||NFL Quarterback Club 2000
I think even Acclaim must know how bad this game sucks - Review By Subskin
Just before playoffs, Acclaim releases NFL Quarterback Club 2000. This is the first "competition" for NFL 2000. Is it up to the challenge of topping the greatest sports game of all time? Take a wild guess...
QB Club 2000 boasts a variety of gameplay modes. "Historical Sims" allow you to take over at the turning point of each Super Bowl and stage a comeback. This is surprisingly exciting, and an option I hope Visual Concepts incorporates in NFL 2001. Repeating Joe Montana's 90-yard touchdown drive with the 1989 49ers is definitely thrilling. Likewise, trying to reverse the Bills' Super Bowl losing streak is a lofty goal indeed. For the older Super Bowls, Acclaim even remembered to remove the 2-point conversion. Too bad they couldn't move the goalposts to the front of the end zone (I'd love to smack Terry Bradshaw into one).
The Super Bowl historical sim mode is cool, especially if you're a Bills fan.
The play calling in QB Club is definitely a plus. You select formation in the traditional manner, but you can change the player set on any formation using the R button. In other words, you can line up on offense with four wide-outs, but you can use two tight ends for the slot backs. Similarly, you select 4-3, 46, or 3-4 on defense. Then you can use the R button to determine whether you want more beefy linebackers or speedy defensive backs. It's a nice touch, but John Madden Football for the Sega Genesis implemented it around 1992 with more realism - in QB Club players do not have to run off the field when you change sets, they are instantaneously substituted.
Your typical team management controls are here, including create player and create team. Create-a-player mode is pretty generic and does not allow the graphical control of NFL2K, but it gets the job done. There is no play editing mode; instead, there's an innovative "coach editing" mode. You can alter the computer coach's run / pass percentage and how often the coach will use "shock plays." "Shock plays" are play calls that go against traditional logic, such as throwing a long bomb on 3rd and inches from your own 15 yard line. This is a simplistic but effective way of changing the computer's game plan. Since you cannot instruct the computer to favor a certain running back, receiver, or coverage scheme it is unlikely you can improve the computer's game by changing the play percentages. Still, this is a novelty for console football games and a step in the right direction.
The managment options aren't bad, the coach editing mode is actually something kinda new.
The only song that QB Club has is decent. The interface is easy to understand, if a little bland. Scores tend to be accurately low. Other than that, umm... they got most of the rules of football right.
OH. MY. GOD. This game is worse than Mike Ditka football for the Sega Genesis (for those of you fortunate enough to have missed that one, it was real bad).
The graphics sometimes look as good as NFL2K's, but the crappy frame rate ruins everything.
On field goals and extra points, the offensive linemen frequently take fake stutter steps. Not only is this a waste of graphics, it's against the rules of football! This is a false start, yet QB Club considers it just a graphic perk. I can't believe they actually took the time to motion capture the damned movement.
Another graphical problem is the frame rate. At times QB Club 2000 moves at approximately 2 frames per second! QB Club's nice, high-resolution graphics might explain the video problems - except that NFL 2K already proved the Dreamcast is capable of so much more. The crappy frame rate also affects the controls; sometimes you have to press a button three times just to get the game to react. Because of the horrible controls it can take forever to pause the game, let alone call a time-out.
Even when the controls do work properly, they still suck. QB Club 2000 is like playing football underwater - a player standing still has to circle for 2 yards just to turn around. This makes pass routes and open field tackling more or less impossible. It takes so long to change directions that the running game is a joke. If a defensive lineman comes near Terrell Davis before he gets to the line of scrimmage, it's a tackle for a loss. On the other hand, if he makes it past the line of scrimmage he can juke around linebackers and defensive backs enough for a guaranteed nine-yard gain. Simply put, it's easier to evade a defensive back - who probably runs a 4.4 forty - than a defensive lineman - who probably weighs 300 pounds. The movement is so bad they had to replace the usual speed burst button with a brake!
The poor controls also make it nearly impossible to catch a ball. Only the two best wide-outs on each team have a chance at a reception; a tight end is guaranteed to let the ball bounce off his chest. Worse, the receiver randomly changes directions when you press X to catch the ball. This means you can be lined up perfectly for a reception only to take off in the other direction when you reach out for a catch. When a receiver does catch the ball, the collision detection is bad. I've seen the ball fly through a receiver's chest, fall nearly to the ground a yard or so in front of him, then reverse direction and fly back in to his hands.
Trying to catch a pass is like pulling teeth, and about as much fun. This pass ended up going through the arms of the reciever.
This poor receiving is the only reason you can't complete 100% of your passes. The AI is so bad, defenders move to the center of their zones then stop dead in their tracks. A defender in man coverage will follow his man within 2 yards of the ball carrier without even trying to tackle the guy with the ball! The stupid AI is also in effect on the offense; sometimes receivers will collide with each other and just continue pushing as they try to remain on their route. When the moronic receivers don't stop each other, at least one is open by 15 yards in every direction. Only about 50% of the time can that receiver catch the ball. Grrr...
Speaking of poor passing - QB Club 2000 considers a pitch out to be a pass. That means if its dropped the game calls it incomplete rather than a fumble.
The sound effects, including the announcers, are poorly sampled and sparse. One of the announcers tries to be sarcastic - he sounds like Bob Saget on America's Funniest Home Videos. Terrible jokes, terrible delivery. The players' voices are equally pathetic. The taunts sound like a 14-year-old boy in puberty. While one player is taunting, the rest stand still throughout the field.
The Final Word
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up and behold the worst football game since the Atari 2600. That's right folks, this marvel of modern stupidity fails in every way imaginable. Witness its poor frame rates, gasp at its miserable sound effects, and scream at the gut-wrenchingly sick controls. Within an hour you'll be calling Acclaim to personally threaten the programmers.
Highs: Ability to play all 33 Super Bowls, and umm... doesn't break a Dreamcast.
Lows: Controls, sounds, video, AI, the fact that it exists.
Other: 1-4 Players, VMU Compatible (for saving, 64 blocks), Arcade Stick. (Doesn't say on the box, but also supports Jump Pack).
(out of a possible 10)
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