February 17, 2000
|VMU Game||Difficulty||Save Size||Vibration||60Hz||50Hz Border|
Being America's number one sport means that there are a lot of NFL titles developed for consoles. We have already seen the release of Midway's excellent arcade styled NFL Blitz 2000 in this country and should see NFL2K soon (hopefully). Acclaim's NFL entry on the Dreamcast is NFL Quarterback Club 2000 which is a sequel to previous games which have appeared on the Nintendo 64 and Playstation. Unfortunately the buzz surrounding this game is almost non-existent. But still, how bad can this game be?
Gameplay in NFL Quarterback Club 2000 is quite awkward at first. There are so many buttons to learn that it is quite daunting. However as soon as the buttons are learnt things do start to improve dramatically. This is not a pick up and play type game. In fact it's hard to think of anything in the real game that can't be done here. Unfortunately while the game may have a lot of detail in it, somebody forgot to tell the programmers to make it fun. Catching the ball is hard at the best of times. It would have been nice for the programmers to include some sort of auto catch feature, especially for simple lob passes but instead you have to press the right button at exactly the right time to catch the ball. Another problem is that when there are a lot of players around the ball it is very hard to tell who has actually got it. Don't think that I have no idea when it comes to NFL either. I do. I watch it on TV. I've also played Madden, Gameday and Blitz in the past and loved all of them. This is just a very frustrating game.
One good point about NFL Quarterback Club 2000 is the huge number of options available. There are several modes of play including exhibition, playoffs, full season and simulation where you can play as one of the teams in the first 33 superbowls. It is possible to adjust the strictness of the rules including holding, offside etc from completely off to extremely strict. It is also possible to set the sound levels in the game as well as what appears under the controlled player (ie name, number and/or field position). The play book is very impressive with as many plays as ever seen in a video game.
Graphically NFL Quarterback Club 2000 falls short of what you would expect on the Dreamcast. The player animation is superb but the player models all look identical and have a low polygon count. The playing fields look bland and the actual players can be sluggish. There is some noticeable slowdown when the play book appears on the screen, which while it doesn't detract from the gameplay is still annoying. More proof that WinCE isn't much chop with fast games.
Sound in this game is also less then great. The music is average and sounds like something that was made up in a couple of hours. Unfortunately, the crowds are little better. They are very quiet until something major happens and when it does they cheer loudly and then stop suddenly a few seconds later. Not the most realistic sound.
This game feels like a rushed product to make it out in time for the NFL season in America. Just why Acclaim would release this title is beyond comprehension. It falls well short of the other NFL games on the Dreamcast. If you want a NFL game you would be much better off with Midway's excellent NFL Blitz 2000 or Sega's (hopefully) upcoming NFK2K. Nuff said.