Madden 07


Review by Matt Paprocki

EA Sports


Graphics: 4

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 7


It's a noticeable improvement this year for DS owning Madden fans. Switching the gameplay from the top screen to the bottom has created numerous changes, many for the better. New, intuitive uses of the touch screen separate this from all of the other versions of this title available, though the core gameplay remains overly dated.

madden071_ds.jpg (56189 bytes)Full franchise play is of course the heart of the game given that it does not support Nintendo Wi-Fi. There are no differences or surprises here. Multiple seasons roll by as you try and build your team. It's a basic presentation, with no off-the-field concerns aside from free agents, trades, the draft, and preparing for the next game.

On the field, hot routes play a significant role. Unlike the convoluted set ups of other versions, the DS allows the player to literally draw a new line for their wide out to follow. The ease of use means the changes can be frequent and be formed to the defensive set up with little worry as to the play clock. The same goes for the defensive side, changing players assignments from blitzes to zones or over to man coverage. This fluid means of change has been implemented with care, and the lack of time before the snap is only a minor concern here as well.

Sadly, the new kicking meter doesn't work as successfully. This bizarre feature has the player tapping the screen in two spots. The farther away the markers are, the more power on the kick. Going diagonally from one corner to the other means you have maximum power every time. For accuracy, you need to draw a line as straight as possible between these points. Obviously, this is hit or miss, and accuracy feels random because of it. Stranger yet, it feels nothing like actually kicking a ball and it's hard to see where the concept even came from.

Aside from those changes, everything else remains the same. The graphics seem slightly downgraded, and cause issues when receivers head downfield. Defenders can be hard to spot when they blend in with the line markers on the field. Playing this one feels like a throwback as much as the graphics look like one. It's a loose, fast, and slightly hard to control game of football. Issues that weren't noticeable in the Nintendo 64 and Playstation versions become painfully obvious here.

Defense is especially difficult on the DS. The opposite side of the ball has some exploits to use, like a slower turning speed for defensive players, and a ridiculously fast jump that makes interceptions nearly impossible to time properly. Halfbacks have the advantage with overly strong jukes and stiff arms. These are problems the series has brought with it since the first edition on the DS, and little effort has been done to correct them.

As a potential sign to come, some of the mini-games have implemented touch screen mechanics. A target-hitting passing game has the player flicking the stylus to toss the ball, and it could potentially become a component in a future update if refined. The game definitely needs something new to move away from its somewhat sloppy gameplay that doesn't fall into the "classic" category, and new features using the touch screen are the right step.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Sunday, September 17, 2006 02:40 PM