NCAA Gamebreaker 2000
989 Sports is charging the field with some gridiron action of its own in NCAA GameBreaker 2000. While it isn't as steeped in features as EA Sports' NCAA Football 2000, Game Breaker offers options that should appeal to diehard simsters. For starters, you can participate in the game's Career mode, assuming the role of one of the team's coaches. You must then do a good job if you want to be promoted to one of the higher-level coaching positions--you may even get offered a shot at coaching a national powerhouse. Other features include a play editor, the ability to save seniors onto a memory card and draft them into NFL GameDay 2000, a new Pummel button that enables you to deliver bone-jarring tackles, and more.
The preview version played smoothly, featuring some excellent player models and animations--this year, athletes will react differently depending on where they're hit, reach for the ground while stumbling a few extra yards, and so on. However, unless GameBreakers final rev is totally mind-blowing, it's going to have a tough time dethroning the current national champ, NCAA Football 2000 (see our "Sports Pages" ProReview this issue).
Download NCAA Gamebreaker 2000
GameBreaker 2000 is essentially GameDay 2000 dressed in college colors. They share the same sound effects, similar animation, special moves and about half the playbook. Beyond the teams, a few other subtle but important differences set them apart. Compared to GameDay, the frame-rate is a touch slower but smoother overall. The subdued pace is actually easier to follow plus it looks more realistic. But unfortunately like GameDay, the players appear to be sliding on ice when they run. It's not as prominent but it's still a problem. Other weaknesses include the ability to knock down receivers in the back-field. I should note, it's not always penalty-free and usually only works on secondary receivers. While a few things could be improved, for the most part GameBreaker 2000 is a decent game. The Al is essentially OK with the exception of some bad coverage decisions. The "Gamebreakers" are as strong as ever especially when used in the right situation. I especially like the new tackle animation. A heapin' helpin' of up-and-over hits, off-balance running and ferocious diving bombs all look very good. The ability to upload seniors into the GameDay draft is cool as well. Two-player contests are, as always, the best way to play this college football standby. Hopefully GB 2001 will find its way to PlayStation 2.
Once again, I'm not seeing quite eye to eye with Dean. If anything, GameBreaker has a few more animation problems than GameDay (leap in the air to block a pass, for instance, and your player appears to levitate). Despite that gripe, GameBreaker is still both easy and fun to play. It has all the polish, atmosphere, tight control and keen Al of GameDay. But if you're not a hardcore football fan, stick with the pro game. It's just a bit more slick.
I like GameDay, so it's no surprise I like GameBreaker as well--they're very similar. The game controls well, and the play execution makes sense. Like GameDay, some of the animation is hokey but it's nothing I can't get over. Overall, GameBreaker is a decent title that simply has a different, less-polished feel when compared to NCAA Football. But then. I'm not a huge fan of College Football games in the first place, so take it for what it's worth.
When it comes to football games, I'm a complete novice. If it's not the latest version of Blitz, I just can't get into it...at least not as much as some people around here (Dean, Kraig). So what do I think of GameBreaker? It looks and plays much like GameDay, which is going to be good enough for most football fans. Animation is smooth and the game is easy enough to pick up and play. If you're into college football, this one's for you.
989 Sports is crashing the college gridiron with NCAA GameBreaker 2000. To keep pace with NCAA Football 2000's features (see "Sports Pages," August). GameBreaker 2000 is introducing a Career mode that enables gamers to assume the duties of a head coach, an offensive or defensive coordinator, or a special-teams coach. Excelling in any of these roles will lead to promotions or better coaching jobs at top-ranked schools. Other features include a new Pummel command to deliver harder-hitting tackles, the ability to download graduating seniors and place them into NFL GameDay 2000's draft, as well as new animations such as cut blocks, players who stumble and extend their arms for a First down, and more.
The preview version of GameBreaker played smoothly, and the virtual athletes looked tight Not much had changed with the controls, which is good, because they were still extremely responsive. The bone-jarring effects were in place--but 989 is still tweaking Keith Jackson's commentary. Though it remains to be seen whether GameBreaker will take the tide from NCAA Football, fans of the franchise are sure to like Game-Breaker 2000 s new upgrades.
989 Sports' GB 2000 has kept its great game engine but, in the name of realism, slowed down the game pace a little. In addition, 1800 plays along with a friendlier play editor are prominent. New player models show off multiple size characters and better-looking uniforms. Upgraded animation and an option to save and load your finest players into GameDay 2000 are key features in this September release.
