Sports Roundup: NBA Inside Drive 2000 & NFL Fever
Do you have what it takes to lead your teams to the promised land? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have total control of a team on the field and guide them to a championship? Would you like to hit someone in the back field and watch them cough up the ball? Have you ever dreamt of putting the rock in the face of David Robinson? Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat and thought that purple monkeys were running around your house with your underwear on their heads? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions you really need to get your hands on NBA Inside Drive 2000, NFL Fever 2000... and a good psychologist.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Both games have different modes of gameplay. You can play a single game, season, or playoffs. If you are like me then you don’t have time to play a regular basketball season; I just went straight into a playoffs series. Heck, they're long enough anyway.
NBA Inside Drive was easy to learn and a little tricky to play at times. Most of the time I had no problems passing and shooting, but every once in a while my player would make an errant pass to someone and give the opposing team an easy lay up on the other end of the court. It seemed to happen quite frequently when I would try to push the ball up court on a fast break. As far as the shooting woes go, I attempted over 40 three pointers in one of my playoff games and missed every one of them. Now I have to admit I was playing the game this morning and I hit a three pointer from just inside the half court line so I know it can be done. When you are in the playoffs and you can’t hit a three it tends to make you a little irritated (I got spanked 126-74 in that game).
NFL Fever was straightforward in its gameplay. If you have ever played any football games on the computer or PlayStation you should be able to pick it up quite easily. My advice to you would be to learn how to pass the ball. Short passes were the staple of my gameplan and they seemed to work very well. The long ball was non-existent (unless you had a blown coverage) and most receivers had butterfingers. I have never seen so many dropped balls in my life! As far as running goes, I have not seen a football game yet that gives you a good running game. If you want to run the ball do not even think about going up the middle. Sweep to the outside and hustle up the sideline for as many yards as you can. If you time it right you can stiff-arm the defender or spin out of his grasp.
Here is where these games really shine! The graphics were sharp and smooth as silk on my AMD K6-2 450 system. I had the resolution cranked up to 1024x768 and the computer never bogged down once! It is the little things about these games that impressed me the most: the players looked like their real world counterparts (except for the fact that their mouths didn’t move) and the stadiums were bright and lively. The only thing that could have used some work was the flat, stagnant crowd. Nevertheless, I would rather have a flat crowd than have the major performance hit that comes with an animated one any day.
Both games have different camera angles that you can mess around with. Believe me, if you ever get bored just change the camera angle and it is a whole new ball game.
NBA Inside Drive has some of the best commentary I have heard in a game in a long time. Marques Johnson and Seattle Supersonics commentator Kevin Calabro have lent their voices to the game and they have a little one-liner for everything. It reminded me of a real game on TV. BooYea!!
NFL Fever 2000 boasts Dick Stockton and Matt Millen as commentators. It seemed as if they didn’t have as large a script as the other two gentlemen; I noticed most of the phrases were repeated several times in a game. But then again, how many different ways can you say that the quarterback was sacked?
Pentium 166 or higher processor (Recommended Pentium 266), Windows 95 or 98, 32 MB RAM, 90 MB hard drive space, 4X CD-ROM drive, & a mouse.
Printed documentation was kept to a minimum for NBA Inside Drive and NFL Fever. The only thing that came with the games was in the inside cover of the CDs; all the helpful information was found in the game itself. Personally, I like having an online help section and a manual to look at. I have had too many games that would not run until I sat down and read the manual. If you can’t get the game to run properly in the first place then how are you supposed to read the online manual? Don’t get me wrong, the online manual for NBA Inside Drive and NFL Fever are quite good and answered a bunch of questions as to how to play the game but I would have liked to have seen a written document as well.
It seems like every year someone tries to outdo EA Sports. This year the top contender would have to be Microsoft. They have released football and basketball games that not only rival EA Sports in action and graphics but might have even surpassed them. Nobody expected a company like Microsoft to come out with decent sports games. Heck, these guys are a bunch of computer nerds, right? Wrong! These two games are hard hitting, knee buckling, rim rattling fun! The only thing that kept them from getting a higher rating was the fact that neither game has multiplayer support and they also don’t keep track of your stats. Put both those items in a patch and I might have to eat my words and write another review. Until then, I give both games an 86 out of 100.