Madden NFL 08
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that not all Madden NFL 08 games are equal. The Xbox 360 version is by far the best version out of the new consoles, followed by the Wii and then PS3. For families with young football fans, the Wii version has an option to simplify the controls, making it easier for newbies to play. See our platform reviews below for more information. Parents also need to know that most of the versions offer an online component, which Common Sense Media does not recommend for anyone under age 12.
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What's it about?
MADDEN NFL 08 introduces a new gameplay feature called "weapons," which are special skills assigned to elite players to reinforce what makes them great. For example, when activated, LaDainian Tomlinson becomes a truck who plows through defenders, whereas a smart quarterback, like Peyton Manning, can read the field and expose players who simply stick to their money plays. As introduced in the 2007 version, NFL Superstar: Hall of Fame mode is back, where you create a player from scratch and then work your way up from a nobody to an NFL star to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But your actions on and off the field will have an impact on your career: Should you take that endorsement deal or movie role?
Is it any good?
Madden NFL 08 is packed with new features and improvements over past iterations, and it's gorgeous to boot -- especially on the Xbox 360. Just be forewarned that the PlayStation 3 version has some well-publicized kinks -- including a frame-rate considerably slower than its Xbox 360 counterpart. The running, passing, and defensive game is top-notch, plus veteran gamers will notice some tweaks to the already solid control. Add multiple game modes such as the Mini-Camp skill-based games and head-to-head Internet support and you've got promising pigskin, once again.
Too bad the same can't be said for the PS3 version, which has some gamers up in arms over its relatively slow performance. The Wii version lacks some of the slick production values found in the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, but younger players will enjoy the motion-sensing remote as an alternative control mechanism (this is improved over last year as well).
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