Madden NFL 07 review

Next-Gen Madden's looking great, but still second-string compared to its current-gen teammates

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Of course, no running back is worth his salt without blockers, and now you're empowered to throw blocks yourself - which is a blast. It sounds like its more work than it is fun, but pancaking linemen, cut-blocking blitzers or nullifying defenders is a treat. Still, it takes practice to avoid appalling whiffs that leave your QB exposed, and potentially decapitated.

Last year, it was a total bummer to find out that the mini-camps were missing from next-gen Madden. Not only did the mini-camps create a great 15-minute diversion, they made users better at the game. With 07, there's a chance to dig into minigames, but it's much different. Now there are only six to choose from, and two are 40-yard dash (which, after about 40 tries, we still haven't figured out), and bench press, and you're forced to play them in order to improve your skills in career mode. No thanks.

The rest of the games make you play both sides of the ball: start as a QB, the play as a d-back against the oppositions DB, start as a running back, then defend as a linebacker. It's just not thrilling. The best is playing as a lead blocker, it's addictive. Too bad we have to tackle, too. The goal now is snaring points to up your Madden Gamer Level. But it doesn't let gamers focus on the part of my game that needs work, it splits it up. Again, no thanks.

Last year's 360 Madden was super-slim when it came to a feature set. This year improves with a few new play modes (though there's still no owner mode), but the big selling point, Superstar mode, is pretty much a super bust. It's cool in theory; your ultimate goal is to take your created player into the Hall of Fame. But no matter what position you play, the on-field camera makes everything so claustrophobic that your chance of success is way too low, except maybe if you play the running back position (smartly, the current-gen Superstar camera isn't in so tight). Madden 's already frantic and fast-paced enough for even hardcore users - now there's the disadvantage of a camera being glued to your player's helmet. It's disappointing, too, because all of the other factors of the mode - coach calls the plays, the influence meter, the chance to play roles like Franchise Quarterback or Captain Comeback - are great. It's a bummer that the camera sucks so much joy from the gameplay.

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DescriptionFootball's perennial all-star is back again. The 360 version is obviously the prettiest, but it still lags slightly behind the PS2 and Xbox versions in the gameplay department.
Franchise nameMadden
UK franchise nameMadden
Platform"Xbox 360","PC","Xbox","GameCube","PS2","PSP","Wii","DS","PS3"
US censor rating"Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone"
UK censor rating"","","","","","","","",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)