Madden NFL 2005 (GameCube) Review

By James Temperton 02.11.2004

Yup, another EA Sports title hits the shops. Worryingly many of these are turning into damn fine titles, but one name that has been related to quality gaming for quite some time now is that of Madden. This latest GameCube version looks to take things even further with more updates and ideas to improve the series, but have EA simply spoiled the formula? Find out in our review...

Big game this. Loads of modes, loads to play, loads to do and it's all so damn accurate it makes us cry. This really is the American Football game, admittedly a sport that has never really appealed to us and always seems to make playable...but remarkable tedious games. The thing is, with the sports stupidly 'stop-start-tackle-injury-stop-start-tackle' flow a game based on it is far from exciting. EA have tried to combat this by adding in various exciting elements (misshapen cheer-leaders during breaks, amusing commentary, chants, etc.) but at the end of the day, by the very nature of the sport this game is...dull.

Screenshot for Madden NFL 2005 on GameCube

The main boast of the game on the box is how great it looks, this game is meant to look the bees-knees and the cats-whiskers all rolled into one, and admittedly it does look very nice. When you really smack into a player in a tackle they really do go flying in quite a convincing way, which is rather enjoyable. Running is smooth thanks to some excellent animation and the details on the players faces and bodies in general is excellent. One thing: the cheerleaders look like they've been passed through a meat-tenderiser and put back together again...not pretty. All in all this game looks excellent, fireworks go off when the home-team scores, the crowd wave and jump about in lots of different way: pretty, but at the end of the day graphics will never make this game exciting.

As we mentioned a little bit earlier the commentary is rather good; very good in fact. The whole package here is so comprehensive, the commentators will talk about different plays, where there have been successes, the teams respective form-guides, different players performances and how good the offence of defence is. With no fast-paced action or anything of the sort to keep you entertained this really is the only thing remarkably interesting; thankfully it is excellent.

Screenshot for Madden NFL 2005 on GameCube

Now, when we say this game is dull, we tell a lie. It really isn't, this is more considered and down-paced rather than an all-out bore-fest. You get to think and construct an attack in amazing detail, from the position of just about every player, to what they will do when the ball goes live, to what players they will aim for in offence of defence, to how they will clear a path for the man with the ball when you're attacking, to how they will block a path when you are on the defence. There are so many different plays, and so many different variations on each play that you can lose yourself for hours working out what you enjoy the most, and more importantly what works best in which situation.

Screenshot for Madden NFL 2005 on GameCube

The gameplay is excellent, if a little slow and painful at times. Whilst this game is always enjoyable there is an awful lot of sitting around doing nothing when you feel that perhaps EA could have paced things up a bit to prevent the game from dying whilst you sit about waiting for something to happen. If you enjoy the concept and the slow-paced 'action', you can however enjoy a lot of different game modes. Franchise is the biggest, letting you take total control of a American Football franchise and guide it to greatness. Then you have Tournament and a number of entertaining minigames, all combined in with Play Now and multiplayer modes. Just like the game itself, the different modes are pretty comprehensive, but nothing amazing.

You can create players, teams, customise everything and make it all fab-u-lous (or possibly 'rocking' when you consider this is hip and American), the only downside to all this goodness is the pain it will cause your bank-balance. This game takes up a stupid amount of memory card blocks, and if you are to get the most out of it you might just need a small library of them.

Screenshot for Madden NFL 2005 on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Falls short of the mark, but still a damn fine game. We just feel EA have tried too hard to add in too many silly little ideas that simply break up the game and make it lose a lot of its enjoyment factor. Fun for a while, annoying for the most part. If it sounds like your thing, give it a look, otherwise, run fast and far.

Developer

EA

Publisher

EA

Genre

Sport

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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