Although I haven't been much of a fan for handheld sports titles, Madden NFL 2005 on the Nintendo DS offers a relatively decent performance utilizing the system's capabilities. Though in all honesty, the action could be presented on a single screen and wouldn't matter to most players either way.
Gamers can use the touch screen to select plays, call audibles, and perform other commands on the fly while they enjoy the action topside. During gameplay, the lower screen shifts to a "field radar", which monitors all 22 players, represented by X's and O's. Unless you're a football junkie, chances are, this feature will go right over your head.
The visual quality falls in-between N64 and PlayStation games; but you'll easily be able to pick out your favorite players thanks to detailed uniforms. Other notable features include player portraits and touchdown dances (animated in a somewhat jerky fashion, but I'll take my victories anyway I can get).
Players can jump right into the action, go head-to-head against a friend wirelessly (a key component for sports enthusiasts who enjoy multiplayer action), play a season and even collect Madden Challenges. Other notable features includes an impressive 3D replay mode, color commentary from John Madden and crowd sound effects.
Overall, the game looks and sounds as good as any handheld sports title can get. It would have been great if the DS offered some sort of connectivity options with the GameCube, but I imagine EA and Nintendo will cook up something for the next Nintendo platform. In the end, most football junkies will likely stick to their consoles for gridiron action, but DS owners craving a portable football action will want to wrap their mits around this game.