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2.8 out of 5 stars
Madden NFL 08 - Playstation 3
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2007
First let me say that I have bought Madden since the first version on the Sega Genesis up to Madden 05 Collector's Edition.

Im my opinion, Madden 05 was the best version of all time. Every year up until that point, the question was asked, how could EA out do themselves? They put out such a great product and innovated each year it kept gamers coming back for more.

Well it turns out 05 was the high water mark for EA. I refused to buy the 06 or 07 versions because neither version offered anything that improved vastly over the 05 version (QB vision cone? Are you serious?! Since when do NFL QBs play with blinders on their head?). I skipped the X-Box 360 version as well as I knew that would be a rushed, " we got to get it out on a Next-Gen System!" version.

So flash forward to Feb 07 through July 07 when previews for Madden 08 were hitting the various online gaming sites. Hungry for a new version of Madden (after playing 10 years of owner mode in Madden 05) I began to get hyped. I also wanted an excuse to upgrade my TV and to get a Blu-ray player.

The previews seemed to give Madden 08 a thumbs up and when the PS3 price drop hit, that triggered my purchase of a PS3 and a brand spanking new 1080p LCD HDTV. I waited patiently for Madden 08 to be released and enjoyed watching Blu-ray movies in the meantime.

So now that I've owned Madden 08 for two weeks, here is my review in one word, "eh.".

Don't get me wrong, the game has it's great points. The graphics are simply stunning. If you aren't playing this game on an HDTV of some sort, you are doing yourself and the game a disservice.

This being my first new version of Madden in a few years, it took me a little while to get use to the new button mapping. But I got rolling pretty fast.

I love the new branch animations, the movement of the players is now so much more realistic than ever. Stop LT with a lightwieght CB? Forget it. You are going to need some help and the if your CB can wrap LT's legs up long enough for help from a LB or Safety, expect to see LT go down with a gang tackle. Otherwise, you can watch your CB hang on futily as LT sheds the tackle and takes off to the end zone.

The AI is so much better as well. On the PRO setting, the AI adapts quickly. If you are passing you have to make your reads very quickly and hit your 4th receiver in the flat if you expect to move the ball through the air. And you better not rely on the same play over and over again because the AI will recognize that play. Of course, it remains to be seen after many hours of play if the AI can be outsmarted as has been the case in prior versions.

My franchise games that I have played so far have been fairly tight which I have enjoyed.

Now for the bad parts:

Sounds: Well, for years online reviewers and gamers alike complained that Madden was getting old and that a new commentator crew was needed. Careful what you ask for. I understand that John Madden was removed from commentating in the game sometime in the last two years but now we are given some announcer whos sounds like he is speaking into a papercup in the closet. Absolutely terrible. Marshall Faulk's intro to each game is forgettable as well.

In fact the presentation of the game is non-existent. As a Madden fan, I was always impressed with the way 2K Sports integrated the TV style presenatation with ESPN on their games and wished for something similar from EA on Madden. Now that EA has the ESPN license, where is that presentation? Other than an ESPN logo on the front upper right corner of the cover, ESPN has no presence anywhere in the game. Money well spent EA, which I am sure has been passed on to the gamers. How can EA not intergrate the ESPN license into the their flagship sports title? Hmmm my guess is that the ESPN broadcast will appear as the "new" thing in a future versions to keep the Madden brand selling.

Also the game chatter that is heard is mostly useless, especially after a play. It honestly sounds more like a live cocktail party than an NFL game.

Details: No chain gang? The 1st Down Markers on the sidelines are a staple of football. But there is no chain gang present. Yet there countless other people on the sidelines that have nothing to do with the game.

No refs on the field? Yet another staple of the game not included for some unknown reason. It's symbolic of EA's shortcomings when after a play is over, a player tosses the ball to an empty patch of grass.

