Madden NFL 06 Xbox 360
Published by EA Sports
Developed by EA Sports
Release Date: Out Now
Madden NFL 06, an introduction.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the jewel in the EA Sports catalogue is the Madden NFL series. Not only is the series hugely popular but the games are consistently impressive and it's great that we have a Madden NFL game for the launch of the Xbox 360. Indeed what could be better than a graphically enhanced Madden NFL 06? The PlayStation 2 version of Madden NFL 06 was very good and the thought of the same game with the visuals the Xbox 360 is capable of is much cause for excitement.
What's the game about?
You'd expect that Madden NFL 06 for the Xbox 360 would just be a graphically enhanced version of the Madden NFL 06 game that appeared on the other consoles. Whilst this would have been great, sadly it isn't the case. Madden NFL 06 for the Xbox 360 is not just a completely new game in terms of the graphics, it's also a new game in terms of content and unfortunately there's not a great deal here. The game modes on offer are Play Now, Franchise and Online. This is very disappointing when you consider the amount of content you receive in any of the Madden games that have been released over the last 4 or 5 years.
What's good about the game?
The outstanding aspect of the Xbox 360 version of Madden NFL 06 has to be quality of the graphics as they really are amazing. The first time you see the game in action is really special and it's just stunning to see the difference between the Xbox and Xbox 360 versions of the game. The player models are superb and there are times when it actually looks like you're watching the real thing. As the game has been built from scratch you'll notice a ton of new animations that really increase the realism of the game. Features such as the truck stick have been retained and the play calling menus are much improved.
What's not so good about the game?
Whilst graphically the game is very much a next generation title, in terms of game modes and features it doesn't feel anywhere near as good as previous Madden NFL games. Basically you have an old fashioned Franchise mode and Online play. Of course there's a Play Now mode for one-off exhibition games but that's all there is to the game. There are no mini-games, no practice mode, no owner or superstar mode, no tournament mode etc. In short it's a stripped down game in terms of modes and this is a crying shame because it makes the game impossible to choose over the other versions of Madden NFL 06.
How does it look?
Graphically Madden NFL 06 on the Xbox 360 is superb. The player models and the stadia are simply superb and really take the look of sports games to the next level. I particularly liked how you're shown which part of the body has been injured when a player goes down. The crowd looks pretty good too and the quality of the stadia as a whole really does wonders for the atmosphere. We mentioned earlier about there being lots of new animations in the game and these look very impressive. The muscular detail on the player models looks impressive too and along with NBA Live 06, Madden NFL 06 is currently the best looking sports game we've seen on any format.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Madden NFL 06 is absolutely fine for deaf gamers. The game commentary isn't subtitled and Madden's comments are not subtitled (such as the comments he makes when you're on the play calling screen). Whilst these omissions are unfortunate, they don't really spoil the game in any way. In every other way though the game is fine as all of the other information appears in text.
Had this been the same game as the PlayStation 2 and Xbox version of Madden NFL 06 with the amazing graphics that the Xbox 360 version has, we'd have a classic on our hands. Unfortunately though, the game is barely recognisable as a Madden game when you look at the meager amount of modes on offer. Most of the famed Madden modes are not here which is inexplicable. In terms of how the game plays we've very few complaints in that department and the graphics are a sight to behold. In fact the game is visually stunning. However, the game as a whole is a hollow Madden experience and whilst it's certainly a good game, it's difficult to recommend to anyone who can play either the PlayStation 2, PC or Xbox version of Madden NFL 06 simply because these versions are far more substantial and offer long term entertainment.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Graphically excellent and enjoyable to play, Madden NFL 06 for the Xbox 360 is let down by the lack of modes and a barebones franchise mode.