Madden NFL 07: Multiplayer Madness

We check out the incredibly fun multiplayer minigames in Madden NFL 07 for the Wii.

The Nintendo Wii version of Madden NFL 07 might just be the most unique take on the long-running football franchise ever seen. The control scheme, which takes extensive advantage of the Wii's wireless controller and Nunchuk attachment make the game more interactive and visceral than you might expect, and, even better, the game includes all of the single-player modes found in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions. The game will also include a trio of multiplayer minigames that aren't found in the other versions of Madden, and they just happen to be one of the best aspects of the Wii version. We got a chance to try out the three minigames, in some cases multiple times, during a recent demo session with the folks at EA Sports.

Madden NFL 07 on the Nintendo Wii is unlike any other football game you've played.

Though minigames are nothing new to the Madden franchise, those found in the Wii version have never been seen in the series before. The trio includes Two-on-Two, Kicking Combine, and a mode called YAC Attack. All can be played with up to four players on the same Wii console, and in some cases, two players can join together to take on the computer.

The first minigame we played, Two-on-Two, featured two players per team in a series of wide-open passing and catching that played a bit like your old schoolyard pickup games. The goal here is to score as many touchdowns as you can for each of the five plays of your round. Should you intercept a ball and run it back to the opposite end zone, you get two points. Each team gets a set number of downs per round, with one player acting as the quarterback and the other acting as the wide receiver. On the defensive side of the ball, one player controls a defensive back and the other plays as a linebacker, rushing the quarterback. Just like the old-school games, there is a set amount of time before the linebacker can cross the line of scrimmage to rush the QB, counted off in "Mississippi's" that flash up on the screen (as in One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, and so on). Once you get to the set number of Mississippi's, the linebacker can cross the scrimmage line and lay a beatdown on the QB.

During Two-on-Two, every player will get multiple chances to play every position. In the first round, you might play quarterback on offense and linebacker on defense. In the next round, you'll play as a wide receiver on offense and a defensive back when playing defense. Your responsibilities, naturally, change depending on the position you're currently playing. As a wideout, for example, your job will be to get open, running whatever kind of route you wish. When the ball is thrown your way, you'll have to manually catch the ball by motioning up with the two controllers simultaneously. Your quarterback, on the other hand, will have a few moments to wait before he's under pressure; once the wideout is open, he'll toss the ball by pressing forward with the Wii controller. The power you put behind the Wii controller "throw" motion will determine the type of throw you make. A quick motion will make for a bullet pass; a slow movement will result in a lob pass.

On defense, the primary objective of the linebacker is to put pressure on the quarterback, though he can drop back into double coverage, as well. Though he can only begin his rush once the time limit is up, you can speed up the Mississippi countdown by vigorously drumming the Wii controller and Nunchuk up and down. The quicker you drum, the faster the countdown will go, putting that much extra pressure on the QB. Finally, as the defensive back, your job is to knock down, or better yet, intercept the pass. You can swat a pass by holding up the Wii controller when the ball reaches you; to attempt an interception, you hold up both controllers as if you were playing receiver.

Over the course of a full game, you can expect to score a ton of touchdowns and, for the most part, it's a rollicking good time, especially with four players. The ever-changing routes of the wide receiver and the constant pressure on the quarterback make for some laugh-out-loud moments of tension. It helps too that there's no such thing as pass interference in this mode, so when playing as a defensive back, you can impede the wideout's progress by getting ahead of him and slowing him down. There are some frustrations--catching the ball is sometimes more difficult than it should be, and tackling is sometimes pretty difficult--but for the most part, it's a great time.

It's everyone against the kicker in the kicking combine minigame.

The second mode, Kicking Combine is, as you might expect, a kicking contest. Up to four players can take part, first choosing their team (and thus their kicker), and then using the Madden Wii kick mechanic (hold down the A button and move the Wii controller up quickly) to nail field goals from increasingly longer distances. The space between the two goal posts is color coded, and the closer you are to splitting the uprights down the middle, the more points you'll earn. To add challenge, all of the other nonkicking players in the game can generate "wind" by quickly drumming their two controllers in the air and pressing the Nunchuk's analog stick in any direction. The quicker everyone drums, the stronger the wind you'll generate and the harder it will be for the kicker. To make things even more difficult, you only have a few seconds to make your kick attempt before the next person takes his or her turn. Of the three, this was perhaps the weakest of the minigames, if only because it seemed overly difficult to make kicks with a strong wind working against you (the purposeful lack of an aiming arrow didn't help here). Then again, no one else seemed to be having too much trouble going all Adam Vinatieri on us, so perhaps the trouble was ours alone.