No formation Substitutions? WHAT?! If I have a OLB who is faster than my MLB I want the OLB in my dime and quarter packages, instead I am stuck with a slower MLB try to cover the middle or chase after a scrambling QB. If I want certain guys in my Kickoff unit dedicated to contain to make sure I don't get burned to the outside, I should be able to make the change. This omission by EA is unacceptable.

And the worst issue in this game is the use of a virtual football covered in virtual Vaseline. Fumbles are so prevalent in the game, it is comical and at the same time frustrating. You can have a player with 90+ carrying ability and he will still fumble 2-3 times a game. It's not uncommon to have each team with 5+ fumbles at the end of a game. What's worse there is no slider available to adjust this. There is a slider for interceptions (which also seems to occur at a high rate) but not for fumbles. Another obvious oversight that should have been addressed by EA.

With all that said, I will stil play this game since it is the only NFL game in town.

The bottom line is this game looks Next-Gen and feels Next-Gen but the stunning shortcomings hold the game back from actually being Next-Gen.

Unforuntaely, EA has yet to capture the magic they did with Madden 05.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2007
I was willing to forgive the first version of Madden for PS3 for having way less functionality than the PS2 version, but version two should have caught up. For basic playability there is improvement in running between the tackles and short passing.

However, on the strategic front PS3 is a big step backwards. You can't do player substitution - that makes it inconvenient to platoon RB's and impossible to platoon at any other position or to have a "fast receivers" set. There is no way to disguise the zone or matchup CB's to WR's in a zone. There are very few audibles. Finally, and most exasperatingly turnovers are completely out of control. In a game with 10 minute quarters I am averaging 9 takeaways a game even with the interception slider at "5" out of "100".

On the whole I can't recommend this game to anyone.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2007
Entertaining, but I have high expectations for Madden and there is just too much missing here. The game play is decent on the PS3(though not as good as I would hope/expect) and overall the game is entertaining for 5-10 games or so, but I find myself getting bored. I am one that is very into the intangibles (like the franchise mode, stats, etc), and in this regard, the game is a disapointment. Having come from the 2007 PS2 version (never played the 07 PS3 version, though I hear it sucked), a lot of the "extra" features are missing; I really feel like I'm missing a large chuck of the game (like there is a menu or something I'm not finding...serious). Basically EA Sports is still building out it's football model for the PS3 (and I assume Xbox 360), because there is so much potential unused.

The graphics are obviously better (than PS2), but still no where near as smooth as they should be. Choppy at times, and there are a lot of little bugs. A lot of the outside game play animations get redundant. The commentary is TERRIBLE; and I really don't care about commentary. Some of the outside sounds (players yelling/talking) which are meant to be muffled and just add to the game experience are good. Otherwise, there is work to do here.

It seems like, given EA Sports progress rate, it will be a few years before they really are able to put out a PS3 Madden that is worthy. Not sure where the Xbox 360 is at, but looks like its getting similar reviews. I'm considering renting the PS2 version to get my fill...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2007
If you love headaches and frustration, then you would love this game. The game is filled with constant glitches and game freezes. I would rate this game as a zero star if there was such a rating.

It took me 3 hours to get through one game with the quarters set to 5 minutes. The game kept freezing over and over and over until I finally got through one game in my franchise. Now, I can't even play a single game anymore. It freezes within the first 2 minutes of every single game. Yes, I have exchanged this game twice already and I am on my 3rd copy and the same thing happens. I'm at wit's end with this game and EA Sports. None of my other PS3 games ever freeze. My next option is to go back and exchange it for the GameCube or PS2 versions since I own those systems as well. If that doesn't work, then I will just resume playing Madden '07 until something else comes along.

