NFL Gameday 2001 Preview
The NFL Gameday franchise has seen some of the best games, that is until Madden NFL stepped back in 1999 to take the videogame NFL crown back. But 989 Sports wouldn't give up, they thought that their newest Gameday title would step back and steal the glory, when in-fact all it did was just cast a shadow that grew bigger and bigger every year. As the last Gameday title to be released on the Playstation, GD2001 wasn't as bad as I would have thought it to be, but the game did slightly suffer from blocky visuals and somewhat stumpy (if you will) gameplay. Madden 2001 was clear of all of that, the game had fine athlete modes, nice and smooth action and best of all, it felt more like a simulation game rather than a mix of both. With the release of NFL Madden 2001, critics (and soon to be gamers) have been hailing the game as the finest slice of bread out of NFL 2K1 and absolutely any other football game out there. EA Sports has already managed to build themselves an incredibly strong reputation by publishing around six games just before the end of the year, that include favorites such as Madden NFL 2001, NHL 2001 and what has been called best launch game SSX. But what ever happened to Sony/989 with their Gameday franchise, has Sony abandoned and tipped their hat off to EA? Nope! Sony has been perfect at keeping their PS2 version of NFL Gameday 2001 sealed away from the press, meantime they have been developing the game for a very long time and it shows. GD 2001 is actually nearly done, and Sony showed off the game at around the point of the game being 80-85% complete, that is how tight lipped they can be. Read the first info on NFL Gameday 2001 and see what Sony has in store for us.
From what I've seen so far, the visuals aren't too impressive, actually I was very baffled that the visuals were so... lame. I'm sorry I know that this is a preview and I should always look towards the bright side, but just looking at the models the only word that comes to mind is "lame". NFL 2K1 on Sega Dreamcast looks much better than Gameday 2001, let alone Madden NFL 2001. The athletes don't have that much polish to them, the helmets don't show any reflection from the stadium lights and that is a big minus if this ends up in the final release, that Sony hopes to accomplish this Thanksgiving. The bodies aren't as smooth as those found in NFL 2K1 or Madden 2001, they sit somewhere around visuals from Konami's ESPN Football game, not great but not bad, it's pretty much a coin toss, and all is left to say is: let's see how the final game turns out. The faces though are superb, every football athlete has his very own face, photographed and slapped on his head so that not one player looks the same. The body structure is just right too, not very stretched out and tall (NFK 2K1) and not too muscular (Madden 2001 occasionally). Once more, the graphics are a toss up, only time will tell.
Something new that was added to the series is the ProTalk feature, which is in a way when player trash talk and you would see their mouths move accordingly to what they are saying. The game would fly at a greasy slick 60 frames, unlike Madden 2001s 30. Now here is the game's huge problem in GD 2001, when the QB would throw to a receiver and you look at a replay, lots of times you'll notice that QB's hand is aiming towards another direction, but the ball still spirals towards the intended receiver, Sony needs to clear that up before it's too late. The athletes need to feel less slippery and more tight and powerful, on the field when they move they would tend to look like they are walking a water slide, instead of dry grass and soil. NFL Gameday 2001 needs some touch ups, other wise the game can succumb to the very same fate that it did on the PS to the Madden series. We will have a deeper look at the game, as soon as we review it hopefully this November.