The final mode, and our favorite of the bunch, is known as YAC Attack. The "YAC" in YAC Attack stands for yards after catch, which means this is yet another pitch-and-catch minigame, though this one has a definite twist of its own. Essentially a three-on-one matchup, YAC Attack has one player acting as the quarterback for any NFL team, while the three remaining players are defensive backs looking to defend against the pass. When the quarterback hikes the ball, it's up to that player to find an open receiver; the three defensive backs will look to be swatting down balls, tackling receivers, or otherwise disrupting the momentum of the player on offense. If you've played defensive back in Madden NFL 07's Superstar challenge, you know that this is one of the more challenging positions in the game, but in YAC mode, that adds to the challenge. There is also the added benefit of your teammate picking up your slack if you blow your coverage and making the tackle or, better yet, breaking up the play altogether.

The twist in YAC Attack mode is that everyone is always competing against one another, even if they're playing on the same team. This is because how you perform on the field will earn you points, and the player with the highest number of points at the end of the game is the winner. On defense, making a big tackle or interception will earn you points, just like making a big pass will on offense. Simply completing passes isn't enough, however. The real goal on offense is to make a pass and then get those all-important yards after catch, which will really add to your point total. That said, it's not unusual to see someone leading the game mostly through skillful defensive play--a smart design choice that ensures everyone is in the game, no matter what side of the ball they're playing on.

The wide receiver/defensive back match-up is more alive than ever in YAC Attack mode.

The only annoying thing about this mode, beyond the occasional dropped pass, is when receivers get far down the field and become covered up by the individual player score graphics at the top of the screen. It's easy to lose track of your defensive assignments at this point, and a smart QB will take advantage of that. Still, the trash-talking possibilities in YAC Attack mode are pretty much off the charts, especially when the three defensive players gang up on the quarterback to throw him or her off their game. Even better, there's nothing better than shutting up the defensive yahoos with a sniper throw and a subsequent 30-yard touchdown run. Simply put, when YAC Attack mode is at its best, it's the best minigame of the bunch.

Though all three minigames in the Wii version of Madden NFL 07 have their charms, it's the interactive and energetic nature of the Two-on-Two and YAC Attack modes that impressed us most--if only because they seem most in line with the four-players-on-the-couch ethos that's at the heart of the Wii console. We look forward to spending more time with these minigames and the rest of what Madden NFL 07 for the Wii has to offer when the game launches later this month.

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Discussion

72 comments
crew2005
crew2005

is there a basketball game coming out for the wii

L1nk4L1f3
L1nk4L1f3

just because the graphics arent as good as ps3 and 360, doesnt mean that the game sucks. games r meant to be played to have fun, not to be entranced in great graphics. sure graphics add to the game, but as u buy more and more games u waste more and more money every game u buy, just b/c it has good graphics, if u buy 10 games for ps3 or 360 u waste 100$; enough to buy 2 games on wii

Pyro1574
Pyro1574

Does anyone think there may be some sort of a mulit tap, or software upgrade for the wii? so that you can use more than 4 wii-motes at the same time, that would be awesome for party games like mario party 8

NND1
NND1

I usually do not buy madden.... But I think this is a must buy.. Looks awesome, I have a 360 but I got to have my Nintendo Wii

rikardo10
rikardo10

the wii version looks pretty kool.

eolfson
eolfson

C'mon guys, sure the graphics don't compete with the PS3 or 360, but who really gives a ****? If you have ever played games on the 360 it shouldn't take long before you realize a lot of the games are missing an exceptional amount of content, like Madden for example. Sure, there are some great games, like Gears of War, but amazing graphics and a couple sweet games aren't worth $600. Graphics aren't that big of a deal, they offer no extra replay value, they just wow you the first time you turn it on. Don't get me wrong though, the other systems aren't bad, I'd just rather not buy one myself.

