Review by matt91486

Reviewed: 07/23/00 | Updated: 07/18/01

Can you survive the Maddenisms?

OPENING STATEMENT
EA Sports brought the greatest sports series of all time to the Nintendo 64--without the NFL Team license. But that ommision fails to matter, as Madden Football 64 blows NFL Quarterback Club ‘98 out of the water.

GAMEPLAY--10
This is the classic Madden gameplay at its finest. As usual, the gameplay is the greatest reason to buy a Madden game. There are enough plays to keep your opponents on their toes. There are plenty of spins, jumps, dives and jukes to keep the game complex. Everyone will develop a few favorite plays that will always work against the computer, because money plays are a BIG part of this game. The gameplay is not very complex, but it is deeper than the Mariana Trench. Plays all have options to back up on, if your primary option does not open up, and there are always audibles if you do not feel cofortable with your play.

GRAPHICS--7
This is the only category that NFL Quarterback Club‘98 beats it, and it blows it out of the water. The graphics are polygonal, and EA Sports made it blatantly obvious with the blockiness. They do not have the trademark Nintendo 64 blur though, which makes it an equal tradeoff. The crowd looks like it has been on the Subway diet successfully for three thousand and two years. The ball itself looks fairly lopsided. I was dissapointed that the 49ers field did not have the trademark baseball infield still on it. Detail like that should be included. There is very little variance from stadium to stadium. Basically the only difference is adding a dome for the domed stadiums like the Metrodome and the RCA Dome.

MUSIC--7
SOUND--8

This is a sports game so there is very little music to rate. The opening song is very well done, while the one in the credits is kind of “Eh.” The opening song prepares you for all of the action on the gridiron…and the ending song does the same. Both are heavy on the brass instruments and percussion.

If you can get past the bashing of the Maddenisms, you will find them quite entertaining. It is always nice to hear some noise during the game to make sure that the sound on your television set is not broken. The crowd does not sound very realistic, at least by Metrodome standards. The in-game sound effects (such as the referee’s whistle, player hits) are very realistic though. And for those of you who do not like the Maddenisms (and Pat Summerall’s commentary) you can turn them both off.

CONTROL--9
Everything responds to your control well, and all of the buttons are set up great. ‘A’ does most everything, including hiking, handing off, and bringing up the revievers. ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘Bottom C’ select the plays. Nearly every button is occasionally used as a reciever. The rest of the C Buttons are used for spin moves, jukes, jumps, and other things like that.

FUN--9
This game is very fun, whether alone, or with one two (or three) friends and family members. The Season Mode is fairly deep and it has enough options to keep you playing that until the sixteen games are completed. You will play the Exhibition Mode more than anything, especially if you play a lot of multiplayer. The Tournament Mode is great for those who play a lot of multiplayer, and whose friends and themselves have a lot of time. The Fantasy Draft Mode is more in-depth than the tournament mode, and, after the fun of selecting your teams, the game puts them into a tournament. But, with that extra option of selecting your teams, the game takes a lot more time. Madden Football 64 may not have as many options as other football games, but they are better executed.

CHALLENGE--LOW TO MEDIUM
This game is not very difficult. There are not even any difficulty options to make it harder. The artificial intelligence (AI) lets you get away with money plays way to often. The defense can easily be thrown off by a well-timed fake. Spins and jukes usually will leave would-be tacklers in the dust. On offense, the AI just seems to try, since it shows flashes of brilliance.

REPLAY VALUE--MEDIUM TO HIGH
The game has great replay value, especially if you and your friends have enough time to play through the Fantasy Draft Mode more than once. The Exhibition Mode you will surely play lots, just for the fairly quick fun of it. Every mode in this game you will surely play more than once since they all have so much depth and fun packed in them.

CLOSING STATEMENT
Madden Football 64 is still one of the best sports games in existance three years after it was released. Once you start playing, the lack of an NFL Team license, and only having the NFLPA Association license does not seem to matter. The players suddenly become good enough. Especially at the low price you can get it at now, I must reccomend it.

OVERALL--8

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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