Review by tectactoe

"Will EA Ever Get It Right?"

Another year, another Madden. Back when Madden 2006 was released for XBox 360, it was rushes and because of the graphical upgrades, a lot of the features were missing, such as Owner Mode, Mini-games, Fantasy Draft, etc. So here comes Madden 2007... and what do we have here? Madden 07 is definitely an upgrade from 06, but it is still far from where it should be. Quite far, actually.

The graphics are excellent, I'll give it that. On an HDTV, they look absolutely excellent. No complaints here as far as looks go. The players are very realistic, with defined muscles, breath in the cold weather, and the dirt on their pants, and the stadiums resemble their realistic counterparts very well. Good job on this one, EA.

The Lag:
Ugh. Lag. Yeah, this game lags. As soon as the main menu opens, it lags (so the main menu doesn't even come out smooth). From there on out, you get lag throughout all the menus pretty much. Then you start playing, and the game skips/lags every time you hit 'A' after a play to make your playbook come up. True, it's not a big deal, but why couldn't they get this right? It annoys me that my playbook skips on the screen instead of appearing fluidly like it should. And forget playing in the rain. It lags about twice as much. YUCK.

I've had about 4 different copies of Madden 07, because each one kept freezing and I kept taking it back. Eventually I just realized that I'll never get a 100% working copy and I kept the one that I have. So every now and then it'll freeze when I'm playing and I'll shout and turn it off. I don't get it. We are rapidly moving into the future, shouldn't problems such as this start to become obsolete, and not worse, as time goes on?

Oh yeah, glitches are here too. Sometimes when you're kicking off, kicking a PAT, or lining up for a field goal, the "kick meter" won't show up. You'll just be sitting there with the play clock running down, and the meter will NOT appear. So you have to press the buttons based on knowledge and past experiences with this meter in order to kick it. Sometimes, your score won't show up at the bottom of the screen. It'll just be your team logo with a blank next to it. I've also ran THROUGH opponents on some occasions. I dunno if this counts as a glitch, but it was pretty bad.

The controls are still.... pretty good, actually. For all the different maneuvers you can do in Madden, they still make it all seem so simple, and after only a few times of playing, you'll have even the most advanced moves down pat.

Missing In Action:
Still no franchise mode? Owner mode? Yeah, we got some updated features from Madden 06 on the X360 (hey, at least now we can challenge plays), but the PS2 version of 07 still has way more features. Don't get me wrong, but isn't X360 the next-gen console here? Shouldn't this version have the same, if not MORE features than the earlier consoles? I just don't understand.

Secondary Coverage/Running The Ball:
Bottom line here: covering receivers while you're on defense is nearly impossible, especially when playing the AI on harder modes, or playing against a human companion. Also, running the ball is much easier than in past Madden games, and you'll usually end up getting way more yards than you think, and dodging more tackles than Barry Sanders without even trying.

Run To Daylight (New Feature!)
So the new feature in Madden 07 is the "Run To Daylight" in which you can control a specific lineman on a running play, block how you want, then switch to the running back and... run to daylight (>_<). This new feature is actually pretty cool. It's easier to use than it sounds, and you can really open up holes for yourself instead of letting the idiot AI do it. Press the L bumper to toggle between players (putting a yellow circle under then). Then hike it, use either up or down on the right joystick to block (one way is a power block, the other is a conservative block), then tap B to switch back. There are only two real problems with this move... sometimes you end up getting tackled before you even have time to switch to the running back, but I guess that's life. Stuff happens. Also, this move is easily noticeable when playing against a human, so you'll have to "fake" it by switching to a lineman on a passing play, just to keep your opponent honest (when you switch to a lineman on a passing play, nothing happens and you control the quarterback as normal after you snap it).

Fun Factor:
Even though it's crap, it's still a football game, and I still love to play it all the time. It's way better if you have a friend to play against, too. I just hope future Madden games are made better than this. PLEASE EA, get it right!

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 03/14/07

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