LordSasori
LordSasori

Anyone who spends 60 bucks to look at higher res textures is a moron period. Nuff said.

cancer_777
cancer_777

I dont really get the whole graphics thing.... I mean I dont like the blocky grapichs that the PS1 or N64 had (though they were pretty cool back then) but Why do some people need their games to be so realistic you could see the nose hair from the master chief???? I would take great graphics if they are reasonably priced but if I'll have more fun with something else then why should I care???? These are supposed to be games if want to experience football so realistic then I would pick up a ball and go play with real people. (rumble feature is included... lol)

PokerStar2011
PokerStar2011

iwo4life i would much rather play a game with great gameplay and bad graphics then a game with great graphics and bad gameplay.

halomastaman
halomastaman

hey! wii looks almost as good as original xbox! i thought it would just barely be a step up from gamecube. nintendo is doing great there! (computers suck at showing sarcasm)

h4xx0rz
h4xx0rz

As long as I can see and understand what is happening, I don't really care about graphics... though gameplay makes up some of how good a game is, a truly great game is a combination of many different values, which include both graphics and gameplay, and not necessarily whether or not the graphics are life-like. Life-like graphics aren't necessarily the best graphics for a game. I certainly wouldn't want life-like graphics in, say Trauma Center...

NND1
NND1

I can't wait for this game.. I got to try out Excite Truck and I have to say that the motion control is awesome.... It has force feedback and really puts you in the game... Also the Wii graphics look nice.... I also own Xbox -- X360 -- ps2 -- and GC -- even DC LOL

greystone227
greystone227

I've never really liked sports games, but this might just change my opinion. I'm hoping to be able to get a Wii this Christmas, but seeing as I didn't get one pre-ordered, I don't know how much luck I'll have. But the controls seem to be the big selling point for me. Also, unlike some people, I really don't think the graphics matter. Gameplay, to me, is the most important part in a game. I mean, look at all of the games considered classics (ex. Tetris, Super Mario 3, etc). These games are still more fun than some games today that have amazing graphics.

black_cat19
black_cat19

*sigh* All you people still whinning about the graphics... Just read the review of Genji 2, the graphics are the best thing about that game, they are "next gen graphics", but that still didn't make it a great game, or even a good one for that matter...

16tony16
16tony16

it looks like an excelent game and i am gonna get it all th way

cavv
cavv

if it is fun enough, ill buy it regardless the crappy graphics. Dont really need high def graphs to enjoy it.

PolishPunisher
PolishPunisher

directfromhell I belive that you are the one being the fanboy, I hate Sony as much as the next guy but I had no idea the PS2 had worse graphics then the cube. Any links?

iwo4life
iwo4life

Graphics look pretty bad. Not so much the stadiums but the players look horrible. This controller will have to be pretty good to take a step back in graphics for a lot of people. Sure people who support Nintendo will go on and on about game play and controls but if you aren't interested in what you are controlling because it looks like crap or is unrealistic then who cares. I think this is especially true with football games striving to emulate the look and feel of a real game. Only a handful of these Wii games have sparked my interest. Some games it sounds cool to be able to wield a sword or a gun but some of these games sound like it would be more fun to just use a standard controller.

DrKill09
DrKill09

This looks like an N64 game.

Omnislush
Omnislush

Can't we all just get along!!!!???? This game looks great (decent graphics and a new way to play), and I am looking forward to it! If you don't like it, don't get it. It's really that simple. If you're all about the PS3, what do you really have to gain by talking down the Wii and its games!? Trust me--Sony isn't going to give you a pat on the back or a price discount for doing it. Before you call me a fanboy, realize that I have been playing video games since the Atari days. I own a Gamecube, XBOX, and PS2, and I have enjoyed all three for different reasons. Out of the next gen systems, the Wii appeals to me more because it is a different experience

wolfsrainkiba
wolfsrainkiba

Well I know for a fact that the wii has more power than the Original xbox .Also I played it on my local gamestop tha game was exite truck but it looked awsome It felt like i was playng burnout on my xbox

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

sounds like it might be fun.

directfromhell
directfromhell

The comments everywhere seem the same BS. Really who cares about all you fanboys anyway. Sony, MS, Nintendo dont give a **** to your loyal support. They just need people to sell their consoles and they dont a give a damn if you are launching a virtual campaign dissing every other company. Get a life fanboys. The company which makes the fun games wins anyway and people with common sense will buy that console. So no amount of trolling here on message boards will do you any good.

directfromhell
directfromhell

PolishPunisher, who is being a fanboy here? Everybody knows that PS2 had the worst graphics last gen. GC and Xbox were far more graphically superior compared to PS2 and that didnt get them anywhere. Get your facts right before you say something.

eolfson
eolfson

PolishPunisher, the graphics for the GC were not as bad as the PS2. The ganes different, and the graohuc style was too. If you look at the games, like NBA Live, for the two systems, the PS2's were abysmal. And I'm not just supporting the GC because it's what I have, because I have bith, and neither is a standout better to the other.

