Madden NFL 06 is an American football video game which was released on August 8, 2005. It is also a launch game for the Xbox 360. It is the 16th installment of the Madden NFL series by EA Sports, named for noted color commentator John Madden. The product features former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb on the cover. It is the first Madden game for the PlayStation Portable and Xbox 360.
One of the touted additions to the 2006 version of Madden is Superstar mode, which allows the player to create and take control of an NFL player from his rookie year all the way to retirement. An athlete can be created by evaluating pairs of parents — judging, based on their IQs, occupations, and hobbies, whether their child would excel in the NFL — or by importing a player from NCAA Football 06 or NFL Street 2. This player is 21 years old at the start of his career. Superstar mode is essentially Madden's Franchise mode seen through the eyes of this athlete. Rather than manage the team's front office, the player manages the career of his athlete: selecting movie roles, accepting product endorsement, etc. The player can access different areas of the city the Superstar is playing in such as the barber shop, to get a haircut or the performance institute to raise attributes if the player's agent has a key. As the player gains in popularity and prestige the superstar's home will transform from an apartment to a luxurious mansion. The player will receive calls from former NFL running back Terrell Davis, who is the player's mentor and guide. This addition has met with mixed reviews from video game reviewers. Although the idea is considered great in concept, many found the actual execution of the mode to be lackluster.
Madden NFL 06 also features the new QB Vision Control. A cone, appearing as a spotlight emitting from the quarterback, simulates his field of vision. To make an accurate pass, the quarterback must have his intended receiver in his field of vision. Passing to a receiver not in the cone reduces pass accuracy significantly. The size of the quarterback's vision cone is directly correlated to his Awareness rating; Quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Tom Brady see nearly the entire field at once, whereas a mediocre quarterback such as David Carr, Aaron Brooks or Kyle Boller will see only a sliver of the field, however this has been very criticized by many fans because it may resemble some bias that EA Sports and the Madden series itself is, frequently accused of (for example many players say that Ben Roethlisberger's stats were, to some extent, deflated). A player can shift the vision cone with the right analog stick, or focus the cone on a specific receiver by holding a shoulder button and pressing the button assigned to that receiver. (On the highest difficulty level, once a receiver completes his route, his button label disappears; to make it reappear the quarterback must look in his direction.) This change also met with lukewarm reception. Although the passing system adds a whole new level of realism, it also makes the game significantly more difficult for players playing teams with less-aware quarterbacks. These players will be forced to improve their reflexes in order to be competitive, as throwing outside the QB vision cone results in a very weak and inaccurate pass.
Accompanying QB Vision is Precision Passing. Pressing the directional button or left analog stick in a certain direction as you pass the ball will make the throw over the receiver's head (Up), behind him (Left), in front of him (Right), or at his knees (Down).
Perhaps the most critically acclaimed new feature is the truck stick, which functions like an offensive version of the hit stick from the previous year. When running the football, a player can push forward the right analog stick to run over the defender, at the cost of risking a potential fumble. Several features from previous titles return such as hot routes, playmaker features, and franchise features.
Source: Wikipedia, "Madden 06", available under the CC-BY-SA License.