18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2003
ok, so there is no doubt that the Madden series is usually the best when it comes to Football. However with the latest entry, the gap between ESPN (nee 2K series) and Madden has closed greatly. To say that this game is disappointing is hard, but this time it is unfortunately true. Just like Dennis Miller on MNF, this game is quirky, but ultimately annoying. Let's look at the reasons why:
The Good: This game is very deep. With several teams (hidden and upfront) and tons of different modes from the mini-camp mode to the new "owner's mode". There is a lot to explore in this game.
The AI is alot smarter in this version than in the last few Maddens. If you try to run the same play twice, you're gonna get burned as the defense will call an audible and stuff you. Also, unlike 2003, the CPU won't make bad trades (no more first rounders for scrubs). The playing field is level now.
The ability to use bonuses adds a nice dimension to free agency and resigning players. (It's especially good for saving cap room).
The Bad: On the PS2, even on an HDTV, this game is choppy. When you're going for the P.A.T, the crowd, the players, and the stadium may flicker really badly depending on what stadium you're in. Also, the collision detection is wonky. You'll run your defensive end into the quarterback and about half the time, nothing happens. There's a delay at other times. When you miss the sack because the CPU isn't detecting, that's annoying. Nothing is more annoying than that except....
The Playmaker hype. Ok, so it's a great idea, but hard to use in pressure situations and at times, it's useless (like on all defensive plays). Nothing is more annoying than hiking the ball and attempting to run and use the Playmaker to move a guy to block and by moving you're thumb to the right analog stick, you're running back slows down is tackled. At times the guy you can call on is too slow and even worse, you may move a guy by accident if you slip. It's a great idea, but it needs alot more work.
Owner's mode: This is really more of a not good-not bad area. Again, here is a great idea: control ALL aspects of the team, but at times it gets tedious. You have to be really willing to dig into the management aspect of everything (it's annoying to change you're prices every week because fans are complaining). After the second year of the owner's mode, I was getting bored. I know I'm not the only one either. Essentially, you have to be hard core to really dig the owner's mode.
The Ugly: I really want EA to put in an option to turn off only Madden. Leave Michaels for the play by play, but turn off Madden and his phrases. When you here the same Maddenism about hitting a guy for the twentieth time, it's annoying. I know it's his game, but we pay for it, so come on, give us the option.
A side "Ugly" note: Make sure your star player is never the cover boy. EA cover boys are cursed. THis year it's Vick and he just gets hurt. Last year, it's Faulk...who got hurt. Before that Culpepper...really bad year. It's goes beyond Madden as well. So here's hoping it doesn't happen to your team.
Overall, this edition of Madden is like Dennis Miller on MNF. Has some great moments, but isn't as good as some previous ones.
Rent it first and make sure it's worth your [$$$].
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2003
Madden 2004 is awesome. If u liked NCAA fottball 2004 youll like Madden.It has a ton of features to keep u glued to the screen. Owner mode is great. U can make the prices of tickets, the concession stands, parking and build a stadium. U can go though train camp, and actually do it not just watch the computer do it for u. Creating a player and team is awesome. And U can even create your own playbook. The game itself is amazing. All your favorite teams with all the updated rosters The gameplay is just really fun, hundreds of pass and runs and screens and trick plays. Playmaker is very cool. if your reciever is lined up to run a certain route and u see the defense is gonna intercept or block your pass or just play good zone on your recievers route, u can then change the rout before the ball is snapped. if you already called the play and you want make the reciever go a different way u can do that too. on a running play if u see the defense is stacking the side your running too with one tap of the analog stick u can change to the opposite side. U can also call for a block whenever u want. Playmaker also works awesome on defense too. This madden is the best yet. BUY IT
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2006
To cut to the chase, Madden NFL 2004 is the best football video game ever produced (and that includes the '05 and '06 editions of Madden). What makes this game so great? For starters, the graphics are beautiful and accurately depict the real-life NFL stadiums. The sounds is also well-done, with an excellent soundtrack that features a blend of rap/hip-hop, pop, hard rock, and alternative music. I never considered myself much of a fan of the latter three genres listed above, but after playing this game so much, the styles actually grew on me.
