GBA REVIEW: MADDEN NFL 06

If you've got last year's version of Madden NFL, then you don't need this one.

It's so disappointing to see such little improvement in this series. It's been stale since the newly designed engine was introduced last year. But that was last year. This year's version is riding the crest of that wave with a few upgrades in the graphic department and the inclusion of a Mini Camp Mode. The roster has also been updated but if you buy a game just because the roster is updated I will hunt you down and strangle you myself. Nobody should have that much money to throw away.

I know that considering the limitations of the GBA this series is about as good as it can get but why keep releasing the same old product with one or two new features? Because idiots still buy it. If Madden had the slightest clue of the videogame industry he would take his name off this series now before he does any more damage to his legendary reputation. Please note the heavy sarcasm despite the absence of inflection.

There is no comparison between this version and the console version so this is the first and last time I will mention it. "Nuff said?"

With a limited control system and sprite-based graphics you can't expect this game to be much more than a deep mini-game. The fun is there but it won't result in any passionate competition. It's just too simplistic.

Passing is made easier with the ability to zoom into the field and extend your field of vision where you can instantly see who is in the clear. Set the height, get your timing right and you're bound to gain some yards. The AI is good but if you stay cool and keep looking for those holes you can play a pretty consistent passing game.

The Mini Camp mode acts as a training mode with four mini-games that will teach you the finer points of the game. Passing, running, tackling and field goal kicking make up the four mini-games in the mode. They will get you into the game in no time but they're also fun to play as your score is kept track of for future competitions.

With slightly tweaked graphics and a framerate tune-up the game looks good and runs smooth. It's only in 2D so there's no excuse for it not looking good. The controls are simple but easy to access and execute. Mechanically the game is solid, but the bad news is that it performs like K-car.

Madden adds a few guttural comments to the game and there are some Foo Fighter samples that are great for effect but the repetition just kills me. You're going to want to turn the sound down after an hour or risk going nuts.

I've got to tell you that I'm sick to death of this series. It's stagnant. If I have to review this game next year and there is no significant improvement I am certain I will have a nervous breakdown.

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System: GBA
Dev: Exient
Pub: EA
Release: Aug 2005
Players: 1
Review by Fenix
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
4.0
CONTROL
2.5
MUSIC/FX
2.0
VALUE
2.5