
You know when you buy Madden that you are going to play it a lot. Whether it is with friends or on Xbox Live, the game has a lot to offer. Madden expands upon its rich content by adding new features such as the ability to import characters from NCAA 08, sports update through the EA ticker and a throng of new mini-games. There is so much to do that it is almost impossible to get bored with Madden 08.
Laying it down
An interesting new addition to the series is the ‘Player Weapons System’. It is kind of an odd name for a system that lists the best football players in the NFL and highlights their special strengths. Peyton Manning for example, has the weapons ‘Cannon Arm’, ‘Smart Quarterback’ and ‘Accurate Quarterback’. The Player Weapons System could give certain teams a huge advantage but Electronic Arts made sure that every weapon has a counter weapon, creating a level playing field for all.
Also new to the game play is the “Hit Stick 2.0”. With this you can either choose to lay down a big hit at the legs or up at the shoulders, each choice has a different effect. It may sound like a minor addition but it adds a little more realism to the game – and that is always welcome.
Madden wouldn’t be Madden if it didn’t let you create a player. Yet Electronic Arts decided to take it a step further this year. Owner mode now not only allows you to manage the team’s finances and negotiate contracts with players, it also lets you create your own stadium. Don’t worry, it is not like “The Sims” where you can change every paint color, floor, bathroom and food stands. You can only change some basic features of the building such as the turf of the field, the background, etc. You can also create a team, choose from a set of pre-made logos and alter the colors of those logos, your players' uniforms and of course the team name.
No Pros and Cons at this time