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Madden NFL 2004
(hx) 02:09 PM CEST - Aug,30 2003

Another year, another Madden game. In its 14th season, Madden NFL Football remains the undisputed leader in authentic NFL football simulation. However, if you're a long-time Madden fan, there's very little that will surprise you about this version. I'd say that the biggest addition to Madden 2004 is the Playmaker control which adds a new on-the-fly dynamic to the gameplay as you have more control over the action, plus a few other improvements. Aside from the new Playmaker control EA has added some serious sim-like qualities with the Ownership mode, where you can control everything from ticket prices to what salary you'll offer your coaches. In addition, this budget is tied into what you can spend on free agents etc. Other areas of gameplay improvements in Madden NFL 2004 include mostly what you'd expect from year to year. Well, here are some pros and cons:

Pros
  • "Playmaker" control -  with the use of the right analog stick you have more control over your entire team then ever. For example, on offense, you can discretely change receivers’ routes before the snap and during the play and direct blockers during kick/punt returns and run and draw plays. This feature is like an audible, but you don't need to shift as many players as you did in the 2003 version. Of course it requires some time to learn it
  • Owner mode (which is directly tied to the game's franchise mode) - you can the prices of everything from food and merchandise to parking. You are also able to hire/fire your coaching staff, including assistant coaches. Those of you who don't feel like dealing with the business side of the NFL, you can simply turn the owner mode off
  • the training camp mode has been integrated into the franchise mode
  • slightly improved defensive AI - the computer opponent on offense has become a lot less predictable
  • better downfield blocking and a more realistic passing model - it reqires much more thought than you might initially suspect
  • online code is pretty good as long as you have a decent connection (of course, you need to find good players to play against) ~ look at shot#6
  • the added animations bring even more realism to the game - better tackles, better falling...
  • blitzing seems to have much greater risks and rewards
Cons
  • the computer teams still do not trade between themselves or place players on the Injured Reserve list
  • emotionless play-by-play from Al Michaels and John Madden
  • no dirty uniforms if you play in the rain or snow...
  • no TV camera angle in "COACH" mode
  • controls could be more precise
Overall, Madden 2004 provides solid gameplay which is pretty much unchanged from last year except for the previously mentioned integration of the Playmaker controls and the incredibly deep Owner's Mode.  If you like this genre then this game is worth owning, you won't be dissapointed. Madden 2004 remains the undisputed leader in authentic NFL football simulation for the PC. Download playable demo (67MB).

Minimum System Requirements: PIII or AMD Athlon 700MHz, RAM: 128MB (256MB for Windows XP), 32MB supported Direct3D capable video card * with DirectX 9.0 or higher compatible driver
Recommended: 10 button dual analog gamepad

Supported videocards: nVidia GeForce2 GTS, GeForce3, GeForce4 MX series, GeForce4 Ti series, GeForce FX series, ATI Radeon 8500, Radeon 9200, Radeon 9600, Radeon 9700, and Radeon 9800, Matrox Parhelia Note: Madden NFL 2004 does not officially support the GeForce 2 MX series.


snd: 3/5 - mediocre, some ambient field noises, crowd noise, and tackle sound effects, emotionless play-by-play from Al Michaels and John Madden (He is saying the same things that he said in the 2001 version...wtf..)
gfx: 5/5 - improved, added animations bring even more realism to the game - better tackles, better falling..., redesigned playcalling screen, no dirty uniforms
playability: 5/5 - on-the-field gameplay is pretty much the same as Madden 2003, "Playmaker" control (large learning curve though), solid online play, weird AI in franchise mode
genre: american football sim
platform: PC (available also for PS2, XBox, GC)
release: August 2003
developer: EA Sports
Very_good
Overall: 82%


last 10 comments:

Erbozposted - Aug, 30 2003 - 18:33
.... but then again, what, besides changing 2003 to 2004, what's new ? And is that really worth that price ?

maddenhaterposted - Aug, 31 2003 - 05:30
uhh theres the new owner mode witch lets u change ticket prices and food prices and merchandise prices so u can earn more money but if u suck u have to lower prices or nobody will watch u. otherwise its the same piece of crap as last year

