Overall User Average: 9.12 / 10 (91.2%)
Gameplay User Average: 9.00 / 10
Graphics User Average: 8.00 / 10
Sound User Average: 7.75 / 10
Date reviewed: June 20, 2005.
Overall: The best game so far in the Madden series, and the best football game this year, overtaking both ESPN and EA Sport?s own NCAA Football from last year.
Gameplay: As in past years where the gameplay enhancements added little to the overall play of the game, like last years playmaker, this year it changes the entire complexion of the game. The offense remains pretty much the same with just a few upgrades. Option routes, where your WR chooses which route to run based on the coverage he is looking at. An increased pocket, boy do I enjoy this, actual protection from the offensive lineman, getting rid of speed blitzing by the D-Lineman for good. Playmaker is back, and is pretty much the same, though they claim the ?point? where you can re-route your wide receivers in different directions to be improved, I see no real difference.
The real upgrade occurs on defense, finally, Tiburon getting around to addressing the issues of absurdly high scoring games in Madden, and the major issue of cheeseers in online games. The number one improvement, legitimate containment of the QB on Hail Mary type plays where people like to be the Falcons and run all day with Mike Vick. Unlike the last two years, you can actually stop that now, with containment plays. The number two addition, the hit stick, is a really cool feature, which at first sounds a bit arcadey, but is a well-implemented feature. The hit stick is a powerful hit that is very risky. In essence, you tap the right analog stick in the direction of the player you want to hit, if you hit him, he gets lambasted with a real pretty animation, if you miss, oops, you just gave up a huge play. It works really well on punt returns I?ve found, I have already created two fumbles with the hit stick, and given up a TD or two or three. Another innovation is improved DB logic, and it really shows, they have gotten rid of what I dubbed, ?The Madden Catch,? where one could catch balls in quadruple coverage routinely. While it still is possible, usually if you double team a WR you can stop him from being a major factor in the game. Defensive Assignments allow you to assign a certain player to always cover another, real helpful if your opponent likes to run their best receiver in the slot, you can just throw your best CB on him and keep them together the entire game. And because I don?t know where else to put it, the new create-a-fan feature flat out sucks, the signs in NCAA 05 were so much better. Xbox Live is great as well, no hiccups at release like there were with NCAA, and a roster is already waiting for you to download, with the newest singing and cuttings, up to about the Tim Brown release. And there are plenty of tools to cut down on cheesing, like the inability to go for a 4th down in the first 3 quarters unless it is very short.
Graphics: The graphics are great, but this game was designed for the PS2 and it really shows in comparison to ESPN NFL, which has much better graphics. But the graphics are fine and just work; graphics have never been stealer, Doom 3-type in any football game, so these are fine. I just wish Tiburon would utilize the Xbox?s superior hardware.
Sound: The on field sound is fine, the booms, the hits, the snaps, its all there, but its old, it needs a boost, but I imagine this won?t happen until next-gen, and I am fine with that. But the commentary, god, get some new lines. Madden makes the same comments he has made since 2000, it?s really getting out of hand. But Al Micheals does fine play-by-play, so I guess its okay
Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 80 %
Sound: 70 %
Date reviewed: November 10, 2004.
Overall: Anyone who is not in Australia who reads this review, you should feel very privilaged knowing that instead of buying Madden 2005 you an go and buy ESPN football 2K5, I've followed Madden over the years and it is still a very good game, but after ESPN football was released in Australia last, there is really no proper way to go back to Madden and not be saying throughout the game, dodgy, ESPN looked so much better, or they couldn't have made that throw in ESPN. Madden falls way short of the best football series available in ESPN football.
But just remember it's still football!!!!!
Gameplay: You have to love the hit stick, except the only time in seems to increase your chance of making your opponent fumble is in training camp against your own teammates!!! Allthough it's still great just to line up somebody and let them have it. The passing and blocking in this game are terrible. Throws made to players like Randy Moss who are one on one with a crappy safety are not completed but when you are against a team with a bad offense with no QB or WR's, catches are made with Patrick Surtain, Sammy Knight and Sam Madison all covering that player at the one time. The run blocking is really so bad you just have to see it for yourself, the best T in the league Jon Ogden will be ran around by a DE that you have made with no stats and break up your run. Luckily the pass protection is quite good, but is at times totally ridiculous.
Graphics: I must seem like I'm going on and on about ESPN football compared to Madden but in ESPN you can go a randon fantasy draft team with out knowing any of the players, and you can go to a replay and name all of the players just by looking at their faces. In Madden they can't even get the face of the co-MVP's from last year in Peyton Manning and Steve McNair's faces right. And the bodies of the players, they look like they've all been on a diet with nothing but straight fat and have just got out of giant bowling ball buffing machines.
