I finally got my hands on another one of the Madden games! The series is still one of the best video game franchises of all time and it’s never had a bad installment. That doesn’t change here as this title can holds its own with the best of them. I still prefer 2004/2013, but those are going to be nearly impossible to beat anyway. The important thing is that this game got the fundamentals right and it’s a lot of fun to play.
You have the usual modes here like play now or starting up a season/franchise. Sometimes the games leave out the season mode and I’m not sure if this one has it or not. Either way, Franchise Mode can be played out like a season mode if you wish so there’s not a big loss there. The gameplay is pretty explanatory as the game is following traditional NFL rules. If you know how they play Football on TV, then you’ll get the hang of the controls pretty easily.
Of course, I grew up with Madden so I already know the controls quite well. Once you have learned them for one game, you are essentially set for the rest of the series. If this is your first time playing the title, then it is understandable that it may take a short while to really have the controls down. Some things you simply can’t learn from just reading the booklet and you’ll need to actually play games and get some experience to truly get started.
As a new tradition for my Madden reviews, I first play a normal game on Pro level, but then I see how the game handles the toughest difficulty setup…All Madden mode! Needless to say, the game does cheat to an extent. Different game use different methods to make hard difficulties more challenging. Some like Mario just speed up the timer, others like Final Fantasy will make the enemies more powerful. Madden takes a different approach, it simply makes you a lot weaker. I definitely don’t care for this strategy and I would prefer for the computer to simply become more predictable and maybe blitz more often.
Instead, you’ll just realize that your receivers can’t hang onto the ball..at all! My main receiver dropped over 10 passes and you simply can’t win a game when your receivers aren’t making plays. Running the ball will typically only get you 1-2 yards against an All Madden defense so you need the passing game to be working. I found the perfect play where my receiver would always be open and if he wasn’t, I could simply toss it to my running back in the flat. It was a great plan, but I still need my receiver to make the catch or it’s all moot. Needless to say, it felt like the computer was cheating.
I still did keep it close for the first half. I had only been down 3-0 towards the end of the 2nd Quarter, but ended up leaving the half down by 17-3. Eventually, the score started to get more drastic as I was forced to go for it on 4th down. I can safely say that I was a little salty and a little voice in the back of my controller was probably telling me to “git gud” but I didn’t want to listen to it. No matter how good I got, my receivers wouldn’t be able to keep up and I would have an extremely difficult time beating the computer.
Suffice to say, Madden is one of those games that is at its best when you are able to face off against a human opponent. Pro difficulty is satisfying in its own way as well since the games can be close or you will blow out the computer, but your receivers will never miss the catch. Not often anyway… The stakes are always high when playing someone in the real world and it’s a great way to have a blast. The Wi-Fi element is what really helped Madden 13 become my 2nd favorite Madden title. Hopefully Madden 25 still has online servers going by the time I get to that game. I’m looking forward to facing some strong opponents there!
The soundtrack of Madden has always been really fun if you just listened to the rhythym. The fast music helps you get excited for the match and the jingle that plays before every game is really catchy. It’s essentially stuck around for all of the Madden games even if the theme gets slightly remixed nowadays. It’s a good theme and the games really feel epic as a result. That being said, I could certainly do without the lyrics as they just bring the songs down and don’t allow you to listen to the beats in peace. Naturally, the graphics are pretty great. Madden’s always been exceptional in this area and I don’t see them faltering anytime soon. EA really knows what they’re doing in this area. Madden may get a lot of complaints over the years, but at least they never concern the graphics.
Madden has more replay value than almost any other video game. It loses out to Super Smash of course, but that’s another story. There is no Wi-Fi here, which hurts, but you can still have a nice franchise mode started where you can fight the CPU for many seasons. It’s also easy to just jump in play when a friend comes over. Madden has virtually infinite replay value and it’s one of the reasons why people continue to buy it year after year. It is a winning formula that has continued to work for over a decade.
By and large, I can also see why Madden became such a popular series from the start. Even if we ignore the fantastic gameplay, it is simply a well designed game. The cover is very clear and engaging. It is a title that would have stood out over at Gamestop. The menus are all very easy to navigate through and it’s very new gamer friendly. I’m sure that many people were introduced to the world of video games through Madden and that’s a good thing. I’d love to be introduced to Gaming through a 9 star game. I forgot what my first game was, but it was probably X-Men for Super Nintendo, Home Alone for Game Boy, or Pac Man since I was probably at the arcades a lot. Either way, that’s not a bad way to start off either!
Overall, Madden 2005 is a great game and I got it for a bargain at 1 cent! (4 dollars shipping) Now, I am just missing Madden 2008 and then my collection (Up through 2013) will be complete! That’s definitely going to be a nice accomplishment and while I essentially get all sport titles, Madden is the best by leaps and bounds. It’s a series that I like to be almost current with since the games are so exciting and fun. This was before the recent upgrade for the defense so it’s still safe to throw deep bombs sometimes. You probably shouldn’t risk it on All Madden, but you can’t risk all that much when you’re playing at that level. I highly recommend buying this game and Madden 2005 is a good way to learn about the NFL. The important thing to remember is that the Dallas Cowboys is the team to root for. Go Dallas!!