Review by Doctor_Angus

Reviewed: 02/13/06

This game rocks!

Madden 06 brings a few new features to the Madden Series, including Vision Cone, Precision Passing, the Truck Stick, Superstar mode, and more. Despite being under the gun by many fans, due to the Exclusive NFL License, it still brings the gameplay that the Madden series is known for.

Note: Gamespot said there was a stat glitch, that when your Quarterback throws an INT, the yards on the INT return would be deducted off the QBs passing yards. This is not true at all.

Gameplay

First, let's start off with the aspect of the game that stands out the most. This year's edition brings a new level of realism, with the Vision Cone and Precision Passing. You can now scan the field to find an open receiver. This can backfire if you try to pass outside of the Vision Cone, it'll be inaccurate and off target, possibly throwing it into the hands of a defender. This also brings the awareness stat into the game, and separates quarterbacks like the Peyton Manning’s, Brett Favre’s and Tom Brady’s from the Kyle Boller’s and the Aaron Brooks'. This takes some time getting used to, but it isn't that hard once you get the hang of it.

Another new addition is the Truck Stick. Size may not have mattered before, but it does now, as power backs will now be able to run over defenders using the Truck Stick, and speed backs will be able to juke back. The Truck Stick also takes from your stamina. In my opinion, the back juke doesn't seem to be very effective, unlike the Truck Stick, which is very effective.

Let's not forget Superstar Mode. You can now take the role of your very own player, whether it's from scratch, or exported from NFL Street 2 or NCAA 06. You first get to select your parents, which can be amusing to see what kind of combinations you get. You then get to participate in interviews from the media, meet your mentor Terrell Davis, hire an agent, and take the IQ test, which is similar to the Wonderlic Test taken by NFL Rookies, which can include some very random questions, all of this before the draft. After the draft, your career starts, where you can participate in training camp, movie roles, receive endorsements, and more. This is a good addition, which I really enjoy, but the only thing that annoys me about this is all the calls TD sends me.

After all that, you still have the classics, Franchise Mode (and you can now spawn Franchise games online), Online Mode, and of course, you can just play a plain exhibition game. All in all, this is Madden's strong point.

Score = 10

Graphics

The graphics in 06 aren't much of an improvement from 2005, but this is because 06 already pushes the limits of their respective systems. Of course, Madden loads faster and runs smoother on the Xbox version than the PS2 version, but not by a great amount. If you'd like to see a big graphic jump, wait until the Next Gen versions come out. Otherwise, this doesn't surprise me.

Score = 8.5

Sound/Music

There is always a controversy in this area of the game. Some want more rap in the soundtrack, some want more rock. Well, I think the soundtrack for 06 is one of the best to hit Madden. Not only do they have a good mix of rock and rap music, they also included the NFL Films songs, both original and remixed, which is a plus. The sound has made improvements, as the commentary seems less repetitive, but not by much, as Madden's commentary becomes repetitive after a good while. Overall, it's not much of a problem in my books.

Sound Score = 8
Music Score = 10

So, should you buy this game? If you didn't buy 2005, or any of the games in the series, you should definitely buy. If you did, I still think it's worth the money to buy the game, but if you're not totally sure, rent first for safety. Overall, this game is a good step forward into the Next Generation of Madden Gaming.

Overall Score = 10/10


Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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