With Midway's NFL Blitz creating such a big stir at arcades across the land, it was only a matter of time before other game companies discovered the excitement of "extreme" football. And while the premise of wild, exaggerated sports is not new to video games (see NBA lam), ironically it is new to the football genre.
The premise of NFL Xtreme is a five-on-five match-up in which every player is an eligible receiver. To further promote the "anything goes" mentality there are no boundaries or penalties (save delay of game) and a first down is 20 yards, lust imagine a simplified GameDay 98 with mean, superman-like players hitting each other so hard helmets frequently launch off heads like way- ward cannon balls. Along those lines, look for flip, spear and clothesline tackling not to mention the entire library of GameDay moves including the stiff arm, juke, spin, etc.
Because of the small amount of players on field, the developers where able to use 400 polygonal player models. They claim four times the number of GameDay 98. What does this mean? Expect some highly detailed players with unusually large biceps and thighs. Other interesting visual effects--torn jerseys, limping players, 50 different celebration dances and playing in a blizzard!?
All these elements sound swell but we're looking forward to the highly satisfying "late hit on the celebrating player" the most. There's nothing like it...it just feels so right.
As far as options go, NFL Xtreme will mirror GameDay offering create-a-player, draft picks, season play, etc. Most importantly, real NFL teams and schedules will be used as well as the same groundbreaking game engine.
With any luck, NFL Xtreme could turn out to be a very good game. Of course, with the home version of NFL Blitz on the horizon Sony better hurry up and get it out.
- MANUFACTURER - Sony Computer Ent.
- THEME - Sports
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-4
Download NFL Xtreme
Obviously inspired by Midway's NFL Blitz, NFL Xtreme isn't half as good as the game it seeks to imitate. 989 Studios took the basic gameplay then added every conceivable feature: season play, player creation, variable weather, tear away jerseys, audibles, in-depth stats, tons of plays, etc. You name it, they put it in there. Unfortunately, what they didn't include was the most important ingredient of them all: good gameplay. Instead of delivering fast-paced, hard-hitting action, NFL Xtreme moves at a sluggish pace, and is marred by choppy animations and bad play mechanics. Granted, this game is probably taxing the PS hardware, but that doesn't mean I can forgive the ugly formations that are confusing to the point that having a player designated as a running back or tight end really has no meaning. Receivers can't be placed in motion, and if you throw to them when they're covered, it seems that they'll come down with the ball almost every time. The computer intelligence is horrible. In my first game at the highest difficulty level, I beat the computer by 40 pts--using only two plays! That's only about three numbers less than the amount of boring phrases the repetitive announcer utters. Who can blame him? For a supposedly hard-hitting football game, NFL Xtreme isn't very exciting.
I can't warm up to Xtreme. All the elements are in place--decent graphics, fast frame rate and fancy player moves. They just don't seem to get into an exciting package. The precision just isn't there. In fact, it's hard to discern some of the tighter action that takes place on the field because of choppy tackling animations and movements. In the end, Xtreme doesn't generate the same feeding frenzy as even GameDay, much less Blitz.
Had NFL Blitz never existed, NFL Xtreme might be a pretty cool, somewhat innovative game. On the other hand, had Blitz never existed, Xtreme would've never been brought out to shamelessly mock it in the first place. Xtreme tries real hard to provide the excitement of Blitz, but falls short in too many ways. Most importantly, the game just isn't very much fun to play. If you must try it, I strongly suggest renting first.
What is up with this game? It's like it was rushed out unfinished. The graphics and animation are way clunky, the control is far from being intuitive, and the voiceovers are forced at best. If Sony is going for more of an arcade experience instead of the standard football sim (similar to NFL Blitz), then they should've made this game more accessible for everyone. The 2P Mode isn't even that fun since the game's so cumbersome to play.
NFL Xtreme looks to explode through your TV screen with some of the most raucous football action ever seen on the PlayStation.
A Bigger, Bidder Gridiron
Sony's hitting the frozen tundra with a pigskin title that even non-sports gamers will be lining up to play. NFL Xtreme is the latest title from the developers of NFL GameDay: It's an insane, fast-paced game where the players are big, but the hits are bigger.
