Madden NFL 08

Madden NFL 08

That’s about the only thing that’s flying high for the Jets this season.


When the autumn wind blows on a Sunday, you know what that means—it’s time for some gridiron glory, some pigskin pillaging—it’s time for some football. Thankfully, with Madden NFL 08 you don’t have to wait until Sunday to get your football fix. Madden has all the action you want from a football video game and more. Other than slightly disappointing graphics, this game includes everything short of the tailgate party.


Madden NFL 08, like real football, has so many layers that you might find it overwhelming. The game isn’t for football newbies—there’s no good explanation of the rules and player roles. However, a handful of skill-challenge drills serve as a good introduction to the specific abilities of various positions and the actions each player performs—for example, how to bat down lobs as a defensive player, dodge defenders when running with the ball, and time throws when passing the ball. Even if you understand football, the drills are good for learning the nuances of player control. Positions use six or more different buttons to sprint, dive, juke, stiff-arm, and otherwise move.


With all these buttons, don’t bother with a keyboard and mouse. Madden was clearly designed for video game consoles, and gamepads work best. The game recognized various controllers we had on hand, and if you have two controllers, two players can compete.

We were initially disappointed with the graphics in the various real-world stadiums. On-field players look crisp, and the helmets are nice and glossy. Backgrounds often use unrealistic shadows, and stadium crowds look like flat cardboard cutouts. We saw glitches that included an umpire’s hat partially vanishing. Thankfully, when the game clock was running, we had less time to scrutinize
the backgrounds.


On-field action is exciting, with gamers first choosing a play, then running it. Madden even helps reinforce pass routes with an optional before-the-snap overlay of each position’s assignment. After the snap, ball carriers dodge, spin, sidestep, and dance through defenders. Quarterbacks scramble, pump-fake, and fling passes. Defensive safeties read the play, leaping to catch an interception, or dive forward to tackle a running back. (This is where it helps to have mastered the many button-combo commands.)


On top of this intricate action, Madden includes season and franchise modes, even letting you create a new team from scratch. Between games, players draft, trade, and mold rosters over the virtual year. It could even be football overload—if you actually believe in such things.


The bottom line. The graphical glitches disappoint, but Madden NFL 08’s deep on-and off-field action wins.


COMPANY: Electronic Arts


PRICE: $39.95

REQUIREMENTS: 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo or faster, Mac OS 10.4.9 or later, 1GB RAM, ATI X1600 or nVidia GeForce 7300 or late.


Impressive layers of simulation. Exciting, fluid action. Full catalog of real-world teams and rosters. Online and single-Mac multiplayer.

Intel Macs only. Average-quality graphics sometimes show bugs. Limited tutorials for absolute beginners. You really need a gamepad controller with analog control sticks.





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Good game.I got mine one month ago


Play games

Madden is the only Cider game I've been tempted to buy, but it just came out too late. (Not to mention this article; a football review in December?) I want to spend a few weeks getting to know the controls with the mini-camps, and then I want to play a preview of my team's game each week. Add to that the reports of unusable menus, and this was dead on arrival.

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