NCAA Gamebreaker 99
|a game by||EA Games, and 989 Studios|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 4 reviews, 5 reviews are shown|
|User Rating:||8.7/10 - 3 votes|
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|See also:||NCAA Games|
College football games are always a tricky proposition. Since the collegiate rules don't allow developers to put the actual names of the athletes in the game, it loses something in the way of personality. Therefore, a college football game has to bring a little something extra to the table, since they can't rely on fan-favorites to inject charisma to the title.
Well, from what we've seen so far, NCAA GameBreaker 99 might just set the standard for college football games for the foreseeable future. Developed by Red Zone Interactive, GameBreaker 99 is a considerable improvement over last year's already formidable version. Possessed by a completely new game-engine, GameBreaker 99 moves along at an extremely high frame-rate, with smooth player animation's and fast-paced action. The sound effects in the game do a great job of drawing you into the experience with awesome crowd noises, marching bands and bone-crunching sound effects. The players even trash-talk the opposition after making a particularly vicious hit. In addition to the incredible ambiance is the color commentary by Keith Jackson. The man says some of the most hilarious things you'd ever hear in a football game and does a great job of keeping up with the play-by-play.
Control is excellent as either digital or analog work beautifully, with analog making it easier to squeeze your running back out of hairy situations. If you have a Dual-Shock controller, you'll be able to feel each bone-crunching hit as you receive it. The only problem with the Dual-Shock at this point is that you still have to use the digital-pad to select your plays. Sony's Icon-Passing system still works as efficiently as ever and makes finding your intended receiver a breeze.
However, if playing as your hometown university isn't enough for you, then maybe some of the extra features will sweeten the pot. Blue-chip recruiting, create-a-walk-on-player, schedule editing and other customizations are available for your perusal, while the custom playbook will probably be most gamers' favorite option. Create your own devious schemes to fool the opposition and watch your team execute your plays in any of the play modes, like Bowl Season, Scrimmage, Tournament and Fantasy League. There are also two control schemes available, simulation or total control, which will cater to different tastes.
Perhaps the biggest improvement to GameBreaker 99 is the improved Al routines of the CPU. It's now much more difficult to make long gains and low-percentage first-downs. If you want to beat the computer, you'd better mix up your plays or else you'll get sacked every time.
So, with 112 Division lA teams for the picking, plus 50 All-time greats available from the start, GameBreaker 99 seems like it has everything you could ask for in a college football game. With the competition sure to be strong from the likes of Electronic Arts, 989 Studios knew they had to come up with something good. It looks like they might have done just exactly that.
- MANUFACTURER - Red Zone
- THEME - Sport
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-8
Download NCAA Gamebreaker 99
GameBreaker 99 has undergone the same polygon pump-up as its big brother GameDay 99. The engine is all-new, and a bunch of new animations were added as well. So at this point you know the drill--"If you like GameDay 99, you'll also like GameBreaker 99." For the most part that's true, but I've found a few minor flaws in the game. Some of the play formations in the Selection Menu don't match up with the actual plays. For example, you may choose a play in anticipation of throwing to a certain wide receiver but when they line up, he's not even on the correct side. This is also evident in defensive plays (mostly goal line stuff). It's not a big deal but it does throw one off a bit. My other complaint has to do with quarterbacks overthrowing their receivers. Occasionally, on long pass plays, your QB will throw far ahead of the intended target. Most often into a crowd of defenders. One last bitch--players slide too far after a tackle. OK, I've purged my system of complaints. Now let me reassure you--GameBreaker 99 is a lot of fun to play! I've been a big fan since the first edition and I can honestly say this is the best yet. It's hardhitting and a bit exaggerated but that's the best part of the game. Poppin' a receiver hard after a catch is awesome. The game plays tike .butter my friends. Go get it fast.
GameBreaker was my favorite pigskin game last season, and '99 is just as good. For the casual football video game fan like myself, this game is great--it's well-animated, it controls well and it's exciting. I wish 989 would stick in a few minor features, such as letting you know what the results would be if you accepted or declined penalties. Otherwise, this is a great game, even if it isn't dramatically different from last year's chapter.
Man, what a year for College Football fans! First EA's awesome NCAA 99, and now this. GameBreaker 99 is a big step up from last year's game in every way. The graphics and animation are excellent, the presentation is much-improved, and the gameplay is fast-paced and exciting. As far as realism is concerned, I still prefer NCAA (money plays still haunt GameBreaker), but for multiplayer play, GB is a blast.
Usually, I prefer the college pigskin games to the pro ones, but this year that's not the case. GameBreaker starts off great, but as I got further into my season, I started to find a lot of holes in the Al that led to some totally unrealistic stats and scores. But oh well, the main reason I play these games is for multiplayer play, and in that respect, GB 99 rocks. The engine is fast and fluid, and it's just a lot of fun to play.
Last year's national champion returns to the PlayStation sporting new Heisman-winning graphics, killer controls, and innovative new features like play creation. The only question is whether football fans will want to shell out money for another gridiron game--even a great one--this late in the season.
