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Madden NFL 07!

The never ending, long running football franchise from EA continues again with it's 17th installment- Madden NFL 07, but will it come up short, or score with the improved features?

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HOF Material: The biggest addition to this year's edition of Madden is the massive graphical improvement over 06. This time around, when you look into a player's helmet you will often see him staring back at you with his soulless eyes. Other then the improved graphics, the only thing that's changed over these past years is the massively enhanced Superstar mode.

After you choose your DNA (parents) and bio you then move onto what position you would like to play. After that, you are required to hire an agent, and then move onto a series of training mini-games to determine your overall rating. These games range from the 40-yard dash, to lifting weights, and even a shallow, but enjoyable interview with a news reporter. After you are trained and your stats are solidified, you will be drafted, often to the worst team in the NFL (my players were drafted to the Texans and the Jets) and this is when things heat up. Depending on your rating, you will often be placed as a second string, only playing in the second half of the pre-season, or when the starter is injured.

When on the gridiron, the CPU coach calls all of the plays but you have to act them out. This isn't a huge problem, but the CPU coach relies on your ability to win the game far too often. The CPU always expects you to be able to make a breakaway play on 3rd and 15 but more often then not this task is far to difficult a task to accomplish. This constant pressure on you to single-handedly win the game is too difficult, especially for new players.

Over the course of time, as you become a better player by training with your team, the only thing that changes from the first day you got drafted is your agent, and your agent isn't even very important. You can't negotiate your contract with your team; you can't even request a trade. Madden's Superstar mode is enjoyable for a little while, but is too shallow to keep you coming back.

I Guess The Nachos Are Free: The only thing that has been removed since previous installments is the depth of the Owner mode. You are no longer able to set concession prices, drink prices, parking prices, and you can't even construct a new stadium anymore. For most of us, that is a huge drawback because without the depth of being able to set stadium prices, the franchise feels very one-dimensional. You train before a game; you play the game, then rinse and repeat.

The formula of Madden's games hasn't changed much since 1999-and that isn't a bad thing, but when you had the ability to change stadium prices, hear radio hosts talk about you, and see your team in the paper, a lot of much needed vigor was added.

Rent vs. Buy: Overall, Madden NFL 07 is a great game that vastly improves upon previous games in the series both graphically and realistically. The improved (but shallow) Superstar mode, and the tried but true franchise mode are great and if you like the Madden series, or just football games for that matter, pick this one up.

Report Card

Overall, Madden NFL 07 is a great game that vastly improves upon previous games in the series both graphically and realistically. The improved (but shallow) Superstar mode, and the tried but true franchise mode are great and if you like the Madden series, or just football games for that matter, pick this one up. (Krakrabbit.com)


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