Madden NFL 2007 Preview

Wandering through the halls of EA’s gynormous complex, we suddenly found ourselves sitting next to Jason Armenise, producer-at-large, for the Wii’s version of Madden NFL 07. While we won’t bore you with the line-by-line dialogue, or why we were wandering around EA (news at 11), we will tell you why we’re very excited to nunchuck and wand our way through EA Canada’s innovative football experience.

If you’ve been scouring the web for any information whatsoever on Madden for the Wii, you already know how the developers are intuitively bringing the unique controller into the action. Basically, whatever you are doing on the field, you mimic with the nunchuck and wand: hike by flicking the controller back, pass by imitating a pass motion, kick by raising the controller in a level plane, or put some angle on it by rotating the gyroscope a bit. The directional thumb button controls the running game, while shaking the wand toward would-be tacklers side steps, high steps, straight-arms, etc. Defensively, shake-n-bake to break the line, throw your arms up to block, deflect, or intercept a lame duck. If it’s in the game…well, you know the rest.

At any point in gameplay, a player can break into an innovative tutorial designed to help where it’s needed or stay off if the game senses you "get it." Perhaps your buddy needs some help with the whole running thing. Zap the monitor with the handy dandy laser pointer and he’s a learn’n. Although zapping each other in the eye with the laser is fun in its own right, it also picks plays, bluffs plays, audibles, and gives the house cat something to chase.

And that’s where Jason and the GN team collapsed on said couch. 150 calories later, there wasn’t any new information about the Wii that we didn’t have since that whole E3 thing in May. Not to worry, a little distraction and some truth serum later, Jason began to spill the beans.

Wii’s Madden looks to be as jam packed with features as all the current/next-gen releases. Specifics were hard to nail down as Jason began to slur, but his maniacal grin suggested good things. Two-on-two action, minicamp, gamer leveling, lead blocking, widescreen support at 480p, etc. Graphically, the Wii is a step up from Xbox or the PS2, but won’t compete with the next-gens because the Wii is obviously more concerned with the playability factor.

We tried to get more information about online capabilities, but Jason’s armed bodyguard stepped in to end our chat. However, a couple of "when online(s)" did slip from Jason in the course of our features discussion, so we’re pulling for ESPN connectivity and roster updates on a skimpy wish list.

Overall, we can’t wait for this title in its entirety. "Immersion" is the word of the day, and Wii screams it loud and clear! Stay tuned for future updates.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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