Players: 1 to 4 Player Game | Genre: Sports
Release Date: 08/22/06
It's encouraging to see that Electronic Arts is really getting behind the Wii and devoting teams to work on special Wii projects. Madden NFL 07 for Wii isn't just the next Madden game. It's going to be unique from the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, and EA Canada is doing some pretty cool things with it. Since the Wii is still new, let me just make sure that you understand that Wii has a new, special type of motion sensing controller. You probably already know all about it, but if you don't, go read some previews of Nintendo's new Wii console hardware. Any articles you read about Wii games won't make sense if you don't.
The E3 demo starts you off with a training session. Here players learned how to direct and throw passes as the quarterback. Madden uses the motion controls to do almost everything. It can take a little bit of getting used to, but it feels natural and comfortable. To throw a pass, simply make the motion with the remote. If you want to throw a bullet pass, then make a fast, straight motion with the remote. Make a slow lobbing motion to throw a lob. Obvious, right? You don't have to aim your passes the motion control. That would be pretty tough. Instead, you pick a receiver using the face buttons.
One of my favorite uses of the Wii controller is when running the ball. You use the remote to guide your stiff arm and jerking the nunchuck with your left hand will cause your runner to juke in the appropriate direction. You can also use the buttons and triggers to perform spins and other maneuvers. You know, part of Nintendo's philosophy with Wii is to make gaming simpler and more approachable. Playing Madden does feel pretty natural once you get used to it, because for most things, there's no buttons to remember. You just move your hands to tell the game what you want to do. Still, it can sound a little complicated when someone is explaining it to you for the first time. This doesn't bother me at all though because EA Canada is using the Wii controls in fun, interesting ways. It shows that you play all kinds of games on Wii without compromise.
The graphics look pretty good, but they're definitely not going to compare to the 360 and PS3 versions. However, playing Madden on Wii is a refreshing experience and I think it will turn out to be a lot more fun than the other versions of Madden. It's great to see such a unique version of Madden on Wii. EA hopes to get Madden 07 out for the Wii launch. It will certainly make a nice addition to a launch library for Nintendo.