Forum Overview :: Gamerasutra
Madden 2006 by Ice Cream Jonsey 12/21/2005, 8:02pm PST

Madden Football has been a terrible series on several platforms for many years now. The 98 version of the Front Page Sports franchise from Sierra are still superior to any Madden game released for the PC and probably always will be. Madden football games quickly hit a $9.99 price point a year after their release and I purchased them all from 1997 until 2002. All of them were unplayable garbage. I finally had a chance to see how the franchise was looking on the (original) Xbox earlier today.

Electronic Arts purchased an exclusive NFL license earlier this year. This meant that the excellent "NFL2Kx" brand was in trouble, as they released a more playable product than Madden every single year. The corpse of NFL Blitz was kicked one last time, and a little shallow puff of fun was shaken loose one last time, but with there no "serious" football game on the market, Madden now finds itself played by people who are sick of seeing the game still get things wrong after almost 20 versions.

The first thing you're going to want to do is turn the sound off on your TV when you start it up. The music is fucking terrible. I used to be the guy who liked all music "except rap and country" and then I started driving 90 minutes each way to work. Staving off insanity, I now welcome rap and country. It takes a band really working hard for me to hate them, and I genuinely hated every single song on the Madden soundtrack. The sound effects and announcing were equally piss poor.

When two guys in their early 30s get together to play a game of football, the game had better have an intuitive "head-to-head" option. Madden doesn't have this. You have to hunt for it. Any sort of defense along the lines of, "You should just read the manual" is a bunch of shit for two reasons. First off, this is the ultimate game for the casual gamer. Secondly, they've been trotting out these things for so long it's reasonable to expect that they've mastered a GUI. They haven't.

I'll give the game credit for having a few old teams already unlocked, but they quickly fuck that up, too. My buddy selected the 96 Broncos and I took the 92 Saints. Both teams were completely unrecognizeable -- the player names were absent (and I understand why this is the case but sorry, EA bought up exclusive rights and if this means cutting a small check to Gary Kubiack and Ironhead Heyward then that's too bad) and the fucking uniform numbers are random. #2 cannot be the number of a wide receiver, but there he was catching passes for good ole #29, hall of fame quarterback for Denver. What a joke. It makes the old teams, which are usually pretty even, a waste of time.

Controls are hideous. They used to constantly talk about sluggish controls in Amiga Power, but I finally know exactly what they mean. Trying to get your ballcarriers to change direction is really tough. Your quarterback simply can not throw a pass once the game decides the sack animation has started. Guys constantly go backwards 4 yards after catching a ball past the first down marker (with no forward progress in place). There's no consistent way to determine if a play features play action unless you empty the backfield. Play action freezes nobody and is a terrific way to get sacked. The running game is simply, fundamentally broken in head-to head play. The kicking interface is new to me and utterly pointless. NFL2K1 nailed it for consoles and it's typical of EA to toy with something that worked fine in order to put their own, terrible stamp on it. The coaches are not made up of sprites like they are in so many other games, but the coaches looked nothing like any guy we've ever seen before. The franchise still, after all these years, will take control of your players when you're trying to keep them in one spot -- it's the worst thing about Madden games and I have no idea why they haven't yet fixed it. There's an option to let John Madden pick a play for you and down by 11 with 1:52 left he called a running play for my friend -- so not only is rushing broken, but Madden is sticking up for it even though it clearly sucks.

Lastly, there was apparently no way to perform an instant replay challenge and the game doesn't know all the rules. My buddy mugged me with :02 left in the game and since a penalty was called I didn't bother to call a time out. Time ran out. This is stuff the development team needs to know about from day one. They're not good enough to handle the rules of football, which really aren't all that complicated for guys able to grasp programming.

Madden 2006 is one of the worst games I've ever played and it's really too bad that the lazy assholes over at EA snapped up the exclusive NFL license. I guess if you've been playing this instead of NFL2K4 and 2K5 it's OK for you, as you're sort of slow and stupid and can convince yourself that the nigh-super deformed player graphics are fantastic and make it all worthwhile. No adult, nor anyone who thinks like one would bother to play a second game of this nonsense.

the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!
Madden 2006 by Ice Cream Jonsey 12/21/2005, 8:02pm PST NEW
    You forgot to say positive or negative. NT by I need clarification 12/21/2005, 8:09pm PST NEW
    Re: Madden 2006 by milkunits 12/23/2005, 2:40am PST NEW
        Re: Madden 2006 by mark 12/23/2005, 2:35pm PST NEW
    Re: Madden 2006 by mark 12/23/2005, 12:06pm PST NEW
        NFL2k5 by mark 12/28/2005, 5:22pm PST NEW
            Re: NFL2k5 by Ice Cream Jonsey 12/28/2005, 11:14pm PST NEW
            Re: NFL2k6 by mark 11/26/2006, 3:10pm PST NEW
                Re: NFL2k6 by laudablepuss 11/29/2006, 6:15pm PST NEW
                    FHUTA NT by The FHUTA Guy 11/29/2006, 6:51pm PST NEW
                    I don't think I know any girls who know who Bret Favre is. NT by motherfuckerfoodeater 11/29/2006, 7:13pm PST NEW
                        You must not live in Wisconsin NT by Mischief Maker 11/29/2006, 7:37pm PST NEW
    Agreed. by jeep 12/23/2005, 12:07pm PST NEW
    EA may just possibly suck at making games. by laudablepuss 12/01/2006, 5:31pm PST NEW
        Re: EA may just possibly suck at making games. by Ice Cream Jonsey 12/01/2006, 5:50pm PST NEW
    Re: Madden 2006 by crap on you 12/01/2006, 8:03pm PST NEW
        Not getting it. Dumb it down. NT by Tatters 12/01/2006, 9:11pm PST NEW
    Re: Madden 2006 by Quentin Beck 01/10/2007, 8:56pm PST NEW
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