Madden 2003 (PS2)

Review

posted 10/11/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
Madden’s got a whole new outlook on football, he’s dumped the dead weight that was Pat Summerall and has moved onto the greener pastures of ABC’s Monday Night Football. This change in scenery has done wonders for Madden’s announcing career, bringing out some amazing announcing abilities that much of the American populous never knew he has. The move has rejuvenated his announcing career, but how about his Football game?

The first thing you’ll probably notice are the unique intros that come up every time the game is booted up. Much in the same way of EA’s other football franchise, NCAA, it features a completely random player saying “EA Sports, it’s in the game!” I would have to presume that this will now be the standard for the next season of EA Sports games, it’s a nice and unique change that has me paying attention every time the game starts up.

New to this year’s game is the online functionality that will allow you to do battle with players from all across the nation. This mode has been limited to PS2 only for the first year so Xbox and GC owners are out of luck. Because the network adapter is not yet available at the time of this review, I didn’t have a chance to properly test the online aspect of the game. I did, however, get a chance to try my hand at it at this year’s Gamer’s Day. What I saw was a phenomenally accurate game that managed to keep up with the action with a minimal amount of lag. I knew this because the person I was playing against was at the station right next to me and I was able to gauge the lag times for myself. That means that every time I scored on James from Cinescape, I could rub it in his face with a minimal amount of waiting time.

Capitalizing on last year’s success, the Dynasty mode has become the main focus of this year’s game. The single season mode no longer exists, placing the emphasis on running your own dynasty as opposed to one year legacies. This ia a great fresh of breath air for Madden vets, it means that the programmers will have more time to devote to the meat of the game rather than focusing on the barebone aspects.

There are a few new modes that are meant to teach you the fundamentals of the game while at the same time, provide an entertaining experience. There’s a new mini-camp mode which plays out like a tutorial for beginners. You’ll participate in small mini-games that emphasize one aspect of the game, for instance, there is a punting mode that helps you perfect those coffin corner punts that fall within the 20 yard line. In the mini-game, you’ll have targets on both corners of the field, the closer you come to the corner, the more points you score, earn a certain amount of points and you’ll be rewarded for your troubles. After beating the mini-game, you’ll be placed in a game situation that tests you on the ability that you just perfected. This is a great way to teach players who are new to the game the bare fundamentals.
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