GameCube
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Published by: EA Sports
Develped by: EA Sports
For: PS2, Xbox, GBA, Gamecube
Version reviewed: Gamecube
Rated: E for Everyone

I\'m not a big fan of arm chair fooseball. Yeah, I\'ll play it, I\'ll watch a real game, but it\'s not that big of a thing for me. So, it is truly great praise coming from me when I say that Madden NFL 2003 has outdone itself.

Graphics

Absolutely beautiful. That\'s all that can describe it. Just like in the previews for Metroid Prime, the screens do not do the game justice. Grass stains cover the shirts of tackled players, helmets fly, and, speaking of helmets, there is accurate reflection mapping on them. There are some rough edges, such as clipping (when an object interferes with the display of another object), as well as some pretty weird looking s (are they supposed to have angular faces???), but the overall presentation, style, and look of the game overruns any complaints by this reviewer about the graphics.

Modes

As in most sports games, there are many modes here which are the meat of the gameplay. Sure, you have your practice, your play now modes. And all of the modes have many options in them which can give you different effects, such as Football 101, in which John Madden takes you through plays of your choice step-by-step. This can be helpful, and it greatly improved my play style. Another mode is called Madden Camp. It basically takes you across the U.S. to complete challenges, earning you points, earning you collectable Madden Cards, which you can trade with a friend. But the main mode in the game is Franchise, which takes you through 30 years of play-- that includes Pre-Season, Off-Season, and you can scout rookies. Basically, at the end of your 30 year football dynasty, your favorite players will have retired, the rookies you hired in your first or second Off-Season will be getting up in years, and there might be a couple of Hall of Famers within your team. I for one chose the Broncos. First Pre-Season game, third quarter, (Pre-Season games work like this-- you have your starters first and second quarters, and then you have your rookies third and fourth quarters.) QB Beuerlein gets sacked for a loss of yardage. His first play. Breaks his collarbone, and he\'s out for the season. Oh well, I can live with Greise, I guess. Anyway, the point is that all of your plays result in increased player intelligence, harder teams, and better players period. Heck, those games against your best bud Jimbo, let's just say that he's reserved a spot on the 'you'll-never-live-this-down' list. As for the AI in Franchise? It's some of the best I've ever played against. Stop reading this review if the game intrigues you. GO BUY IT NOW!

Control

So, you\'ve come to wonder, \'Sure, this crazy man says the modes are good&but how do the players control?\' Well, the answer my friend, is this. Without a good control scheme, Madden games would be absolutely nothing. And this game is something. The way the Gamecube controller contorts to your hands allows for great control and movement. On the offensive side, the C Stick pump the QB, powering up for the Hail Mary you\'re just about to execute. (A Hail Mary is a play that sends the TE, HB and WRs upfield, and I mean long upfield, for a reception. Hopefully, your friend isn\'t pulling an insane blitz, such as Cover 2 QB Spy, or SS Blitz. Then the Hail Mary won\'t work. But you\'re guaranteed at least 30 yards, if a reception is made.) The A button is sprint for defense. The X button is sprint for offense. The B button either dives or tackles, for the offense or defense, respectfully. Y leaps, Z stiff arms it, X spins when in possession of the ball&.hmm&might want to get a game manual&. Play control is excellent, and extremely intuitive. You should be able to pick up on this game soon. Basically, play control is what we have come to expect from EA: complicated, but with controls that beginners can learn. Most games by EA have a control section. This is the Basic Control. Advanced Control comes later, sometimes two pages later. It never is good to immediately look at the advanced controls before you look at the basics, mainly because almost every EA game has so many layers to it, it\'s like a wedding cake. The more advanced you become, the more moves you can learn. In a sense, it\'s almost like a tutorial in the game manual.

Sound

The roar of the crowds. The echo of the announcer. Bon Jovi playing in the background&what ? Yes, Bon Jovi, as well as Andrew W.K. and many other bands joining the game as the new EA Sports Trax. They\'re not EA Sports exclusive, they\'re just labeled like that. But anyway, the sound is good, just not& excellent. For the sound to be excellent, the crowd would sound less hazy, the players more real, and you would hear the coach yelling directions and words of encouragement to the players in the background. Still, the sound is pretty dang good, from the team yelling \'Break!\' after the huddle, to the sound of body armor colliding against a helmet. It is realistic, and the developmental team did add their share of details, and some pretty heavy music (hey, if you own an Xbox&CD Ripper& yeah!), but overall, the sound is not above what Sega can put out for it\'s 2k series.

Appropriate?

Almost nothing is wrong here. Yeah, there are cheerleaders, scantily clad, but overall, this is a very clean game. It is violent, but the sport is like that, and no one usually gets very hurt (except Beuerlein). I do not believe that any cursing is in the music, and believe me, I\'ve listened, but if there is, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Final Ratings

Appropriateness A Control A+ Graphics A Sound B Gameplay A+

Overall: 98%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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