So what better place to host the launch of one of the gaming industry's most successful football game franchises? "Madden 08" celebrated its birth and introduction to the world Aug . 15 at a rather exclusive launch party filled with celebrities from the Natinoal Football League.
Erick Dickerson, Warren Moon, Marshall Faulk, and Jamal Anderson were among the fans, who were equally excited to get their hands on this new addition to the franchise. Lining up outside the Toys R Us store, they definitely got the attention of any press that happened to be covering the event.
And what event of this magnitude would be complete unless you had a star performer. Ozzy Osbourne, the alleged godfather of heavy metal, was at the Hard Rock Café and jammed out three songs, including "Crazy Train." This stellar performance was broadcast in Times Square on several JumboTrons.
But this is a gaming event and wouldn't be complete unless games were being played. Some of the NFL players in attendance got a chance to play a few virtual downs, some using their own likeness or team in the game. Fans got a chance to see these head-to-head match-ups over the JumboTrons.
As part of the celebration, for the midnight launch of the game, the re-creation of the classic New Year's Eve ball drop came in the form of a "Madden NFL 08" game cover, which was dropped from the Reuters building. As that happened, former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber handed off the first copy of "Madden NFL 08" on Xbox 360 at Toys R Us to the first eager fan online.
I had the pleasure of chatting with seasoned NFL greats Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson and Warren Moon.
"I've played a little," said Faulk, regarding "Madden 08." "You know they won't let you take that home. After tonight I'm going to have mine."
I asked Eric if the game showed how real the NFL games are. He said: "I think this is as close as you can get to play a NFL game. It gives you the coverage, the plays, the players. You're never going to be a Peyton Manning or play him. 'Madden 08' you can!"
"Really scary!" said Warren Moon when asked what he thought about the game, "'Madden 08' is as close to being a football game that you can get. They've really done a great job at making it sophisticated."
After watching the pros go head-to-head, we're pretty eager to get our hands on a few copies of "Madden" for the office. Of course this would strictly be played after business hours. Somehow we get the feeling that loud noises and chants coming from our corner would most likely cause a bit of disruption to our fellow co-workers. Look for a full review of this title in the not-too-distant future.