The Madden franchise is quite simply one of the most successful video game franchises in the world. Every year Madden NFL XX is THE best seller in the USA, and this means that the game ends up on every console and handheld imaginable. Madden NFL 07 is no different, the game is available on ten platforms, including for the first time; the Wii. One of the greatest criticisms that we've had at PALGN is the fact that the franchise doesn't really evolve that much, with the Wii version EA have really had to go back to the drawing board and this has resulted in a more enjoyable game, Madden NFL 07 isn't without its flaws but it's a great game that will even appeal to those who don't enjoy American football.
One of the biggest differences for the Wii version of Madden NFL 07 is in the controls. You'll need both the nunchuck and the Wii remote for the game. Whether you've played a Madden title before or not you're best advised to go to the learn Madden mode. This mode takes you through what you'll need to do and how to execute every move. If you'd rather learn in game then you can actually start a game and press the 1 button when prompted to quickly learn the move you need to know immediately.
Madden uses the Wii remotes motion sensing capabilities extensively, you'll also use the nunchuck comprehensively as well. The nunchuck can be used to juke left or right, you'll also use the nunchuck to move your players. You'll use the Wii remote to aid you whilst kicking, to snap the ball and of course to throw the ball, you can bullet the ball to the receiver or lob it. There are plenty of options though and these are only the basics, whilst the controls are a little bit difficult to get to grips with initially, soon enough the controls become second nature.
The controls aren't perfect however. Kicking in particular takes a lot of getting used too. Sometimes you'll slice the ball when kicking even though you'd swear that the action you just did was exactly the same as a successful kick earlier. Every now and then the game also fails to register some of your movements, but this only happens very occasionally. Despite these concerns overall the game controls very well and is one of the best uses of the Wii remote yet.
Whilst the controls are sublime, Madden NFL 07 would fall apart without good gameplay modes and thankfully there is plenty of content to keep you occupied. Unfortunately the game doesn't support online play, unlike the PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 versions of Madden. This is a shame but not really something EA could help, considering no Wii titles are online compatible just yet.
The franchise mode and Superstar modes have both returned. In franchise mode you'll need to control a team and keep them on top for three decades. The franchise mode is relatively in-depth and has seen one minor improvement - a rookie scouting system. You're now able to play the college all-star game and take your rookies through a series of exercises to determine their abilities before deciding whether to recruit them or not, it's a small improvement but it certainly comes in handy. The superstar mode is still very similar to last year's effort (there is still a lot of filler material and there are consistency problems between what goes on in an interview and what actually happens in game). The superstar mode now requires you to focus on getting your player into the hall of fame, the game keeps track of your superstar progress as you go through the superstar mode.
The Wii version also features three exclusive multiplayer mini games. The best mini game by far is two-on-two which puts two players on offence and two players in defence. You'll need to try and score as many touchdowns as possible if your're in offence or try and stop any touchdowns if you're defending. If you're in defence you'll need to count off five Mississippi before you can blitz, though you can speed through the count. The offence is able to run immediately and you're even able to buzz your team mate if you're in offence. This works surprisingly well, as you can work out secret signals with a friend, say for example telling your friend to hang back when you buzz. The Y.A.C attack mini game awards you points for doing effective things, such as stopping a player if you're in defence. It's pleasing that the mini games appear to have been thoroughly thought out and don't feel tacked on.
The visuals in the Wii version of Madden NFL 07 let the game down a bit. The game supports 480p resolution and widescreen but the actual graphics engine looks dated. The animations are pretty poor and the players themselves don't look all that impressive. The Wii version looks much like a PlayStation 2 title, which is a little disappointing because we know the Wii is capable of much more. The soundtrack is okay and the commentary is satisfactory, but much like other Madden versions more lines should have been recorded, because you'll be hearing the same comments far too frequently. The Wii remote's speaker makes some clever noises at times too.
If you devote yourself to this game then there is plenty to come back to, even without online play. The superstar mode is engaging as you're now trying to get your player into the NFL hall of fame, the franchise mode is the same as before, which means that if you've played 06 then you're not likely to want to go through another thirty years managing a "dream team". The mini games really are the standouts because you'll come back to them rather frequently for a quick game.
Madden NFL 07 is one of the best uses of the Wii remote, this also means the Wii version is one of the best ways to play Madden NFL 07. With an indepth single player mode and some highly addictive multiplayer modes Madden NFL 07 is a thoroughly enjoyable game. Aside from some occasionally unresponsive controls it's difficult to fault Madden NFL 07 on the Wii.