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Electronic Arts
August 14, 2003

Madden NFL 2004

Iím going to be honest. Sometimes, I have a hard time with Madden videogames. I mean, you have to think while you play. You have to plan, prepare, and then execute complicated plays just to get a few yards closer to a first down. You can play an entire game and only score two dozen points. Kickoff return touchdowns are rare. Madden is just that realistic.

Undoubtedly, that is why Madden is so popular. Over the last 13 incarnations Madden has evolved into a football simulation that has the deep modes, beautiful graphics, and a realistic television-like presentation. This yearís game, Madden NFL 2004, takes the gameplay that has made the series famous and raises it another notch, adding a healthy helping of new modes and Game Boy Advance connectivity.


Madden was one of the first football franchises to appear on home consoles and it has remained fantastic over the years by constantly improving the gaming experience. This continuous innovation has made it so that every year the game has something new to offer beyond simple roster updates. Madden NFL 2004 is no different and adds several interesting new modes to an already deep game.

In addition to the regular franchise mode this year introduces the new Owner Mode. Basically the Owner Mode makes Madden into a simulation along the lines of SimCity. The played takes control of a club owner and has the ability to control everything from ticket prices, to the price of food at a concession stand, to the hiring and firing coaches, managers, and players. While this mode might seem to take away from the football that is the core of the Madden franchise it adds a level of depth for players who want to experience absolute control over their team. You now have the ability to micromanage a team and use every input you have to build the strongest franchise imaginable.

The controls on the game have been modified, using the right analog stick to make it possible for abrupt changes to plays. A player can choose a play and then modify it on-the-fly after the ball is snapped to compensate for or exploit the decisions of the other team. This works for offense as well as defense. Imagine being able to spot a hole in your opponents line and direct one of your players in for a quick sack. Or think of how much easier it will be to complete a pass when you can tell your player to cut sooner than normal. On top of an extremely complete playbook for each team this new feature makes it possible for entirely new strategies and a whole new style of Madden gameplay.

Perhaps the biggest feature for Nintendo Fanboys to brag about, the GameCube version of Madden NFL 2004 includes exclusive bonuses that can be unlocked by connecting your Gameboy Advance. Hooking up a Game Boy Advance to your GameCube allows you to see up-to-the-minute statistics during the game. You can also use it for picking or modifying plays. If you own a copy of Madden NFL 2004 for the Game Boy Advance you can unlock GameCube exclusive bonuses such as additional uniforms.

The graphics in the game have also been taken up a notch for this yearís outing. The game looks extremely smooth and polished in motion. Best yet, it supports Progressive Scan on the GameCcube allowing for the smooth, sexy appearance that anyone without the right television is missing out on.

Word on the Street
Madden is a title that people look forward to every year. With a mess of new modes and exclusives, this yearís game will shine on the Gamecube and give die-hard Nintendo fans a great way to show off connectivity to their casual gamer friends.

From the Horseís Mouth
In its 14th season, Madden NFL Football remains the undisputed leader in authentic NFL football simulationą. This year, players can make adjustments after the snap and create championship caliber plays with revolutionary Playmaker Control. Madden NFL 2004 is the most complete, authentic sports video game ever, making it The Ultimate Judge for gamers.

  • New Playmaker Control: Make pre-snap adjustments to your receiver routes, direct receiver routes during a scramble, direct blocking down field during a run, or read and react to the offense to deliver a crushing tackle.
  • New Owner Mode: Hire your own staff, set your team's ticket and concession prices and more. Build your own stadium will millions of possible stadium combinations including various luxury boxes, scoreboards, tunnel entrances, and premium seating locations. Reward key players with signing bonuses and boost player attributes by participating in Mini-Camp drills.
  • All-New Knockout Graphics and Presentation: Now you will never leave the playing field. Keep your players on the field during the play-calling screen. Watch all the highlights in split-screen replay and revel in new player accuracy details like dreadlocks, tattoo replicas, and four new helmet styles.
  • More Realistic NFL Playbooks: Tons of new trick plays, multiple formation variations, and the deepest NFL playbooks from all 32 officialy licensed Coaches Club Head Coaches and NFLC licensed Assistant Coaches.
  • New Specialty Animations And Game Enhancements: Including new QB scramble transitions to improve throwing on the run, stumbles, bone-crushing open field blocks, whirlwind defensive reaction moves, sideline wrap tackles, and out of bound pushes. Change your personnel at the play-calling screen to create match-ups in your favor in any offensive formation.
  • New Video Tutorials: Presented by Al Michaels and Melissa Stark, these tutorials make the game even more friendly to new gamers. Both basic and advanced topics are covered.
  • New Madden Moments: Relive or change the outcome of the greatest NFL games of all time to unlock special bonuses.
  • EA SPORTS Trax Jukebox: Select menu music from a list of over 15 cutting-edge rock bands and hot new hip-hop artists.
  • Stadium Builder: Using graphical building tools, choose from multiple pieces to build your fully customized home field with over 17 billion combinations-put scoreboards, luxury boxes, and tunnels, where you want them.
  • Game Boy Advance Connectivity: Link up your Game Boy Advance and your copy of Madden NFL 2004 to unlock exclusive cheats and features as well as enhanced stats and play control during the game.
  • EA Sports Bio: unlock cool, hidden extras just by playing EA Sports games. The more EA SPORTS games you buy or rent, the more you play, and the more success you have within the game, the more points you'll accumulate -- which will help you to take your gaming to the next level. (Supported games: NCAA Football 2004, Madden NFL 2004, NBA LIVE 2004, NCAA March Madness 2004, NHL 2004, NASCAR Thunder 2004, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004, FIFA Soccer 2004, and MVP Baseball 2004.)

So the GameCube version might not have online play. Yeah, the memory cards are small and this limits how much you can get out of the EA Sports Bio. These are minor faults that donít diminish the rousing football experience that is Madden. Bottom line: if you like football, buy Madden NFL 2004.



word on the street

press release notes


Staff Avatar Mark Martinez
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"Unless you're being ironic, turn that off."

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