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|69 reviews in total|
Off the top, I was excited about AND 1 Streetball. Being a fan of the mix tapes and the show. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this title. After firing through the amazingly simple and quick tutorial (which isn't a good thing, I had to make a change from the easier controls in the NBA STREET series to take on the "intuitive and innovative" control scheme of AND 1 Streetball. It was a relief to play a realistic basketball title with tricks you could actually pull off on the court. With that said, And 1 Streetball just doesn't do that well at all. The tricks are preformed with the Left and Right Analog Sticks and while they go fluidly with the animations of the player on-screen, while playing with the controller just doesn't work as well as it could. There are only a handful of moves that can be used in the game, most of which are from the legendary Hot Sauce. It's understandable that being a realistic game, in general, it might fail short in quantity as there isn't many tricks you can do to show off, but this is unacceptable. With the controls pretty much mastered, it's easy to get drawn into the game. Pulling off Level 3's on someone is about as simple as drinking from a glass. Alley ops, crossovers, and hypnotic dribbling really make this game shine. Mic Checka moves are AND 1's answer to the Gamebreaker in NBA Street and they seem to fit well however the opposing team falls victim to some really awkward glitching (i.e. Mic Checka seems to make players fall who are no longer guarding the person who's doing it). Playing through the Story mode gets tiresome really fast and going against the AND 1 team is like playing your high school basketball team against the Harlem Globetrotters. Your team, in essence, is a bunch of ball-hoarding pseudo legends which isn't a bad thing per SE. However, when playing against the AND 1 team, the true frustration of having your team do absolutely nothing on defense is enough to drive anyone crazy. More than often you'll witness an ankle break on a person who is no longer guarding the ball carrier. This is where the game excels. The soundtrack is exactly what I would expect from an AND 1 title. There could have been better voice acting.
Although this generation of systems (XBox, PS2, and Gamecube) can only improve so much as far as graphics go, it is actually a drastic change from Madden 2005 to Madden 2006. It's tough to explain, but the entire presentation was more realistic than before. The EA Sports Radio with Tony Bruno has many new segments this year, although after a while, it gets old. Nothing you can do about it though. And, as usual, the sound effects are still as good as they've ever been. The main extra of Madden 2006 is of course Superstar mode, where you can track a player from the minute he declares for the NFL draft to that final moment where he retires with every other NFL record under his belt. It's an extremely detailed mode, much better than that of this year's NCAA's (Race for the Heisman), and it can supply you with many more hours of game play. The new Total Control Simulation system was also another one of my favorite extras. You're able to call every play and see how your team executes it. It's basically the same as Coach Mode, except you aren't actually watching the game, you're reading the play-by-play messages. And at any moment. you can interrupt the game and play it if you're not comfortable with the score or just itching to get in there. I saved several of the new features for the game play description rather than extras. First off, the new vision passing adds such a new level of difficulty and skill to the game that you can't believe they successfully created it. It's difficult at first and takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can become the next Peyton Manning. Second, the new truck stick allows you to deliver a huge hit to the opposing defense, similar to the hit stick that defenses can use. Just flick the right control stick up as you make contact with the defender and you can bulldoze over him (obviously it doesn't work all the time, but is still effective, especially when you're 1-on-1). Finally, the running game has vastly improved and although you can find patterns that the computer won't ever recognize, you can really no longer call the same play getting the same result. You must actually recognize your blocks rather than running east and west until the defense gets tired or forcing your way through the line.
As always Madden takes what was great last year and add more we didn't know we needed but can't imagine living with out now. On the offense side of the ball the running game has been tweaked for tighter control. This years release it's the most refined one yet in running. A small problem might arise in the juke now being one button but it is easily conquered and tends to feel even better. The passing in Madden has always been superb and this year is no exceptions. The quarterback has full control of where the ball goes and how fast it gets there. This is great for leading passes or for putting the ball where you know the receiver will grab it. Only problem is they seemed to have turned up the picks your quarterback will give up in an effort for more realism. This is a debatable change that can hurt your experience on the sticks. Another big addition this year is the inclusion of the new hit stick for defense and it works great. The process is simple, as you about to make that hit flick the right stick in the targets direction; connect and you will deliver a bone-crushing hit that can help jar fumbles, miss and they will leap over you with a laugh and you can lose yards to the opposing team. Special Teams has also seen a few minor tweaks in that the kicking interface is now very much harder to control in speed and power. Again this was for realism and again this move is debatable. Hut, hike! The sound here is great. Players chatter to each other on the field about the last play or upcoming play, crowds sound great and even the commentary, which has been iffy in the past years, is great. The sounds after the hike are so realistic it's creepy. Players grunt as they are tackled and the crowd reacts to the play depending on if you are Home or Away. Madden NFL 2005 is the Best Madden Game I've Ever Played.