JapMex
JapMex

i realize graphics are not everything, i still play zelda on the 64 and i show my Snes love with mario and donkey kong, but this is a next-gen console, and part of buying new consoles and new games (especially games like madden and ncaa) is to see the advancements in the graphics, so really there is no point in arguing because you are all just fanboys that wont give in to your pride.

JonFuri
JonFuri

i wanted the next-gen interface for this game, but oh well. beggars cant be choosers. This game is gonna rock on the Wii.

PolishPunisher
PolishPunisher

kingamez I don't know what your smoking, but the Gamecube had the worst graphics in the last gen. BTW the Wii's gameplay is nothing new to me.

xxSupermanSGSxx
xxSupermanSGSxx

if ppl havent noticed Madden is always lower then it would be on its previous next gen console. Look at the 350 version. They updated the graphics but didn't have all the game content. The Wii suprisingly takes good advantage of the Wii controls but it doesn't have all the great graphical power and doesn't have have online even thought the Wii is online enabled.

kingamez
kingamez

Seriously guys, SHUT THE **** UP ABOUT THE GRAPHICS! The PS2 had the worst graphics (and it's proven) out of the last-gen consoles and it sold the best. Graphics aren't everything, the wii will be incredible, gameplay is what matters. So for everyone that worries about graphics, stop being ignorant and take a step outside and smell the aroma...learn something new for a change you PS3 fanboys

thekey
thekey

Even though its going to not look as good as the 360's madden its going to be so much fun! GO Wii60!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lillan2967
lillan2967

hey mavrik80, your an EFFING idiot LOL. And all u grafix whiners need to shut up cuz after you get past the graphics and to the gameplay, that's where the real test of a game is, the longevity, fun factor, controls and anything innovative. Man they shouldn't even review games based on how amazing the graphics look because they don't even matter if the game sucks, you grafix whores.

CivicGSR
CivicGSR

Jeez... kids these days are getting more and more stupid... (Bladex2k)... think before you open your mouth.

Bladex2k
Bladex2k

why buy a wii when gamecube has better graphics i can care less anyways im a ps3 fanboy go ps3 yea!!!

oboewan9999
oboewan9999

mavrik80 sorry... its not always about graphics.. but when its the SAME EFFING GAME offered across all platforms.. it IS about the graphics.. and this looks worse than playstation 2 LOL 1. It's not the same game. That's like saying the GCN and DS versions of a game with the same title are the same. It's just not true. 2. It looks better than Xbox LOL 3. You can take that comment and stick it up my

pedro_magalhaes
pedro_magalhaes

It's not the same game. It looks like a xbox madden game so stop your whinning. The graphics are good. And the gameplay is probably the most innovative around. I'm surprised EA pulled this off.

mavrik80
mavrik80

sorry... its not always about graphics.. but when its the SAME EFFING GAME offered across all platforms.. it IS about the graphics.. and this looks worse than playstation 2 LOL

liljon546
liljon546

Looks pretty cool on the Wii

16tony16
16tony16

Probably the best Madden game!!:D

scotty74
scotty74

Wii is "next-gen", and the PS2 Madden has been out longer.

BIGboss600
BIGboss600

how can this madden be 50$ and the ps2 madden be 40$ ?

Mohandas_Gandhi
Mohandas_Gandhi

Oh, yes! The graphics whores are posting comments, I love these because they're so ridiculously funny and stupid :)

zux2000
zux2000

I only like soccer (football) but this game looks fun anyway because it's for wii

Bored1ed
Bored1ed

I am not trying to bash the Wii but the graphics do look worse than what Madden looked like on the Gamecube. I do agree it's not the graphics that make the games and I do plan I buying the Wii but I just don't see why they wouldn't look better since the Wii has more power than the Cube.?.

juanfraino
juanfraino

When is the review gonna go up? Im about to pre-order and I need to know what games im gonna buy?

nramsey34
nramsey34

i love it when people post stuff about graphics....the immediate flaming is always worth a few good laughs... Gameplay will always be more important than graphics, and this seems to have it all. I can't wait to play this game.