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Madden NFL 07 - hands-on update

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Take a look at your collection of games. Probably don't see any Madden games over there, do you? As either a major Nintendo fan or hardcore gamer, you likely scratch your head every August when the latest version dumps itself on the rabid sports crowd. You couldn't possibly care less about playing any football game, much less a stat-ruled, playbook-heavy simulator that demands a keen understanding of everything NFL.

Well, Madden NFL 07 for Wii might end up being the football game we all crowd around. It's been designed specifically for Wii and its audience - the casual gamers (or non-gamers) who try to play Madden on regular consoles and can't get past the daunting interface. With the Wii version, simple gestures translate into well-known commands like stiff arming, juking or diving for those few extra yards.

The remote handles anything involving your arms. So to pass, for example, you snap the ball, select your receiver with the D-pad and then flick the remote. A hard shake hurls a bullet pass, while a slower toss gives you a high-flying lob. On defense, running into a guy will tackle him, but thrusting both Wii pieces forward executes a boost tackle that's a surefire downer - unless you miss.

These simple changes add a layer of interactivity none of the other versions can offer, and, more importantly, make a well-covered genre fun to play again. The Wii tweaks don't stop there, either - EA's done even more to lure in the sports-shy gamers.

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