Review: Madden NFL 08

Review: Madden NFL 08
Review: Madden NFL 08

Have you ever watched a movie about American football where you just knew that whatever they were doing on screen looked so fun you had to try it? Unfortunately, I'm not large enough to be pummelled by men ten times my size while I get the pulp knocked out of me and while I have no idea what they're doing in grid-iron, something about it still appeals to me. Luckily, Electronic Arts have come along and transformed everything that's brilliant about American football into a fun and accessible game for the Nintendo Wii.

Madden NFL 08 brings the much evolved football camaraderie of the past games into a neatly wrapped gesture controlled package for the Wii. While the graphics haven't changed a lot from last years Wii-debut entry and they certainly don't compare to anything either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions will throw at it, both the simplified game mechanics as well as the more advanced modes make it a treat for anyone who wants to pick this game up.

If you're like me and you don't have much of an idea what the game is like but you just want to get into the action, Electronic Arts have given you the family mode. Family mode has you use only the Wiimote alongside the gesture system to allow you to pass, kick, and punt your way to victory. It's pretty easy to get into and once you've been flinging and waving those hands all over the place, you'll probably have a feel for it to start getting in there and beating the computer or your online friends.

Then there's the advanced mode. The advanced mode requires the use of a Nunchuk controller as well as your Wiimote to let you get the best of both worlds. You'll use the Wiimote for gestures and the Nunchuk for executing controlled aiming commands as well as running & evading the other players. If you find yourself starting to get into the whole pass and deep pass sets of plays in family mode, it might be time to start looking at the advanced mode.

Madden NFL 08 aims to make sure that you're cornered with how much gameplay you can pull out of the game. While you can start a match with any team, the Franchise and Superstar modes provide a lot more for you to play around with. Adding to the mix is a collection of trivia game and mini games which unfortunately can only be played with two or more players in the same room in Madden NFL 08's Party Mode.

Topping it all off is an incredible soundtrack, something that EA Sports games are certainly becoming known for. With tracks by artists like Timbaland, Ozzy Osborne, Queens of the Stone Age, Airborne, and loads more, there's always a good track on to get you head first into the action.

While Madden NFL 08 is a blast to play, the feeling isn't the same for how it looks. You could say it looks a bit better than a PlayStation 2 version, but not a whole lot more. While some of the textures don't look bad from afar, they just don't have any vibrancy or realism up close. Character models don't look to good either and some of the animations are just down right ugly. While most people picking up games for the Nintendo Wii are probably aware that Wii games won't look like their PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 next-gen counterparts, a bit of work might have gone a long way to make this game look just that much better.

Most of the audio is actually pretty good. While the sound effects are used again and again, you don't necessarily get tired of the grunts, smashes, and other chatter. What will get you though is the constantly rehashed commentary which you're going to hear again and again.

While Electronic Arts haven't made a revolutionary title, Madden NFL 08 is still an excellent entry in the Madden franchise that brings a lot of what makes football great to any one that's got a passing interest in the game.

Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Classification: G
Formats: Wii
URL: Madden NFL 08

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark

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