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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Electronic Arts
Developed By: EA Canada
Genre: Sports
Players: 1-2
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: November 19, 2006
Written By: Matthew Prunty
Screenshots: Link









Everyone knows that when it comes to sports, there is nothing that stands in the way of the Madden franchise. Madden has stood the test of time, new technologies, and advancements in motion-capture and artificial intelligence. The one challenge that has eluded the franchise is interactive gameplay, and thatís where the Nintendo Wiiís version of Madden NFL 07í comes into play. Nintendo and EA have settled for immersion over graphics, which some are eager to find out the outcome, while others just canít make the transition from classic gameplay style, to interactive. SO is the new generation of Madden a successful transition for gamers, or will just be another gimmick to get your fills off of?

Jumping right into the game to play Madden is as easy as previous installments. But when you start up the game for the first time, you will be approached with a tutorial option that lets you get the feel of the controls and the faster pace action that is presented within Madden NFL 07í. Known as ďLearn MaddenĒ, this tutorial mode takes all gamers through the basic fundamentals of Madden 07 (even if you arenít new to the game). Over a course of a few minutes, you will be introduced to gameplay style and mechanics of the Wii version, and how to utilize the Wii-mote to create an immersive experience unlike any other Madden ever created.

When you actually step foot in your first game, you will notice that Madden 07í doesnít play like any other installment on the various consoles/handhelds. Every maneuver is performed with the nunchuck or the Wii-mote, which makes the gameplay easier and much faster. If you want to block a tackler, simply shift the Wii-mote in the direction of the runner, and you will stiff-arm them. If you need to juke a player on the go, simply jerk the nunchuck either left, right, or back for a quick stop then go move.



While Madden presents and immersive gameplay experience, it is without its little share of glitches. One instance is with the ďBig HitĒ motion. To perform this move, which will deliver a heavy hit to your opponents, you are suppose to push both the Wii-mote and the nunchuck in a forward motion at the same time. Most of the time, you will get this move to work without any hassles, but there will be a few times where when you do the motion, nothing happens beyond a simple tackle, when you were trying to deliver massive hit for a possible fumble. Now we canít blame EA completely for this. It would fall along the lines of user error and complex programming, which produce effective and non-effective results

Another troublesome spot would fall within the kicking system. Within Madden NFL 07í on the other consoles, its as simple as pressing the button to start the power gauge and kicking the ball. Due to the Nintendo Will utilizing motion capture, you are required to be accurate with your motions in order to produce an affect that is beneficial to you. If you motion is off, or slow, then the end result will be a slow and non-powerful kick. This is truly one area that you must a good amount of time to fine tune you skills in order to deliver high flying field goals, P.A.T., or even decent kick-offs. Beyond these few tidbits, you will find that Madden NFL is one of the best examples of how the motion control can be sued to produce and immersive and interactive experience thatís very engaging and mesmerizing.

For those who like to compare titles across various platforms, will find some interesting factors about the Wii version as oppose to others. The general gameplay mechanics of the Wii version are a bit faster, more intense, and more rewarding than the likes of the PS3 or even the Xbox 360. The Wii-mote allows for more evasive moves to be pulled off with greater ease, making your running game more of a force that passing the ball. You can also stream various offensive moves (stiff-arms, jukes, and even breaking tackles) together, to produce engaging experiences and bragging rights against your friends. Not to spoil everything you can do in this title, itís easily seen that the Wii version is indeed a rewarding purchase and gameplay experience for any football nut, or newbie to the gaming industry.



Right off the bat, you can tell that the Wii version of Madden has a bit more polishing and detail put into the title, when compared to the original Gamecube version. Seeing how we are officially in the next-generation of console gaming, you canít help but feel like you are taking a backseat to the full capabilities of the Wii console. The character models and sporting event surroundings are very solid and well put together, but the overall presentation of the title suffers from a few hiccups here and there. There are a few instances where the animations within the characters and even the surrounding areas flicker a bit, but nothing really noticeable. The 480p and 16:9 resolution settings are a saving grace to the overall presentation, but donít look at this title as the best visual experience you will find or have on the Wii console.

When you feel like taking a break from the hard-hitting action, you and a bunch of your friends can have a little fun within the multiplayer modes that EA included within the Wii version. The concept of each of the multiplayer games is very simple, but very deep. The three different modes you had to choose from are 2-on-2, Kicking Combine, and Y.A.C. (Yards After Catch) Attack. Y.A.C. Attack is all about who can acquire the most points. Players can alternate as the quarterback with computer controlled receivers and linemen, battling against other players as passing defense. If the defense can swat or intercept one of your passes, the more point s they will acquire. If you are able to complete a pass to one of your receivers, or even get a touchdown, you will take points away from the defensive line.

In the mode of Kicking Combine, one player would control the kicking of the ball, while the other three determine which direction and how fast the wind will blow. By drumming the controls of the Wii-mote, your friends can make your kick situation a real pain. This mode is a decent experience, but since there are a few issues with the kicking scheme, this mode will aggravate you more than provide an enjoyable experience.

Last, but certainly not the least, is the 2-on-2 mode. In this mode, you only get five plays to score a touchdown. Thereís a QB and a wide receiver versus two defensive linesmen. Once you hike the ball, the defense must count to five like in old schoolyard football games. After counting off a five Mississippi, they are allowed to rush the quarterback, but before they reach the count of five, you as the QB, can take off running without any problems. In 2-on-2, there are no huddles at all, making it difficult to call out a play, so EA included a communicating feature that allows you to alert your wide receivers to either cut left or right once they get the buzz. After just playing through these modes, specifically 2-on-2 and Y.A.C. Attack, this version of Madden is well worth the purchase, rivaling all other versions created.



Personal Thoughts
Madden of new, brings back the feel of Madden of old. For the first time in a long time, gamers are introduced to a new gameplay schematic, which produced an immersive and interactive experience. If one thing is learned from the Wii version, it would be that graphics can take a back seat to gameplay any day, as long as itís done right. Though this title isnít the perfect experience possible on the Nintendo Wii, you can clearly see what potential the console has, and where first and third-party companies can take it in the future.

Gamers who are looking for an invigorating experience, will find everything they are looking for within Madden NFL 07í. So for those who havenít picked up this title yet, what are you waiting for, go for the GOAL!

8.5/10

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