Review by JJS1
"Historical aspect, but game is still history"
The tagline says it all. The main feature of Legends Football '98 is that they draw football teams, rules, and stadiums from four different eras of football: 1932, 1950, 1968, and 1997. However, with all of these options, the game-play is sub-par at best.
Allow me to provide some examples. The computer teams do not know the meaning of rushing plays and rely solely on the pass. As the human player, almost all options are open. You can pass and complete almost any pass, and almost every rushing play has the ability to become a rushing touchdown. Realism isn't exactly at the heart of this game, but I don't think I need to tell you this.
For example, I decided to take the 1997 Green Bay Packers and play none other than the Chicago Bears. I just love heated rivalries. Well that, and the Browns weren't available. After returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown and then stopping their offense around the 50, I proceeded to return the punt for a touchdown, and the next 2 punts after that for touchdowns. Being bored of playing only defense, I chose to catch the next punt and run out of bounds. On my first play, I threw a touchdown pass for 70+ yards, and on my next offensive possession I ran an 80+ yard touchdown run. The speed boost button is insane, and fatigue rarely factors into the game-play. By the end of the game, the score was a miserable 108-21 (yes, I had to kick a field goal). Unfortunately for the game, every game I played resulted in nearly the same ending score, give or take a few dozen points.
About the only realistic part of this game is player attributes, and those still aren't very realistic. Size wasn't considered when programing player appearance. The Center and the Wide-receiver look almost identical. However, speed differences directly reflect weight, and weight also affects agility, stamina, and ability at certain positions.
However, just to ridicule the graphics of the game a little more, players running motions are "jerky", and most of the graphics are old style block patterns that you may remember from Atari or the original NES games. Players and coaches on the sideline are two dimensional objects, and blocking by players is merely two players running into each other until one falls down.
The feature I like about this game is the non-game portion of it. The game has a play-editor that allows so much freedom in constructing plays that possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, double hand-offs, reverses, play-action passes, and the rule that you must be the end man on the LOS (Line-of-scrimmage) or off the line to be eligible for a pass have not been incorporated into the playbook format or the game itself. Created plays can be used in game-play, but passing plays result in passes thrown to route checkpoints instead of to open receivers.
Overall, this game is lucky to receive my 5, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt because the idea of playing the 1932 Bears against the 1997 49ers is a good idea, and because you can print and save created plays in the Play Editor.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 07/08/05
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