STAFF REVIEW of Madden NFL 2003 (Xbox)

Monday, November 3, 2003.
by Yellowlab

Madden NFL 2003 Box art I've played every Madden vesion from '92-'03 (on 5 different consoles), and it used to be my one true football game love. But, then I started cheating on Madden with Sega's NFL 2K- series when I got a Dreamcast. Sega did things for me that Madden never could, and it was great. After this '03 version, I'm sad to say that Madden and I are going to part ways for a while. Call it a trial separation... The bottom line is that Madden is becoming a stale franchise, and Sega's version is far surpassing Madden in every category (gameplay, visuals, online capabilities). Madden '03 is one of the very few Xbox titles I bought (I currently have over 45) and then turned around a sold (heck, I even kept Kabuki Warriors!).

The game plays much like the Madden '02 game on Xbox. Not much has been enhanced over the previous years. They have made obvious attempts to beef up defense AI, but I can still find a few plays that work every time and then exploit them making the game a yawn fest blow out.

The visuals pale in comparison to the NFL 2K series, and are also below Microsoft's NFL Fever series. The player's faces do not look right.

I liked the addition of Al Michaels, and the deletion of the now senile Pat Summerall. Madden is good, but I swear they are just re-using comments from all the old games. There's not much new here and it is obvious Madden did not spend much time in the booth recording dialogue.

Ever hear of Xbox Live? How about utilizing the Xbox's graphic powers? Grease up the doorway to the voice recording booth and pry Madden through it so he can record some NEW dialogue.

Overall: 3.0 / 10
Gameplay: 6.0 / 10
Visuals: 5.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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