Another year, another Madden is produced by EA. Year upon year this game keeps improving. With its slick gameplay and graphics, no other American Football game comes close. Once again it has a massive playbook for you to choose the right manoeuvre in the right situation. Whether its a running play, a passing play or a big long hoof upfield, you will have ultimate control of what play you make, and when.

Madden’s passing game has never really been changed although they have added little small features in previous editions of the series, but nothing compared to Madden ’06.  A new feature has been incorporated this year, called Vision and Precision. These will both need to be learned and mastered in order for you to succeed on the game. First of, the QB (Quarter Back) Vision Mode. With this the player must look at his receiver before passing them the ball. After the ball is snapped the most part of the pitch will be shaded out and there will be a distinct light showing you your receiver. If you pass to the receiver in the cone-shaped light then they will be much more likely to catch or even get the ball than somebody outside the line of vision. Now, the precision part comes into play, you have to select the receiver you have thrown the ball to and quickly move him over the yellow crosshair for him to catch the ball, if not then the ball will wilt to the floor and you’ll move onto the next down.

The graphics have obviously been improved to cater for the fact that Madden ’06 is on the 360.  As expected, everything seems alot smoother.  Obviously, EA were hindered by the power of previous console, but it looks like the 360 has given them alot more space to really push the graphical talents of their team.   Another thing that has improved from the year before is the commentary. Good ol’ American commentators coming out with some classic one-liners, it’s also more fluid than ever before. There’s no gaps between reading the score and team names out, it all flows brilliantly. 

You all remember the defensive Hit Stick from last season right? Now, there is an attacking version of it. This should help you with doing the running moves, which some struggled with last time around.  It works on pretty much the same principle, just it’s designed for attacking!

A new exciting mode that is to be added to Madden ’06 is called NFL Superstar Mode. This mode allows you to take complete control of a rookie football star. You start off with College games and slowly progress to the big time, trying to make a name for yourself. You have control of the hiring and firing of agents, the off-the-field drama, as well as balancing commitments between your team mates and those who pay your bills. You also have to try and up your stats on game day in order to get noticed by a big club. This mode looks both fun and very challenging. It’s very in-depth and along with the Franchise mode allows for a very long life-span.

All-in-all, Madden ’06 is looking to deliver yet another epic American Football game, taking the key elements of the previous titles and expanding on them with the immense power of the 360.  As a launch title, this game is shaping up to be a touch-down.

Console Monster

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