Owner mode and play maker has finally arrived! Owner Mode is a HUGE new mode of the franchise and you have to make the right moves in your franchise otherwise your team can eventually go bankrupt and disappear from the NFL. You can move your team any where from LA to Hawaii and make the big moves to keep your team alive. Playmaker also makes its debut in Madden NFL 2004 and is a very cool part of the game. YOU CAN FINALLY change your route of direction so say I am the Dolphins and Ricky Williams is ready to run a HB Sweep to the right but you got two extra linebackers on the right you can sweep the play to the left instead and catch them off guard as you pick up a great gain! Playmaker is also great on defense so if your expecting a run to the right you can move the right thumb stick to the bottom right and have them move in. Graphics are very good in Madden NFL 2004 and are great with the owner mode and other stuff added this year. Great job EA Sports! Controls are very good in Madden with the addition of play maker in '04 and is a very great addition to the game. Madden NFL 2004 flows very smoothly and is the most solid football game to date. There is so much more to this game than just hiking a ball and throwing it to guys. You'll find yourself doing amazingly fun things you'd never thought you'd be doing in a Madden game.
Excellent. Madden 2003 allows you to take any one of the 32 NFL teams and build a powerhouse, or create your own team. So how do you take your team to the top? Do you need a high flying passing attack like the Oakland Raiders or St. Louis Rams? Or do you need an old-school running game like the San Diego Chargers or Chicago Bears? Or maybe you could rely mostly on a smothering defense like the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So which is it? It's all up to you. You get to select what type of offense and defense you want, you get to customize your play book, and if there's a play you like and you don't see it, just create it yourself. This all goes great with the easy to learn controls and realistic AI. Like fine wine, they get better each year. Although in many cases you can still tell you are playing a video game, the whole game looks like a real NFL presentation. Many of the players in the game have faces that really represent their real-life counterparts. The players do have huge heads when their helmets are off and the cheerleaders have permanent smiles on their faces and never blink, but other than that, it is very detailed. You can even see individual rain drops hitting the ground. Great sound. The first thing I have to say is that I love the sound track. In fact, I've ended up downloading a lot of the songs from the Internet so I could listen to them while I'm not playing. The addition of commentary by Al Michaels and the Goddess Melissa Stark are a huge improvement over the sounds of Pat Summerall and Lesley Visser. A lot of player chatter can be heard too. For example, if you are on offense and run a reverse, you might hear a defensive player yell 'Reverse' to his teammates. And of course, when you drill the QB you get to hear that great crunching sound. One of the best games on the market period when it comes to extras. Aside from playing regular football games, you can play in a two-minute drill, a customized scenario, and mini-camp drills. During game play, you can also earn Madden Cards which offer player power ups, historical players, stadiums, teams, and cheats. Another cool feature is the Madden 101 feature where you can learn the basics of the game if you are new or just want some advice.
Madden 2002 is presented well, with this year's spokesperson being Daunte Culpepper. The intro video is pretty nice and the game's main menu is full of options and settings that you can change. The memory card is also easy to access along with the ''quick game'' option which allows you to play a game without having to go through the hassle of setting it up. This is what most would call the beef of the Madden Series. It is basically what John Madden is known for: the strategy of the game of football. Not the stadiums, or the great player animations, but simply the way football is played in the NFL. And again, John and EA deliver a truly extraordinary game. Defenses audible coverages and bring in the secondary on first downs, lines shift to the strong side, and the computer doesn't always punt on close fourth downs. On offense, you can not only select plays out of their respective formations, but also from the new ''Go-to-Guy Menu'' which lets you choose plays that go to specific players. Another new feature is ''Ask Madden'' which allows you to run a play selected by John Madden himself. Interceptions and other turnovers occur just about as often as they do in real life, as do long passes and kickoff/punt return touchdowns. The graphics in the past have at times been shaky for the Madden Series. EA needed to pack some punch into this year's game. And did they ever. The player's no longer look like polygons. they actually look like real players. They breath steam on cold days/nights and they react to different plays on the field (they'll cringe as they get hit, they act innocent when a penalty is called on them, etc.) The stadiums are pretty much identical to those in the NFL and the weather options will blow you away. Blizzard-like snow, gusting 20 MPH winds, extreme fog, and pouring rain look incredible, yet realistic.
This game takes full advantage of the PS2's Dual Shock 2 controllers. Because of the pressure sensitive buttons and analog sticks, players have the capability to ease game play by determining the length of a pass by tapping or mashing the button. The controller-to-screen flow is also excellent. As soon as you nudge the stick to one direction, the player immediately moves. This makes the entire game a lot less frustrating. Sure, graphics aren't everything, but something as pretty as this shouldn't be left out. The PS2 engine is almost flawless, and character designs are better than previous NFL games on the Playstation. Be sure to check out the instant replays and try rotating the screen while paused. The Madden Cards are actually a nice touch; it's not overbearing because the cards are actually *gasp* useful. Pretty amazing, huh? Cards can do anything from unlocking new teams to boosting characters. Another aspect of this is just having fun with friends. Combined with the extremely slick game play and the beautiful graphics, having a friend/sibling/relative there playing with you can lead to hours of fun and pointless yelling. Just beware of the Doritos. This part is great, especially for a sport-related game. The game moves you away from strict football playing by rewarding you with Madden points, which are used for buying packs of Madden Cards, mentioned above. The cards can also be traded, or just kept for bragging rights. You can also unlock teams, from the Egyptian Mummies to professional teams from years past. You can relive any Superbowl, play out a season, or just play a quick game with someone else. The play selection screen has just been slightly tweaked in order to give players a user-friendly feel. You can plays by player, formation, or make your play book from other coaches'.