Xtreme features five-on-five action in Exhibition, Season, and Playoff modes with real NFL teams, players, and authentically rendered fields. To add to the game's over-the-top attitude, all the players on the field are eligible to receive passes (even the center) and there are no out of bounds or penalties. And while the game isn't a sim at heart, you still have complete control over your roster: You can trade, create, release, and draft players and you can even track your stats for individual games as well as for an entire season.
100 Percent Pure TNT
In the hands-on copy we played, Xtreme sported graphics that put a hurtin' on every other PlayStation football title with its smooth, detailed, behemoth-looking players. Everything from the logos on the helmets to the muscle definition on Neil Smith's biceps was superbly rendered. The player animations were just as spectacular, featuring wicked clothesline, bodyslam, and upending tackles, running backs that drag defensemen behind them, and much more. On the sound side, Xtreme rocked the speakers with some of the most outrageous collision sounds around--and when playing in the rain, thunder and lightning accompany especially wicked hits. If Sony adjusts some of the minor gameplay mechanics as it plans. Xtreme will offer some Xcel-lent Blitz-like action this summer.
Take every dance, taunt, trash talk and obvious penalty from the NFL, shrink the field by 20 yards and only allow five players on the field at a time and you now have an idea of what NFL Xtreme is all about. As the title implies, this game takes everything to the extreme from smashing tackles to close line late hits. If you are one of the people who really enjoys watching a defender flex over the receiver after smashing him to the ground then this game is for you.
NFL Xtreme is just that: Xtreme. Everything you do is taken to the next level. Is this game a true football simulation? Not by any stretch of the imagination but what you will find is some exciting arcade like gameplay, awesome graphics and some outrageous hits. This game breaks all the rules of the NFL but since there are no penalties, you never get flagged. Throw in the fact that there is not out-of-bounds and what you have is a combination arena football and NBA Jam on a football field.
The buzz on the street about NFL Xtreme is that it is a rip off of Midway's NFL Blitz arcade game. Since I do not play arcade games nor do I review them, I have not played Blitz so I think that this gives me a very unbiased perspective. Couple that with the fact that Blitz is not available on a console system (although it is in the works) and what you have is a person that is judging the game on its merits alone instead of trying to compare it to an arcade game. As far as I am concerned, this game is an original game on the PSX and I challenge anybody to compare it to another PSX title. When Blitz is released, it will judged on its own merits as well. So, unless you want to drop 15 grand (or whatever the going price may be) on an arcade machine, NFL Xtreme should keep you happy.
The gameplay in NFL Xtreme does take a little bit of explaining. First off, instead of eleven on eleven football, you have five on five. You have a quarterback and the other four players are all eligible offensive threats. Depending on your play calls and formations, you may have a running back and three wide receivers or a running back and two receivers and the center stays in and blocks. Anyway, the bottom line is that every one of your offensive players is eligible to catch or run the ball. I really liked this because it took out any guesswork. If you can see one of your dudes, you know you can throw him the ball.
The next biggest difference is the size of the field. A standard NFL field is 100 yards long. The field in this game is only 80 yards. Why? I am not really sure but that is just the way it is. It may be 80 yards because it works better for the first down system. See, in real football, you get a first down every 10 yards. If you run the ball 25 yards, you start over 1st and 10 to go. In Xtreme, the first downs are fixed every 20 yards and it does not matter where you end the run. For example, if you return the kick off to the 25 yard line, you will be 1st and 15 to go. If you run it back to the 35 yard line, you will be 1st and 5 to go. This is the same for all of the yard markers on the field. This was probably the biggest change and took the most time to adjust to. If you have grown up watching football and playing football video games, it will be real difficult to break yourself of the habit of thinking first downs in 10 yard increments but once you get used to it, you will love it. At first it was weird and I still occasionally slip back into my 10 yard mentality but I still liked it. Also, it will become quite obvious after a few games why it is set up this way. If it was the same as regulation football, you would never stop the offense.
But wait, this is not all. Another big difference in the game is that there is no out-of-bounds. Actually, this is not entirely true. There is an out of bounds but you just can't get to it. The only time you can really use the out-of-bounds is on a kick off or a punt, you are able to kick the ball out of bounds. During the a play, you can run to the sidelines but once you reach the side, you can't go any further. You have to turn and go up field or else the defense will be all over you (if they already were not). I also really liked this because how many times when you were playing Gameday did you angle towards the sidelines and try to cut up field only to continue out-of-bounds? This is no longer a problem because you have no choice but to cut up field. The other thing that it does which is very cool is that it pinned players to the side of the field and it gave the defense the angle to lay some seriously crushing blows.