Sound: The music is decent, the bumps re decent but there is commentating on this game from back on Madden 2003. It's of course John Madden and Al Michaels doing the commentary and it's very annoying to hear them say things like, number 7. when talking about Michael Vick and always having to go to instant replay just to find out who made that tackle.
Suggestions: GRAPHICS, SOUND, BASICALLY MAKE IT THE SAME AS ESPN FOOTBALL OR GO TELL ESPN FOOTBALL MAKERS TO RELEASE THEIR GAME IN AUSTRALIA!!!
Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 40 %
Sound: 50 %
Date reviewed: August 22, 2004.
Overall: First off I have been with the Madden series since 91 and have seen the good and the bad years. This is a good game but no where near a great game. When ESPN hit he market they have been trying to catch up with Madden ever since but have fallen short every year until this year.
Gameplay: Gameplay is fast and very smooth, but I have to be very honest here, it has an arcade feeling in every aspect of the game. Recievers find a way to catch balls in triple coverage way to often and QB's complete some very strange looking passes at times. The defense is improved as far a formations and stopping the run, but that does not make up for the arcade feel like you are playing Blitz. I am a sim football lover, and ESPN is the only pigskin to deliever a SIM atmosphere
Graphics: Oh boy, if you have played ESPN then you have seen what a great looking football game should look like. What in the helll is EA thinking by not polishing up this game. I must say I for one would rather have better gameplay than graphics, but this is just an imbaressment for the next genaration of games. The player uniforms look really good, but the rest of the game really needs some work. Oh yeah one more thing, why even put cheerleaders in the game if they look like transvestites, wow they are scary.
Sound: Sound is good but its really hard to mess up sound. I have played both ESPN and Madden on a great surrond sound system and ESPN comes out on top again. Madden sounds good when you hit the hit stick, but the rest is just ok. What really makes this game bomb in this catagory is the announcing crew. Madden has got to go, keep his name on the game to sell it, but fire him and the other bozo and get some announcers in thier that can put some excitment in the game
Suggestions: Take a lesson form the game that finally passed you by. Yes you still have your die hard Madden players that will stand by you and adapt to this game, but if you really love your consumer then you will polish this game up in every area of the game. The better football game of the year was only 19.99, what a steal.
Overall: 60 %
Gameplay: 60 %
Graphics: 40 %
Sound: 30 %
Date reviewed: August 12, 2004.
Overall: Game is great. Only picked it up 2 days ago, and I can't put it down. detail, and playability is amazing.
Madden has always been my, (and most) favorite football franchise, and this is definitely no different.. Online gameplay is amazing, and more like a real game than ever. Definite 5.0 score from me.
Gameplay: A lot of the traditional madden gameplay is there.. with a ton of additions.. the playmaker option on D adds a whole new level to madden gaming. Real-time reads of the audibles and controlling the LOLB to drop back and cover zone, while putting the ROLB to spy the QB.
Hit stick on D is extra fun as well.. get the bigger hits with a quick tap of the joystick, similar to the old-style hockey game big hits.. don't miss though :)
I think one of the best features added this year is the more realistic running.. you can almost feel the weight of the player as you cut.
Graphics: Visual improves year after year.. can't believe the games aren't real!
One of the coolest features in the online lobby - having the EA ticker scroll with real-time scores from real-life games AND your online friends' games!
Also, (stats geek), I love the ability to auto-send game summaries to your e-mail account so you can review the game in the morning! :)
Sound: Sound is good.. better "madden commentary" than previous years.. (i.e. less repetitive), although I have only been playing the game for 2 days.
Recent good tunes as well.
Suggestions: Keep 'em coming! No complaints here!
Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 90 %
Date reviewed: August 11, 2004.
Overall: just what you would expect from the latest installment of madden... a great football game! very similar to last years installment with a few tweaks that make it easy to see that this is the newest king of the football gamers world. the "hit stick" on defense is a great addition that gives you the chance to really change the momentum of the game with a single big hit from your "D"! the dynasty and franchise modes are as always almost too in depth but way cool! i give this game a 4.5 out of a 5 score. the only reason i held back from the perfect 5 is because the play by play calling is a little weak but with all the other cool stuff you quickly forget about that anyway! in a word GREAT describes this game... now if i could only find some real competition! :)
Gameplay: good of course! the learning curve even if you have never played a madden game is only about one hour. the best playing football game out there!
Graphics: great graphics! you can even customize your own fans! night games are really cool with the shadows from the lights!
Sound: great sound from the game, you can feel the hits! the play by play could use some spicing up..that is the only flaw with this game!
Suggestions: yes add some new colorfull comments and work on the "madden" charm in play by play that made us love to hear him call a game! add a pregame show/halftime report/and post game wrap up that is worthy of the way the game plays! the game play is wonderfull..but comentary needs some spicing up to go to the level of the the football game god.
Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 90 %