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REVIEW: Madden NFL 11 Wii

REVIEW: Madden NFL 11 Wii

Postby Xolture » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:15 am

Madden NFL 11 Wii

Ever since EA Sports brought the Madden franchise to Wii back with Madden 2007 they've been struggling to find their sea legs on the motion-sensing console. It began as a rehashed version of the PS2 rendition, then branched out with new controls, which lead to calling your shots breaking onto the scene in 2008 and 2009, and last year's brought a new, Wii-specific visual treatment into the mix. Now, with Madden NFL 11, Wii users will be able to enjoy the only redesigned Franchise Mode to be seen in any version of Madden this year as well as a new five-on-five mode. Is that enough to warrant a purchase or should you look elsewhere for your pigskin fix? Read on for the full review.

Being a huge supporter of Franchise Mode myself, I was happy to hear that the Wii version of Madden NFL 11 would have a redefined offering. That excitement was extinguished a bit when I dove into the mode, as some of the accoutrements they've added don't pan out that well. For starters, your three advisors (fan, finance and team) don't add much to the package. After each game you're likely to get an update from one of them and then you'll have to make a decision, the impact of which is typically negligible when compared to the impact of your actual play on the field.

I was once greeted by a question from my fan advisor that asked, "There's rumors of the team moving. Care to comment?" To which I replied, "I hear Ontario is lovely" thinking that there'd be some follow-up later down the line or an offer to move the team to Ontario in the off-season. No such luck and I still doubled my fan growth compared to what was expected of my lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.

Seeing your city get prettier and prettier or degrade more and more over time is cool enough, but the advisors' functionality could've been much deeper than they are currently. Right now they're nothing more than the same advisors that were present in the Madden series years ago, but they've been outfitted with cute, cartoony avatars for Wii. I'd be fine with that if their functionality had advanced, but it really hasn't. It's cool to find some of the old Owner Mode functionality (like setting hot dog and ticket prices) within Franchise Mode, but I feel like it could've been better customized for the Wii beyond the aesthetics.

Five-on-five is the single new game mode addition, but in the end it really doesn't bring a whole lot to the table. If you played Madden Arcade on either Xbox Live or PlayStation Network, the experience is basically the same but it comes without any of the power-ups that gave the release its arcade flair. Instead you get a very vanilla version of football. You get four downs to score and there's no punting or field goal kicks. If you want to simply hop into a quick game and goof around with your friends before mom calls you to dinner, I could see the mode working out for you, but there isn't enough new content to differentiate it from the more exciting 11-on-11 action.

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