Madden NFL 2007 Review
Madden NFL 2007 box art

System: Wii

Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Canada 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 19, 2006 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 - 4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
Review by Adam Brown 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Madden calls an audible.
by Adam Brown

The Madden franchise has enjoyed a very long run. For more than twenty years now, the name Madden has been synonymous with video game football. These games have always been on the cutting edge of realism whether you consider them in terms of graphics or in game play. While the Wii version of Madden can't be said to look as realistic as its 360 and PS3 counterparts, it still adds a new level of realism that can't be matched.

Madden NFL 2007 screenshot

With every Madden-fan and Madden-hater alike, there is usually a common gripe about this series. It goes like this: "it's just a little prettier with one new play mechanic and a roster upgrade." While this may usually be true, Madden '07 for the Wii completely destroys this complaint. It does add a new play mechanic, a roster upgrade, and does look a little prettier (than the XBOX and PS2 versions at least). Where this game really excels is in the completely new and immersive way that you will play it.

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Madden '07 for the Wii is an excellent example of how "traditional" games can be enhanced by the Wii's motion sensing controls. Just about every move you can think of on the football field is performed with various motions. If you want to throw a pass, just hold down the button for your receiver and act like you're throwing. If you want to catch a ball, push both controllers out and towards each other as though you are trying to catch. This logic can be repeated for virtually every move in the game on offense, defense, and special teams. Almost all of the moves are performed by motions that closely mimic the player's actual movements. This method of play is very immersive and makes you feel as though you are actually controlling the game instead of just tapping buttons and watching.

Madden NFL 2007 screenshot

Some of these movements can be difficult to use at first. Luckily, the game includes many practice modes and mini-games that teach you initially how to use and eventually how to master these motions. These practice modes and training missions work rather well and are very essential to learning the nuances of this new control scheme. There are also some multiplayer mini-games that are quite fun to play with friends. In my opinion, the best of these mini-games is the 2 on 2. It plays much like playground football with a couple of friends. Each team has only two players on the field at a time. The defense must count to 5 Mississippi before they can rush the quarterback. This game is quite fast and the scores at the end are usually very high.

Along with these mini-games, Madden '07 has all of the modes that you would expect. These include tournament play, franchise mode, and the spectacular NFL Superstar: Hall of Fame mode. In this mode, you will create a player in the position of your choice and play through his career. To make your player better, you will need to attend team practices and play hard on Sundays. This constant practicing quickly becomes tedious but is necessary to improve your player. Between this mode and the franchise mode, this game can be played well into the next NFL season. As far as getting your gameplay bang for your buck, Madden '07 is a great value, especially at the Wii version's $50 price tag.

Madden NFL 2007 screenshot

This enormous amount of gameplay is also coupled with a huge amount of customization. You can tweak just about every aspect of this game. If you are having troubles completing passes against a tough team, just turn their defensive AI down. This allows everyone to enjoy the game, even newcomers. You can also collect Madden cards that will allow you to boost a player's/team's abilities or even change the rules of the game in your favor.

Madden '07 also gives you the option to create many things. If your team needs a better running back, instead of trading for one, you can make one. Can't find a team you like, just make one from scratch with the players you like. This game even allows you to create some fans who will cheer for you when you do well. The game includes a plethora of options for all of these different creation modes. Unfortunately though for the player creations, you have to choose from preset heads that aren't very customizable. However, you can still make some distinctive looking players.

As I mentioned before, Madden '07 for the Wii may not look as good as the 360 or PS3 versions but it still looks good. Player models are fairly detailed and move fluidly. The lighting effects in the game are also particularly good. My only real problem with this game's graphics comes in the players' and coaches' faces. Most of them only vaguely resemble their counterparts while none of them actually look identical.

Madden NFL 2007 screenshot

Besides The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, this is easily the best launch game for the Wii. Although it shows that it is a launch title with its graphics (faces), the controls and gameplay are excellent. This is the most excited I have been about a Madden game since Madden 2001 for the PS2. It is clear that EA put a lot of time and effort into configuring Madden to the Wii's new controller. Their efforts were not in vain because this is definitely the best and most fun Madden game I have played in many years.

Features:

  • New FreeMotion control: Intuitive new Madden control for the Wii adds new levels of gameplay depth. Throw like the pros do, as well as hike, catch, juke and stiff arm.
  • Exclusive multiplayer mini-games: Wii-Only mini games designed to support four player gameplay. "2 on 2" brings back school yard football but using NFL players, Y.A.C Attack makes the action 3 on 1 as each player gets a shot at QB versus 3 defenders. Kicking Combine gives you a fast paced FreeMotion field goal kicking challenge.
  • New Wii multiplayer enhancements: Wii-Only multiplayer enhancements increase the fun factor for up to four players. Multiplayer Sprint allows users help a teammate by boosting sprint speed and players can control the wind in Kicking Combine.
  • New play calling system designed for basic football fan knowledge: Simplified football play calls makes the game easy to pick up and play. Pick plays by play type using basic tactics of football like short pass or outside run. More advanced Madden fans can still use the full NFL playbooks like any other version of Madden.
  • Madden in-game tutorials: New in-game tutorials teach users how to use new FreeMotion controls and allow users to practice within the game.

    By Adam Brown
    CCC Frelance Writer

    Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    3.7

    Graphics
    Good lighting effects and fluid player motions are slightly hampered by players and coaches who only vaguely look like their real-life counterparts.

    4.5

    Control
    While difficult initially, the motion based movements are fun and immersive.

    4.1

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The obligatory EA tracks aren't really my cup of tea but the inclusion of many classic NFL tracks really earned some bonus points in my book.

    4.8

    Play Value
    This game is very enjoyable, includes a ton of different modes and mini-games , and has so many things to do that it will keep you playing until Madden 2008 comes out.

    4.3

    Overall Rating - Great
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
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    Trust us when we say that you've never played Madden like this before. by Vaughn Smith

    May 10, 2006 - The Madden Football franchise helped put not only EA on the map but also enabled the Sega Genesis to score a few touchdowns of its own when it appeared on the system in the early 90's. While the visuals and realism have increased over the years and the series went to analog control and polygon models years ago, the game has pretty much stayed the same in terms of control. But that's all about to change. Drastically I might add.

    Nintendo and EA don't want you to just push a few buttons, they want you to get into the game. With the use of the wii-mote and nunchuck, players will do just that. We've posted 4 screens with detailed instruction on how to play Madden NFL 07 and it's a wild thing to contemplate. We're sure that for any Madden who's become complacent over the years, playing the game on the Wii system is sure to turn that frown (and a few beers) upside down. Imagine what a night of Madden 07 with friends would be like? I sure hope Nintendo built those controllers to last.

    Visually the game looks pretty good. Not as high res beautiful as the Xbox 360 and PS3, but I'm willing to be some gamers will be willing to trade looks for functionality. Only time will tell if I'm right.

    Check out the screens in the Media section and count the days....

    Stay tuned for more.

    By Vaughn Smith
    CCC Site Director

    Screenshots / Images
    Madden NFL 2007 screenshot – click to enlarge Madden NFL 2007 screenshot – click to enlarge Madden NFL 2007 screenshot – click to enlarge Madden NFL 2007 screenshot – click to enlarge Madden NFL 2007 screenshot – click to enlarge Madden NFL 2007 screenshot – click to enlarge Madden NFL 2007 screenshot – click to enlarge Madden NFL 2007 screenshot – click to enlarge

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