Review by ACAblackpanther
"Once again, EA delivers"
A perfect ten? Yes, I don't see anything wrong with this game, it's an amazing football experience. I've heard it said that EA is getting lazy with the exlusive NFL license and not making many improvements over previous games. That might be true, but the purpose of this review is not to compare it to previous years, it's to rate the game on it's own merits. And I give it a perfect 10.
Everything is good. The controls all feel intuitive, and it has lots of options to make things easier for newer players. This year EA revamped the running controls, and it all feels smoother and more natural than other football games. Another feature is leadblocking controls. Before the snap, you have to option to switch control from the quarterback, who is doing nothing on the run play, to your fullback of offensive linesmen. Tired of your fullback whiffing on the easy linebacker block? No more! Now you can control the fullback, and it's nobody's fault but your own if he misses the block. The passing game feels good, and with a little practice and a decent quarterback you'll be dropping passes over your receiver's shoulder, just out of reach of the defensive back. The vision cone is great, it seperates good quarterbacks from bad ones. Just because your quarterback can run a 4.37 40 time and throw the ball 70 yards doesn't mean he'll win games, and a sitting duck in the pocket who can't manage to throw it 40 yards could be more efficient, based on the size of his vision cone. And did i mention the exclusive NFL license? The only problems are some minor glitches in the system, like the fact that running backs can't be tackled while they are in the air hurdling a fallen player. Once, when I tried to snap a punt before half, the game glitched, declared a fumble, and then proceeded to continue play with 0:00 time on the clock permanently, or at least until I rebooted the system.
Game Modes: 8/10
Superstar mode brings this score down. Despite many changes intended to fix it from last year, it remains boring. The only way this mode is fun is if you cycle through parent sets until you get a Hall of Fame father, and your rookie is rated in the 90's to begin with. After all, this is Superstar mode, not Benchwarmer mode. Franchise mode remains untouched, and that's a good thing because this is the mode that you'll play the most. Franchise mode gets a perfect 10. All the mini-games and practice modes are fun when you've got 10 minutes to kill and don't want to dive into a full game.
Yes, the graphics engine for this game is aging, but I don't think it can really get any better on the GameCube. It still looks sharp, just don't compare it to the 360 version of the game. Sometimes catches look a little strange, and the ball magically zaps into the receiver's hands without even being in reach. The many tackle and catch animations make things look realistic. I especially like the one-handed attempt the receiver makes when the ball is thrown over his head.
It sounds like football. Big hits crunch just like they should, and particularly hard passes will thump into the receiver's hands. You can hear defenders shouting out pre-snap instructions, whether it be to watch for a run, a screen, or anything else. When you call audibles your quarterback shouts out nonsense just like real NFL quarterbacks. "Red 47!" The crowd boos and cheers appropriately, booing when the home team drops a big pass and cheering for big hits. The commentary starts to get old, but the phrases they say are excellent.
Amazing. The only reason I still have my GameCube is to play this game. I don't play anything else. There is a lack of online play on the GameCube, but it is 10 bucks cheaper than the PS2 and Xbox versions. I got so much more than the 40 dollars I paid for this game.
Bottom Line: Get this game.
If you are any fan of football at all, you need to go out and buy this game. It's down in price now...you will not regret it.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/28/06
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