Ah, fall is approaching. What gives it away? Is it the slight nip in the air? No. Is it seeing the kids waiting by the side of the road for the schoolbus to come by and pick them up? No. It must be the fact that the crop of 1999-2000 college football games are starting to show up. This first up is Gamebreaker 2000 from 989 Sports. This has always been a solid franchise and a perennial favorite for sports game of the year. How does the latest and greatest fair? Read on and see for yourself.
Every year when a new version of a sports game hits the streets, the company always tries to hype you up with the changes that make this year's version a must have. With that in mind, here is the hype on this game. First, you start off with 114 1-A teams, 60 classic teams and the major college bowl games. Next up we have the new career mode that allows you to recruit the blue chip players and work your way up the coaching ladder. Another cool new feature is the ability to take your seniors to the draft in NFL Gameday 2000. Throw in new playbooks and keep the same old fun gameplay an shake it up and outcome Gamebreaker 2000.
When it comes to football games, everyone knows that options are nice but in the end it all comes down to gameplay. You can have all of the fancy options in the world but they will only take you so far. If you want your game to be a winner, it has to play like football plays. If not, nothing else matters. I will say that with a few exceptions, this game backs up all of the options with some fun gameplay.
The gameplay in this game borders on arcade at times. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, this is one of the minor flaws I found with this game. There are times that the realism seems to be lacking a bit. A prime example of this is the movement of the players. I never thought I would say this but they actually move a little too fast. Running backs make cuts on a dime. Changing directions is as easy as a push of the control stick and you are off in the other direction. The point is, no legs could make cuts like the players in this game. Now I did not really think this was bad but it just detracts some from the realism and adds to the arcade feel of the game.
As per usually, the designers did a good job of representing the teams' strengths and weaknesses. You can pick a crappy team and it will be pretty tough to beat a great team. You can pick a great team and play a crappy team and you will blow them out of the water. Pick a couple of evenly matched teams and it could go either way. You will definitely get to feel the pains, joys and excitement of whatever team you play.
To go along with this, they also did a great job of re-creating the whole college football environment. You will feel like you are on campus during an actual game. All of the schools have the fight song playing and the stadiums of the home teams are decked out in school colors. I can't wait until the faster systems come out and they can actually expend some graphical power on animating the crowds and maybe throwing in some cheerleaders. Hell, only part of college football is actually about the football game.
Back to the gameplay for a minute. One thing that I found to be a bit troublesome was the receiving. This has been a gripe that I have had with 989 Sports games in the past. You can throw to a receiver that is covered by two or three defenders and still make the catch. This did not happen just once in a while either, it seemed to happen with regularity. I finally got to the point where I did not care if my guy looked covered or not. I would just throw it and most of the time he would come down with the ball. Now, when you play with another opponent, this is not the case because they can take control of the defender and make him jump and knock the ball away but playing against the computer makes completing passes way to easy.
Something I loved was the ability to transfer players between games -- it is about time a feature like that was implemented. I do think that the developers are finally onto something here. I think it is a great idea to be able to create a player, play through his college career, pop in GameDay 2000 and see if he gets drafted. Talk about genius. I just think this is a feature that has been a long time coming. I don't know about you but when I create a player, I get a sentimental attachment to him so I think it is great that I can take him up to the pros.
I have one last comment/question before I move on to the graphics. Why is it that on every single 989 Sports game out there, when the game goes from the options screen to the loading game screen, the analog gets shut off on the controller? This happens on almost all of their games and it is really irritating. I can't tell you how many times I have stood back awaiting the opening kickoff, catching the ball and not going anywhere because the stupid analog got shut off and I forgot to turn it back on. I just don't get it. No other company has this problem.
This series has always been noted for the excellent graphics and this year is no exception. While you won't find a wow factor like you may have in the past, the game still looks great for a PSX game (uh oh, I am starting that already). The players are all very detailed, properly scaled and proportioned and just plain look like football players. Along the lines of the graphics, the best part of this game hands down is the tackle animations. This game has some of the coolest tackles I have seen. It is almost like they took the hard hits from NFL Xtreme, scaled them back a touch and created the tackling. They felt very realistic yet very brutal. I found myself enjoying watching others play just so I could see all of the different tackles through a game. One side note on the audio. Keith Jackson provides the commentary and it is very repetitive and often times incorrect.
If you bought Gamebreaker 99, you may want to really think about it before buying this also since most of the changes are minor. If you do not own a college football game, this would not be a bad one to grab especially if you prefer the pace a little faster and a more arcade feel to the gameplay. I personally found the game fun to play for a while but I got tired of throwing passes into triple coverage and coming up with the ball every time.