bitparade: Madden 07 (PlayStation 2)

I’m not a follower of the NFL, I don’t really know anyone who is. I’ve never really understood the sport, to me its always been a bit of a “Rugby with padding” that so many British people stereotype it as. However, after playing Madden 07, my opinion has changed, I’m still not a fan but I now understand that its not a “Rugby with padding”, its more based on tactics than anything else. Player movements, feints, distractions and strength. It’s all about getting that one player in enough open space for him to receive the ball and run for the end zone, still, I dont understand why they call it football.

EA are “infamous” for releasing the “same title every year with only changes to the squad line-ups/rosters” while that may have been true in the past, in more recent releases, although still yearly and still featuring squad updates, they’ve tried adding new features to each of their sports titles, in the hope that something may work and the general gaming public wont shoe horn their latest release into the same old box.

I’m not aware of past Madden’s attempts to revolutionise itself, but I feel, this is definitely a game that will reward those who play it, especially those who dont even know what the sport is all about. I took on the Superstar mode and immediately the team I was rostered into were performing well, and my Superstar was getting some good recognition, and that was on the medium setting.

Some of the controls are a bit awkward, especially when defending, and half the time its actually easier to leave the defending to the computer AI while you get the hang of whats going on around you. Attacking is easier, something you’d expect from an American sport, with you basically taking control of spotting whos in the best position, pressing the relevant button to throw it to them and then running for your life as god knows how many men chase you down.

Not knowing much about the sport, I can’t really go in depth, but for someone whos only real interest in sports games is the odd game of Pro Evolution Soccer to get some enjoyment out of a game featuring a sport thats never interested him, I feel this has to be good..

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