NFL Quarterback Club 2000
Although the version we saw was very early, Acclaim's NFL Quarterback Club 2000 for the Dreamcast already looks amazing. The game currently moves at a silky-smooth 60 frames-per-second with no sacrifice in player detail whatsoever. The graphics are noticeably more flashy than its N64 counterpart, and Acclaim promises lofty improvements will be made to the game's realism and atmosphere.
Download NFL Quarterback Club 2000
The launch of the Dreamcast is right around the corner. And this time around, Sega is receiving product support right from the start, including Acclaim Sports' graphical gridiron dynamo, NFL Quarterback Club 2000. Iguana (the developer) claims chat the Dreamcast version, much like its Nintendo 64 counterpart, will be the most spectacular-looking pigskin title available for the system (but has Iguana seen NFL 2000 yet?).
QB Club for both the N64 and the Dreamcast will feature Acclaims trademark Ultra Hi-Rez graphics, and each player will be treated with special nuances such as eye-black paint, breatheright strips, elbow pads, and so on. Plus, the virtual athletes will be the most realistic looking of any QB Club yet. Iguana has collected over 1200 new motion-captured animations, including wrap-around tackles and player celebrations like the Falcons' "Dirty Bird" dance. You can also expect the usual game-play options: all the pro teams and players; team-specific playbooks (you can even create your own); total team management, trades, player creation, etc.; five play modes, and more. Of course, none of this matters if the gameplay isn't there--so check out GamePro in the coming months for more details.
Acclaim is hard at work on the latest incarnation of their popular N64 football franchise, NFL Quarterback Club 2000. Since the game engine was more or less solidified with last year's QBC '99, this year Acclaim and Iguana are working on making the gameplay more realistic, with smarter Al and more balanced play (taking out the turbo button was a wise first step). QBC 2000 for N64 is due out in August.
Sports sequels often settle for including the latest team data and a couple of new features. Given the excellence of the last QBC, we expected the 2000 update to be more of the same. Unfortunately, somebody has made a real hash of It
The graphics are as sharp as ever, but the animation is all wrong. Switch on the replay mode and you'll notice odd frames popping up in the wrong place. Players flip round 180°, drop to the floor and flip back upright for no reason. Of course you won't be looking so close when you're actually playing, but they've messed up the in game camera too. The default view pans too far forwards after the snap, causing no end of unnecessary sacks because you can't see your QB.
The passing system has been overcomplicated, so it's incredibly hard to catch the ball. Even if your receiver is wide open, failure to press the catch button at exactly the right time results in the ball bouncing off his head. There's a new passing option which is supposed to allow you to pitch the ball to a specific part of the catching zone, but it's ridiculously tricky. Tellingly, the default settings leave it switched off. A big disappointment.
QB Club has been battling its "all-show-and-no-go image" since the day it was released. While jaw-dropping beauty is nice, it won't keep gamers glued to the set. Knowing this, Iguana (now Acclaim Studios-Austin) has once again taken steps to tighten up the Al.
Signing on Charlie Weis, offensive coordinator for the New York Jets, for the second year was just the start. Breaking down the roles of each player in hundreds of situations was another task tackled by programmers. After all, soft coverage in the backfield was one of the more troubling problems plaguing QB Club '99. In addition, more emphasis has been placed on user-controlled gameplay. Whereas most football games feature automatic catching, QB Club 2000 will not. Options for shortening routes, coming back for the ball (aka Pin Point Passing) and simply turning around for a pass are key new features. Timing a receiver's jump is tricky, but if done right, it's usually successful.
In the name of realistic play, the game will no longer have turbo. It's all done with analog control now. The degree of the stick relates to the speed the player will run. A cool new move which amounts to nothing more than quickly stopping your player can be combined with a juke move for an impressive maneuver. Get it right and would-be tacklers miss every time. To make those missed-tackles look real, two-man motion capture was used. What's this you say? Basically four or five players from the N.Y. Jets were filmed tackling each other. The results are more realistic than those used in the past. In all, 1200 new animations including goofy player-controlled taunts are in the game.
What else can you expect? Well, don't expect European clubs. They've been tossed out in favor of more historic teams. Create-a-player and -team are deeper with detail as are team management capabilities (does anyone really use that?).
The bottom line? All the options and features in the world won't help if there's no gameplay or Al. Quarterback Club could easily rest on its laurels in the graphics department but the Al had better be ramped-up if it wants to compete with the almighty Madden NFL Football 2000.
QB Club has lead the league the past two years with its superior gridiron graphics, but underwhelming gameplay has harmed the series. This year, Acclaims hoping to vault into the N64 lead with QB Club 2000. Two big goals for Iguana are to optimize the frame rate for faster gameplay and bump up the A.I. for more realistic football action. Other improvements will include complete user-controlled juke moves and a create-a-player feature. The playable we saw definitely showed improvement as far as speed goes, but it remains to be seen whether the gameplay will come together.