So now that you understand the differences between this game and real football, let's talk about the actual in-game play. After my first game, I really had mixed emotions about the gameplay. I liked the fluid movement of the players and anybody who has ever played any of the Gameday games will be able to pick up the controller and start playing. What bothered me was that there were too many interceptions and fumbles and receivers who were covered still managed to pull down too many passes. The more I played the game, the more I started to appreciate the game for what it was. This game is not a football simulation. If you can get that in your head, you will be much better off. The first few games I just kept thinking about how exaggerated everything was and it actually bothered me a bit. After a few more games, it finally started to sink in that the whole idea of the game was to be exaggerated. The fumbles and interceptions were all a part of what makes this game Xtreme. To give you a perfect example of what I am talking about, I was playing on defense and the computer was on offense. The computer threw a pass over the middle into coverage and my defender just unloaded on the guy. The ball went flying back about 10 yards and one of my other defenders caught the ball for an interception. Before the camera even had a chance to change directions, one of the offensive guys leveled my guy and he fumbled the ball. The original offense ended up regaining possession but the point is that there was two turnovers in a span of one second. This was the only time I had that happen but be prepared from plenty of turnovers.
This game also earns the Xtreme name when it comes to the vicious tackles and hits that you can administer on your opponent (or they can administer on you). We are talking about hits that actually knock the helmet off of the player. The first time I knocked off a players helmet, you would have thought I had done it in real life. Along with the helmet removal, you can rip off a players jersey. This was much less common than the helmet launch but it was equally as cool. I had my running back heading down the side on the field and the defender jumped on me and you heard a ripping sound and my guy was still running but he only had on shoulder pads. This was awesome! Like I said, it did not happen often but when it did, it was well worth it.
The one thing that really made me understand how much attention was given to details was that players had injuries. I know that you are thinking "yeah, so...". The cool thing was that it really took a lot to get a player injured enough to be removed from a game but they could get injured enough to slow them down. The first time this happened I did not know what was going on. I handed the ball off to my running back and his nitro burst did not do anything and he looked like he was dragging his leg a little. He got tackled right away so I was not sure if I was imagining it or not so I handed him the ball again. This time he was really slow and definitely dragging his leg. It took about three more plays before he was finally removed because of injury. This meant that I had to do some roster management throughout the game. I needed to substitute in my back up players for a few series to keep my stars fresh. If you keep pounding them away, you will end up losing them for the game or longer.
There were a few things that I really did not like about the game though. The main thing that I did not like was the taunting. It was cool the first few games but it just ended up getting annoying the more I played. The game said there were over 50 celebrations but it seemed like there was only a handful of taunts so I had to watch the same ones and hear the same lame comments every time. It got really old hearing a guy say "welcome to the NFL". I will admit that I did enjoy being able to hit somebody after they taunted me. If I got nailed, sometimes I was able to get up and slam them back and since there were no penalties, it was okay! Also, the game had some questionable AI in places. Most noticeably was that if the game was close in the fourth quarter with under two minutes, the computer would always kick a field goal on first or second down to take the lead. Great except that a lot of times there was still a minute and a half left in the game and in this game, that is at least one more possession for each team. This was not major but it was still a nagging issue.
This game takes the graphics from last year's Gameday, updates them and looks awesome. They used all of the latest and greatest motion capture technology and it really shows. Everything from the wrap tackles to the clothesline tackles looked great. The taunting and celebrations were a little overdone and I would swear that every single player looked white regardless until they lost a helmet. If this is any indication of the graphic to come on the PlayStation then the next year or so is looking good.
The more I played this game, the more I liked it. At first, I was not that impressed with the game but the more I played, the more I started to enjoy it. I think it may have been a combination of just getting used to the differences and finally coming to the realization that this game was not trying to be a football simulation but an exaggerated arcade experience. I did find the taunts wearing a little thin after a few games. The graphics looked great and the detail of the uniforms was incredible. All in all, I suggest you check this game out.
