Madden 2006 Is Out

The media blitz has begun.

Actually, it began quite some time ago but it has stepped up now that Madden NFL 06 is in stores. I unfolded my Star Tribune this morning and saw on the top banner of the front page a Madden-generated Ken Irvin (why Ken Irvin, I don’t know) next to a headline of "Madden ’06 – One thing’s for certain–it’s got game."

Inside the paper, on the front page, below the fold of the Metro section, was the article "Twin Cities mad for Madden"

Last night, the NFL Network aired a show called the Making of Madden. It was an absolutely fascinating look at how video games such as Madden are made and how they produce the stunning realism for which they are known. Fortunately, you don’t have to get the NFL Network in order to see them because they are online at Watch it online in parts 1 and 2.

The reviews are in and, as you might expect, they are all pretty favorable. says the game is great but that EA hasn’t outdone themselves this time. GameSpot gives the game an 8.2 rating largely because they’re not sold on the addition of the Quarterback Vision feature. But the leading video game publication, the Minneapolis-based Game Informer, gave Madden NFL 06 a thumbs-up, saying "Many questioned the fact that EA may lighten up on the innovation factor since they’ve wiped out the competition, and they’ve got the next generation creeping up on them, but fortunately this is not the case." 

The EA Tiburon team even released a special video featuring Florida Governor Jeb Bush laying a wicked hit on his brother, President Bush, on route to a touchdown. The video was produced as a surprise for the Florida Governor when he visited the Electronic Arts studios in Maitland, Florida.

Madden has also become a launching pad for new music and this year’s soundtrack features such bands as the Foo Fighters, Hot Hot Heat, and Godsmack. You can listen to the soundtrack at the Madden 06 site.

Yesterday, KFAN had an Electronic Arts representative on the P.A. & Dubay show talking about Madden 06 and he claimed that the Vikings would be one of the top teams to play this year because of their improved defense. Sweet.

Speaking of which, I’d be remiss if I did not point out that the updated Vikings 2005 Roster I made after free agency and the draft to reflect the Vikings current roster, was…disastrously wrong. I clearly don’t know what ratings formula EA uses, because I gave my rookies far too high player ratings, as many of you astute readers pointed out. Check out for the 06 player ratings.