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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Tiburon

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

August 14, 2007

 

 

- While much more difficult to learn to use Wii controls versus the traditional method (on the Xbox 360 and PS3) of control, surprisingly handles well once you get the “touch” down

- Unexpectedly solid multiplayer (not exactly a common feature on a Nintendo console)

- Added Party mode’s mini-games and trivia mode are welcome features to the typical less hardcore, more casual Wii household

 

 

- Doesn’t measure up in regard to AI to its much more intelligent Xbox 360/PS3 brother

- As would be expected, graphical performance doesn’t measure up to the “true” next-generation systems

 

 

Review: Madden NFL 08 (360)

Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 (Wii)

Review: Mario Strikers Charged! (Wii)

 

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Madden NFL 08

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

It used to be that if it was on the Xbox, PlayStation 2 or GameCube, there wasn’t much difference between a respective season’s Madden videogame from one system to the other. That has changed with the current crop of consoles. While the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 still have nearly identical features and gameplay, the innovative Wiimote controller of the Wii has devised a whole separate gameplay and improves greatly in many respects on the first Madden performance on the Wii, Madden NFL 07

 

madden nfl 08          madden nfl 08

 

First and foremost among the various differences between Wii Madden and Xbox 360/PS3 Madden is those controls. While the Xbox 360/PS3 has the traditional console controls that everyone that’s ever played a Madden title knows how to

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use, the Wii naturally uses the Wiimote and Nunchuk as Madden’s main controlling mechanism. It does take a lot of getting used to using the Wiimote/Nunchuk while playing Madden, particularly for grizzled Madden veteran gamers from previous/current consoles.

 

Family Play, however, is an option for the Wii households with 

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younger players (or older players that aren’t quite adept at gaming) that simplifies the controls by eliminating the Nunchuk from the control equation, so casual gamers don’t have to fret and sweat during a typical Family Play session of Madden NFL 08. Once the intricacies of the Wii controls are learned (and again, there’s a big learning curve for Madden traditionalists), Madden NFL 08 is respectable in its football savvy, offering a very good NFL experience on the Wii, with a good playbook available on both sides of the ball.

 

Both on defense and offense, though, Madden NFL 08’s AI on the Wii doesn’t have the same level of intelligence as its Xbox 360/PS3 counterparts. There are plenty of dunderheaded performances both against and for gamers with the AI-controlled players, resulting in shouldn’t-have-happened plays and moments during games of Madden NFL 08. Those easily frustrated hardcore football fanatic gamers who would get infuriated by the boneheaded AI and who have a choice between consoles would be better off sticking to playing Madden NFL 08 on the Xbox 360.

 

madden nfl 08          madden nfl 08

 

Two Wii-only features are the Party mode mini-games and trivia mode. There are 22 mini-games, including Rushing Attack and Rush the QB, that are perfect little diversions of the football variety for gamers not ready for a full-fledged football game a la Madden NFL 08 but who want to throw around the pigskin virtually in mini-games. The trivia, while not of a Mensa level, still brings yet another diversionary mode that can be fun for football knowledge bragging rights. Again, the more casual gaming Wii-owning households will get the most out of the trivia and Party modes, because it was designed with that casual demographic in mind.

 

Usually football, and we’re taking about NCAA Football or Madden NFL, has arguably been EA Sports’ best online performing sport. Surprisingly, the Wii version of Madden NFL 08 actually has online play, something that sometimes is a rarity amongst Nintendo console titles. It’s certainly not on the same level of the Xbox 360’s online play, but just having that online ability on the Wii should be seen as an unexpected “Miracle at the Meadowlands” winning option for Wii Maddenites.

 

It doesn’t have the total package that Madden NFL 08 on the Xbox 360 brings, but nonetheless the Wii version of the only NFL football videogame around certainly succeeds in giving Wii gamers an excellent football game. Albeit with the expected graphical inferiority along with blockheaded AI that would have a hard time scoring a one on the Wonderlic test. Still, with the hard-to-master, fun-to-learn Wiimote controls and some Wii-centric offerings such as the trivia and Party mode, Madden NFL 08 on the Wii finds the end zone more often than not as a very good NFL football videogame.

 

- Lee Cieniawa

lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(October 11, 2007)

 

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