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Review – Madden 08

posted on August 22nd, 2007 by zenstrabo

The Madden Curse Comes to the Wii

For years we’ve seen each Madden cover supermodel fall to the “curse” of becoming overpaid, injured and irrelevant. And just as eerily, the infamous curse is plaguing the upper right corner of its cover as well.

I know I’m supposed to unconditionally lower my expectations for the Wii’s substandard graphics and love it because of it’s removable showerhead inspired controller, but this is just lazy. (And by the way, the joy of flailing a little white rod at my TV is neither new nor innovative.) Crowd shots, backgrounds, stadium flybys and even the loading screen still shots rely on heavy, let’s say, “artistic” blurring to compensate for these worse than average Wii graphics. Whereas the animations have finally improved on the other two consoles, the motion capture for the Wii looks like it was recorded in the Madden bus toilet using a breakfast burrito and some pork rinds.

Believe it or not, this other Madden endorsed product is less poop filled than Madden ’08 for the Nintendo Wii.

But of course it’s silly to think Madden would have allowed these items to go to any use aside from continuing to fortify the chin fort he’s building on his face, or that he has any involvement with the games at all anymore. At one point in the “Ask Madden” commentary, I heard him say, “Ram this play in there like an Exxon tanker, Woo! Wooo! 1990 forever, baby!” Serves me right for asking him anything other than, “What’s the perfect cocktail to go with 2:15 left in the half?”

I know that there are plenty of Madden hater-tots out there, and this version is not going to evangelize any of you. However, if you are a fan of the franchise, this may be enough to help you regain some of your free time. All of the new features that rolled out on the PS3 and 360 versions such as weapons, player spotlight, dynamic tackle animations, and RPG athlete criminal investigation mode have been de-emphasized in favor of family play, which helps you take all the hassle out of playing your video games. If you enjoy watching other people play Madden, or say, watching your console in the “off” mode, family play is really going to wow you. In the near future this technology will allow us to automate our video games so that when you get home from work you can finally relax instead of attending to all that button pushing.

I imagine the development process to have looked exactly like this Masters of the Universe based dramatization:

While technically still in the Wii version, features like “hit stick” lack a certain something without the use of the “stick” to lay down the “hit.” Instead, you have to attempt a typical epileptic Wiizure for each maneuver. While the family mode aims to make game play easier, it misses the mark worse than the Funky Bunch. Family play isn’t simple enough to match the elegance of Wii Sports, yet it disables enough control to frustrate anyone who is playing the game with a particular outcome in mind.

The saving grace, however, is a long missing staple of John Madden’s Sunday ramblefest, the telestrator. In its most effective usage, the telestrator allows you to draw boobs and skirts on the Dallas Cowboys during instant replays. In the one week since the game’s release, over nine hundred kids have been sent home from a friend’s house for telestrator driven use of the word ‘asshat’ alone. (This is the type of statistic that is being reported back to Nintendo while that blue slot is pulsing late at night.)

EA, in typical EA fashion, does its best to keep the fun away from your video gaming experience by putting a time limit on the telestrator. So, as you run to the computer to look up the proper spelling of ‘vas deferens’ to complete the perfectly detailed taunt of your opponent’s balls, the game ends your telestrator session. EA also anticipated my vandalism of its logos around the stadium and disabled the free camera movement.

According to my official rating system for best NFL licensed football games, this game scores a 10 for existing. Thanks to EA’s anti-Sherman Antitrust business model this is hands down the greatest (and only) NFL game available for the Wii.

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1 Comments

  1. Tan said on August 22, 2007:

    Now I want a telestrator while watching the “Good Vibrations” video.

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