NFL Gameday 98
Ever since it debuted. NFL GameDay has been the PlayStation's premier football franchise. Showing no signs of letting up, Sony's '98 edition of the popular pigskin game is on track to repeat the successes reaped by the previous two editions.
The primary (and most obvious) change in this year's NFL GameDay is undoubtedly its all-new 3-D look. In fact, the 3-D graphics gracing GameDay are revolutionary-for a football game. Many companies, pleaded previous to this remarkable effort that a polygonal football game couldn't be accomplished at a reasonable frame rate (due to the amount of players and high-speed action). Needless to say, Sony's talented GameDay programming team proved the naysayers wrong. Though the players are a little rough and blocky in the version we played (and they won't be improved a whole lot more), the realistic, motion-captured player animation more than makes up for it.
For example, tacklers use their arms to wrap up ball carriers, players tight the sidelines (that one is a treat to see!) and linebackers crouch and sway while surveying the line. Look for plenty of extra taunting moves during gameplay and after a touchdown. There is even a Deion Sander-esque high-step move that can be used to evade defenders and to rub an easy touchdown in your opponent's face (high-step across the goal line, baby).
The players are only part of the immersive 3-D environment, however. Coaches, sideline crews and cameramen will also be visible within the football stadiums (superfluous things rarely seen in football video games). With all of this attention to detail, it's crystal clear that GameDay '98's 3-D engine has enabled this game to be the most realistic-looking PlayStation football game ever (we're still waiting to see how Acclaim's QB Club '98 on the N64 shapes up).
Even with the stunning 3-D makeover, GameDay '98 will play similar to its predecessor. A variety of new jukes have been put in (made possible by the polygonal graphics), but the same tried-and-true gameplay is still in place. The gameplay is, however, being tweaked to play more realistically. A good example is the quarterback position. It will take longer to throw (no more firing passes off easily with three defenders in front of you), and if he's hit while in the throwing motion, the result could be a bad throw or a fumble. The overall artificial intelligence is also being improved, especially on the defensive end. The goal is to cut down on "money plays" by having defenders cover their territory as efficiently as they should (unless they have a low intelligence rating).
As you can see, NFL GameDay '98 is an impressive game to see. If its gameplay lives up to its seductive 3-D looks, there is no doubt Sony's gridiron title will set a new standard in football video games.
- MANUFACTURER - SCEA
- THEME - Sport
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-8
Download NFL Gameday 98
NFL GameDay '98 has a dazzling new look, some new moves, and some new speed. But does it topple the crown prince of football? That's a Madden-ing question that is not so easily answered.
The Day Has Arrived
From the opening kickoff, the first thing you'll notice about GameDay '98 is the graphics. Polygonal players punctuate the game's hard-hitting style with wraparound tackles that actually make the screen shake. Sony spared no expense in the game--instead of motion-capturing one player for all positions (like most sports games do). Sony asked the league's finest to don the mo-cap suit for their respective positions. Jerome Bettis fills in at running back, Tim Brown is utilized as wide receiver, and so on. It all comes together in one slick package.
Once on the field, the gameplay is as close to a simulation as possible, but in some small but important ways. Madden plays more like real-life pro ball. GameDay's superior look and more arcade-like style is great fun, but Madden fields better details like a more realistic passing game, more plays on special teams. Me blitzes, and so on. Still, GameDay's action is packed with the thrills of pro football (for instance, holes will open on the offensive line and you're able to follow your blockers for that key first down), and its sliding difficulty scale lets you make the action as easy or as hard as you like.
As for other features. Game Day and Madden are almost equal. Free-agent dealing, salary' caps, fantasy drafts, slick controls, and more round out both games, although the sound on GameDay is a little sparse when compared to Madden's play-by-play.
The Total Control system is back, allowing overthrowing and underthrowing, though Madden's touch passing is far more intuitive. Some neat new features, like the Arcade mode (which allows for even harder hits and fantasy passes), are a welcome addition.
The Day Ain't Over Yet
Sports fans will enjoy the ease with which GameDay plays--some will likely prefer it over Madden. But playing GameDay is like stepping outside during the Super Bowl halftime to play street football: It's great fun, but sooner or later you have to go back inside and watch the big boys play for real.
- Don't forget to use the stiff-arm when in close quarters. It's amazingly effective against pur suing linemen.
- Keep your safety on alert on third and long plays. Drop back after the pass, and follow the play. You can usually make a Hying tackle from an impossible distance.
- Press Ihe O button just before a play's completion, and the computer will assist you by making a spectacular play.
Last season GameDay went helmet-to-helmet with Madden at the goal line. This year's GameDay brings its "A" game to the field once more, starting w ith a graphics overhaul.
GameDay '98 kicks off with some strong new features that nicely augment last year's lineup. Along with Preseason and Season modes, gamers will also find Practice, Super Bowl, and Pro Bowl modes in either Sim, Arcade, or Total Control-style action. The playbook, which weighs in at over 500 plays, is being updated to reflect the latest trends in the NFL, and a new drafting format will improve on the limited drafts of the previous game.
Visually, GameDay '98's charging into 3D with fully polygonal graphics, including the players, stadiums, and all the sideline personnel. Sony's lining up Jerome Bettis and Tim Brown for motion-capture duty, but all the players will be scaled to their actual weight and height. As for sounds, an announcer will handle PA duties as well as play calling, while revamped sound effects deliver new crowd chants and the like.