However, the greatest aspect of Madden '04 is the gameplay itself. Each NFL team employs a real-life simulated playbook which adds to the realism of the game (the Philadelpha Eagles feature a pass-oriented West Coast offense and the Chicago Bears have a grind-it-out running offense). The game plays remarkably fast, and now you have the option of directing your lead blockers and receivers via the left dual action stick. The Owner's Mode is great, allowing you to either create your very own franchise or take over the reigns of one of the 32 NFL teams and annually manage the team's budget, add improvements to your stadium, and play each weekly game. There is also a great online mode which allows you to compete in online Madden tournaments with the best players across the country.
My favorite aspect of the Madden series has always been its inclusion of historic teams. Over 60 single-season teams from the past are included, but the absolute cream of the crop (such as the '57 Colts, '66 Packers, '85 Bears, and '92 Cowboys) must be unlocked through earning Madden Cards. In addition, NFL Europe teams are included, as are the all-time all-star rosters for each of the 32 NFL franchises.
This is simply the best football game out there. I literally spent entire nights sleepless because I was glued to the Playstation over this game.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2003
Sega/ESPN vs. EA/Madden, the ultimate debate. Madden's got better graphics, better extras, and better stats. Not to mention you can build your own stadium and even set the price the fans pay for a burger. As a guy who bought his first EA game in 1990, it actually pains me to say it but, ESPN is just the better game. Why? If only EA had spent as much time on the game play as it did at the concession stand. Sega spent their time making a game that has tighter controls, a better running game, and a easier play calling interface then EA's latest installment. Admittedly, it would be nice if you could save mid-game like Madden (a feature that is way overdue) and the first person view is a gimmick, but Sega/ESPN just makes a more playable, enjoyable, and fair game. I say fair because EA's shot at solid IA is the computer picking a run defense if you are going to run and a pass defense if you are going to pass. Despite the down or yardage to go, the computer chooses the right set, in advance, EVERY time. Trust me, if you run on 3rd and 20 out of the shotgun, the computer will play the 4-3. That kind of "cheating" makes Madden VERY frustrating, along with it's nonexistant running game and completely inaccurate kicking system. As far as extras go, ESPN does have fan celebrations including painted fat guys. Sure they are gross but they are also cool and add to the fun of a solid ESPN title. Sorry EA, maybe next year. Bottom line if you want to sell burgers, buy Madden. If you want to play football, choose ESPN.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2003
Electronic Arts stepped it up after last years near fumble. while madden 2003 was a good game its sequal/offspring is nothing short of stupendous. The new options (the key ones) playmaker and ownermode add so much more to the game. playmaker allows the player to create plays that never would of existed in the previous maddens. for example i was playing as the Rams (my boys) and did a screen pass to Marshal Faulk. The play looked like it might get me 5-6 yards but with the playmaker control i was able to manuver my blockers into a position so that i could run it for a touchdown. PLaymaker also plays a huge role in passing and on defense. The owner mode while not as innovative as playmaker adds a differant dimmension to the game and makes it so it is a a sports game/simulation of owning a team. u must make the choices on coaches merchandise prices and the suchlike. while not as fun as actual football it is still good fun. The main aspect of complaint in MAdden 2003 was the poor play of the defense, particuarly the defensive backs who would not make a interception or knock a ball down unless it was going to hit them in the face. In 2004 it now requires thought before throwing a pass because even on PRO difficulty setting the DB's will intercept you or knock your pass down. Overall the game is amazing, the graphics are good. the commentery is the same old madden (good or bad i dont know) and the gameplay is stupendous. The addition of online mode makes for a game that I kno I will be playing until 2005.
AND if ur a tru sports fan u would have already picked up NCAA Football 2004, while not quite as good a game as madden it is the perfect replica of college football. PEACE OUT
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2003
Madden 2004 is a solid game. The new features - owner mode, playmaker etc. are a bit overrated (especially create-a-stadium) but they are cool. The graphics are really good, better then last year, and the gameplay is good. The thing that pisses me off, as many others have said, is the AI. Just 10 minutes ago i was playing a game in my franchise. I was the eagles and it was against the giants. I was playing on all-pro (second highest level) and i had just kicked a fieldgoal with 8 seconds left to put me ahead 20-17. Game's in the bag, right? wrong. With 4 seconds left they run a passing play, and SCORE A 75 yard touchdown!!! That is crazy. Not all games are like this, but it definately is not easy to beat the computer on a hard level by more then a touchdown. Rookie on the other hand is too easy, most games are one-sided. (i.e. 101-6)The interception rate on all-madden is way too high, and it seems like even the worst defenses in the league are as good as your topnotch defense when playing on all-madden.. (even a bit on all-pro) The game is a ton of fun, but a piece of advice - play online if you can, or else get the network adapter.
