Tradewest's Pro Quarterback for the Super NES looks "mahvelous." But looks aren't everything. Because, you know dahling, it's better to feel good than to look good -- at least when it comes to gridiron action.
Pro Quarterback made its name in the arcade football league, but it breaks new SNES ground with some of the most lifelike graphics you'll find this side of the National Football League. The game's developer, the Leland Corp, shot actual videotape footage of athletes and digitized the images into the SNES program. The extra effort they put into the animation and graphics paid off in a big way. It does look "mahvelous".
However, the game lacks two basic qualities: First, each team only has eight players instead of the standard eleven, second, there's no ultimate prize. There's no Super Bowl Trophy or play-offs at the end of a long, hard-fought season. Despite these drawbacks, Pro Quarterback is worth the price of admission for its graphics and realistic action.
Down and Dirty
This one-player game puts you as close to the action as any game on the market. Instead of an overhead or a side-view of the field. Pro Quarterback puts you on the field for every block, tackle, and touchdown. Like John Madden Football, Pro Quarterback offers you a vantage point from behind the quarterback. This angle will also pan and follow the flight of the ball on a pass play. This is great if you're looking for realism. However, the view doesn't change when you're on defense, which makes it very difficult to defend deep routes.
ProTip: The computer's defense loves to blitz. Counter the blitz with screens, draws, and flare passes to your running backs and tight ends. Your offensive playbook has enough variations to move the ball effectively.
If you don't like playing alone, Pro Quarterback has a couple of ways to get your friends involved. You and a buddy can team up to take on the computer or you can challenge a friend in a head-to- head confrontation. All the home cities of the NFL are present, but you won't find any Jerry Rices or Joe Montanas since the game wasn't licensed by the NFL. Since none of the NFL's teams are represented, all the squads are evenly matched. You can choose between 2-, 5-, 15-, or 20-minute quarters. You also have the option of picking from six different types of fields that range from artificial turf to mud. Each field will affect the play and speed of the players.
You're automatically the middle linebacker before every defensive play. Don't be afraid to switch to another player. If you've got a hunch it's going to be a pass play, switch to one of the defensive backs.
You Make the Call
Pro Quarterback, unlike some football games on the market, offers a wide variety of offensive and defensive plays. Although there are only eight men on each side, it still feels like regulation football.
- Just as you're about to get tackled, press A or B, and the ball carrier will try to break the tackle. Timing is everything here. If you press the button too early, nothing happens. Press it too late, and you're pancaked.
You've got more than 30 offensive and 20 defensive formations to choose from. Like in the NFL, men in motion and formation shifts are common on offense. On defense, you can play a soft zone or a Prevent defense.
- After you throw a pass, release the controls to have the receiver catch the ball on his own. This is best to do when you're just learning the game's controls.
He Could Go All the Way
Pro Quarterback isn't the most sophisticated football game on the market, but its graphics and realistic play are more than enough to make up for any of its shortcomings. If you ever wondered what it's like to be an NFL quarterback, look no further than Pro Quarterback.
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Get ready for a new breed of football action in Tradewest's entry into Super NES sports. The new Pro QB is packed with pigskin action and your choice of teams. The options are numerous, offering 28 different clubs to coach and cultivate into an unstoppable football dynasty. Select your plays wisely from the on-screen playbook. Featuring Mode 7 effects and detailed players, Pro OB takes football in a whole new direction.
I truly enjoyed the presentation of this game - it's the actual football play that I found lacking. This game has some great graphics and an over-the-shoulder perspective that is crisp and bright. The players respond like real players to dish up some real tackles. The game's play book and input just don't compare to its looks.
This is one of the very few well-playing football games on the Super NES. Although the perspective will take some time getting used to, after you play it a while, you get accustomed to the Mode 7. If the play book was larger I would put this cart right up there near the top, but as is, it's very good but not great.
I like the way Pro OB looks and sounds, but I have problems with the game play. The game is true to the sport in most ways, but I found that passing is very difficult because Mode 7 distorts the field and getting the receiver right under the ball doesn't mean he'll catch it. Otherwise, I enjoyed the awesome tackles, plays, etc.
The perspective of Pro QB is interesting, and should have made a decent game, but the scaling really bites. The animations have so few frames, it's almost hard to call it animation. The game play is just as choppy. For instance, with a long pass, the scaling moves the target "X" away from the original area. It's too awkward.
Hey, sports fans, there's a new rookie in the Genesis pigskin league. Tradewest's Pro Quarterback is an entertaining, nice-looking game with plenty of action and features. Unfortunately, it lacks the game play and challenge necessary to snatch the starting positions from veteran powerhouses like John Madden '93 and Joe Montana Sports Talk Football. Nevertheless, this rookie has enough qualities to earn at least a tryout.
Pro Quarterback features colorful, well-rendered, digitized graphics. Each player is a large sprite that appears prominently on-screen. All the action is viewed from a behind-the-QB view that creates a believable depth of field. There are plenty of entertaining impromptu animations, such as football spikes, end zone celebrations, taunting players, or a dropped-pass agony. The play section and game stats screens are all clearly rendered, self-explanatory, and easy on the eyes.
In fact, everything looks great until you start playing the game. The animation is a bit choppy in light of the high-quality graphics, and it makes it easy to loose track of players in big crowds. It's also difficult to judge receptions and kickoffs as the ball makes its way downfield. The animation is easy to adjust to and doesn't impede game play, but it's noticeably lacking if you're accustomed to the detailed animation of a Madden or a Montana football game.
ProTip: Position your receiver for receptions by manuevering him towards the "X" on the field instead of trying to eye the ball. Always leap up to ensure that you make the catch.
Any Way You Want It
Pro Quarterback offers plenty of options that enable you to customize your game. Play solo vs. the computer, or team up with a friend to play head-to-head or arm-in-arm. Although this game is not licensed by the NFL or NFLPA, you can choose between all 28 pro teams listed by city name. Quarter lengths vary between 2,5,10, and 15 minutes. Choose your traction from artificial turf, grass, mud, dirt, rain, or snowy fields.
Gimme the Ball!
Pro Quarterback is easy to play and has effective control of the onscreen action. You have a choice of 26 plays on offense and 18 on defense that are clearly illustrated in bright, colorful diagrams on the Play Select Screen. While calling plays, you have the ability to redirect a play to its opposite side, either right or left. This is useful if you find that your QB or RB has a tendency to perform better on a certain side of the field. Use the instant replay feature to see if you can spot these tendencies.
Since there are no penalties, jam a lineman into the line of scrimmage so that he has the jump when the QB snaps the ball.
In comparison to Madden or Montana, this rookie lacks several game play features that could have made it more enjoyable. There is no play-calling cloak device, so it's easy for opposing players to see your plays. An inability to call audibles seriously hampers adjusting players against a prepared defense. There are no penalties, so players are free to do "no-nos," such as encroaching on the line and interfering with receivers. Pro Quarterback has enough bells and whistles to guarantee an enjoyable game. However, it lacks additional features- tournament play, passwords, and the championship teams found in Madden or Montana.
Pro Quarterback is a solid, well- crafted, entertaining football game. However, to play in the Genesis gridiron lineup you've got to stand up to some formidable opposition -- John Madden and Joe Montana. In this light, Pro Quarterback ranks third string.
But give the rookie a chance. It has plenty of potential, and updated versions of this game just might make it a starter!