Madden NFL 08 Review
Darn, so what number are we up to here? Sixteen, seventeen? Twenty? I hear it's eighteen, but who can be sure. What am I talking about? The number of Rocky sequels or maybe the number of Star Trek movies? Nope, I'm talking Madden and I'm talking videogames. Which is good since this is a videogame site. I doubt if anyone would care to hear my rock solid dissertation on why Coke is worlds better than Pepsi. Nope, what we have here is the eighteenth installment of American football with the word "Madden" somewhere in the title. Specifically we're going to be dissecting Madden NFL 08 for the PlayStation 3. This is the second Madden for the PS3 but in some ways the first real Madden as the 07 version was missing a lot of features. OK then, let's see what the big deal is all about shall we...
I can only hope that, unless you clicked on this link by some wild Internet surfing accident, you have at least a general idea of what Madden is all about. If not, get out of here...seriously, you make me sick! Hmm, well that was probably not called for...I apologize. Madden is more or less the videogame franchise all other games look up to. Not because they are always the best games, they're not, but because the nation becomes mesmerized yearly with the release of Madden. There are even press releases about who will be on the cover. But this might be so fantasy players can be sure not to draft that dude since we all know the Madden curse says that the cover boy will break into pieces at some point in that year. But with this year's release there might actually be some valid reasons for the excitement. After all Madden 07 for the PS3 was, well, rather light on the features and certainly not "next-gen" worthy. In that respect Madden 08 can be seen as an unqualified success since it adds back many of the features missing from last year's effort including a more in-depth franchise mode, create-a-team, and the showcase.
Of the new features the biggest addition is the new player weapons feature. This enhances the numerical rating system that has long been the hallmark of Madden. The player weapons give special attributes to key players to better define their abilities. For example two receivers may have an identical 90 rating but are very different types of players. Their weapon attributes will highlight the differences between them. One may have a Possession Receiver weapon while the other will have Speed and Spectacular Receiver weapons. A cornerback like Champ Bailey will have a Lockdown Defender weapon and a 99 rating which means that you should never throw to his side of the field. These weapons also play a part in the "read and react" system which you use at the line of scrimmage to spot mismatches. Other weapons include Elusive Back, Accurate, Brick Wall Defender, and Smart. The Smart weapon is neat because it can allow the player to see the play art of the opposing team. For instance, a Smart linebacker like Zack Thomas can "see" part of an offensive play before the snap and a Smart QB like Manning can see the DB and linebacker coverage before the snap. Obviously both of these abilities come in handy. Overall this new feature is cool and adds to the game.