"Every other year since Madden '98 I buy the new Madden game. This year I wasn't going to break that tradition. Madden 2004 looked amazing. All the screen shots, commercials, and the hype about the new features. I couldn't wait to get it. It looked like the Jessica Simpson of video games. Unfortunately, the graphics didn't look anything like her and the computer intelligence had her I.Q. "
Every other year since Madden '98 I buy the new Madden game. This year I wasn't going to break that tradition. Madden 2004 looked amazing. All the screen shots, commercials, and the hype about the new features. I couldn't wait to get it. It looked like the Jessica Simpson of video games. Unfortunately, the graphics didn't look anything like her and the computer intelligence had her I.Q.
Now don't get me wrong, Madden 2004 is a good game especially if you're a new comer to the series. But to me it seems like the producers and makers of the game spent way too much time on the extras like the Madden cards or the mini-camps than the actual game play. This year Madden didn't have that feel that gamers are used too. But enough of my crazy rambling and on with the review.
Every year millions of people buy the Madden games just because of the new features. Last year it was the mini-camp, this year it is owner mode and playmaker. In owner mode you decide how much it costs to get in the door and how much hot dogs and beer cost. It's a pretty cool feature. Some people have mixed emotions about it though. I personally love it but my friend Nick thinks it is quite stupid. The next new feature is playmaker.This is one feature that I like. If you're doing a half back toss to the left and there are eight guys to the left move the R3 button to the right and your running back is gone. There is no way three fat linebackers are going to beat out the fastest runner on your offense. On defense you can also make playmaker moves. Say that you are playing the Colts and it's fourth and goal on the 15th with 20 seconds remaining. The score is 21 to 27. You know that Manning's throwing to his best receiver, Marvin Harrison. Harrison is on the left side of the field so you press R3 to the left so your safeties are covering Harrison. Manning throws the ball up and your short safety jumps up and makes the interception to win the game. In Madden 2002 0r 2003 that play would have never happened and fate would decide the winner of the game.
The sound this year is pretty good. The soundtrack was awesome as always. It seems to me that the bands who are in Madden games become popular right after the game is released. The groups on the soundtrack were Jet, Yellowcard, Joe Budden, Blink 182 made a comeback after this game was released, and Outkast had the song ''Church'' off the album Speakerboxx/Love Below which won the ''Album of the Year''award.The broadcasting of course was boring as ever. Thank goodness it wasn't as boring as boring as Pat Summarall in Madden 2002. Al Micheals broadcasted almost the entire game by himself while John Madden said the occasional line that was used in Madden 2000. It's Madden, what do you expect, decent broadcasting. On another note, the sound affects are pretty damn good. If you sack a quarterback with a lineman or linebacker the quarterback will scream in pain. If a receiver gets a pass that's over 30 yards or for a touchdown that was for a huge gain people on the defense will yell at themselves for not getting the tackle. All in all, it great fun.
Right now I will talk about the game play in the game which is the butter and bread of the Madden series. I think the bread went stale and the butter melted. It's seems like everything got more complex. Before a five year old could play the game without a problem and it would still be a challenge for a 20 year old. Also, the little things got to me. When I throw a ball to a wide open receiver two seconds later there are three defenders swatting the ball down and taking away a 15 yard pass from me. Also, when I see a lineman coming in to sack my quarterback I go to throw away the ball and my quarterback pump fakes the ball and gets sacked. My number one annoyance is the third and fourth quarter comebacks. I'm in the lead with a score of 42 to three, the next thing I know the score is 42 to 39 and they're on their own 40 yard line with 20 seconds left. Of course I stop them but those little things just drive me nuts. They're just not those three things either, there are a million of them(well maybe 15, still drives me nuts). It seems that the graphics have gotten worse too. It looks lime it was colored in by an eight year old. In most cases I would chose game play over graphics but in a sports game it is just too important to overlook. If I can't tell the difference between the offensive lineman and the kicker you know there's a problem.
If I were to suggest buy or rent I would say rent first. Some people love this game, some people hate it. If you're a die hard sports gamer buy it, if you're a casual gamer rent it first before you go out and waste your money on something you'll never play again.
Community review by espnking2002 (July 15, 2004)
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