Madden NFL 2006
Madden games may have been around for a while, but they still have a ways to go before perfection...
While the NFL football race is easily defined on the console platforms with EA's exclusive ownership of the NFL license, the same cannot be said for the mobile phone circuit. Here, Jamdat Sports, THQ, and EA all have their own NFL rights, allowing each of them to build a mobile game of gridiron all their own. It's with that that EA Sports has happily supplied their entry into the race for the Super Bowl glory with the recently released Madden NFL 06, introducing a new wave of gamers to the gridiron champion that's been taking console races year in and year out. But not all is great on the handheld front, as this game has its share of nagging problems.
It's loaded with plenty of options, that I'll give it. You can either go through Quick Play and get right into your ideal match-up, or you can choose Season Play and set yourself up in a series of matches of your choosing, sort of like building your own NFL schedule. Season Play doesn't quite equivilate to its own NFL season, per se, but it does manage to let you build a legacy. There's also a Front Office, where you can make decisions on your team such as who gets cut and who gets traded for. So there's plenty to do here.
The question is, would you want to do it? To be quite honest, Madden NFL 06 is not the most soundly structured football game out there. Reading plays can be a total pain in the keester thanks to the size of the screen. Graphics look alright but there's only so much of the field you can see, and that could lead to a crucial interception or fumble. The sound's alright, with Madden and Al Michaels providing the occasional commentary, but it's too sparse to be considered a good option. And then we come to the gameplay, which has its balance of both good and evil. Some of the plays are solid, but then sometimes passing or tackling stutters and you find yourself blown wide open for the easy six.
Madden NFL 06 has merit, and it's this kind of merit that will attract fans. But its questionable gameplay decisions and presentation quirks, along with its massive sizes (this thing really does take up cell phone space), leave it somewhat lacking in the face of the legend it's created. Maybe next year.
What's Hot: Many different modes to check out.
What's Not: Kinda hard to play...