Madden NFL 2004 Review

Developer: Tiburon Publisher: EA Sports
Release Date: August 12, 2003 Also On: GCN, PC, PS2 and Xbox

This is the year EA will be remembered for its sports franchise. Everything in EA’s arsenal is being revamped and made better than ever. This is being shown in Madden NFL 2004. Everything from the gameplay modes to the graphics have been redone and improved greatly for the 2004 edition. In its 14th season, Madden is back with new modes such as playmaker control, historical team editor, and owner’s mode. Madden has a huge edge over the competition. Added to its other modes from years past, nothing can top the new Madden.

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The graphic system has been redone and improved. Now players on the field show facial expressions during gameplay. The cheerleaders that were ugly in the first game have been improved and now look semi-decent. The stadiums look better than before and look more like the actual places, unlike in 2003. The crowd is better looking, but it’s not nearly as good as the crowd in NHL Hitz. This is the best visually looking Madden, ever.

Madden has always been the best sounding game out of any of the EA Sports games out there. This one is no different. The commentary still doesn’t get an Oscar, since it still gets on your nerves. Madden and Michaels still constantly repeat some of the same lines over and over during the game. It’s better than the other football games out there though. A lot of time and effort is put into it to try and make it great, but still comes out average as most games do.

Music is once again the strong side of the EA hit. The soundtrack for Madden comes back fresh with rock, hip-hop, and punk beats from some of your favorite artists like Nappy Roots, AFI, Alien Ant Farm, and Blink 182. The field sounds are of course, brilliant. Sounds of helmets and pads colliding along with player trash-talking on the field are superb. The crowd is the same way only it’s still very bleak.

This Madden is much simpler to play than the previous version. Defense is easier to master and keep opponents scores lower. The offense is also very easy, easier than any other game’s offense out there. Most football game’s offensive scheme is difficult and makes it hard to do anything at all. The mini-camp games are still here, but now, you can also play them in franchise mode to improve your players.

Even though the owner’s mode is perhaps the greatest feature of all, it is difficult to evenly distribute your money and actually do things with it. Setting up ticket prices, food prices, and parking prices is hard. If you don’t set it to the right price, you lose money. Trying to build a new stadium is fun, but it is difficult to get the money for your stadium. You really don’t make enough money in enough time to actually do this quickly, but still, if you learn how to do this, you will love it.

Madden is the deepest football game around. With modes such as Owner’s Mode, Franchise Mode, Mini-Camp Mode, Playmaker Control, Classic Team Editor, Madden 101, the new and improved create-a-team, and playbook editor, it really has much to offer. The only thing it needs is online play for Xbox Live. Madden NFL 2004 is so good, that you really don’t need online play, just playing the actual game by yourself is the best thing you could do. It just might be one of the best sports games ever. You will be playing this game forever, well, at least until next year’s edition.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 10
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9.6
Written by Shawn Review Guide

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