Even though there are a few bad things about the game, it is still worth getting.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This game is a blast, mostly because of the great realism and depth, not to mention the tons of game modes. The new owner mode is fun and actually impacts your franchise's success (no money, no free agents...). The graphics are great and the new tackling animation are for the most part pretty good. HOWEVER there are some problems with this game; some can be fixed by adjusting the A.I. sliders, some can't:
1. Secondary/DB AI. There are WAY too many interceptions (I once had 20 in a season. With one player.) Also, enemy CB's tend to be smarter and react faster than your CB, no matter how good yours may be.
2. Physics/Tackling: For the most part, Madden is quite realistic. There are, however, numerous cases where the tackling defies physics, such as when a speeding 250lb FB is knocked BACKWARDS by a skinny, stationary CB, or when a defensive lineman runs down Michael Vick (yeah, right!).
3. Offensive line. To perform halway decently on the ground (and in the air, too), you will need a superstar back and an all-pro cast of OL. Simply put, running with most teams is quite tough. I know the big guys are important, but Madden 2004 seems to overemphasize their importance.
4. Punting. For some reason, even a top punter will have a tough time getting 45-50 yard punts. I am dying for someone to come up with a better system than the 3 click swing meter used in the kicking game.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2003
I have bought all the madden FB games ever made & the last 2 have been the worst ever in fun & play ability. Great graphics but that's it. I can,t believe the programming is so pour & aggravating. I don,t know anyone who enjoys being cheated & B.S.ed every time you get ahead, its like the cpu knows your every move & burns you with totally ridicules plays.Or your players will automatically fumble with 100% full strength,or a penalty,or pick with the Wr wide open.You can be up buy 28 points with 2 min on the clock & have stuffed the offence all game long & suddenly nothing works & u get burned with 4 TDs in under 2 min. ya right 3 on side kicks & 4 TD passes in a row in under 2 min.Total B.S. Also very predictable,you can,t score they can,t score but once they do score then you can score real easy & vice versa. The B.S.in this game never stops I could see some close games happening but every one on the wire, again B.S.This game could kill someone with high blood pressure so if u buy it & think your going to have fun make sure you have a bank roll for new controllers,TV,PS2, and anything around the game area you value.If you take the game & your hours of effort seriously.I would like to talk to the programers I could help them make the game fun for all.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2004
Great Game. To start off, The all-new playmaker controlls and owner mode are awesome. In owner mode ,you can set food prices, build a new stadium, buy massage chairs for your whole stadium, even re-locate your franchise to a whole new city! With playmaker you can make pre-snap adjusdment to your play on both offense and defense, change your recievers route during the play, and even tell your blockers where to go on a run play or after you caught a pass! On top of the new things, there is even more depth to the old features, like a bigger closet of throwback uniforms, better franchise setup, and more! Plus, better graphics, faster loading, and the BEST FOOTBALL GAME OF ALL TIME!
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2003
The next Instalment in the Madden series is here with Madden 2004. But what new features are added to make us pay out our hard earned money?
New Playmaker Control: Make pre-snap adjustments to your receiver routes, direct receiver routes during a scramble, direct blocking down field during a run, or read and react to the offense to deliver a crushing tackle.
New Owner Mode: Hire your own staff, set your team�s ticket prices, build your own stadium, reward key players with signing bonuses and boost player attributes in Mini-Camp drills.
All-New Game Presentation: Keep your players on the field during the play-calling screen. Watch all the highlights in split-screen replay and revel in new player accuracy details like dreadlocks, tattoo replicas, and four new helmet styles.
Most Realistic NFL Playbooks Ever: Tons of new trick plays, multiple formation variations, and the deepest NFL playbooks from all 32 officially licensed Coaches Club Head Coaches.
New Animations and Enhancements: New QB scramble transitions to improve throwing on the run, stumbles, open field blocks, whirlwind defensive reaction moves, sideline wrap tackles, and out of bound pushes.
Do yourself a favour and pick up Madden 2004. It'll be worth the money!