Review By: Jesse Mason
Madden's in a slump. He was the king of football up until NFL Gameday in
1995 but now he's been taking second seat. NFL Gameday '98 took video game
football to its limit. Madden '98, while better than Madden '97 (Thank God!),
is really just repeating what was done before.
Madden '97 was so plagued by money plays that you could cruise through a
season 16-0 without any trouble. Shutout games were common and the only thing
to do to give the computer a fair fight was not pick the many impossible
to defend against plays. But people are only human. Telling people to just
not pick those plays is about as low as Nintendo telling people to just not
look in the Zelda hint guide given with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the
Past. Well in the past year or so EA really went to the limit on this artificial
intelligence. Finally a computer that can keep up (still no match for another
human though!). But this Liquid AI is really just good AI. Although this
AI is nice, the gameplay is too old and outdated. EA the wave of the future
of sports games in the third dimension.
The control is on par with most football games. Tight control will end all
of those slippery player complaints of the past. The graphics are still sprites
which isn't a good thing. While the sprites look good they just don't offer
the intense realistic football that came out of NFL Gameday '98's. Of course
all the millions of lines of stats are there.
While other companies seem to be exploring new worlds within sports games
(Sony, Konami, and Acclaim among others) EA Sports seems content with its
policy of tweaking games instead of making great new addition. It has worked
before guys, but it's not gonna hold up anymore.