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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Tiburon
Genre: Sports
Players: 1-4
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: August 14, 2007
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Rangebar Merani

Football season is back and that means another year of Madden for all us football fanatics. But since acquiring the exclusive rights to the National Football League licensing two years ago, the previous two Maddens haven’t been all that great. Will Madden NFL 08 finally exceed our expectations as a great and tightly polished football game on next-gen platforms? Lets hope so.

The newest addition to this year’s Madden is the “Read and React System” which gives skilled players on-field icons representing their individual strengths and abilities. Also known as “weapons”, these icon players will allow opponents to “read and react” to different mismatches on the field. For example, a quarterback like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady will have the “Smart” icon that will eventually fill up as a match goes on. That player will eventually be able to read the defense better and help you get a better sense of what your opponent is doing. Just like a smart quarterback, there is also a player on defense that can also help read the offense as the match progresses. There are many other on-field icons such as “Speed”, “Power Back” and “Brick Wall Defender”. Remember to take notice of what icons are on the field to take advantage of what you have and to see what kind of package your opponent is using. Using the “Read and React System”, creating mismatches and exploiting opponent weaknesses is key to becoming successful.

Madden NFL 08 also introduces a new “Rings of a Champion” feature which uses rings and trophies to represent your overall gamer level. The more rings you have, the higher gamer level you are at. You can collect rings and trophies by playing games and completing different tasks. The rings also contain stats that show how you achieved your rings. A cool thing about these rings and trophies is that you can actually put them on the line in a game against a friend or CPU. Just choose what trophy you want to put on the line and then pick what trophy you want to play for. It’s a neat feature that allows you to put something extra on the line to play for.

Not too bad for new additions, but Madden NFL 08 also has a revamped Superstar mode that gives players a look of what it’s like to be an NFL superstar. In Superstar mode you can either create a character from scratch, import a NCAA Legend from NCAA Football 08 or choose a rookie from the 2007 draft class and play as them from pre-draft workouts and through their entire career. You’ll go through interviews, to practices, to games and you’ll even go through the draft early on. You can go through all the events if you want or you could just simulate through them. And now the camera isn’t just position-specific, but is now zoomed out so you’ll be able see your player no matter what position you play. And of course there are still the mini-games you can play throughout your career in Superstar mode, which are always fun and something different to do than just playing a normal game.

Along with a revamped Superstar mode, the franchise mode has also been revamped with new additions that allow more control over your organization. The franchise mode now allows you to take control of the front office in which you take care of the organization’s finances, staff, stadium and scouting players. You’re able to alter your whole team from top to bottom, from player salaries and to what stadium you’ll be playing in. It’s one of the most in-depth franchise modes ever in Madden and it’s a great way to get your GM skills to work.

Online play is still one of the best parts about playing Madden, but EA still hasn’t included any sort of online leagues or tournaments in Madden NFL 08, which is sad, so sad. But it’s still very easy to hookup with a friend online and talk as much trash as you want. Another cool thing about getting online is the EA SPORTS World feature which collect stats to build your reputation and allows you to represent yourself in-game by using the new EA SPORTS World avatar feature. You can hop online to the EA SPORTS World website to create your own avatar and even participate in online communities. This is a great way to interact with other Madden players, show off your reputation and even set up matches against opponents.

It took EA almost three years to finally deliver a next-gen worthy Madden, not only with gorgeous graphics but also with excellent game play and smooth control. And when I mean smooth, I mean the smoothest we’ve ever seen on a console at 60 frames per second (but only on the Xbox 360, sorry PS3 owners). With all the different modes to play including a revamped Superstar and franchise mode and a very addictive online mode, Madden NFL 08 is one the best football games in a long time. But I’m kind of wishing Vince Young wasn’t on the cover. You all do know about the Madden curse right? Sorry, Titans fans.


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Gaming Evolution
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