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Madden NFL 08 Package Art
GENRE
Sports
DEVELOPER
EA Tiburon
PUBLISHER
EA Sports
LOCAL WIRELESS
MULTI-PLAY
Yes
Wi-Fi/GLOBAL ONLINE
MULTI-PLAY
Yes
MICROPHONE
No
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Madden NFL 08

Always, the DS version of any game gets pushed aside by its console brothers; but this year's version of Madden NFL for DS stands tall against the high-def juggernauts on 360 and PS3. Madden NFL 08 for Nintendo DS offers plenty of modes for the football fan and features plenty of subtle improvements over last year's game.

visuals

The graphics are solid and have been upgraded a bit from last year; but there is still some downside to what would normally be a good looking game. While stadiums are similar in design to their real life counterparts, they aren't too lifelike. The fans make noise, but they hardly move, and the scoreboards are fixed without changing. On field animation is much better with players performing all sorts of believable moves like spins, sprints and more. The only problem here is that players can flicker in and out of view as if they were some sort of faltering hologram. Still, this game does plenty of great things with the DS hardware.

audio

The audio is somewhat of a mixed bag. One thing you'll notice right away is that the on field action and crowd noise is excellent and places the excitement of a football game right in your hands. This, though, is accompanied by a less than stellar soundtrack and limited commentary. Commentary often matches up with what is happening on field, but the problem is that there is so much repetition that it seems almost pointless to have. If only the commentary were fleshed out more.

gameplay

The great thing about Madden NFL 08 is the solid control schemes. Action onscreen can be directed with either the face buttons or the touch screen. For example, when directing a pass, you can either press a button corresponding to a receiver or you can use the stylus to throw the ball where you want. Both work very well and choosing a control scheme that works for you will probably depend on which is more comfortable. Despite such great controls, there are a few odd glitches that can cause a bit of distress. In one such glitch, a pass will simply bounce off the receiver intended for no reason at all, as if the receiver had no clue the ball was coming. This can be a bit annoying because most of the time the receivers catch and animate exceptionally well. Another glitches are the computer letting the play clock reach zero, wandering wide receivers along the sidelines or cheap blocking A.I.

Another great thing about this year's football game is the fact that there are plenty of modes to keep players busy until next year's game. You can start out with a single game, go into a whole season of play with your favorite team, or try to manage a team for many years in the franchise mode. There are also tons of practice modes and little minigames to keep you on your toes. Perhaps the best part of the single player portion of the game is the addition of play creation. You can literally create your own plays and use them in the game. If you direct routes well, these plays will work just like any other play in the game already.

All this coupled with great kicking controls and tons of existing playbooks make Madden NFL 08 the best football game for DS; but that's not all, EA Tiburon decided that it was finally time to throw in an online mode.

multiplayer

Multiplayer modes consist of multi-card and single card local play. The multi-card setup lets you play with up to 7 players and will grant the most options and mode. Single card play allows two players to duke it out with limited options.

But the best new addition this year is online play using Nintendo's Wi-Fi service. You can get into some football action with a random person online, or you can use a list of your Friends Codes to settle the score against your buddies. The action is fast online and rarely slows down or drops you out of the game.

overall

Football is finally good on DS. Madden NFL 08 is solid where it counts, and the small problems that do exist aren't bad enough to pull the game down. If you're a football fan and you have a DS, this might be worth your money, even if it may only last one year. Until next year!

final score 7.8/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Allen Wagner
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"Princess Peach just got 10 times hotter!"


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