year, football games are compared head to head to see which is the
better one. Since the dawn of the current generation of video game
systems, John Madden Football has held the title of "Best
Football Game." Sadly, EAís track record with this series is
littered with points where the designers become lazy (since they are
the best) and start to slack. History has repeated itself and we are
at one of these points.
2003 is an updated version of Madden 2002. The new additions are
gang-tackles, an improved franchise, some mini-games, Al Michaels
commentating, and uh...thatís it. The gang-tackles were finally
put in the game, but they need some major work and still do not come
close to being as effective as they should be. The franchise mode
went into better depth with the rookie scouting and the draft.
Actually, they completely changed the system. It is now harder to
find the top players out there and you must use your scouts wisely.
The mini-games are fun for a change, but for some reason EA and half
the people out there think these are the greatest addition to any
game. Iím sorry, Iíll pass. Iíd rather them touch up and
improve some other areas of the game instead of giving me
mini-games. Al Michaels is new to the Madden series and you would
think this would make the commentary fresh and new. While he does
add a different touch, the commentary still lacks in a major way.
game is weak graphically. There is nothing really special about it.
If youíve played Madden 2002, just picture a crisper and more
precise graphical picture. The stadiums are done fairly well and at
first look the players look decent. However, a closer look at the
player models reveals the ugliness within. While many of the major
players are drawn well, the rest of the NFL players look like cheesy
sci-fi monsters. There arenít nearly enough options for player
models either. There should be more hair choices (long hair,
dreadlocks, etc), tattoos, better looking faces, and generally a
better graphical engine.
gameplay and controls for Madden 2003 are simply improved from the
last time around. After playing 2002 for so long, I was able to sit
right down in Madden 2003 and dominate. While the Madden gameplay
system isnít that flawed, it seems like they just transported the
previous yearís system and added gang tackles.
presentation sucks. Plain and simple, Madden loses all aspects of an
NFL broadcast. The commentary is extremely generic and repetitive.
Actually, half of the commentary sounds like they just dubbed Al
Michaels over Pat Summerall. Does EA deliver a Monday Night Football
license? No. Do we have a pre-game or post-game show? No. Weekly
wrap-up? No. Play of the game? No. Play of the week? No. Basically,
playing John Madden Football is like watching a local high school
game on public access TV. You donít see teleprompters, you donít
get relevant commentary, and the presentation just seems amateurish.
franchise mode is great. This is the high point of the entire game
and should put Madden 2003 on the buy list for football enthusiasts
everywhere. They took a fairly good format and made improvements to
rookie scouting. It does need improvements though. CPU controlled
teams need some serious AI improvements. It is far too easy to trade
up for the first five picks in the first round of the draft. There
really arenít uneven trades and CPU teams seem to stupidly flush
their talent down the drain when contracts go up.
far the worst part about this game is the lack of online play. For
some reason, the geniuses at EA decided to not give the Xbox version
online play even though Xbox Live launches in November. To me, this
is just idiotic. The system is practically built for online play,
yet EA decides to ignore it and give online play to the PS2 (which
involves buying extra peripherals).
system as last year
mode is great
and presentation is weak
system as last year
online for Xbox!
if you skipped out on Madden in 2002, this title is worth a look.
For some reason, people in the press are raving about a game that is
nothing more than a reincarnation of the previous yearís version
with a few new features. They didnít even grace the Xbox with
online play options. Really, this game lacks severely in
presentation and shine. The fact that they sell this game on John
Maddenís name makes you wonder why it doesnít have realistic and
(at least) half-way decent commentary instead of the generic crap.