Arts Entertainments

Madden 2008 Review

The most notorious sports video game of the year is available. Many critics and even devoted Madden fans have been annoyed with Madden recently because they have been the same old Madden. Some would even go so far as to say that there haven’t been many groundbreaking features after Madden 2005 (which introduced the hit stick). Others believe that Electronic Arts is not striving to make the best game in the NFL because there is no competition. Ever since EA bought the exclusive rights to the NFL, they’ve been making the same Madden video games. Madden 2008 is an exception to that rule because it is brilliant.

After an average of three Madden iterations that have disappointed fans, Madden 2008 will definitely please fans. The visuals are amazing on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but they are gruesome on the Nintendo Wii. Players will notice that the somewhat irritating Tony Bruno is no longer doing his absurd radio show, and the free newspaper information is nowhere to be seen. Gameplay is smoother than previous versions of Madden. Players will find that players are no longer arbitrarily running around the field like crackhead Bobby Brown. There have been some minor alterations to the hit lever; In addition, high and low tackles can be executed. The passing race is more realistic in Madden 2008 than in Madden 2007.

You can’t expect to start the blitz with just five offensive linemen; you need to modify your protection and blocking schemes. The quarterbacks will be more precocious because high-IQ quarterbacks like Peyton Manning will be able to see what play the defense is making. To counter this, defenders with high IQs will be able to see what play the offense is making. Low intelligence players like Michael Vick (dog killer) will not be able to read defenses. This feature is only available if the defense or offense makes the same three or four plays each time, but it is still a nice touch and prevents either team from making the same plays each time. Offensively, the light bar has been renewed; more maneuvers can be performed on your way to scoring a touchdown. This is amazing because it reduces the contemplation of what to do next in the field. Wide receivers also have some new things to do.

Spectacular catches and possession sacks can be used in Madden 2008. Many savvy Madden fans will find that each catcher plays differently. For example, Hines Ward will attempt a conservative catch because he is a possession receiver. On the contrary, Torry Holt will attempt an aggressive catch because he is a spectacular receiver. Another element about the receivers is the game of chess with defenders. For example, Terrell Owens (the guy who sabotaged the Eagles in 2005-06 and helped the New York Giants win their division) will be much easier to play hit and run coverage than a speedy receiver like Steve Smith.

This is because Terrell Owens is an easier player to press on the line of scrimmage. The same rule applies to Randy Moss. Substitutions are a bigger factor at Madden 2008 than they were last season. Teams like the New Orleans Saints will use a two-back system, and Reggie Bush will share the load with Deuce Mcallister. Superstar fashion has been renewed at Madden 2008.

Players will have more control over the rating of their created Superstar. He will compete in 40-yard runs, lift weights, and various other exercises to reinforce his attributes. This is much more competent than the stupid DNA mode that was random. Subtle icons are displayed below each player to accentuate their field of expertise. For example, Brett Favre has a rocket under his name because he has a “rocket arm.” Overall, Madden 2008 has given the NFL’s rookie fans something to be euphoric about. It seems like the Madden franchise is finally heading in the right direction.

Final verdict: 8.5 out of 10

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