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Review: NFL Madden 2001 for PlayStation 2
(IDG) -- EA's storied Madden football game has made it to the PS2 in time for launch day, and it's as good, if not better, than you'd hoped it would be. With some of the best graphics the PS2 is likely to see in a sports game this year, Madden NFL 2001 also has the gameplay to back up the window dressing and a fat selection of options to tweak the game to your liking.
Passing in Madden is timing intensive, and as the quarterback, you've got to have it down pat. The running game is excellent. Running the ball well is essential to success in this Madden game, and you'll have to learn how to run to win if you've been corrupted by pass-oriented football games of the past. Linemen open up holes as they're supposed to, but once you reach the secondary, you'll have to rely on spins, stiff arms and sheer power to get through the bodies. Player controls are rock solid, but the only whammy against them is that sprint changes from X on offense to O on defense. Four different control schemes give you some degree of customization. You'll find a ton of different plays available to you in Madden's deep playbooks. There is no custom create-a-play feature, but you really don't need it.
Madden 2001 has all the current NFL teams as well as great NFL teams of the past, and even World Football League teams (if you really care). Want to match up the '85 Dolphins and the '85 Cowboys? Go right ahead. There are a ton of game modes and options as well. You can pick from a quick game as well as Season, Franchise (complete with draft and player signings), or an essential Practice mode where you learn the timing of your plays. An easy play feature gives novice gamers some training wheels, so they can go out and have some fun right away with this pretty complex simulation.
As in other EA sports games, Madden features cards that you earn through accomplishing different tasks in a game, like completing a 40 yard or greater field goal in a game. You can then use these cards to unlock hidden players, stadiums, and the like. It's a good motivation for getting better, and you can bet cards against other players.
It's hard to overstate just how good the graphics in Madden are. I know some people who thought they were watching a real game when Sega's NFL2K came out for the Dreamcast. Well, those folks will think they're watching a film in Sony IMAX when they see Madden in action. Not only are the player models exquisitely rendered, but their animations blend so smoothly that you sometimes feel like you're controlling real people, and the replays are unbelievable. There were a couple of small glitches like players walking through each other after the play was whistled dead, but suffice it to say, Madden is one of the best looking games for the PS2 so far.
Field Of dreams
Madden NFL 2001 for the PS2 is a sports gamer's dream come true. The great Madden gameplay is backed by a console system that finally has the power to show football action as it should be. It's fun to be this spoiled!
Technology - PlayStation 2 makes its North American debut
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First Look: Madden NFL 2001
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