Review Review - Madden 2007 (GBA)

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Sentient Cash Register
Oct 21, 2005
Far East of Eden
United States

The title screen doesn't actually show
a picture of John Madden on it.

American Football will probably never change. It's one of the greatest sports around, mostly because you get to eat nachos while you watch other people play. I don't know about you, but I LOVE nachos. Madden 2007, however, is BARELY the same game as real Football. The rules are the same, but it doesn't feel like the same game, at all. Prepare to find out why.


I'm not going to go into an in-depth explanation of the rules to Football. It would be far too huge to fit into this review, and mostly irrelevant. Let it suffice to say that this game gets the rules right. Problems arise, however, in virtually every other aspect of this game. If you choose "Play Now", it starts out simply enough. You choose a home team and a visitor, and you choose which team you wish to play for. Once in game, you need to choose a play before you can do anything. This is quite normal in Football video games. What's not normal, though, is that the plays you select have no tangible effect on the game itself. I should also point out that in the latest version of VisualBoy Advance, even with a good bios file, the play select screen didn't display properly. All it showed was stripes and an arrow, so I had to use my flash cart to test this out.

Once you get into the game, things just get worse. When I was playing, I started out with the ball, and every direction except backwards was completely blocked off. The first time, I attempted a pass, but the game wouldn't let me switch control to the guy I was passing to, and he ignored the pass. Basically, unless you have two players playing linked on the same team (a feature this game doesn't allow), every pass will end incomplete. The AI is just too stupid. When I was defense, every pass that the AI made also turned out incomplete, so at least it evens out in that regard. Unfortunately, that leaves only one other option: running backwards. Since everybody in the game runs at approximately the same speed, the only way not to get tackled when running backwards is to run all the way to the wrong touchdown zone, because if you turn, you're caught. The opponents have a distinct advantage when they're offense, though, because you can't read the minds of your AI teammates. Unless you play this game a TON and memorize every possible outcome, there's going to be a hole in the defense for your opponent to get at least 5 yards.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a good selection of teams and players. Despite what the menu tells you, there is no difference between the various teams and players other than the uniforms.


Don't let this picture fool you. The game
looks far worse in action.

The graphics, stylistically, are above average. Everything is realistic, with high quality images of players and team logos. It's always quite clear what's going on in this game, so you can see what you need to do. Unfortunately, there is a really annoying flicker when you're on the field. The entire screen seems to be flickering up and down. For those of you who have experience with PocketNES, this is far worse. This is likely due to a poor implementation of a pseudo-Mode-7 graphics engine, but it doesn't matter, because it's still annoying.


The sound for this game can be described in three words: "Please mute it!" It starts at the EA logo, when there's a poor voice clip saying, "EA Sports, it's in the game!" The title screen is silent, which becomes apparent after being forced to wait a few seconds before pressing start. The main menu has some generic "rock-metal electric guitar" style music, as is standard for traditional sports games and Tony Hawk games. In game, there are a few different sounds you're likely to hear. First up is the crowd, lots of yelling the entire time. It's a generic loop; EA could use the same sound in every sports game they release and it wouldn't make a difference. Until the ball goes into play, you get to hear "hut" repeated. No matter what happens, John Madden will say something after every single play, usually with no relation to the play itself. In just five minutes, I heard him say "Now THAT'S Football" three times. It wouldn't be quite so annoying if he had a larger pool of expressions, but that is not the case in this game.

Replay Value

If this game offered balanced AI, the replay value would be decent. Sure, every time you play it's the same basic thing, but that's how real Football is too. Unfortunately, the crummy AI takes the replay value of this game WAY down. You won't want to bother with this game twice.


This game is the latest in a franchise that basically renews itself. As far as I can tell, it's one of the worst in the series. Do yourself a favor and, instead of wasting your time with this nonsense, get a console Madden game. If you really MUST have Football on your GBA, go with Backyard Football, as that is actually fun.

Final Score: 4/10 (Not an average, because an average would not make nearly a big enough deal of the bad AI. That AI is the reason this game didn't get a 7)
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