Madden NFL 07 (GameCube) Review

By Adam Riley 05.09.2006

The Madden series has been popular since the days of the SNES and Megadrive, with yearly updates coming and selling out in the US without fail. Now we are up to the 2007 edition and the last one that is likely to appear on the GameCube. Is this new version a worthy swan-song for the GC?

Having missed out on last year's edition (mainly because I cannot stand the sport), it is hard to make the comparison between this and the 2006 iteration. However, in terms of visual effect in general, this version really is pretty damn impressive, especially considering how horrible the FIFA characters normally are. Players are well represented in 3D format and the stadia and effects throughout the game are definitely of a high enough calibre for a sports title. The only real drawback is the load times littered throughout.

The audio side is extremely strong as well, with a whole line-up of popular (and even exclusive to this game) music tracks thrown in, including Is It Any Wonder by Keane. These play over menu screens and even during the actual game, with very comprehensive commentary and even a radio show that keeps you up-to-date on all the latest happenings whilst you are tinkering away with your team set-up and so on. Each year EA pulls out all the stops on the presentation side and clearly this year is no different.

Screenshot for Madden NFL 07 on GameCube

Not knowing much about the sport that is 'American Football', it kind of make reviewing a game such as this actually quite difficult. But, never one to shirk a good challenge, I donned a pair of my wife's shoulder pads, put a washing basket on my head and braced myself for full-on US-style action. And, in all honesty, playing through the game was actually quite fun. Okay, so it is never going to grab my attention more than the Japanese copy of Winning Eleven 10 that I am currently playing with on my PS2, but for my first foray into the world of jock sports was far more pleasing than I imagined, although the controls were slightly confusing at times.

For the uninitiated, such as myself, diving straight into a match is suicide and a mauling WILL ensue. Therefore, it is advisable to use the various training functions in the game to test out each of the various manoeuvres and techniques available to each player. You will then, with any luck, be able to quickly pick up enough skills to be able to spin around on-coming opponents, pull off a number of fancy throw moves, charge around players and use the special kick meter to gauge the height, power and accuracy of kicks during each match.

Screenshot for Madden NFL 07 on GameCube

But it is not only the range of moves that help out, but careful use of tactics (which can be automatically assigned by Madden himself, if you so choose). Your team lines up in whatever fashion you specify and your aim is to block the oncoming opponents from squeezing through your defence and either scoring a touchdown or drop kick goal, retake possession and attempt to do what they were about to inflict upon you. This can get scrappy if you do not learn the controls properly and many a time I ended up forgetting what to do, resulting in the ever reliable haphazard button-mash approach...which actually worked quite well! At least the more you play, the more likely you are to accrue points that bump up the quality of players' statistics. It DOES help, believe me...

Screenshot for Madden NFL 07 on GameCube

Included in the game are Superstar and Franchise modes, the former being where you create your own player and try to climb the ranks, whilst taking part in interviews, obtaining lucrative deals and so on to help you along the way, whilst the latter just leaves you to play through a season, tracking progress not only by results, but by checking out the latest headlines and improving performances by training hard between matches. EA has gone all out to provide gamers with the ultimate Madden package and seems to have succeeded.

With so much customisation, stacks of extras to unlock, mini-games, multiplayer fun to be had and a truly exhaustive amount of modes and options to play around with for the solo player, Madden 07 will come as a true breath of fresh air for fans of the sport. If you are worried about value for money, then worry not as the game is jam-packed with enough fun to last you through to next year with ease!

Screenshot for Madden NFL 07 on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Madden 07 is definitely a game suited for followers of the sport, but proves to be a good laugh even for those that cannot stand watching it on TV! Whilst owners of the 06 edition may not be too keen to pick this up, those who missed out will find this fresh enough to warrant the price tag.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

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

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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