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Madden NFL '07
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Madden NFL '07 - Review
Written by Brett Claxton

Itís time to hike the ball, play a Hail Mary and rip apart the opposition as Madden comes crashing onto the Wii for the launch. Unless you're English, of course, in which case it'll be a load of Yanks smashing each other about in an undignified manner.

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Love on the line
If youíre an American Football fan, this is the best version of the game to get this year. Unfortunately, if youíre not a fan this will not be the game to convert you - quite simply, it really does help if you have at least a basic grasp of how the sport works.

The controls of the game helps show that the Wii, at least with sports games, has the opportunity to add a whole new level of immersion to the genre, by utilising both the Wii remote and the nunchuck to their fullest. Although it will take a while to get to used to the controls ( roughly an hour to get to grips with the basics and even longer to master ), the pay off is worthwhile. Having to move the nunchuck to the side to dodge out of the way of an oncoming tackle, or flicking the remote to knock down an opponent feels so much more rewarding than having to press a button to do so. It gives the game a much needed kick up the backside to make it more enjoyable.

The game features several modes, including your standard match, minigames exclusive to the Wii, Franchise mode, and a Superstar Mode which lets you create a player and take him all the way from his rookie year through to placing him in the NFL Hall of Fame. Include the edit modes, the superb soundtrack, the training modes and all the usual bells and whistles EA Sports games come with and there is enough to keep people entertained until next years instalment and then some.

There are some problems with the game at times. Sometimes when throwing a pass, holding down the button results in the ball being thrown to touch, instead of to the designated player. Itís extremely annoying when youíre on 3rd down and just need a few yards, and even more annoying when you can see that the play has completely ripped the opposition to shreds and you can see your team-mates with a clear run for a touchdown. However, these occurences are not too frequent, and as such it's not enough to detract too much from the experience.

The computer is quite challenging to play against in games and will pick up if you keep using the same play when attacking, thus making it hard to gain the yards needed. I figure that the game would be fun to play multiplayer but Iím unfortunately limited in 1) people who like American Football 2) people who have the time to practice the game so theyíll be able to play it. I expect that a lot of British gamers will end up with the same problem, as the sport has a very limited fanbase over here - a shame, as it's a rather enjoyable experience, with the addition of the exclusive multiplayer minigames. It's not going to be an easy sell for most UK gamers, but if you have friends with enough tenacity to give it a go, they'll soon find themselves absorbed into the game.

Madden on the Wii is the thing of dreams for fans of the games. It innovates, it challenges, it entertains, it immerses the player, it does everything a game should do and it really is a shame that it might not do too well here because of the limited fanbase. If you're not into NFL, but you fancy something a bit different, it's definitely worth a look.

The verdict:

One of the best launch games on the Wii, but youíll only truly appreciate it if youíre a fan of the sport


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