Aug 28, 2007
It's a no-brainer, really – pair the quadrillion-selling Madden franchise with the wildly popular Nintendo DS, and you've got yourself a guaranteed money-printing phenomenon. However, as the old adage goes, just because you can make something doesn't necessarily mean that you should. This is more than evident with Madden 08 for the DS, a game sure to please very few (if any) football fans no matter what the demographic.
Feature-rich but gameplay-poor, Madden is a clumsy attempt at 3D football on a machine built for 2D. Sure, it's got more modes than you can shake a stick at, including franchise, season, minigames, exhibitions, plus local and internet-based multiplayer, but the on-field action is tough to enjoy. Between the wooden player animations, uneven sound, bland visuals, and less-than-solid controls, chances are you'll be grimacing at the overall product very shortly after cranking it up. Unless you're the real forgiving type, your opinion won't change no matter how many games you play.
It's not a complete loss, though. The passing game is made, well, passable with the addition of red-yellow-green indicators over each receiver showing who's open and who's covered like a blanket. While the colors will change in an instant, it's a definite help in figuring out where to go with a pass on a screen that simply doesn't have the needed real estate to properly show the action. There's also a decent-sized playbook to choose from. While it's paltry compared to other versions, it's diverse enough for you to employ something resembling a full-fledged game plan.