Madden 2007 Release Day for Xbox 360

Today is the release date for Madden 2007 for the Xbox 360 (and the other platforms). Football used to be my favorite game to play on consoles. Madden has kind of been the reason for the “used to” part.

The old Xbox versions of the NFL2K series were, in my opinion, far to superior to what Madden turns out each year. Unfortunately, a few years back, Electronic Arts bought the exclusive rights to use the NFL in video games. It was a sad day. The one hope was that EA would use that opportunity to revolutionize the football video game experience. Sadly, they have done the opposite.

The 2006 release of Madden on the Xbox 360 was ridiculous. It should have never been released. Unfortunately, I picked up a copy at launch with my Xbox 360. I have never seen a “less finished” product released than that. They clearly rushed it to delivery to meet the Xbox 360 launch date. That game has an inch of dust on it from lack of use. I would trade it in, but the resale value is so low, its not worth it.

Here’s where it gets strange – or stupid depending on how you look at it. My copy of Madden 2007 arrives tomorrow. Why would I buy it again? Simple. It’s the only game in town and I so desperately want to play console football and enjoy it that I am willing to give it another chance. They have had a year to work out the kinks and take advantage of the Xbox 360 power. i can only hope they have used the year wisely.

I have seen some of the features and videos made of the game that have been made available on Xbox Live and the promise factor has gone up. Enough so to order a copy of the game.

That is, until I read some of the preliminary reviews today. For some inexplicable reason, it seems that EA has left out co-op play out of the game. WTF? How could that not be part of a football release? They add in the lead blocker feature which allows you to become the lead blocker on a run play and then dont let you team up with a bud to use it? Playing console football with a friend and teaming up is liking adding ice cream to your apple pie. Not everyone ALWAYS wants to play against someone. In their usual lack of brilliance, they also left the co-op out of mulitplayer. So, no teaming up with friends on Xbox Live.

Aaaaarrrrghhh… When will I learn that EA will screw the gamer one way or the other? Wow, all this and I havent even booted up the game yet. I keep telling myself to wait for the reviews and even rent the game before buying it, but every year I impulsively rush out and get it before and regret it later. I should be as frustrated with myself as I am with EA. Its folks like me that dont give EA a reason to put out a worthwhile product. Guess I need to add it to my New Year’s resolution list for next year and be smart about it though if the game is trash AGAIN, I think I will finally be free.

I want my NFL2K series back…