Included are the usual exhibition and season modes, as well as one of last years additions, the fantasy draft. These modes all allow the option of updating player ratings to keep the game real. Remember last year, when Charlie Batch was setting rookie records in the real world, but couldn't complete a pass in Madden 99? That problem is gone. While this option is not included in franchise mode, the franchise option is still much improved. Franchise length has been expanded to a possible 30 seasons. Even better is the new coaching system. If you are fired from one team, you are now allowed to apply for a vacancy elsewhere. Even if you haven't been fired, the option to apply to another team is still available. The draft and free agent signings have improved as well, with the option of trading draft picks the most exciting new addition. All offers are responded to by an agent, which makes the game a little more fun with its tongue in cheek humor. Speaking of humor, players also taunt each other on the field now, and the camera pans the sidelines after some big plays. New end zone dances have also been added. The graphics are more fluid than in any previous Madden incarnation, and are even drawn to scale. Quarterbacks are no longer the some size as offensive tackles, and height really does make a difference with receivers. Control throughout has been improved, for the most part. It is now possible to change receivers routes individually from the line of scrimmage, the number of available audibles has doubled, and a player can even use route based passing to lead his receiver. A huge improvement is the ability to break tackles. No more falling down after being grazed by an arm tackle. The only control issue is the difficulty in the running game. Overall, the new juke moves, tackle breaking, and such are great, but a little has been sacrificed in response time to cutbacks. This is a very minor annoyance, however, and is easily gotten used to with a little practice.
Now, you ask, "Why is Madden 99 so different from Madden 98?" Two words: Franchise Mode. A mode of game play that let's you be the coach and general manager of your favorite team for up to 15 years. Players retire when the time comes and become better (or worse) as their career progresses. To fill the spots of the retiring players, you can draft new ones yearly (just like the NFL does). There is a mass free-agent signing period after the season, where you can pick up players other teams didn't sign. You have to negotiate contracts when your players' contracts expire, and if you can't sign them they become free-agents. Franchise Mode is so realistic, that you don't even have to ever play a single game if you don't want to; you can just coach. Of course, you can still play the season if your more active than I am. Let's talk about game play. Madden 99 introduces new player designs, a complete 180 from the Madden 98 designs. Tackles are animated much better and you can fight for that extra yard! Also, the throwing and catching animations aren't too shabby either. You can juke, spin, stiff-arm, and hurdle tacklers. If your on defense, you can swim around offensive lineman. The game play is, needless to say, very realistic.
Perhaps the first thing once notices upon playing a game of Madden 98 are the shoddy in-game visuals. I believe that this was the last Madden game to not use polygons, and it is quite obvious. The game declares it uses 'V-Poly Technology' (whatever that is) to make the graphics fast and fluid. Sure, the game runs pretty fast but it does it so at the benefit of blurry and pixel lated graphics. The game can get downright ugly at times. Slow animations are commonplace and the blurriness just makes things worse. This is a case where the poor graphics actually take away from the in-game experience. it can get hard to tell who catches the ball during pass plays. Sometimes it will look like the defender intercepts the ball, but the receiver is the one that actually catches it and takes it in 60 yards for the touchdown. Needless to say, the visuals help make Madden 98 a frustrating game. The poor visuals aren't the game's only problem - the running game is also flawed. It can get very difficult to gain any significant yardage in the game. It seems as though the running game is one of the few things the Madden series has never been able to get just right - it's too difficult here, but in the newer versions it is too easy. Even while using Barry Sanders, the best running back in the game, it can become hard to get any real yardage on the play. As a result of the sub par running game, one will have to rely on passing to win games. If the team doesn't have a good quarterback, chances are that the team won't be real successful. Thankfully, the computer AI (artificial intelligence) is not a problem unlike the visuals and the running game. The computer actually shows some skill here doing strategies that the NFL teams do in real life. The computer opponent will often waste the clock if they are ahead near the end of the game and they will call timeouts when they need to stop the clock. I did notice that sometimes the AI would call unnecessary timeouts, but that isn't a big problem. Madden 98 has the usual game modes found in other football games. exhibition, season, custom season, tournament, and fantasy draft. Exhibition is just a regular game of football where you set the rules, weather conditions, and whatever else you feel is necessary. Season mode is the biggest mode of the game. In it, you select a team and try to guide it to a Super Bowl victory. Once the season is over, you can play another one right after it using the same team (with whatever changes you made in the season). Custom season is pretty self-explanatory. you can re-align the divisions to however you see fit. Tournament mode allows you to play an eight or sixteen team single elimination tournament. Finally, fantasy draft lets you play a round robin tournament using completely new team rosters from the draft. None of the above modes are really special, as they have all been done in other (and more importantly) better football games.
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