If GameDay and Madden have always been too serious for your taste. 989 Sports (formerly Sony Sports) has the football game for you. The raucous NFL Xtrcme leaves rules, penalties, and other formalities on the bench, subbing in the kind of fast, mayhem-filled action that drove NFL Blitz to the top of the arcade charts.
No Yellow Flags
Xtremc hikes the ball in wild five-on-five showdowns where out-of-bounds and penalties don't apply, late hits arc welcomed, and first downs are awarded whenever you cross either of the 20- or 40-yard lines. 989 Sports also enhanced the game with WWF-like flair, including moves like clothesline tackles and heads-over-heels flips--you can even knock off a player's helmet or tear away their jersey during a brutal hit.
The result's an open, accessible game without the complexity of standard football--but that doesn't mean Xtremc lacks depth. The roster's packed with pro teams, players, and stadiums: 60 plays; Exhibition, Season, and Playoff modes; and managerial moves like trades, drafts, and player creation. Tight controls back you lip all the way with crisp passing, cool dekes, and well-balanced turbo and tackling.
All that adds up to some great arcade football action that delivers the frenzied fun of Blitz in the arcades. But Blitz eventually maxes out in terms of what you can do, whereas Xtreme packs in much more replayability in the form of bigger playbooks, a stronger running game, and the whole managerial side of the game. The only real flaw in Xtreme is that there's not enough variety in all the insane tackles, late hits, and dekcs--and things start to get repetitive. Still, live. Still, it's the kind of cool football game that should attract action gamers and sports rookies, along with the usual hardcore spoils crowd.
Visually, Xtreme's a jaw-dropping stunner, sporting slick stadiums and the best-looking player models on the PlayStation. These well-sculpted athletes have smooth lines, great detail, and fluid animations that range from the "raise the roof celebration to Neil Smith's home-run swing, among many others.
On the sound side, Xtreme's pretty average. The announcer calls the action at a tight clip, but the crowd sound gets really repetitive. And while all the taunts and the trash-talking arc a blast at first, they grow pretty tired in a hurry.
All told, Xtreme sprints into the end zone with a winning style, offering rowdy fun, more depth than Blitz, and sizzling graphics. Kicking off on this lield's an easy call.
- The outrageous jump-flip move is a great way to deke defenders, but be sure you save turbo--if you blow out turbo on speed bursts, you won't be able to bust off the flip.
- There are no penalties, so never let a receiver have a clear shot at a catch. Tackle him before the ball arrives or jump in and deflect the pass--just get in there somehow.
- If you see only one defender rushing (especially if they're playing Zone or Prevent defense), it's usually a good time to call an audible and try a running play.
- Maximize turbo by steadily tapping L2 instead of holding it--you'll get a lot more bang for your buck, especially on long runs or kick returns.
Sony's getting ready to step onto the fantasy gridiron with the bliztbuster, NFL Xtreme. This arcade-style high-scoring football smashfest will feature five-on-five action using real NFL teams, players, and schemes. However, instead i of going ten yards for a first, you must go twenty--and there are no out of bounds and no penalties. The crazy in-your-face gameplay will be complemented by a grip of animations from high-stepping taunts to bone-crunching hits that sometimes result in a player's helmet popping off. Xtreme also provides a lot of depth in that you have full control over your team: You can make trades, substitute player positions. create players, track stats through a season. participate in a aratt. ana more. With highly detailed player graphics and a running speed of 30 frames per second, NFL Xtreme looks to do some major damage on the PlayStation's turf this summer.
Snapshots and Media
- NFL Blitz
- NFL Blitz 20-02
- NFL Blitz 20-03
- NFL Blitz 2000
- NFL Blitz 2001
- Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey
- Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98
- Backyard Football
- ESPN NFL Football
- Front Page Sports Football Pro '97
- High Heat MLB 2003
- Jimmy Johnson's VR Football 98
- Legends '98 Football
- Madden '97
- Madden NFL 99
- NCAA Football 2003
- NCAA Football 99
- NCAA Gamebreaker 2003
- NFL 2K
- NFL Blitz Pro
- NFL Fever 2003
- NFL Fever 2004
- NFL GameDay 2002
- NFL QB Club 2002