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SummaryThe last and best Madden for PC
The GoodEA announced that they would no longer release sports games for PC in 2007, meaning that PC ports of new games Madden series (as well as all of their other sports franchises) would no longer be released. This was a disappointment for sports fans like myself who mainly play games on PC, but at least the final Madden game for the platform was a good one.
The graphics aren't outstanding, but when turned on to the maximum the game looks realistic. Animations for players and other objects are great, making the game solid graphically. The sounds of the game of football are all there, and while John Madden and Al Michaels' commentary is as obvious and predictable as ever, it still adds a huge dimension to the game.
The core gameplay is classic Madden, and practically the same as Madden 07 with the new addition of Weapons: performance-enhancing attributes that are mainly found on star players such as Peyton Manning or Ray Lewis. I honestly haven't noticed any difference in gameplay with these, however. There are also four new fantasy teams with special abilities and stadiums, which can be interesting to play with every once in a while.
As non-exhibition game modes go, I haven't done much with the Franchise mode, but it remains very similar to previous versions - control any NFL or created team, doing everything from selling burgers to actually playing games. Superstar mode is decent - you really get the feel of playing as an NFL player, and it's cool to create yourself. The new "Skill Drills" game mode, where you go through training drills against robot dummies (yes, robot dummies) are pretty boring and pointless, but the classic Mini-Camp mode is fun to play and provides a much more entertaining way to hone your passing, receiving or defensive skills. The no-frills practice mode, which pretty much puts you in training camp, still works at that as well.
Here is probably the game's biggest strength: since this was the final Madden title released for PC, it still has a fairly strong community, meaning you can find many mods on different websites. This includes updated rosters, making it very easy to get an up-to-date roster (which thankfully means there's no need to create rookies).
The BadThere are some minor flaws here. As usual, EA Sports didn't add the names and correct numbers to players on classic teams, meaning John Elway on the '98 Broncos is "QB #10". This is where the many fan-made mods I mentioned earlier come in handy. Also, the commentary is inexplicably gone while playing a game in Franchise and Superstar modes (and cannot be turned on), meaning you are forced to listen to the dull, robotic voice of the stadium announcer.