Thunderbolt logo

Hands-on: Madden NFL Football 3DS


Madden NFL Football 3DS is a stripped down, bare essentials version of the gridiron game, except this time it’s in glorious 3D. This 3DS launch title is missing some important modes (no multiplayer whatsoever), but it’s still football. It’s hard not to have fun with it.

Most importantly, the 3D looks good, as do the polished graphics. It was hard to tell what was happening in past handheld titles due to the discomforting orgy of pixelization and blocky character models. The depth of field (awful pun intended) makes the passing game remarkably intuitive, and it helps that it’s easy to tell what routes are being run. When the ball is tossed down the field, the 3D is put to good use as the camera focuses on the pigskin.

The most substantial mode that will be offered in Madden NFL Football (sort of a redundant title, right?) is merely a season mode. Those looking to create dynasties should look elsewhere. A decent mode was the 5 on 5 arcade version with no first downs. It’s either touchdown or a turnover with nothing in between. Only four different plays can be chosen on defense and offense. The quick gameplay and fast scoring is perfect for short bursts of gaming.

This Madden lacks a numeral the end of it, which is likely part of the reason why the game’s style is so much different. Even the puniest of quarterbacks look like jacked WWE superstars, with over-the-top proportions and ridiculous biceps. While the gameplay itself is no less sophisticated than past DS versions, this unnumbered approach makes me wonder if a ‘real’ Madden will be coming out anytime soon.

Madden NFL Football is enjoyable, even for a die-hard football fan like myself, and the graphics are exceptional compared to the limited DS titles. The lack of any multiplayer and a dearth of modes doesn’t seem to bode well for the game’s longevity. This launch title might quickly show its age when the next version is inevitably released.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2003. Get in touch on Twitter @akarge.

Gentle persuasion

You should check out our podcast.