Review by Killa Whales
"The cover curse continues..."
Madden 2007 has taken a turn for the better. It offers a totally different experience than the button-pushing versions on the XBOX 360 and PS3. Motion-based controls used for many of the game's actions along with simplified play-calling targets an audience that watches football every Sunday, but doesn't play videogames. While the overall presentation and gameplay stay true to the Madden franchise, there are some flaws that detract from the experience.
Madden 2007 is a very difficult game to become comfortable with control-wise. Even though there is a tutorial for every motion in the game, when game time comes it is hard to put them to use consistently. Unresponsiveness to your hand movements is a major problem, especially when executing jukes and big hits. A quick flick of the nun chuck in either direction is supposed to produce a crisp juke, however, most of the time your player does not even respond. He is usually hit as he is beginning his motion or does not create enough space to avoid the defender. Luckily, passing is very effective compared to the flawed running game. It does not take long at all to adjust to the feeling of flicking your wrist for a pass. You can control whether to throw a bullet or a lob via accurate motion censoring in the passing game. With QB Vision on, reading the defense requires much more precision than the default settings. Throwing a lob when a bullet pass is needed can turn into a frustrating interception, however the satisfaction of mastering the system is much more rewarding. Another appealing feature to the casual gamer is the simplified play calling. Instead of choosing your defense from Cover 2 or Dime, they have made the play sets Deep pass, Outside run, etc. Thankfully, for Madden veterans this is only the default option. Franchise mode and Superstar mode are where you will be spending the meat of your time, but the three Wii-exclusive multiplayer minigames are a great addition. They are definitely worth playing solo or with friends.
The stadiums in this game are surprisingly very accurately represented. Outside of this, I have to wonder if the horrific animations were a lack of effort on EA's part, or that they are the maximum potential of the Wii console. Hopefully, it is not the latter of the aforementioned. Very sloppy animations occur throughout the game including players getting up off the turf in one motion, players walking through other players occasionally, and awkward throwing motions. On the replays of pass plays, it sometimes looks as if the quarterback's arm fell off after he released the pass. Just try to avoid in-game replays and you will not be disgusted. On the flip-side, tackling animations are very solid. I have seen numerous tackling motions that I had not seen in previous years including the running back getting flipped.
The menu soundtrack is what you would expect from any Madden game. The genres are mixed and spread out evenly. In-game chatter is also very accurate. Quarterbacks rattle of the shifts and pre-snap adjustments on every play. And yes, John Madden still has one of the most annoying voices in the NFL.
The Madden 2007 Wii version has undergone a total change in game mechanics. It definitely delivers, but with just a few adjustments, the game could have been much better. EA's objective was to bring in basically anyone who likes football while still appeasing their hardcore fans. From the looks of it I feel they have succeeded. This is a definite must-have if you are any type of football fan. However, expect at least a 4-5 hour learning curve. Don't let this new concept turn you away. And The cover curse continues
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/07/06
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