Review by bbears
"Worse than the Chargers"
INTRO: When I first heard of this game I was originaly not excited, not being a fan of arcade style sport games. But after playing it on a demo I was impressed and rented it. I then made the very unfortunate mistake of thinking that this is a quality game and went out and bought it.
GRAPHICS: The graphics are a standout in this game. Their was a great amount of detail put inot the character models. Arguabely more than more Madden. The arenas, which differ in size and shape and all have their own little details to make them unique. Some affect gameplay, but the for the most part is another reason why the graphics stand out. You will play every where from a beach to rooftops.
SOUND: I was also very impressed with the soundtrack. There is a great variety in the chosen songs, which adds greatly to the style of the game. The sound effects such as knocking someone into a steel girder also sound very nice. But one VERY annoying thing is the trash talking. You can't turn it off, and in 30 minutes you will hear all of the remarks. Some of the sayings you can't tell if their an insult or compliment. The headset online feature I only used once, but i didn't have any problems with it.
CONTROLS: althoguh not as in depth as Madden the controls are very respectable. Timing is a key aspect and can be frustrating when pulling off a signature style move. Some of them are as hard as the old MK fatalities to pull off. And although the control layout is good the controls can be uresponsive at times. This only adds to the frustration level.
REPLAY: Naturally being a sport game there is a lot of depth here. There are 4 modes to play. The challenge mode is especially deep. The online mode, which has become standard for sports game, offers some variety at best. If you are online then your time will be best spent (thats if you dare spend any) online, cause its the only place the AI won't cheat you out.
GAMEPLAY: This is where the game fails. There are 4 game modes; pickup, challenge, online, and quick game. All of the action is 7 on 7. Quick game is the most basic, you pick a team and 7 players to play both ways for a game. Pickup is where you select any 7 players in league, but you can't pick the same as your oppenent, in kinda a mini draft. Online you have the choice of pickup, quick, use your customized team from the challenge mode. The challenge mode is where you start off wiht 7 genric fictional characters. You progress by beating NFL divisions in games to 36. When you unolck a division you then play the various challenges to to gain development points. You use these points to upgrade your players and even take players form other teams. The challenges are anything from perform a juke to shut out your oppenent. At first I though all of this was very addicting and fun, but as I progressed through the game instead of the AI getting more skillful, the AI somehow handicaps you. You will never get as many style points as the AI does. Even if you perform the exact same move. Your players will also liberally fumble the ball. 5-10 times a game. I Even had my runningback's carrying ability close to being maxed out. The computer will always somehow pitch the ball to another player, if you go back on instant replay you can even see that the player was clearly down. On top of this there is a gamebreaker meter. You fill the meter by making style moves. When you get a gamebreaker the player becomes nearly invincible. Once you get a gamebreaker getting style points beacomes much harder, except for computer AI.
OVERALL: My utter complete distast for this game comes from the bad controls and the incredibly cheap AI. As long as you don't play the challenge mode, you probably won't be that turned off from this game. But if you do that there goes half of it's depth.I recomend only for rent if you have online ablities.
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 04/05/04
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