989 Sports



NFL GameDay 2001 Review

By: John Doe

Back in 1996, EA stopped Madden's release for the PSX when it saw what 989 Sports had done with their new football franchise, GameDay. I imagine it was a hard decision to make, but they vowed to make it better the following year. Basically, aside from a couple of neck and neck years, they made good on their promise. Madden has ruled football across platforms for the last couple of years and this year is no different. NFL GameDay 2001 isn't stellar but neither is it as bad as certain pundits have said.


It's easy to jump on this game and scream and whine about the inherent problems with the game, but let's look at the facts first. GameDay 2001 is basically a port over of the PSX version. The inconsistencies of that version have been carried over to the PS2. This is probably the last year that will happen as I imagine, next years game will be solely developed with the high end PS2 in mind. The animation problems are there in the PSX version too, but you don't notice them as much. The PS2 makes it easy to pinpoint flaws in animation due to the fact that it's running at 60 FPS. If things aren't happening, you are going to notice it.

The actual game of football is pretty decent, aside from some glitches here and there (some major, some minor), but in all honesty, Madden's game is just more polished and feels solid. Part of the overall problem with this PS2 version is that the collision detection is off. Sometimes an interception will happen when the ball just seems to have missed everyone. In defense of that, the tackling animation looks great and rivals and I think, even beats Madden. Although it doesn't help the game really be any better, it's impressive enough to watch for. However, on the downside, another major problem with this game is how the Defense and Offense (CPU controlled) run through their various campaigns. You cannot help but notice when they end and restart again, as all of the defensemen start moving at the same time. It's weird. As well, the AI in GameDay hasn't improved. The same plays from yesteryear still fake out and will reward you so often, you won't use it because you're tired of winning.

The commentary by Phil Simms and Dick Enberg is excellent. Both Madden and GameDay are really getting into phenomenal areas of realism with their "live" coverage of the game. Every year I'm more impressed. GameDay 2001 tends to use more tunes in their game presentation, which goes that extra mile to give the game some style and presence. Unfortunately, that doesn't help the game play, but at least this is one area that doesn't need improvement for next years installment.

I just want to say that GameDay 2001 is the "weaker than" choice for football on the PS2, but it's not nearly as bad as it has been made out to be. I was in an Electronics store this week and was talking to the clerk about the PS2's football games. He mentioned how "terrible" GameDay was, so I grilled him on it. Long story short: This moron hadn't even played Madden, never mind GameDay. He was spewing Internet hearsay, as most of them tend to do. Despicable. Remember folks, believe half of what you see and none of what you hear. Play the game yourself and see what you think of it. Hey, what a great idea!






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