Review by DarkAngel13
"The best of the Nintendo 64"
Madden 2001 is the top of the line football game of the Nintendo 64. It had been in competition with the NFL QB Club franchise and NFL blitz for football supremacy on the N64, but it blew them away in 2000-2001. While it was a good game for it's time, that doesn't necessarily mean it was a great game.
The point of Madden is to beat your opponent. In the season mode, you take control of a team and you do your best to win the Super Bowl. In a franchise you take control of the whole operation. You try to win the Super Bowl, but you have to deal with impending free agents, the NFL draft, and more.
The controls of Madden 2001 really didn't fit the Nintendo 64 too well. For the most part they were fine, but... some of the moves just didn't feel too natural. A was to sprint on offense, and to switch players on defense. The B button was to switch players on both sides of the football. L (or Z) and R were to juke on offense, while on defense they were used to perform moves to try to get around the defense. C-up was to try to hurdle over a downed defender while on offense, and on defense it was to attempt to jump into the air to pick off a pass. C-down on offense was used as a spin move. C-right was used as a stiff arm on offense, which really was in a bad spot. Especially when you can't control which direction the player is going to stiff arm, so you can see that having only one button for a stiff arm really doesn't work too well.
The sound of Madden 2001 wasn't really too hot either. The sound seemed somewhat fuzzy, but that is because of the bad sound quality of the N64. The menu music can be summed up in one word: repetitive. There was only one song that would be played while on the menu, and that got old really fast. You'd be doing yourself a favor if you turned off the menu music. The announcing of Madden 2001 wasn't too great either. While Madden and Summerall do attempt to call a game, they repeat their lines WAY too often. Madden seems like he only has about ten lines programmed into him, so you may just want to turn on the radio or listen to something else.
The graphics for the N64 weren't too bad, but they weren't great either. There wasn't a whole lot of detail put into the player models, and you can tell. All players are about the same size, which is rather unrealistic. Another problem with the graphics are that the player uniforms are all very bland. They only have the primary color of the jersey, the primary color of the pants, and the primary color of the helmet. You won't be seeing any different numbers on these jerseys, nor will you be seeing noticable logos on the helmets. The stadiums are rather well done however, which I will give EA credit for.
The main problem with Madden 2001 was it's apparent lack of challenge. While there are difficulty levels, they are not too noticeable from the others. The in-game sliders really aren't too helpful either, as you can have the run/pass slider all the way to the run side and the computer may still pass the ball 40 times a game. Another problem of mine with the difficulty was how easy it was to trade for superstar players in a franchise. You could ship off your draft picks and an average player to pick up an all-pro with ease. The draft picks really didn't mean squat, since the Madden generated rookies hardly developed.
One good thing that this has going for it is it's replay value. There are plenty of Madden cards that you can collect. These cards contain things such as player upgrades, fantasy teams, new stadiums, cheats, or classic players. There also is available multi-player franchise and seasons. So you and your buddies can have a year-to-year franchise going between you all.
A great thing about this game being on the Nintendo 64 was the lack of loading times due to it being a cartridge. While it wasn't the greatest game, it was the best football game that was available on the 64, which really doesn't say too much on the quality of sports games on the system. I would really only recommend it now if you and your buddies are feeling nostalgic and want to see how players were rated back in this game. Other than that, I would recommend staying with a newer edition of the game.
+ Multi-player franchises
+ No loading times
+ Best of the system
+ Replay value
- Best of the system
- Controls really didn't suit the controller
FINAL SCORE: 8/10
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/31/00, Updated 06/01/05
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