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Madden NFL 07 Review
Madden NFL 07 box art

System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, X, PC, GC, PSP, DS

Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Tiburon 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug 2006 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 - online 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
Review by Vaughn 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
What do you give to the Madden fan who has everything? Lead blocking control!
By Vaughn Smith

We all know the Madden routine - every year Tiburon adds a little something, takes something away, changes the rosters, tweaks the animations and fans continue to eagerly nab the game on opening day. Last year's Madden introduced QB Vision, which allowed players to initiate a cone of vision after the snap, enabling them to see exactly which players were in their sights and available to receive the pass. While some football purists considered it cheating, I thought it was a useful tool and hey, I can use all of the help I can get on the field.

Madden NFL 07 screenshot

This year Tiburon really tightened their thinking caps and have introduced a few different innovations that will literally have you throwing out previous versions of the game or at least using them as fancy coasters when the boys come over to play Madden 07. The most game-altering addition is what EA dubs their Run To Daylight system which introduces Lead Blocking Control and the new Highlight Stick. Lead Blocking Control allows you to forget about running the ball and instead focus on creating a huge hole for your ballcarrier to charge through. You can take possession of the player with the ball at anytime if you want to see the play through to completion. In addition to this wildly impressive feature, EA evolved last years Hit Stick R analog system into the Highlight Stick which actually reacts differently depending on whom your controlling at the time. If you've got a bruiser in your hands, a quick upward flip of the R analog stick will truck will truck them over the competition, while a smaller, more agile player will dodge the onslaught if possible. Jukes are executed by pressing either down, left or right on the R analog stick. Agile ball carriers will also have Double Moves available to them, which allow them to fake out the oncoming tackles.

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To say that the Lead Blocking Control completely revolutionizes Madden is the understatement of the year. By allowing players to receive, pass, run and block or a combination of them all provides a real sense of being in total control of your game, especially when you factor in the Highlight Stick and the new Team-Specific Defensive Playbooks.

Madden NFL 07 screenshot

Players who enjoy a little biology mixed with their football will enjoy the NFL Superstar: Hall of Fame mode which lets you choose your parents so that you pop out ready to be the next NFL Hall of Famer. The game then fast forwards to your life as a rookie and it will be up to you to impress the world with your skills. Since your parents' DNA will decide what kind of player you'd be, you'll have to play that position for the entire mode - which definitely provides a unique football experience. You can get to see what the game is like playing from all different perspectives.

Visually the game is looking great in terms of animation and players. Lots of new jukes, power moves, tackles, hits and dives have been included upping the ante in terms of sheer realism. You'll notice players actually have to look for the ball in Madden 07 and can no longer psychically will it into their grasp. Certainly the current gen console versions can't compete with the eye-candy glitz of the X360, but the game is clean and fast and load times are speedy.

Madden NFL 07 screenshot

Madden NFL has been the only game in town for awhile now, but the new additions in NFL 07 make it a must have for serious and casual fans alike. It's Madden like you've never played it before and that's something we haven't said in a long time.

Features:

• Lead Block Through the Lanes—For the first time ever, control the lead blocker on running plays. Throw the perfect block to create a running lane, then take control of the tailback and rip off the big gain.

• NFL Superstar: Hall of Fame Mode—Play your way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame by taking complete control of any position on the field. Your actions on and off the field determine your impact on the game.

• Run Like the Players Run—Use the all-new Highlight Stick to evade defenders with new jukes, cutbacks, and power moves. Smaller backs escape and break tackles, while bigger runners bowl over defenders in the open field.

• New Franchise Mode Additions—Scout collegiate prospects with the all-new NFL Draft Scouting System and during the College All-Star Game, or watch players impact their teams with the new Franchise Player Roles feature.

• Team-Specific Defensive Playbooks—For the first time, use actual plays from your favorite team’s defensive playbook to shut downthe running game, pressure the quarterback, or force key turnovers.

By Vaughn Smith
CCC Site Director

Rating out of 5
Rating Description

4.5

Graphics
Tiburon knows how to work their magic on the current gen systems. The new animations and player models look great too.

4.6

Control
You've been given total control and it's almost perfect. More buttons and moves may add to confusion, but give it time.

4.5

Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The commentary and Ask Madden audio features are well done. Crowd noise is decent.

4.5

Play Value
Months could be spent playing offline with all of the new features, so once you factor in online (PS2, X) replay value is off the map.

4.8

Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Screenshots / Images

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