Madden 2007 Reader Review
Madden NFL 2006 for the Xbox 360 was a big dissapointment. NFL fans had been expecting something a lot better than the shoddy, rushed out, bug filled product that came out just in time for the 360's launch. EA now aim to change all that with Madden NFL 2007 EA's second attempt at bringing the NFL to the Xbox 360. Some bugs have been fixed the most notable being able to challenge plays which you thought were incorrectly called something you could not do last year. Having said that bugs still remain but more on that later.
Madden NFL 2007 is different from what you'd see on current-gen as it has been built from the ground up with a new game engine. This does have it's problems though for example running the ball with your halfback is now a lot easier thanks to you having to only pull the right trigger rather than frantically tapping the A button which leads on to this year's main new feature the Run To Daylight option. With this you can take control of a 300+ pound lineman and make the hole for your running back to go through. You can also switch control to your running back whenever you want to or stay as the lineman it's up to you. It seems nice for EA to add this feature but to be honest it's not something you need to use all that often.
Something EA should have maybe concentrated on a bit more was the passing game which they did last year. The difference between the 360 and current-gen versions is that it is a lot easier to score touchdowns and exploit the defence which goes the same way for the CPU meaning you're involved in high scoring games where you're putting up 30 to 40 points a game which dosen't happen in the real NFL. The game does feature all the modes you'd come to expect but the main difference with the Xbox 360 version is the ability to play online. Unfortunately it does suffer some lag and due to the flaw I mentioned earlier in the passing game your opponent can do the same thing over and over again putting points on you making the whole thing pretty much pointless.
The Superstar Mode also features in this year's Madden on Xbox 360. In this mode you take your created player from the draft all the way hopefully to the Hall Of Fame in Canton, Ohio. You can now play on the defensive side of the ball also so if you want to play at corner you can. There are however big problems with the mode. Firstly the camera changes to zoom in on your pacific player meaning if you're a wide reciever you will see your route and the defender covering you. If your quaterback gets sacked you won't know about it until it actually happens and can do nothing about it. This is a problem as you're career relies on an influence system going down if your QB throws a interception or up with a Touchdown or completed pass. You have absolutely no control over negative impacts meaning your influence will take a shot through entirely no fault of your own. You will have complete control over your superstar but there's too many fundemental flaws to make it worthwhile.
The main mode of Madden has always been the Franchise Mode where you can take 1 of the NFL's 32 teams to glory. The Franchise Mode as last year is still stripped down in comaparison with current-gen. There's no Owner Mode meaning you can't run the club finacially etc. You can still sign Free Agents go through the draft etc but you have to question why EA is making you pay more for an inferior franchise mode which does have the most annoying bug in the game in it. Your progress is tracked by the Madden Gamer Level where you can risk points online which is a neat touch. However as you level up you will unlock Hall Of Fame players which will pop up in you Franchise unless you save your rosters when you fire up the game for the very first time. This completely ruins the mode if you don't save your rosters. Barry Sanders was a fantastic player no doubt but I don't want a player like him with monster stats appearing in my franchise thank you very much. It's the equivalent of Pele or Maradona apperaing in the Premiership in FIFA. Still the Franchise Mode is the best mode in the game without doubt. My review of the game does sound pretty negative but it's really unforgivable that EA ships a title with all these bugs etc when you're expected to pay an extra £10 for it. Anyway the game does have some good points it looks fantastic, quite easily the best looking sports game ever and the commentator is more enthusiastic than John Madden and Al Michaels combined. Plus you do get the online mode which is abscent from current-gen.
Madden NFL 2007 is the only American football game you can buy for your 360 or any other console for that matter unfortunately and while it is a marked improvement from last year's version it still comes down on the dissapointing side. If you have a PS2 or Xbox you're better saving your cash and getting that version instead. Apart from prettier graphics and an online mode you're not missing much and let's be honest that isn't much is it.
7 / 10