December 7, 2000
I've always thought that one of the biggest mistakes that Sega made in it's Dreamcast launch in Europe, and Australia, was the failure to release NFL2K on the system. Sure, NFL may not be huge in Europe or Australia but the brilliance of Sega’s game wouldn't have gone unnoticed. Fortunately for Sony, Electronic Arts will be bringing Madden NFL 2001 to the Playstation 2 outside America following the systems launch.
Madden is yet another Electronic Arts franchise that started it's life way back in the early days of the Megadrive. The series has continually improved over the years with rock solid gameplay and stunning visuals and is still regarded as the benchmark for NFL video game titles. This will be one of EA's first games on the Playstation 2 and it looks as if they became accustomed to the new hardware very quickly.
Madden NFL 2001 has several features which are bound to make it a winner. Firstly, the game includes facial mappings for over 200 NFL players with full facial animations for mouths and eyes, and expressions such as grimaces and smiles. The game also includes historical teams and players to create all-star teams to battle with.
But it's the finer points which are likely to make the difference. The players are incredibly detailed as far as including elbow pads, turf tape, wristbands, visors, and facemasks. The developers have also included each players celebration dance or you can generate your own celebration moves via the keypad after you score a touchdown.
While it may not be the number one choice for the casual gamer in Australia, Madden NFL 2001 will provide days of fun for those who take the challenge. If Sega ever get around to releasing NFL2K1 with online gameplay here (there are still no plans for release) then this game might stand some competition. However, Madden 2001 looks like the game of choice for NFL, and sporting fans alike.