989 Sports



NFL GameDay 2001 Review

By: John Doe

Ah the boys of summer. Oh wait, I used this intro for my NCAA GameBreaker review. Crap. Although this series tries harder every year, and it even made EA cancel their Madden NFL game at one time, GameDay seems to be stalled. I don't know if it's just reached the limitations of the PSX (although Madden seems to wring more out of it and be a tighter package overall). Once this series appears on the PS2 we'll hopefully be treated to the same excitement we all had when GameDay first appeared back in 1996. Until then, I'm afraid Madden wins this years video game challenge again.


The graphics in this game are decent enough, but some areas could have used a lot more detail. The textures of the fields are very grainy and monotonous, and some problems on the field make the football very hard to follow, and can even make players seem squished together when they're in close quarters! And the framerate downright sucks! Some of the players are drawn in such a way that they look very poorly proportioned, and there are loads of other problems with the graphics. But there are some well done aspects of the visuals, like real stadiums being very well incorporated into the game. But the problems unfortunately overtake these achievements, and make them pale in comparison to the glaring lack of detail put into most of the visuals.

The announcing in the game is very well done, boasting much more humanity and excitement in the voices (done by Phil Simms and Dick Enberg) and a broader range of comments that many other sports games out there. The music is also very well, and often inspires you to go out on the field and kick some serious ass. And the sound effects, such as hits, tackles, and grunts, have a lot of power and realism behind them. The only area in the sound department that needs work is, like in many other sports games, the sound of the crowd. For some reason no game designers have thought to improve the dull, half-assed crowd sounds used since the 16-Bit days, and they really should, because its getting very old. Why can't they record a real crowd going wild instead of this crap? It really boggles the mind.

NFL GameDay is much less an accurate simulation of football, then a hard-hitting arcade-type sports title. This may or not suit you, depending on your tastes. If you're just a casual fan of the game that could care less about exact specifications, then this game would be right up your alley. But if you're a hardcore fan, who wants more control and detail, than you'll probably feel short-changed by the game. Though the-passing system is very effective, it is hardly realistic, which may disappoint hardcore fans. The control is not very subtle at all - any small touch on the d-pad or analogue stick will move you quite far, which makes the game feel very arcade like, but takes away a lot of sensitivity and precision. But the camera follows the ball very effectively which is definitely a plus, and the things definitely are much more action-packed then your typical football game. Overall it's a big tradeoff- big action for realism, that, as mentioned before, some gamers would love and others would hate.

If you're looking for a football game that completely captures realism and subtlety, this is not your game. But if you just want to get out on the field, and kick some ass, and not care too much about specifics, then its for you. But Its definitely not for everybody, so I would recommend renting it first before buying.






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