Jeff Newbornposted - Aug, 31 2003 - 18:29
When will that freakin fat-ass madden is gonna die I hate his games.

meposted - Aug, 31 2003 - 19:27
so because you dont like his games you want him dead. that makes sense nobhead

Phreezer Burnposted - Oct, 17 2003 - 01:38
I've played the 2003 and 2004 madden games and enjoyed them greatly, i wouldn't recommend you buy the latest sports game of any type so long as you have a previous years version already, they are always the same game with minor tweaks. The playmaker is great and creating your own playbooks is always fun but there is only so much they can change each year in a sports game. These sport games are my fav for console playing friends head to head, the computer i reserve for fps and rts games which are for solo play.

Football Puristposted - Oct, 24 2003 - 18:16
Overall, Madden 2004 is enjoyable, but anyone with any type of football knowledge, who plays this game, has undoubtedly experienced intense frustration. I don't care how much they claim to have improved defensive AI, your defenders are still rock stupid. Anybody who's had a linebacker shuffle towards the flat to cover nobody, while the tight-end he should've been shadowing ran a streak down the middle of the field and received a touchdown pass, knows what I'm talking about. Yes, they did make it harder to pass for 500 yards a game (well, slightly harder), but it's still not that difficult to do. Racking up offensive yards in Madden '04 is about as hard as picking your nose if you know how to read the defense. Granted, I do find myself taking an extra few seconds to scan the D so I can formulate my strategy for shredding them to bits, which I appreciate. At least I have to stop and think for a second. But, when you average 38 points per game with the Chicago Bears (All-Pro difficulty, 8 min quarters), and your final scores every week look like 45-35, 38-35, 31-27, etc., it shows that there's no semblance of defense being played. If you can hold the computer to under 3 touchdowns in a game, it's because you were playing 5 minute quarters, or you were playing at the Rookie level. On defense, like I said, your defenders are dumb. I'm glad they added that little box that shows you the offense's packages (i.e. 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB). It makes it easier to decide which formation to choose, but you're still at the mercy of the game's poor AI in some instances. That said, it is rewarding when you see 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB, and you send your nickel-back out on a QB-spy mission and he picks off the pass (as a matter of fact, that's about the only way you'll get any defensive stops. Pressuring the QB, while rewarding, especially if you can do it yourself, is retardedly hard to do). But, it's equally frustrating when, on 3rd and 8, that little box shows you 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB, so you call a zone coverage out of your dime package (6 DB's), and the QB completes a skinny post right over the middle of the field in between 6 defenders, who all vacated the area like there was a bomb on the field, instead of covering their zones. That would never happen in a real football game. Franchise play is pretty deep, I'm enjoying it. If you're a football purist, like me, you'll find yourself analyzing your own play as though you were a SportsCenter anchor. You'll be scrutinizing statistics and watching "game film" (replays of plays that went wrong) as if you were actually part of the organization. Adding mini-camp to the preseason activities was a nice touch. And the best part is, with the PC, you can save in the middle of games, so if by some freak of nature, an opportunity for human social interaction arises, you can take advantage it. So, now that I've bored you completely to death with my long-winded review about Madden '04, I would say if you have relatively low blood pressure and you like football (and you have a computer and gamepad with 8 million buttons), then play Madden to your heart's content. If you don't, then go to a friend's house and play it. You'll enjoy it, and you'll be glad you saved your money.

Stephen Sandovalposted - Oct, 25 2003 - 09:41
You are all stupid ass's. Madden is the best football game out there on the market today. all that ESPN and Gameday games, those suck nuts.I agree that Madden does have to work out the whole defense thing a lil better. But for the most part, the game never gets old, Its Madden!!

Rickposted - Jan, 23 2004 - 05:14
Is there any possible way to play this game with a geforce 2 mx 400...I know it doesn't officially work, but isn't there some sort of patch or something to make it work.....wonderfull game...someone please help..............

Benposted - Mar, 02 2004 - 17:52
Yeah, sure, John Madden is a crappy ass announcer, but he makes a tight ass football game, the worst thing in the game is probably the announcing, or maybe that the jerseys never get dirty!!!

organ_shifterposted - Apr, 04 2004 - 13:24
Jerseys get dirty all day long on the pc version!

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