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Published on August 19, 2007 By terpfan1980 In XBOX

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Well, I am definitely not sad that I didn't buy Madden 08, the latest in the Madden NFL football series from EA.

I won't waste the space to repeat things I've said before about wishing that Electronic Arts (EA) hadn't ruined the football video game market thanks to that insipid exclusive contract that they signed with the NFL.  That is water under the bridge.  More so now that 2KSports has opted to find some ways around producing an NFL style football game (see prior review and comments about 2KSports All-Pro Football 08).

This particular article is about Madden 08.  Not other games, though I guess I'll probably wind up mentioning some other games again in a bit as it is nearly impossible to talk about one video game without comparing it to other games.

Madden 08 cover from Amazon.com
Cover art from Amazon.com

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on Aug 19, 2007

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I got the disc in the mail from Gamefly and played through a few games. Not just one game, but a few. Enough to start forming an opinion on the game and not simply a first impression. I can't put my fingers on it exactly, but it (Madden 08) just doesn't inspire me.

The graphics in many places look nice, though there is still a lot of repetitiveness with the graphics where you see the same players, or the players that look exactly alike, standing around after the play, or on the sidelines, etc. Cut scenes between plays as an example. Over the course of a 'standard game' you see the same stuff, well, a lot.

Image linked from Gamepro.com
Game image linked from Gamepro.com

The game screens also seem to be a bit too busy to me.  There are many extra symbols and items that show up on the screen denoting special abilities for players and such that wind up just taking up room there.  While the symbols are cool, and are there for a good reason, they tend to just get in my way and irritate me.

The announcer for the game (not Michaels, nor Madden) is the same as last year and while the voice isn't annoying, it's not smooth either. Also pretty repetitive.

I noticed at least one confirmed glitch where a player was injured and where there should have been a pop-up report about the injury and instead I got a pop-up that said: 'Text' in a heading area, then had the same thing in the description area.

The kicking seems at least as frustrating as All Pro Football was described as by a friend that flatly stated that that particular game 'sucked' (his opinion, not mine). I'm functional at it (kicking in Madden and All Pro Football), but the kick directions in Madden are never straight for me and seem way too sensitive. It's all about the motion of bringing back the Right Stick (RS) and then shoving it forward at just the right time.

Play efficiency on the rookie difficulty still seems to be a joke to me. I know I'm playing rookie level to start with, but you find the same plays that you consistently complete successfully over, and over, and over again. If you crank up the difficulty it isn't as bad, but then again it's not really better either. The game gets faster, and a.i. perhaps a bit more agressive, but really not that much smarter.

Image linked from xbox360fanboy.com
Game image linked from xbox360fanboy.com

I haven't explored all of the extra features for this years game much yet, but I may not really get that far into the game anyway. It is ok for football, it has the NFL logos, stadiums, players, etc., but just doesn't impress me. I'll probably have it back to Gamefly quickly (so someone else can enjoy the rental) and then wait for this year's NCAA football to hopefully come my way. For some reason I seem to like that game better when compared to Madden (that happened last year, though I had expected the reverse going into last season as I normally don't much care for college football games). Hopefully this year will continue that small trend and maybe there'll be some football game from EA that I like.

on Nov 26, 2007
Try out the Pc version of '08. They are not even close to the same game. The feature set is totally different. I like the PC version but despise the 360 version.
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