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Madden NFL 2000 (PS1)

Madden NFL 2000 PSX
Genre: Sports
Perspective: Bird's-eye view
Visual: 2D scrolling
Interface: Multiple units/characters control
Sport: Football (American)
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: EA Tiburon
Released: 1999
Platform: PlayStation (PSX, PS1)

For better or worse, Madden NFL 2000 - the next installment in EA's college football series named after famed coach John Madden - doesn't differ much from its predecessor, Madden NFL 99. And if it really was for its time. " breakthrough ", then this incarnation was somewhat lost among the" well added "competitors and received more restrained reviews from the specialized press.

From the number of available modes, no one, apparently, did not like the "custom season" and the rather curious (albeit hardly realistic) "fantasy draft" (for more details, see the Madden NFL 99 page). Instead, a "arcade" appeared - from now on it is not only a "control method" (which, however, is also in place), but also a "separate entity" - something like a quick and at the same time easily controlled duel, where only the most basic rules apply American football, and the referees practically do not punish for their violations - as well as an extremely interesting innovation: "situation mode" with two sub-modes. In the first of them, it is allowed to create your own matches, customizing literally every element of them, and in the second - "Great Games" - it is proposed to repeat or, conversely, to change the result of some "historical" meeting (reported to you in advance), and the moment of "entry" in such a game does not necessarily coincide with its formal beginning (in other words, you may have to "pull" the match from the middle, where some score has already been reached and there is an unchanging starting arrangement of players on the field, from which the action available for independent control begins) ; moreover, it is permissible to pass these "situations" only sequentially (initially, only one such is available). In addition, as a separate item - outside the main menu - there was a "fun" called "Madden Challenge", where the "maestro" himself gives out small tasks - as "physical" (say, "correctly" to execute a run or a passage between rivals, controlling model of an athlete), and "intellectual" (the answer to a question from the history of American football) - getting points for this. As for the rest of the modes, everything is the same: practice, individual matches, championship, season (already with the functions of a coach and manager, that is, transfers and the involvement of "free agents") and "franchise" - in many ways the same, but with a little more detailing and over a number of seasons. But, unfortunately, there is still no full-fledged "career".

In principle, all other features of the game, one way or another noted in the description of Madden NFL 99, are preserved here - but almost always at least slightly (and sometimes significantly) improved. So, the "physics" of the players' running and their behavior on the field, depending on what is happening, has become much more realistic: even in the previous part, their hands sometimes trembled, here, in addition, a "colorful" loss of balance, shortness of breath after a long run, bending legs under the weight of pressing rivals and other similar "charms"; the reaction of judges to certain incidents has become much more "natural". Mastering the controls (especially those parts of it that are responsible for moving players in the right direction and choosing tactics at a particular moment), as before, is problematic the first time, and at least long passes have become even harder to execute, but at the same time The dynamism of the process has also significantly increased (which the predecessor was somewhat lacking), as well as the level of artificial intelligence of the computer opponent (who has almost no problems with the accuracy of the passes mentioned above). It hardly needs to be said separately that all the names of the teams and the names of the players correspond to reality (or, more precisely, the state of affairs in the NFL as of the end of 1999), as well as the many settings, which are generally identical to what we saw in the previous part. True, there are some differences here: for example, the disgusting "one-button-mode" has been removed from the control methods, - only "realistic" and "arcade" ones have been left; but the difficulty levels are no longer three, but four, - for beginners, the "rookie" mastery step, preceding the "pro", has been added. Before the start of individual matches, you can still select not only the team and the stadium (all of them are modeled on the basis of the real ones), but also the duration of the "quarters" (periods of the fight; among them, a 15-minute one finally appeared, that is, corresponding to the real rules), time of day and weather conditions; it is allowed to determine the degree of "severity" of penalties for violations of the rules, the presence or absence of the risk of injury to players and the accumulation of fatigue in them; the maximum allowable level of wards' salary in the season and "franchise" modes, the ability to create your own (not existing in reality) football players, voice comments during the match, a camera that takes different angles, and much, much more have been preserved. Tactical schemes, alas, are still tied to specific teams.

The graphics, again, have improved in comparison with Madden NFL 99, but not globally - and the quality of the picture, according to the millennium reviewers, in this part has already become noticeably inferior to the closest analogues (for example, NFL Blitz). To agree with this or not is a personal matter for everyone; we can only note that the player models have become objectively more detailed, "even" and "correct" in terms of scale, and the field is drawn better (this is very important for successful management of what is happening), - but at the same time, cast shadows and other similar effects (for example , snowflakes or raindrops, if the weather is chosen) seem to have remained unchanged (although there are still many of them), and the stands, unfortunately, are flat, albeit slightly animated, as before. As in its predecessor, D3D and Glide are supported, the degree of "adequacy" of commentators has increased even more, replays of successful "attempts" and dangerous moments are shown separately, figures of substitutes and a coach have finally appeared on the sidelines, - well, the number of small animated clips on the engine related to the reaction of athletes to any events has expanded: they no longer only rejoice or lament depending on the result on the scoreboard (and this also applies to the "reservists"), but, for example, sometimes fiercely argue with the judge. But there are still some very disappointing little things: navigation in the main menu is much less convenient here, and the introductory video, in the previous part containing a greeting from Madden himself, is now accompanied by some strange and unpleasant rap. And yes, Madden NFL 98 and 99 have no bonus disc with "extras" either. However, on the whole, it can be stated that this part is almost in no way worse, and in many respects better than what was in the series before, even if it contains practically nothing "revolutionary".