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EA Sports




1-2 Player

Game Type

Sports Sim

Mem. Card

Review Date

Oct 1996

Setting the Scene

Finally!!!!!!!! EASports' flagship product and Generation X's most memorable sports title has upgraded to the 32-bit level of entertainment.

First, allow me to digress...When I first played Madden for the Genesis, I was amazed at how you could position your players anywhere on Defense. I was also blown away by how you could put your hands up and block a pass, and how when you walked up to the line, you'd get in the lineman's stance. To capture this amazement, is near impossible, since Madden was the beginning of the EA dynasty of sports. Fast forward to now, where every football game on the market boasts that it is the 'next level', plus there is a new champion of the 32-bit systems, "Sony's Gameday". Gameday was given its largest compliment by Madden '96 getting cancelled, so I'm sure that you share my enthusiasm in seeing just how good Madden'97 is.

The intro of the game is "perfect" Hands down, the best intro this genre has seen, period.


American Football game.


Graphically, Madden is somewhere between good & great. The uniforms look great, but you can't see the player's number (something QB Club '97 has touted). The stadiums are done in the well publicized Virtual Stadium, which does an excellent job of capturing every team's field (and yes Miami has the actual endzone, not just a white one).

One thing that I really enjoyed is what happens when a player "goes down", if you select the replay, you can actually see the person getting injured and laying there. Another thing that I haven't seen in any football game is the quarterback leaning back while he sets up to pass. I find myself replaying almost every completion just to watch the QB's animation from the side, back, front, and angle. The touchdown animations are also very done, even the Deion shuffle is in there (but anyone can do it).

The realism that VS provides is seen when the weather conditions are varied. For example, when you select rain, you actually see the mudspots forming on the GRASS fields, however the astroturf fields don't fade. Overall, the graphics are a joy to watch, and add to the game, but for those of you who want to know if they are better than GameDay's, I don't think so, but they are definitely adequate enough for you not to complain about them.

Sounds and Effects

The sounds in this game, set it apart from other sports titles. Madden and Summerall do the commentary, although some Madden enthusiasts can argue that the sounds are taken from the 3D0 version. Instead of the "thump thump clap" The audience actually yells "Defence thump thump Defense" adding a sense of realism especially because you can barely hear the QB over the crowd. But if you have the sound set to stereo, you'll notice that when the QB leans to the left to say "hut" that you'll hear it on the left speaker, and vice versa.

The hits are crisp, and the music is enjoyable. The only complaint I've heard in this area, is the fact that there isn't any touchdown music. Overall, the sound gets a thumbs up.


Of course, we all know that this is the most important for us enthusiasts. I have a few complaints in this department...1) It's almost impossible to lead a receiver with a pass, it seems that every pass is underthrown. 2) When running the ball, you can't speedburst, (makes it tough for breakaway touchdowns). 3) Diving is almost useless, it seems that you're just falling down, and forget about breaking tackles but the main complaint that I have is 4) Using the powertackle option requires too much timing.

The positive aspects of gameplay for this system are the options like putting any player in any position, salary cap restrictions, creating players, realistic plays/running, and the most important: not having to pick the maximum power to kick a 40 yard field goal. Finally, you can actually win a game that comes down to the last second field goal (consistently, depending on wind, and the kicker's power/accuracy).

The stats are cool too, although you can only view 2 at a time. There are also those "plays", you know them, the plays that automatically give you 30 yards, or block kicks (3-4, left play) These make playing the computer "unfun" after awhile, but two player action (most important) is something that will cause some to lose their jobs, and flunk out of school with its addictive aspects. Oh, and the laterals, now you can lateral left or right at any time. Finally, the game boasts at least 10 penalties, meaning that Rookie LG that you're paying 1.9 million, will probably get benched if he keeps leaping offsides. Oh and watch the facemask.

Salary Cap, Injuries, Game ticker, Laterals, commentary by Summerall/Madden, secret teams, great teams of the past, create-a-player, penalties, and every stadium all combine to make a game that you will keep coming back to!

Value for Money

I can honestly say that I am set in the football game department for a long, long time. Unless Gameday 2 puts me in a trance and forces me to buy it, make mine Madden.

This is the best football game on the market, period. Forget Gamebreakers, sell your Gameday, take back QB Club '97, and don't even think about getting TechmoBowl, (unless its for half price and plays on your gameboy, it's trash, really) and leave those other imitations on the shelf, and wait and see what Gameday has to offer.





This game is everything it promised. The best yet.











Madden does it yet again, this is easily the best overall American Football game available at this time.








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