New Screens For Madden nfl 07:
It's always cool to hate the big guy and in the realm of videogame publishers, Electronic Arts is definitely the big guy on the block. Perhaps that's partly why Nintendo fans have in the past not jumped on the Madden NFL Football bandwagon as readily as Xbox and PlayStation 2 owners. Maybe it's just because the GameCube versions of EA's sports offerings sometimes lacked the features of the others. Or maybe it's just because Madden is not Mario or Link. But whatever the case, as die-hard Nintendo fans ourselves, we're asking you to give the franchise one more chance. EA has with Madden NFL 07 for Wii delivered a footballer that boasts all the features of its competitors (and then some) and puts Nintendo's new controller to use in a manner that feels neither gimmicky nor forced. Indeed, after a short learning curve, throwing bullet passes and making bit hits feel incredibly natural -- and because the control scheme is so radically different, it feels fresh, too.
Let's get the bad out of the way. Although EA still isn't speaking specifically on the subject, we have received no indication that Madden NFL 07 for Wii will include an online mode. Indeed, Nintendo itself recently stated that the first online Wii game would be Pokemon Battle out of Japan. Since Madden launches before Pokemon, chances of online are slim to none, in our estimate. So if your enjoyment of the latest Madden game hinges upon whether or not you can play against friends online, we have to be honest -- this is probably not the right version for you.
Still with us? Good. Because as it turns out, Madden NFL 07 for Wii actually does feature spectacularly deep and in many ways exclusive multiplayer modes designed specifically to make use of the Wii remote. But before we get to any of that, let's go over the basics, which are all included here. Franchise mode? Check. NFL Superstar mode? Check. Lead blocker control? Check. Highlight moves? Check. It's all in place. In fact, according to EA, because the Wi build features all these modes plus some new ones, it may be the most "feature rich" of the bunch.
Madden for Wii runs in 480 progressive scan and also supports a 16:9 widescreen mode. The title speeds along at 60 frames per second while employing crisper textures and more advanced lighting and shadow effects than the Xbox build, plus little touches like a depth of field view. Animation is fluid and -- as in all versions -- the camera is designed to showcase the on-field action via a variety of cinematic zoomed in and panned back angles. Plain and simple, it looks really good, although it's not on par visually with the Xbox 360 game for obvious reasons. That noted, we look at some first generation Wii games and we get the feeling that the developer didn't even try to up the graphics over GameCube. However, with Madden for Wii, it's clear from the opening sequence that EA has really tried to push the hardware.
Of course, with Wi games visuals will always be secondary to the method by which the Wii remote controls the on-screen action. This, surprisingly, is where EA has not dropped the ball -- and excuse the pun. We honestly didn't expect the developer to put as much thought as it has into reworking the fundamental control make-up of the Madden series. The studio has also meticulously refined the sensitivity of the Wii-mote controls so that they don't feel jumpy, but smooth, which is more than can be said for some other third party launch games. And the entire setup is complemented by a series of great tutorials that work hand-in-hand with the on-screen play to teach gamers how to become pros in minutes and not hours.
At the core of this dramatic new control method is EA's self-coined "FreeMotion" mechanic, which simply refers to the way players make gestures with the free-hand style remote to manipulate the players on the field. EA uses both the Wii-mote and the nunchuk attachment to execute the variety of moves at athletes' disposals and the controls themselves are relatively simple. To hike the ball, you simply snap the Wii remote back. When you want to throw, you select your receivers via the four sides of the D-Pad or A button, and then make a throwing motion with the remote. If you snap the controller forward, you'll throw a bullet pass. If you're slow with your motion, you'll lob it. And, naturally, somewhere in between is where you'll find your normal passes. Meanwhile, you control your quarterback in the pocket with the analog stick on the nunchuk, easily moving him around and avoiding tackles.
Does this all sound kind of gimmicky and unnecessary? We admit, when we first heard about the controls, we were skeptical. After all, the traditional Madden mechanics have worked just fine for years. But almost shockingly, the Wii-mote controls not only operate perfectly, but they feel very natural and are incredibly easy to pick up. Indeed, were we to introduce someone who has never played football videogames before to both the Wii and Xbox 360 versions of Madden, we're confident they'd find the Nintendo iteration much more accessible right off the bat. Which is exactly what EA is hoping will happen, thus attracting an audience of sports fans who have in the past resisted videogame footballers because of their complexity.