NFL Gameday '97

a game by Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Sports
Platforms: Playstation, PSX
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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NFL GameDay returns to the video game gridiron looking stronger than eve with an All-Pro lineup of new features, smoother gameplay, and innovative player moves.

Moves

Authentic NFL action allows offensive players to make one-handed catches, dive over piles, spin, and juke. New this year is a passing meter that determines the speed of each throw and allows QBs to overthrow or underthrow the ball depending on the coverage.

On defense gamers can use forearm shivers, swim moves, and both high and low' dives to stop the ball carrier.

Graphics

Sony motion-captured the acrobatics of Oakland's Tim Brown, and says that this will enable them to offer the most fluid animation of any fcxitball game around. GameDay '97 will run at 30 frames per second, which is over 50 percent faster than last year's game. Player's numbers are visible on the backs of their jerseys, and if you get knocked out of bounds, you can cream coaches on the sideline.

Features

All 30 NFL teams arc selectable, along with past greats and Pro Bowl squads. You have over 500 plays at your disposal, along with the ability to trade, draft, and create players. There is even the option to change the Al's IQ to anywhere from SO to 160. depending upon how smart you want your computer opponent to lie.

Download NFL Gameday '97

Playstation Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PSX Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Overview

From the makers of the surprisingly good football title, NFL GameDay, comes this highly anticipated sequel. Last year's title was the best football game ever made for any system. Could Gameday '97 be better than the best? Most definitely.

NFL Gameday '97 uses the same basic game engine as its predecessor, makes a few tweaks, throws in a ton of new options and spits out an amazingly realistic football experience. With the option of Icon Passing, Advanced Passing Meter or Total Control Passing (another concept that is so original it has been trademarked) your offensive attacks are flexible and customizable enough to suit any armchair quarterback's fancy. Throw in the no-huddle offense, infinite camera angles and selectable computer IQ, and nothing can compare.

Of course, NFL Gameday '97 has all of the expected features. We are talking more than 1500 real NFL players, real NFL uniforms (home and away) with the player numbers, all 30 NFL teams and their stadiums, and a play book with over 500 plays. And what sports title would be complete without the use of real-motion captured movements? Tim Brown of the Oakland Raiders does the honors of supplying the animations for forearm shivers, shoulder charges, one-handed catches, spins, stiff-arms, hurdles and more.

The biggest change in NFL Gameday '97 is the computer Artificial Intelligence. The other players actually think and react like actual NFL players. If you have predictable play-calling tendencies, the computer will sniff them out and call the appropriate offense or defense to burn you. The higher you have the computer's IQ, the better it is at calling your plays. This allows beginners to set the IQ at a lower setting to get a feel for the game and up the IQ as their gameplay improves.

Gameplay

We all know that options and glitter are nice, but what really matters in a sports title is purely and simply gameplay. If the gameplay is lacking, throw it in the pile of other wanna-bes. This is the best part of Gameday '97. This is the most awesome-playing football game around. You have so many plays to call and moves you can make that it is almost unbelievable. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let's start from the beginning.

NFL Gameday '97 gives you two modes of play. The first is preseason and then, of course, new season. The preseason allows you to pick any two teams and battle it out to the end. The new season mode is exactly as it sounds. It lets you play the entire regular season using the 1996-1997 NFL schedule. If you save the game, the statistics and standings for the entire season are stored on the memory card so you can always see where your star running back rates with the rest of the league's top performers.

The next thing you will need to do is select a team. The team selection menu gives you a host of comparisons to help choose the teams and opponents. Each team is rated in twelve different categories and the categories are separated into three areas: Offense, Defense and Special Teams. Some of the categories include running, catching, throwing, blocking, coverage and pass rush. These statistics are based on the actual team statistics for the 1995 season.

After selecting the teams you wish to tangle with, you can look at the individual player and team stats for the 1995 season. When you've had your fill of these stats, it's go time. Before the game gets underway, you have the coin toss. The visiting team has the option of calling the toss and the winner will select to kick or receive. Now it's time for the kick-off and the action starts here.

The gameplay of Gameday '97 is unparalleled. When on offense, you always control the guy with the ball. From the center, to the quarterback, to the running back or wide receiver that catches the ball, you have total control. Once you get the ball into the hands of the player that the play is designed for, you have a number of options to help you into the end-zone. When running with the ball, you can hurdle, dive, spin, use a short burst of speed, stiff arm and hip juke. If that's not enough, you have the advanced controls. These take a little extra effort but they have to possibility of breaking for big yardage. The first of these is a dive over the pile. This is Marcus Allen's specialty. Next, you can do the double-spin to fake the defender out of his shorts. Third is the hurdle that has an added burst of speed behind it. Finally, you can lower your shoulder during a speed burst to break out of a tackle. You can drop a stiff arm with a speed bust to help you through traffic and when all else fails, you can always pitch the ball to your nearest teammate.

So let's talk defense. On the defense, you can execute a swim move or forearm shiver when rushing the Quarterback. These moves will help you through the offensive line to penetrate into the backfield. On defense, you have the dive, jump and speed burst and also the advanced defensive moves. These moves include a violent tackle up high on the player; a high, one handed deflection by a pass defender and a shoulder charge that hits the player with a lowered shoulder and is more likely to cause a fumble. Also it's on defense that you will find the biggest improvement in Gameday '97 over the original. In the original, you would never get called for pass interference. You could knock the receiver to the ground 20 yards down the field and you wouldn't draw the flag. This made defending the pass easy. Also, most of the time the ball would pop up into the air for any easy interception. Although this was pretty cool the first couple of times you did it, it got a bit unrealistic after a while. This problem has been fixed in the new version. If you get to the receiver before the ball, it is a sure bet that the flag will fly. Don't get me wrong, you can still lay the receiver out pretty good but you have to time it better. Make sure your hit arrives the same time as the ball. Also, the ball is a bit harder to intercept on these plays.

During the game, you have the option of viewing a replay of the play that just occurred. There are numerous options such as frame by frame and real time. You can also call time out at any time but you only have three just like the pros. Audibles are easy to program and easy to use. This is one thing that has always been difficult in past football games but is a cinch here.

Graphics

NFL Gameday '97 sports some very realistic graphics on both the players and the stadiums. I think the designers made a great move in not trying to jump into the 3D craze with the players. Although a little distorted, the uniforms and the numbers are always obvious, plus the player with the ball has his name highlighted. Another cool aspect is the attention to detail. The home team has banners displaying catchy little sayings just like a real football stadium.

Audio

One of the first things you will notice about Gameday '97 is the realistic PA announcer. I have never heard a game that captures the feeling of actually being there like this one. The announcer's voice has a slight echo just like at a real stadium. Of course, during the game, the hits, smashes and bashes are all there. From the crisp hut-hut of your quarterback to the overwhelming cheer of the crowd, Gameday '97 can do no wrong.

Bottom Line

NFL Gameday '97 took what was believed by many to be the best football game of all time and made it better. This game should be part of any sports fan's collection. This is one of the most entertaining games of the year and I mean in any category. With all the improvements over last year's version, I don't know what to expect from Gameday '98. Somehow, the developers at Sony have hit the mark and continue to make what is believed to be the best even better. For now, I am more than happy with this version, and I know you will be too.

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