Madden NFL 07 - hands-on

If you've been scouring the web for any information whatsoever on Madden NFL 07 for the Wii, you already know that the developers are rebuilding it around the unique, motion-sensitive "nunchuck" controller.

We recently got a chance to see how far they've come since first showing the game at E3 in May, and we came away impressed.

Whatever you want to do on the field, you mimic with the nunchuck and wand. Hike by flicking the controller back, pass by imitating a pass motion (pretend the wand is the ball), kick by raising the controller straight up or put some angle on it by rotating your wrist a bit.

The directional thumb button controls the running game, while shaking the wand toward would-be tacklers sidesteps, high-steps, straight-arms and more.

When playing defensively, just shake it to break the line, or throw your arms up to block, deflect or intercept a lame duck. If it's in the game... well, you know the rest.

At any point during gameplay, players can duck into a tutorial designed to help where it's needed, or stay off if the game senses you "get it." Does your buddy needs some help with the whole running thing? Zap the monitor with the laser pointer and he's a-learnin'.

Although zapping each other in the eye with the laser is fun in its own right, it also picks plays, bluffs plays and gives the house cat something to chase.

Wii's Madden looks to be as jam-packed with features as all the current- and next-gen releases. Specifics were hard to nail down, but expect to see two-on-two action, a training minicamp, gamer leveling, lead blocking and widescreen support at 480p. As far as online features go, we're pulling for ESPN connectivity and roster updates on a skimpy wish list.

Overall, we can't wait for this title in its entirety. "Immersion" is the word of the day, and the Wii version of Madden screams it loud and clear.