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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Sports

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2004

 

- Lots of plays

- Madden Cards to unlock

- Two screens come in handy

- Adjustable audio levels

 

 

- No custom playbook

 

 

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Madden NFL 2005

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

While Madden NFL 2005 on the DS is a great handheld game of football there’s one massive glaring hole that really left me scratching my head.  Though the DS touch screen screams to me “Customized playbook!” it must have been screaming something else to the developers.

 

madden nfl 2005 review          madden nfl 2005 review

 

The main action takes place on the upper screen (bodies colliding, etc.) while the lower screen is used for play selection and technical action.  I say technical because during play the teams are represented as X’s and O’s from an overhead perspective.  It makes no sense to me why you can’t design a few customized plays – it seems a simple thing when you’re dealing with X’s and O’s.  The included playbook is extensive though, so that offsets slightly the sting of not being able to create your own.

 

The graphics get the point across that this is a football game, so if you’re looking for a laser light show, realistic cloth texture or reflections, you won’t find it here.  They are even with the last Madden game that appeared on the N64 and although the graphics could be judged as coarse, I never found them distracting.

 

madden nfl 2005 review          madden nfl 2005 review

 

Madden supports two-player action using its wireless functionality – easy to use and setup – but if you’re stuck by yourself the AI is no pushover.  After playing through a few different seasons, I never found an easily exploited weak link to guarantee a win.  While my overall knowledge of football is about as strong as a Pringle, I did get realistic scores – occasional blowouts but most scores were tight (sometimes in my favor).

 

Control over players on the field is generally good.  It’s all done with the control pad, too.  You can use the stylus for very specific purposes during the game, but the same things can be accomplished using the button or control pad.

 

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It’s a wonder to me that anything can be heard at field level in a football game.  50,000 people screaming continually should make a person go insane – and it just might here.  It’s constant and quickly becomes overbearing.  Fortunately, the audio can be adjusted so the crowd is merely minor white noise.  Madden also features some digitized speech, which usually kicks in at the end of a play to announce a penalty call. 

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The soundtrack is decidedly bad, but it only plays during the menus so you only really notice it when you’re perusing your collected Madden cards (which provide bonuses when used) or when you setup a season.

 

Madden NFL 2005 certainly leaves room for growth for next years edition – playbook! – but it’s still a solid football title.

 

- Omni

(March 16, 2005)

 

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