" ...While they try and blind you with shine they're also trying to drown you in the horseshit of a job half finished. "
Title: Madden 2006 by EA Games
Format: Xbox 360 Football
Reviewing Monkey: Mojo Jojo
The Hype: The undisputed king of video game Football makes their illustrious debut as a launch title for the 360. But with rumors of production rushes and scaled back features dogging it every yard of the way, can it push through the line and crush the competition? Read on, my monkeys and….no. I'm sorry but I…I…I just can't do this. I can't build up the hype knowing how harshly I'm going to slam you to the turf.
What This Monkey Thought...
So let's take a
detour and do this a little bit differently. Rather than go through the motions
and set up each point category by category, let's just get this thing to bed
so we can move on to much more pleasant gaming endeavors.
You see, my monkeys, this is what we in the industry call a Rush Job. It is what happens when, for any number of reasons, the big wigs that run a game company have decreed that a game must come out by a certain date, but it just isn't possible to get the game finished by then. So, instead, some marketing guru gives it some "sell points" and rushes it out to our grubby little paws anyways; even though its under-developed, under-tested, and thoroughly underwhelming.
That, as you may guess, is EXACTLY what happened with Madden '06 (M06). EA was so determined to make it a launch title that they sold out the franchise's heart and soul just to make it happen. They want to sell it to you on the pretty graphics ("Ooh! Ooh! Look how pretty it is!"), but while they try and blind you with shine they're also trying to drown you in the horseshit of a job half finished.
Not that any of it is horrible, mind you. It's just that so much of it is just under achieved.
The controls are so sloppy that I initially thought I was having trouble with my 360 reading the wireless controllers. The gameplay modes are all tired and several of the more entertaining franchise/building modes have gone right out the window. The background/announcing is even worse than normal, which is shocking because you think the lack of John Madden himself being involved might have bumped the quality up a notch instead of down. The play editor and customizations have all taken a turn under the chopping block. And the rush to market also left some pretty important game features off the roster. So if you, for example, want to challenge a play you'll…well…half to wait until next year's Madden 07.
Which leaves us only with the much touted graphics to get us by. But while they are definitely pretty when compared to an original Xbox game, calling these graphics next gen would be like calling Rush Limbough in a red suit Santa Claus. It so happened that one night we had two machines playing side by side: 1 with Call of Duty 2, 1 with M06. It took us all of about 1 one hundredth of second to realize that every single aspect of CoD2 was exponentially prettier. The skies, the back grounds, the terrain, and the models themselves. Now, the reason that's important is that CoD2 is rendering comparatively enormous terrain, hundreds of simultaneous special effects, lights from multiple sources, and hundreds of models of machine gun shooting, grenade throwing, violently dying soldiers. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF WHICH looks better than anything in Madden-which only has to render two dozen guys, a flat field, and an arena.
Thus, in the end, the whole game becomes something of a joke. While not technically a bad football game, per se, it is a very bad waste of time, money, and effort…and so unless you just HAVE to have a 360 football game at launch there is absolutely no reason to pick this up. If you do you'll find it serviceable enough to get you buy, but you'll spend each and every waking minute wondering why you dropped 60 bananas for a game that's inferior in almost every way to the football games you already have.
What it's Worth: Nothing, unless you have no other football games at all you could be playing…then its work $20.