Madden NFL 2001
Game Review - by James Allen
An improved franchise mode is included, where you can compete in 30 NFL seasons, do contract negotiations, free agent signings, and rookie drafts. You can even be fired as coach of your team if you play poorly (believe me, I know). The franchise mode is implemented very well, and is enjoyable to simulate several seasons to see which players end up where, and who the highest paid player in the league is: after five years, it's Ray Lewis (Alstott in a close second) for me.
In addition to franchise mode, there is an exhibition mode, and great games, where you play one of the best games in NFL history, and may even change the outcome. Definitely a feel of Quantum Leap.
The passing game has somewhat improved. Someone has finally found the balance the incomplete pass situation between dropped balls and inaccurate passes. However, some of the throws are magically caught by your receivers, even when the ball split seconds earlier was nowhere close to the player. Plus, single coverage usually means a completion (and double coverage as well, for good receivers). The offense is competent, and doesn't degrade the game any.
The defense is good, but not stellar. The tackling is suspect as some times (4 guys miss diving at a running back), and your defensive backs do not react as soon as you would like. But, as long as you call an appropriate play, the offense is usually stopped. The new read-n-react defense is total garbage. Absolutely nothing happens if you are in pass coverage and a run play is about to be called, and you instruct your defense to read and react. It's easier to either control a linebacker, or just shift your line to bring everyone in close. The defense is about as good as the offence, which is good I suppose.
Kicking is hard, hard, hard. I took me many games to get the coordination correct more than once. The power meter moves really quickly, and if you don't hit it at the nanosecond at the top, you can kiss any field goal over 30 yards goodbye. Kickoffs are a lot easier than punts and field goals, however, and good kickers will kick one into the end zone every so often especially with the wind at their backs. The gameplay of Madden NFL 2001 is good, but still not at the top of the mountain.
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