The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

New Madden finally finds the end zone

With nine seconds left in the fourth quarter, it is the fourth down and goal. The ball is spotted at the opponent’s two yard line, you have no timeouts to work with and you are down 17-13. A field goal will not cut it. You have no choice but to go for it, but question whether to pass or run. Should you leave it up to your quarterback and hope he finds a receiver? Or give it to your tailback and hope he can find a hole to score? Your choice of hero is up to you. Leave it up to your quarterback or tailback or left tackle?

Any blocker can now be a hero and help tailbacks get the open field he needs in “Madden 07”. The long-running Madden video game series has always made an effort to improve upon the previous year’s version, by enhancing graphics, animations and game play. The truck stick and quarterback vision were two of last year’s additions to game play. For the ’07 edition, it is the new lead blocker control and highlight stick, both of which can be very useful tools for the running game.

The lead blocker control allows the player to change players at the line of scrimmage and have full control of any blockers after the snap, including fullbacks. It may not seem like a major change, but it is a very welcomed one by fans of the series. In the earlier editions, blockers were not always reliable, and at times blocked the wrong opposing player. A player can now take control of the blocker and create a big hole, then take control of the running back and make him burst through the hole. It is difficult to get used to at first, but experienced Madden players can adjust quickly.

As a tailback runs past the defensive line and runs into a linebacker, the player can now use the highlight stick to get past him. Players can now flick the right analog while running with any player to have him duck, jump, juke and more.Moves done via highlight stick depend on the player. Mike Alstott, a power fullback, usually lowers his shoulders and runs over a defender using his strength, while Warrick Dunn, a small and quick running back, would be more elusive by ducking under or jumping over tackles.

“Madden 07” definitely focused on the running game this year. It also focused on improving the Xbox 360 version. “Madden 06” for the 360 lacked many of the features included in the other consoles. Electronic Arts made sure to include the Superstar mode this year for the 360, which allows you to create a player at any position and play through his whole career.

Superstar mode is the sole reason to buy this game. Create a player and play him at any position and make him a Hall of Fame-caliber player. It is a good challenge for any Madden gamer to see how many players, each at different positions, you can get into the Hall of Fame.

The mini-games are also a nice addition for gamers to spend time on. Players may not get the hang of it the first time, but will definitely get it the next. The Hall of Fame players are a nice edition, as is the Madden gamer level that keeps track of what you have accomplished in the game.

It is only fitting that Shaun Alexander, the 2005 NFL MVP, be on the cover of the newest edition, with new tweaks to the running game. The cover athlete for the game usually indicates what changes may have been made.

For the 2005 edition, Ray Lewis was featured on the cover, promoting the new hit stick that allowed players on defense to push the right analog to deliver a hard blow to the ball carrier. The next year was the addition of the quarterback vision, to improve the accuracy of quarterbacks. Donovan McNabb was on the cover then.

To say this year’s version (for the 360) is better than last year’s is not saying much, considering “Madden 06” was a step backward for the series.

The graphics are better this year around, especially the stadium detail. Compared to other games on the platform, the visuals could be better.

Another noticeable difference is the player models. They look a lot more realistic and detailed. The new player animations definitely add a lot to the experience, but can look awkward at times with odd collisions.

The visuals run more smoothly and are more impressive when hooked to a high definition television.

From watching a quarterback walk back to the line of scrimmage to the team running on the field during the introduction before the game, the game looks more polished. Madden is starting to finally look and feel like a next-gen game.

While the lead blocker control is a great addition, it does fail at times. The running back sometimes run where you would not want him to, and be careful not to run between the quarterback and running back because it is a definite fumble.

The in-game sound and stadium noises are great for the 360, and EA decided to go with the the commentator fom the previous year. He tends to be overexcited, but is silent on a number of plays, including some of the big plays of the game.

“Madden 07” is full of bugs and far from perfect, but is definitely worth the $50 (or $60 for the 360). Franchise mode, Superstar mode and the mini games will definitely keep you busy for the better part of the season. EA always finds a way to revamp the game play each year. This time, EA has put the series back on the right path, at least for now.

Playstation 2 and Xbox versions have minor differences, edging the 360 in style and presentation.

Franchise mode for the next-gen console is very bland, and is not as impressive as the other versions.

“NCAA Football 07” made its debut in July for the 360, which now allows Madden players to transfer graduating seniors from NCAA Football to their draft in franchise mode.

Madden is the only licensed football game in the market, after EA bought the exclusive rights from the NFL and NFL Players Association in 2004, destroying the competition, which were mainly the NFL 2K series.

I am still looking for a football game that leaves me in awe after watching and playing it, the way I was after having played “NFL 2K” for the Sega Dreamcast in 1999. “Madden 07” will do for now. The more you play this game, the more it grows on you.

“Madden 07” makes “Madden 06” seem like a distant memory.

More to Discover