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Madden NFL - multiplayer hands-on

Wii is all about encouraging people to approach gaming with an open, unbiased mind. If Nintendo can slowly lure mothers and daughters away from motherly and daughterly things to play Nintendogs for hours on end, then surely Electronic Arts can do the same with Madden and sports-hating gamers. The game itself is already leaning that way, but the fast-paced minigames might make Madden NFL 07 for Wii an irresistible party game.

How is this even possible? The Wii motion controls, that's how. Instead of pushing a button to catch a pass or bat a ball out of the air, you have to act it out, thrusting your hands skyward as your opponent does the same in an effort to deflect the pass. With four people in the room, it's a competitive, exciting rush that's pretty much impossible to mimic on another platform. Combined with motion-activated stiff arms and jukes, Madden on Wii is a totally unique sensation.



The first and probably best minigame is also the most obvious: a two-on-two match up with hardly any extraneous rules. Two on offense (QB and receiver) and two on defense, that's it. You get so many downs to score a touchdown, then swap places and keep going from there. Simple, but again, it's all about the controls.

Remember playing in a friend's backyard with crazy street rules, like counting "One Mississippi, two Mississippi" before you could sack the quarterback? That's recreated here by the defensive team quickly shaking the remotes to get that counter down faster (because kids will always cheat and count entirely too fast in hopes of catching the QB off guard). It's a cute touch that keeps both sides of the line active instead of lazily pushing buttons - just like the real sport.

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