Madden NFL 2004Publisher:
EA SportsRelease Date:
What can you say about Madden NFL 2004. Well if your a huge fan of the Madden series then your going to love the latest addition. If your new to the Madden series, then take every ounce of gameplay and options available, and use them to destroy your opponent, with a flurry of rushing and passing. I fell in love with this series way back on Nintendo 64, and every release since has outdone it's predecessor.
Let's get down to the nitty gritty here. I'll start with the game control. Game control
, simply put in my opinion, is wonderful. You'll find that much has not changed since the last Madden, with the exception of the new PLAYMAKER controls, more on that in a bit. There are many options to tackle, no pun intended, when on the field. I'm not going to get in depth about what you can do, or else we would be here all day, and I would bore you with pointless reading. So in a nutshell here are the available options before a snap:Offense:
- Call an audible - You don't like what you see in the defense, call a different play.
- Call a Hot Route - You see your opponents defense showing blitz, change your recievers route to go long into the open coverage.
- Move a man in motion - Throw off the defense by moving a man in motion, or for extra blocking on the weak side of your play.
- Call an audible - You set your 'D' up in a passing opposition, but the offense is showing a run, just change the play.
- Shift your line, and coverage - Move them left, right, tighten up, or widen them up, to catch the offense off guard.
Now after the snap you can make many decisions once again with the ball handler. You can hurdle over a player, spin, dive, juke, or throw a stiff arm. The only problem I have with the way XBox controls Madden is the jukes, and stiff arms. given the limited buttons on the controller you are given limited control to which direction you juke or stiff arm. Stiff arms are thrown up with the 'L' trigger, and jukes are done with the 'R' trigger. Both coincide with the way they work. When one of these triggers are pressed, depending on which direction the defender is coming at you from your player well react in that direction. (EX: If the player was running at me from the left and I threw up a stiff arm, my player would throw up the stiff arm to the left.) This becomes a nusiance at times. Sometimes your player will do the opposite direction, for some odd reason, but that's where playmaker can help you out as well. Playmaker will give you the option of setting up the nearest player to you on your team to block the oncoming defender, and give you more running room. Playmaker can also be used before the snap to change the hot player's route before the snap. (The hot player is the player, the play was intended to be for.)Game Modes:
Okay, I know, "Blah, blah, blah, enough about controls, give me some game modes."
The game modes are kinda limited, but worth it none the less. Game modes are as follows:
- Franchise - Create your own coach, or be your own owner, in the all new Owner mode. Put your team through season after season , to acquire the most covenant prize in the NFL, to play in the Super Bowl.
- Tournament - Set up a tournament between you and your friends, double elimination is available.
- Mini-Camp - Test your offensive and defensive skills in this small training game. This a great way to learn the controls of gameplay.
- Two Minute Drill - You have two minutes to score as many points as possible. The only problem is your set back on your 20 yard line. Play alone as a quick practice, or compete against up to three friends to see who can earn the most points.
- Football 101 - John Madden, himself, will give you in depth knowledge of your favorite plays, and formations.
- Practice - Basically what the name says.
- Situation - Put yourself in a small defecit, and place two minutes on the clock. Make your 90 yard drive, down the field in the hard snow to defeat your opponent. Actually anything is possible here. You set it up, and you make your goals.
I'm just going to tell you a little bit about the new Owner Mode, and the Mini Camp.
Owner Mode opens up new options, in the franchise season. I dislike the fact that you can't create a team, and use them as the owner, but you can take a NFL team and take over any aspect of the team. Change the look of your stadium, change ticket, merchandise, concessions, and parking prices, of your venue, to please the fans, hire or fire your coaches, the possibilities are endless. Don't like it Tampa, well lets move the team to Las Vegas to become the Las Vegas Buccaners. Owner mode opens up so many options during the season, and off season. Set the gameplay diificulty to ALL MADDEN for a real challenge to your team, and you as the owner.
The Mini Camp,.......what can I say here? Well I feel the Mini Camp can be very useful to someone who has never played Madden before. It becomes the ultimate tool to learning the controls of your players handling the ball, or just playing defense. But as far as the fun level of this mode, I'm going to say not really that fun. There are at least two games that become ridiculously hard, and very tiring to complete. Sometimes you'll feel this urge to just throw your controller thru your television.........
With so many other features available I would be here all day long. Apart from the disturbing Mini Camp, to being able to pratically do anything during a season with the new Owner mode, EA Sports have outdone themselves once again. Like I said before, if your a fan of the Madden Series, there is no need to even rent and try this game out, just buy it. If your new to the game, just give it a shot. Run thru the Mini Camp a few times and you practically ready to go. Oh and did I mention that there are videos that teach your more about Playmaker Offense and Defense. Also videos that teach you what your offensive and defense can do before the snap. So have no fear in renting this great football classic and not recieving a manual, it pretty much has one built inside the game.
Okay guys go get your game jerseys on, and play, play, play...............