With the lack of sports games available at the launch of the Nintendo DS, many hungry football fans turned to Madden 2005, with mixed reviews. However, regardless of how rushed this game is, it still provides gamers with a competent, fun and semi-deep football game that everyone can pick up and play. Fan boys will complain that graphics could be better, and while that’s totally understandable, there aren’t many better looking portable football games out there on a Nintendo handheld.
Besides the graphics being not up to par with the games overall potential (but still very acceptable), there lies a huge problem in its next to impossible to save modified rosters. There is no save function present either. So all you stat hungry fans out there will have to make your trades over and over again. This basically eliminates any option of keeping this game up to date for any prolonged period of time.
In spite of that, the worst part of this game overall is the sound. Starting the game you’re greeted with muddy rock tunes. The in-game sound isn’t much better, just the typical Madden “Boom” or “Great Play, First Down” from Al Michaels. Hardcore gamers will find the repetitiveness of the sound a tad frustrating, preferring to play with no sound rather than the garbage that is being offered in this game.
There are also a few play modes in Madden that provide the perfect amount of game play for a handheld. The two-minute drill is perfect for gamers on a short train or bus ride, while the season mode is perfect for gamers who want to get the most out of the game. The season mode also has a nice amount of stat tracking, and goals that can be achieved via the madden token system.
The in-game action in Madden 2005 makes up for all of the games shortcomings though, providing football fans with the option of assigning hot routes, and applying an audible with the stylus on the touch screen. This provides a lot more depth and strategy than in your average football game, allowing you to exploit defenses and make the most out of every play. The defensive and offensive AI is very adept too at reading plays and making you pay for bad play calling. Running the ball on 3rd and long is very difficult and passing into a dime or nickel formation can be torture at times. When it’s all said a done, Madden’s on-field game play does the job and then some.
Overall, Madden 2005 for the Nintendo DS provides casual gamers with what they want most, a solid, easy to play football game. Hardcore gamers will want more options and fan boys will complain about graphics, but considering that the game was rushed considerably, Madden 2005 for the Nintendo DS is a positive step forward in the series and is worth playing if you’re a fan of football.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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