Madden NFL 2004: Chicago’s hottest videogame

By Jae-Ha Kim and Misha Davenport
Chicago Sun-Times
August 15, 2003

Madden NFL 2004 EA Sports; Playstation 2; $49.99

Cool graphics, easy-to-follow directions and John Madden’s colorful commentary all make this franchise the best football game on the market. The attention to detail–from the players to the stadiums–is amazing. Speaking of which, Soldier Field has never looked so good. If the actual seating proves to be anything like that in the game, fans will have a better view all around. The rosters are as current as possible, making it a fun challenge to see whether you’re a better Brian Urlacher than, say, the linebacker in a real football game. The playmaker option–which allows you to use one control stick to change the offense’s direction–is a nice addition, and the instant replays are an awesome touch. Also nice is the “Ask Madden” button, which offers helpful advice that’ll ensure that every player has game. (Rated: E for Everyone) –Jae-Ha Kim

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic LucasArts; Xbox; $49.99

It’s the same galaxy far, far away, but longer ago. Set 4,000 years before the blockbuster films, “Knights” plunges the player into the original conflict that set off the rivalry between the Sith and the Jedi. Create and name your character and then be the Jedi you always wanted to be–literally. The game makes innovative use of the license through the Force Meter–play as an SOB and you’re headed straight to the dark side. It’s better than the prequels. Take that, Jar Jar. (Rated: T for Teen) –Misha Davenport

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Nintendo; GameCube; $49.99

Nintendo’s mascot Mario has a little Tiger Woods in him. He’s joined on the tour with several of Nintendo’s other popular characters in this colorful golf game. Up to four players can tee off in head-to-head competitions, or you can play solo and compete for trophies. Golfers will find some of the game’s automatic club selections interesting, but trust the game. Use that 5-iron even if you’re certain you’d use a sand wedge. (Rated: E for Everyone) –Misha Davenport

CHICAGO’S TOP 10
The hottest games sold in Chicago on amazon.com as of Aug. 10:

1. Madden NFL 2004    PlayStation 2

2. Madden NFL 2004    Xbox

3. MLB Slugfest 2004    GameCube

4. Backyard Baseball    Gameboy Advance

5. NCAA Football 2004    PlayStation 2

6. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic    Xbox

7. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City    PlayStation 2

8. Kim Possible    Game Boy Advance

9. X-Men: Next Dimension    PlayStation 2

10. Silent Hill 3    PlayStation 2

What’s your game … AARON CARTER? 

“My favorite is ‘Mario Golf.’ My friends get mad ’cause I beat them all the time!”

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