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Madden NFL 06 (Xbox 360) artwork

Madden NFL 06 (Xbox 360) review

"Introduction Ė I have always been a football junkie, and every year I have always preferred the Madden series. So when I heard it was being released the Xbox 360 with next-generation graphics I was genuinely excited. I remember how good the Madden 2001 was as a Ps2 launch title. So, I figured Madden 06 would deliver the same way on the first of the next-gen consoles. It turned out, that Madden 06 really isnít next-gen. "

Introduction Ė I have always been a football junkie, and every year I have always preferred the Madden series. So when I heard it was being released the Xbox 360 with next-generation graphics I was genuinely excited. I remember how good the Madden 2001 was as a Ps2 launch title. So, I figured Madden 06 would deliver the same way on the first of the next-gen consoles. It turned out, that Madden 06 really isnít next-gen.

Graphics Ė 10/10- Letís get this over with. The graphics are amazing, especially if you have an HDTV. Player models are fantastic and player faces are so detailed that you donít need a number or name to identify players. You can see muscles, vains, and sweat on players. The football stadiums and fans look more authentic than any sports game ever.

Sound- 8/10- Madden is not a commentator in this game. Which means thereís no annoying or common sense commentary like ďA good running game is important.Ē The new commentator sounds more like one of those guys who calls out plays in the stadium. But he is much more exciting than most commentators and he even uses nicknames. (EX. Superman, Cadillac, Marvelous Marvin, Big Ben). Itís also nice to hear that the playersí voices sound more authentic. Just listen to Peytonís voice in the huddle!!! Conversely, the music in the menus is very annoying but you can play your own music over it anyways.

Overall Presentation- 4/10- Yes, graphics and sound go hand in hand with presentation. But this game does a terrible job with presenting a football game. There is no half time show, no after the game summary or key players (other than a flash of one player who stood out), no weekly wrap-up, no end zone team celebrations, no side line team huddles or sideline animations other than the occasional shot of the coach being pissed or happy. Just watch a football game on TV and play Madden 06 and youíll see how poorly a job EA does. Furthermore, there is no Superbowl win celebration, and playoff and Superbowl games feel like regular season games.

Gameplay Ė 7/10- EA really started from the ground up on this title. It doesnít feel like old Maddens in many ways. That is both good and bad. The gameplay physics are a little better. Rushing plays actually have time to develop and receivers jump and actually try to catch the ball. Players are no longer super humans who can just blast by everyone. The AI is alright in this game. But at times when I would audible my defense, players on my team would stand up straight or be standing facing the opposite direction. Still, as a football game, the game is pretty good. What will make fans of the series upset is the missing features, which most people should know about by know. There are no challenges, no mini-camps, no create-a-player, no owner mode, no superstar mode and no fantast draft. To me, the biggest blow was the fantasy draft that let me create my own team.

Franchise Mode- 8/10- I really miss the owner mode and fantasy draft. It was very addictive and fun. But the franchise mode is still pretty solid in this game. The one new feauture that I absolutely loved was the history book. The history book allows you to view that top ten players for each major stat in the past seasons. It also lets you see your teams wins and losses of years past so you can keep track of teams you constantly beat or lose to. But best of all is the section on records. Letís say you play as the Colts. You can actually try and get Peyton Manning pass Marinoís records of passing yards and passing TDs. This actually is a very good feature, because it gives you incentive to do well. When I was playing as the Colts, I got Marvin Harrison to retire as the second all time receiver in receiving TDs and receiving yards, and fourth in receptions. Peyton retired with all the records. It also keeps track of best games and seasons and you can shoot for those as well. For example, you can try to get more than 22 receiving TDs in a season to be recognized as the new leader. After all, you know what they say, records are meant to be broken. The NFL draft and Free Agency are still there and are just like every year, but overall the Franchise mode is still good enough to keep you coming back for more.

Play Time/Replayability Ė The multiplayer in this games stinks. Playing with a buddy is terrible because you can see what they are calling with ease. XBOX Live games are even worse. There is so much lag that it is unlikely youíll finish (or want to finish) most games. The repalyability is in the franchise mode but eventually that gets tiring too.

Final Recommendation Ė 6/10- If you are a football or Madden junkie, you already have this game. If you have an XBOX 360 and are thinking about buying this game itís best to wait for the full version of Madden 07, and rent this game. EA rushed this title out in hopes that people would buy it simply because of its next-generation graphics. Look, football is a great game, and itís not that hard to make a game that pleases fans. The graphics are amazing but are gamers really ready to give up gameplay for next-gen graphics? Is the XBOX 360s ability to make games look better going to make games better? So, far, it hasnít done that with Madden 06.

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Community review by enders_shadow16 (February 04, 2006)

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