Please do not even bother with the PS3 version. There haven't been any fixes and I have spent hours searching forums and trying different things to get Madden '08 to stop freezing. I feel that EA or Sony owes everyone who bought the game their money back.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2007
They revamped the whole game, so even starting a quick game so Brady could throw a bomb to Moss was confusing. Once I got the game up, again they changed everything. Picking a play has changed. Change for the sake of changing as it didn't make it easier. Players are smaller, you can't change your view or the field, can't change audio settings, No Madden or Michaels or any intelligent play by play. In fact, one of the worst and poorly thought-out pieces is after you have picked your teams, Marshall Faulk comes on to give you his prediction. It is always canned, never smooth and always wrong. NE vs. Oak, he said "this one won't be close, (long pause) Oak 34, (long pause) NE 10". Game in NE. (I know I am a Pats fan, but this happened 4 times I played.) I have had the game for just one night but so far just really disappointing. This is what you get for product when you stop competition. I am going to see if I can find update rosters for past games. Yes, it is that bad.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2007
I have to boo this latest installment of madden 08. its better than 07 only in the gameplay aspect. The weapons option is a big improvment to the feel of the game but thats it. graphics are terrible ( i own the ps3 version) and the controls are just as bad. the game as a overall whole just feels different. Plus the fact that there is no type of help in the game as far as controls. The framerate issue really pisses me off too. Ive already punted the ball for 15-25 yards because of the hick-up when you start the kick meter. the players run like they cant move the upper half of their bodies. i think the models looked better on 07 for the ps2. i will continue to play because i am a madden junkie. but the overall presentation of the game is unacceptable. VERY DISSAPOINTING
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2007
If, like me, you buy games like this to play general manager and build a Super Bowl winner, save your money.

I was unable to get my franchise through more than three seasons before a glitch takes over and doesn't allow you to advance any further. From talking to others and visiting forums, I'm far from in the minority. In fact, most people seem to not be able to get more than a few seasons in before having to start over.

I won't comment on gameplay because, to be honest, I haven't even had the chance to play many actual games due to performance errors.

EA is charging $60 for a product that is defective.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2007
Every time you get into the red zone, some annoying underArmour pop up ad appears. Having a UA billboard wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but having it pop-up and impede game play is unacceptable.

Boycott this game, unless you want this trend to continue.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2007
I purchased Madden 08 at midnight hoping for the same features which made the previous versions of Madden so good. You can edit a player's statistics and equipment this time while also having access to the Hall of Fame roster. Nearly every HOF'er is in the game and is actually usable. You can view their statistics and a short bio which is quite neat. However, the most interesting part of this is the highlight reel available for some of the Hall of Famers.

Franchise mode is much deeper than last year's Madden, thank goodness, with the improved owner mode and the ability to run a fantasy draft. A new extra feature regarding the fantasy draft is Hall of Fame mode. All of the Hall of Famers are available to be drafted in Franchise mode, adding much more talent if that interests you. It's also fun to have legends like Barry Sanders or Gale Sayers in your backfield. I have yet to try Superstar Mode so I can't comment on that but you are able to import Campus Legends for those of you who have NCAA 08.

Gameplay is much smoother and more realistic than Madden 07 in my opinion. The graphics are superb although Madden in 1080p would have been nice to look at on my 1080p LCD.

Overall, I've barely cracked into the new Madden yet so I can't wait to see what all the new features are about and how they work over the course of a season in Franchise Mode. Could it be better? I think it could. 1080p support rather than only 720p,more advanced options such as editing team uniforms(for instance changing shoe color or adding custom jerseys), and adding more cut scenes during the game would have made the game deeper and more entertaining.

So the big question is did EA finally get it right this time? It's arguable and if not they came very close. After last year's disappointment, I think you will enjoy Madden 08. If you've been a lifelong fan of Madden like I am, then you need to buy this game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2007
Fumble, fumble and fumble...This is exactly the game almost summed up. I bought this game now regretting it. If you plan on buying this please read the other comments and decide if you should. I don't even now where to begin. The graphics were very disappointing. This is PS3 and sure feels like PS2. The computer player is so predictable...just don't plan on stopping it the last two minutes of every half and the last two minutes of the game. If I were you I would not get this except if you MUST have a football game, in which you will regret it. Think about getting another sports game.....oh what a waste of money!
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