Wii

North America

Madden NFL 08

by Jon Lindemann - June 13, 2007, 6:03 pm PDT
Total comments: 9

Two words: online play.

Madden NFL 07 was a good start for the Wii edition of the franchise, but it was ultimately just that – a good start. Madden NFL 08 looks to improve upon its predecessor in almost every way imaginable, delivering a more robust package that holds up better feature-for-feature against the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions.

Madden veterans will be interested to hear that Franchise Mode (play as one team over several seasons) and Superstar Mode (play as one player over several seasons, starting with their rookie year) are included. Those familiar with last year’s Wii edition will find expanded gesture controls (you can now call one of four audible plays by flicking the Nunchuk up, down, left, or right, for instance), but a lower degree of gesture complexity across the board that should improve playability.

In a move to embrace more casual Madden fans, there will be an optional on-screen help system to let players know when they should perform certain actions (i.e. snapping the ball, or going up for an interception). You can also have the game highlight player mismatches during gameplay, so you’ll know when your star receiver is on a cornerback that he can burn deep. The goal is to appeal to hardcore and casual Maddenites alike.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the new Party Mode. This mode includes an expanded roster of twenty-two mini-games (including three that return from last year’s game), such as a 2-on-2 Rushing Challenge and a 40-yard-dash “Mini-camp Drill" (requiring the player to pump their arms as if they were running), and they all support up to four players. There is also an NFL trivia challenge to see just how well you know your football.

In Party Mode, each player will have a “Party Rating". The better you do in the mini-games, the higher your Party Rating. Like any player on a Madden roster, you’ll be able to max out your rating at 99 if you work hard enough. You’ll also be able to link your Mii to your player profile to give it that personalized touch.

Perhaps the most interesting element of Party Mode is “Telestrator Mode". Any of you familiar with John Madden’s football telecasts know that he loves to replay footage and draw on the screen, sometimes for no other reason than to make fun of football players. Madden NFL 08 capitalizes on this idea and takes trash-talking to a whole new level. If you make a big play on your buddy you can call up the Telestrator and replay it, fast-forward it, rewind it, and write all over the screen so he won’t forget. In turn, he can shake the Wii remote and Nunchuk to close the Telestrator and put your showboating to a premature halt.

While these new features are great, the most important addition is online play. You’ll finally be able to challenge friends online in two-player exhibition games (both ranked and unranked, but no online tournaments unfortunately), check online leaderboards, and even watch a streamed real-time sports ticker. Downloadable roster updates have also been hinted at, but we won’t see those until 2008 at the earliest.

Surprisingly, this new Madden doesn’t appear to use Wii Console Codes or even separate Friend Codes. Instead, you’ll connect to Electronic Arts’ servers, create your own EA Nation account, and use it for all of your online needs from that point on. There’s no online voice chat this time around, but having an EA Nation account means that you’ll have access to their EA Messenger instant messaging service. You can use this service to send text messages to anybody else with an EA Nation account.

Madden NFL 08 certainly looks to be a vast improvement over the franchises’ first Wii installment. The addition of online play, improved gesture control, and expanded roster of mini-games should make Wii gamers take notice when it’s released this August.

Talkback

Donkguy KongJune 13, 2007

The telestrator will make this awesome.

Dark_SlothJune 13, 2007

This is sounding really good. I enoyed madden 07 on wii a lot. I'm not a big sports guy, but I was surprised how fun it was.
I'm glad they're making some of the gestures a little simpler. I can't seem to get a hold on how to play defense on 07, hopefully
i'll be able to get it this time. My nephew always creams me, and I keep telling myself this shouldn't be the case.
Online play sounds cool. The mini-games on 07 were also suprisingly good. Hopefully now that they
added a ton more, they don't get too lame.

trip1eXJune 13, 2007

Sweet, but still not complete. No online tourney modes afaik. face-icon-small-frown.gif Not a big fan, but the ability to setup an 8 man tourney with people is a fairly casual type thing. Still, I suppose it at least has online play. And EA is good at saving something for the next edition. (See the 360 version the last 2 years.)

Oh and afaik there was never any standard in place that said 3rd parties must use friend's codes and what not. IT's always been an open online system where developers/publishers did their own thing.

It would be nice if all these systems were compatible with one another tho so you can have one login.

MUST.NOT.BUY.MADDEN.AGAIN..... ARGH!!!

It has been confirmed that there is no online tournament play in this version. There is also no DS/Wii connectivity.

I like the EA Nation account though, especially if you can use it in other EA Sports games.

WuTangTurtleJune 13, 2007

sounds good, last i heard they were gonna use there own separate friend code system, but an EA Nation account seems like a better decision.

Spak-SpangJune 13, 2007

Wow.

EA seems to be really pushing exclusive features in the Wii Madden.

More party games is good. Online play is great, and then that new writing mechanic is hilarious. It will be the ultimate feature for youtube humor later on...and when 09 comes out and the Wii finally has a hard drive you can save it to the drive and keep it forever.

MaryJaneJune 14, 2007

This will be the first time in history that I'll be buying Madden 2 years in a row, I usually buy them every other year, because the updates are so minimal.

I'm a little bummed about no tournaments, but if the "party" games are online playable I could excuse it, but there's no mention of that in the article.

Nothing I could dig up indicated anything about the party games being online. From all accounts, for this version they wanted to keep the online portion of the game as basic as possible (i.e. only have two-player exhibition games) so that they could focus on making it work correctly. It's their first stab at Wii online, so to speak.

What got me excited was the mention of downloadable rosters coming out some time next year. That tells me that Nintendo is going to have an Xbox Live-type service up and running in 2008.

What also got me excited is that the online features of this game basically came out of nowhere. Until I read about Madden 08's online features, the only other games with announced online play were Pokemon Battle Revolution, Mario Strikers Charged, and Battalion Wars 2. I can't think of a more important game to usher in Wii's online presence. It's a really smart move on Nintendo's part, and it shows that they actually do care about getting Wii online.

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Madden NFL 08 Box Art

Genre Sports
Developer Tiburon (EA)

Worldwide Releases

na: Madden NFL 08
Release Aug 14, 2007
PublisherElectronic Arts
RatingEveryone
eu: Madden NFL 08
Release Aug 31, 2007
PublisherElectronic Arts
Rating3+
aus: Madden NFL 08
Release Aug 30, 2007
PublisherElectronic Arts
RatingGeneral

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