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Madden NFL 08 for the PSP is the first version of Madden NFL that I've played on a handheld console and I have to say I'm rather impressed with how the game plays. The game might not have as many modes as the PlayStation 2 version but at least it offers some form of online play which the PlayStation 2 version doesn't. On the whole the AI is pretty good and I enjoyed the single-player experience that the game offers as a result. The controls are also very good and I didn't really find the lack of a second analogue stick to be much of a problem, which was a surprise to me. If you're looking for a NFL game to play on your travels then Madden NFL 08 is certainly going to fit the bill very nicely.
Some might say that Madden NFL 08 isn’t much different than Madden NFL 07. Well for me I cannot make that comparison since I passed on last year’s version for the PSP. With Madden 08 I enjoyed the Superstar Challenge the most since it allowed me to replay great games from last year in different ways. Visually the game is both solid and underwhelming at the same time. The controls were great except for my minor beef with the kicking game. If you’re looking for a portable football game I say Madden NFL 08 would make a worthy addition to your library. Just know the limitations of the portable system and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
Madden NFL 08 is one of those titles that's almost one step forward and one step back. The game features the weapon system that is the primary focus of this year's title, but it doesn't particularly affect the gameplay. While the Superstar Challenge Mode and the condensed Franchise mode actually work well for the PSP, the loads of lag during multiplayer play is atrocious. It's a good game, but not as impressive as last year's title.
A common arguing point for those who do not get the whole Madden fever is the recycling of the gameplay making the newest version nothing more than a roster update. This rings a little true for this PSP game, with no significant changes to warrant a new purchase unlike the 360 and PS3 versions which have nice new additions. On the other hand, features that were added are pretty darn good and a little more fun than last year's. It is pretty much a toss up on whether or not to buy this game, but if you like the sound of the Superstar Challenge, go for it.
If you already bought last year's Madden on the PSP, you don't need to buy this one because it's not different enough to warrant the $40 cost. If you didn't buy last year's game, the gameplay is solid enough and there's enough content to make this a worthwhile pick-up for those who want to enjoy a little NFL action on the go.
Madden NFL 08 for the PSP feels like the black sheep of the family, a game that wants to fit in so badly with the rest of the football clan but comes up short way too often to get there. Maybe next year we'll see a game with better timing throughout its presentation, a functional multiplayer set-up and more modes. Right now, though, it just feels like a contender -- an odd situation considering this is the third Madden release for the system.