have to admit it. I hate
summer. For one reason, and
one reason only. THERE IS NO
FOOTBALL!! I'm a born and
bred football fanatic, and, during the off-season, I would go bored out
of my mind if not for games. So,
when I saw that Microsoft had released "NFL FEVER 2000," and
that they were selling it for $20, I said, "Eh, why not?"
I got into the game, my first thought was that MS had gone loony.
Charging only $20 for a game this good should be a crime.
(But, then again, MS is already in the doghouse far enough)!!
I mean, everything about this game screams quality, with a few
control setup for this game is fairly straightforward, with the expected
options for keyboard or a game pad or joystick.
What I found surprising, however, is that there is no mouse
option, ala the Madden series.
of Madden, after seeing screenshots of Madden 2000, and playing NFL Fever,
all I can say is, EA better do some heavy redesigning of their graphics
engine, because, next to NFL Fever, Madden looks old.
Fever's graphics are sharp, crisp, and, dare I say it.....nearly
perfect. The atmosphere of
every stadium is perfectly reflected here, including gradual
deterioration of field conditions when playing in rainy or snowy
to the controls issue for a moment.
The camera views in this game are not nearly as developed as
Madden 2000, and this, IMO, hurts the game from a replay standpoint.
For example, you're limited to a behind the offense view
(default), 3/4 offense (over the QB's shoulder), 3/4 defense (over the
DL), overhead, and a ball cam, which is so close to the players, it's
on to more fun. Sound wise,
the game is nearly perfect. The
crowd is there, chanting, screaming, cheering, (although, I was
surprised that, when playing the Dallas Cowboys and having Daryl
Johnston score a TD, I didn't hear the traditional "MMOOOOOSSSE!!"
chant). Also, if you listen
very carefully, you can hear vendors shouting, "Popcorn!
Peanuts!!" And all those other fun things we love to spend
our money on.
the sound does have one glaring problem.
Alas, it's the announcers. Dick
Stockton and Matt Millen provide the play-by-play call, however, not
unlike Madden & Summerall, it just doesn't compare to sitting in
front of your TV listening to the real thing.
However, there is an option for a "stadium announcer,"
who basically calls all the plays, identifies players, etc.
This loses out on some of the aesthetics of a TV broadcast, but,
it's not missed all that much.
do find some "money plays" in this game that work for me
rather well. For example,
when playing Dallas, I can run Emmitt Smith on a HB toss to either side,
and, if I time it just right, he's gone.
I've racked up over 200 yards rushing w/Emmitt in 3 quarters
(earning him a much-needed breather in the 4th, when Chris Warren takes
over and picks up another 100). Passing
is a little more difficult, with many more dropped passes than would be
considered "normal," however, MS promises a patch in the
works. Rosters, BTW, are
almost completely faithful to the real NFL schedules, however, some
notable rookies (Cade McNown, Tim Couch, etc.) are missing.
MS promises to have updated rosters available shortly, however.
only glaring omission from NFL Fever is a stat tracker.
You get generalized statistics at the end of every quarter, but,
they aren't broken down like the box scores in the Monday papers.
However, user-created utilities are filling that small gap quite
thing that initially deterred me from NFL Fever was the reported lack of
a coach mode, where you just call the plays and let the computer run
them. However, I've found
that you can coach from your chair at home, free to assume control of
your ball carrier at any time.
Tackles so tough they send fullbacks flying, and will knock you off your chair. NFL Fever lets you feel the intensity of NFL action.
Get right into the action without waiting for TV timeouts. NFL Fever keeps your adrenaline flowing 'til the clock ticks down to zero.
Stiff-arm your way through tackles and leave defenders in the dust. You get a wide variety of offensive moves including juke, spin, speed burst, stiff-arm, hurdle, shoulder charge, dive, high-step, and pump fake. On defense your arsenal includes power tackle, swim move, speed burst, and jumps.
Real NFL-style playbooks and gameplay
From the West Coast offense to a zone blitz defense, wrap your hands around real NFL plays and team playing styles modeled after their real NFL counterparts.
Gritty NFL atmosphere
NFL Fever captures the intensity of being on the NFL battlefield with on-field exchanges, trash talking, home-friendly crowds, and team-specific chants.
3D polygonal player models and super-rich graphics help duplicate the look and feel of the NFL in "feverish" detail. After touchdowns, players celebrate with moves like the Merton Hanks "Chicken Dance" and the Ken Norton Jr. "Punching Bag" routine.
Easy to play
NFL Fever delivers an easier way to play football for casual and hard-core fans alike. Every play features "Millen's Call," a group of plays recommended by former pro and NFL Fever color analyst Matt Millen.
Real-time NFL commentary
NFL on Fox commentators Dick Stockton and Matt Millen provide insight and play-by-play commentary as the game progresses.
The real deal
All 31 NFL teams, all the players, and all the current stadiums. Even the new 1999 Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans hit the field in their new stadiums. The action is so realistic that gameplay is even affected by the weather, including driving rain and snow.
Post-season playPlay right on through the playoffs to the action-packed Super Bowl.
NFL Fever 2K. Don't let the fact that it's from Microsoft deter you. In the absence of Sierra's Front Page Sports Football series, this game fills the void quite nicely. And in the process, throws down a gauntlet to EA Sports in the form of better graphics and more impressiveness. MS has a winner on their hands, and, at $20, it's a crime not to pick this game up.
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