Florida Fears Frost
GameBreaker's list of features might not be as long as EA's NCAA Football '98's list, but it provides some cool options that NCAA Football doesn't, most notably the ability to design your own plays. Other features include manipulating your computer opponent's intelligence, creating walk-on players to beef up your squad, and playing seasons and tournaments with over 100 authentic collegiate teams like Florida and Nebraska. Unfortunately, options like the Dynasty and Practice mode, which helped score points for NCAA Football '98, are absent from Game-Breaker's lineup.
The exciting gameplay recalls that of GameDay '98 with some college flavor like Wishbone and Flexbone plays mixed in. Controlling your players is also similar to that in GameDay as you can lateral, spin, hurdle, and stiff-arm away from defenders. The only problem is that the stiff-arm works too well, making tackling especially difficult in two-player games.
GameBreaker's graphics scorch the field with incredible player details like Buckeye stickers on Ohio State's helmets and crazy one-handed spinning catches. Other replay classics include sharp jukes, players balancing to stay inbounds, and quarterback-crunching wraparound tackles.
Loud crowd chants, tight songs, and the cadence of the quarterback dominate the soundtrack. The crowd's constant cheering (especially when nothing's happening) really gets annoying, though.
Although its timing stinks (if you've already purchased Madden. GameDay, and NCAA Football, do you really need another football game?), GameBreaker's superior graphics, fast gameplay, and play-creation option make it one of the better football titles of the year. If you haven't bought a college football game yet, Game-Breaker's a great place to start.
- While attempting to pass, don't take too long in the pocket or you'll get sacked. If no one is open, run for as many yards as you can.
- If the coverage is tight, it's better to throw the ball away than to pass.
- On defense, make sure you're in range before you dive after the ball carrier or the runner will be off for a big gain.
- Use running plays to draw defenders closer to the line of scrimmage, then call audibles to pass the ball down the lield.
- In multiplayer games a great way to mess with your opponent's head is to press R1 before each snap to make him think that you're going to pass.
There are two things in the world that you can always count on. The first is that 989 Sports will release a new version of NFL GameDay, and the second is that it will be shortly followed by the college-based NCAA GameBreaker. Well, just like clockwork, the new GameBreaker showed up on my desk just in time for the bowl season. College football fans have already had an opportunity to play some college football with EA Sports' NCAA Football 99. Just like the big boys, these two series have gained quite a loyal following over the last few years. Which is better? Good question!
This year's GameBreaker follows the lead of GameDay 99 (as usual) and introduces new graphics, a new TV-style presentation, and new player celebrations. The gameplay has been tweaked some, but the over-the-top gameplay is still here. Of course, all 112 division 1-A teams are here, but you also get to play 50 of the greatest teams from the past as well. There is enough action to keep any college football fan smiling, but did they wait too long to release this year's game?
I am a loyal GameDay fan, but for some reason, GameDay 99 did not impress me. There were things about it that were impressive, but there were other things that I just did not like. The reason I am telling you this is because GameBreaker is made by the same team that makes GameDay, and the games are usually very close in terms of gameplay and such. Since this was the case, I was really unsure if I would like GameBreaker very much. As it turns out, a lot of the problems I had with _GameDay 99 have either been fixed or they don't bother me in the college version of the game.
One of my biggest complaints with GameDay 99 was the fact that it was way too easy to catch passes. Not only that, but you could continually make catches when your receiver was double- or triple-teamed. This seems to be remedied in GameBreaker 99. There are times where you will pull down a pass when you are completely covered, but this is much more believable in a college football game than it is in a pro game. I almost wish the passing was reversed between the two games, because the passing in this game was better suited for the pros and the passing in GameDay 99 was better suited for college. Oh, well.
One of the best things about the GameBreaker series was the whole concept of GameBreakers. In college football, you traditionally have a handful of great players on a team full of average players. These great players have been designated as GameBreakers. This means that every time one of these players touches the ball, they have the potential to break a long play on offense or make a big stop on defense. This added so much to the game because at the beginning of the game, I was always sure to check the names on the list of the GameBreakers and try to keep these players as involved in the game as best as I could. I know that this is more of a mental thing because I am sure that the good players still would have had the ability to do the same things even if they did not label players as GameBreakers, but there is just something about having the best players pointed out to you before the game starts that I found really neat.
Aside from the passing, the gameplay pretty much feels like GameDay 99. You have the total control of passing if you choose and the feeling of being right on top of the action on every play. One of the best thing about college football is that there are lots of big plays made during the course of a game, and I think they found a great balance between having too many long plays on offense and too many turnovers on defense. I guess what I am getting at is that this game is very well-balanced.
