Platform reviewed: Wii
There must have been an entirely new group of employees at EA who got to work on Madden, because for the first time in a long time, a Madden title has shipped that is actually fun. That’s right, it’s fun, and we’re not talking just some casual fun. This is down-home knock-their-socks off, rub their faces in the dirt fun. Frankly, it’s the most fun I’ve had with a football game since about 1999, you know, before Madden started down that long road to lame-ville.
What is it that makes Madden NFL 2007 for the Wii so darn good? It’s that “Wii” part of that sentence, that’s what. By taking the Madden franchise and rewriting it for the Wii’s unique control scheme, the game puts you squarely on the field, stiff-arming, long-bombing, and goal-kicking in as realistic a way as we’ll get for a long time. You tell me this doesn’t sound like fun – the ball is snapped, you’re using the nunchuck’s joystick to maneuver the quarterback until you spot that lone receiver down the field. You press up on the cross-pad (or whatever direction corresponds to your receiver of choice), then actually flick the controller in a passing motion. Snap the controller quickly, and you get a bullet pass, a long loping swing equals a lob. What’s this? You decided to go for a fake pass, and instead need to hand off the ball? Just make the hand-off motion when the ‘back is close to you, and pow – it’s in his hands and you’re in control of his mad dash down the field. Need to really rub a receiver’s face in the mud as you chase him downfield? Thrust both nunchuck and Wiimote forward in a sort of stabbing motion and BAM! That boy’s going down faster than a brick off a rooftop. There are so many intuitive control combos, the game simply feels natural, rather than some sort of over-complex controller abomination. You know, like it’s been on every other console since 1996.
Of course, being the Wii, this girl ain’t the prettiest partner at the prom. But it’s not slouch either, with good quality graphics on even a standard TV set (we’re still waiting on our hi-def cables, hear that Nintendo? Make with the shipping, we paid in full!). You won’t get the stunningly shiny and realistic visuals of the other consoles, but it’s not going to hurt your eyes either. The audio is top notch, putting you right on the field, and having the quarterback call out “hut, hut” over the Wiimote’s speaker/mic combo is another nod to the utility of the Wiimote controller.
If you enjoy football, and you’ve got a Nintendo Wii, you need to seriously pick this game up. It just feels right. It also might make you forgive EA for the past half-decade of rehashed doggy poo they’ve been foisting upon us at full price. Sports fans – this might just be the game that gets you to buy a Wii. Even non-sports fans will have a good time with this. Highly recommended.
- Overall: 8.25
- Possibly the best new-gen (or any) version of Madden since 1995
— Craig Falstaff