One of the biggest improvements had to be in the commentary department. Admittedly, GameDay 99 was the first to really try the TV-style presentations, so I guess it can be excused, but I really got tired of hearing the same commentary over and over. In GameBreaker the legendary college football announcer Keith Jackson handles all the commentary. The fact that Jackson calls the game alone adds to the college atmosphere tremendously. I watch about six college games a year and it always seems like Keith Jackson is working the games that I watch, so I have grown to associate his voice with college football. This helps create a great college football atmosphere. More importantly, he usually does not repeat comments over and over and they are usually accurate. I know that this is hard to believe (if you have played GameDay 99), but you actually get relevant information. This means that the announcer no longer annoys me, but actually adds to the overall atmosphere.
The one thing that really bothered me about the game was that the defensive plays were not given normal names. All of the defenses were named after a school. How the hell do I know what a Seminole defense is? A 3-4 cover tight man defense I understand, but a Coug defense? Sure, I could look at the little diagram of the play and figure out what it was, but when I was trying to call a defense in a hurry, it was difficult because I had to try to figure out the play. I understand what they were trying to accomplish by adding these, but in the end I think it just made the game more difficult to understand, especially to someone who does not follow football. Actually, it makes it tough for people who do follow football as well. I understand a 4-6 zone blitz, but I don't understand a Trojan defense.
I made a big mistake. It is actually not fair that I even mention this, but I can't help it. My big mistake is that the game I reviewed right before this game was NFL Quarterback Club 99 for the Nintendo 64. The graphics in that game are absolutely revolutionary, but it is not fair to compare them since it is on a different system. Let's just say, though, that when I went from QB Club to this game, there was quite a huge drop-off in graphics quality. As a PlayStation game, the graphics are pretty good. They do look like a lot like GameDay 99, but for some reason they did not look quite as sharp. What was revolutionary last year is not so much this year. I don't think you will have any complaints, but I also think the graphics are what you would expect to see out of a PSX game.
There are definitely some hours of solid college football action to be had in GameBreaker 99. They fixed a lot of the things that bothered me in GameDay 99 and they did a great job of recreating the college football environment. Using school names for the defenses was a nice attempt, but I think that in the end, it just confuses things. When I am in the heat of battle, the last thing I want is to be unsure of the defense I am calling. Other than that, this is a pretty solid game.
NCAA GAMEBREAKER '99 is Stepping up against NCAA Football '99 to contend for the PlayStation collegiate football title. In the same way Madden battled GameDay, this war will be won when gamers decide what they value most extensively deep sim features or game speed and advanced controls.
Blue Chip Bomber
GameBreaker streaks onto the field with 122 Division IA teams and a collection of 17 great college teams of the past. Once you've selected your school, you start your road to the championship in Scrimmage, Fantasy League.Tournament Season, and Bowl Season modes. And like its namesake, each team contains at least one gamebreaker who can make big plays. Other features include a create-a-player option, extensive stat tracking, and the exclusive license to the Heisman Trophy.
To contend with NCAA Football '99's deep sim features, 989 has included a play editor (like the one in GameBreaker '98) as well as a Blue Chip Recruiting mode that enables you to invite true fresh-men and college transfers to your school in hopes of improving the weak spots in your lineup. Unfortunately. GameBreaker's options simply can't match the depth of those in NCAA Football '99. First off, you can't create brand-new plays from scratch in GameBreaker; you can only tweak existing plays. Secondly, Game-Breakers recruiting mode isn't as vast as NCAA Football '99 s Dynasty mode recruiting. However, if you're a casual sim gamer who just wants to experiment with team management, GameBreaker is a good place to start.
Plus, GameBreaker dominates NCAA '99 with its game speed and advanced controls. Like GameDay, GameBreakers gameplay whizzes by at a fast, smooth clip with never a hint of slow down. As for its advanced controls, Game-Breaker offers the ability to dive over piles at the goal line, shoulder plow through linemen, high step, and perform double spins to break tackles.
NCAA GameBreaker '99 is a well-rounded game that stacks up very well when compared to NCAA Football '99.They both offer excellent college football action; its just a matter of which features you're looking for that will ultimately sway you. If want faster game speeds and more advanced controls, you can't go wrong with GameBreaker '99.
- The Spread formatlon/Slant pattern is an excellent go-to play In short-yardage situations.
- The spin move separates you from a congested frontline.
- Know who your Blue Chip players are: They can ball you out of some desperate situations.
- After the snap, check out the movements of your opponent's defensive backs: Read the coverage and exploit their weaknesses.
If you've played GameDay.you know what to expect: GameBreakers player models are awesome! Equally tremendous are its animations, which include bone-crunching tackles and receivers that tip-toe along the sideline. Plus, the frame rate straight-up sizzles. You won't find a faster college game than this.
GameBreakers controls really shine: You can shoulder-plow fools, jump over your lineman at the goal line, and double-spin your way out of trouble. Plus, with Total Control Passing, you can overthrow and underthrow your receivers depending on the coverage.
The sound is great! Helmet-on-helmet collisions, crowd chants, pep-band fight songs, and Keith Jacksons excellent commentary really help create the complete college atmosphere.
With its challengingAland super-charged gameplay, GameBreaker is one of the most enjoyable football sims for the PlayStation. If it contained a Dynasty mode and a more extensive play editor, it'd be perfect!