Madden NFL 2000 on the PC is a better all-around football game than its Nintendo 64 cousin. Although the audio is choppier, both John Madden and Pat Sumerall have more to say, and I like the look of the graphics more. It also has a great feature -- the Situation Mode, which allows you to relive past classic games and set up your own scenarios -- which isn't available on the Nintendo 64 version.
In the audio area, Madden NFL 2000 needs some major improvement for next year. Sumerall pauses every time he makes a statement in which the program must pull a specific word out, such as when he introduces the game and says the names of the teams. On a good note, his play-by-play work is more expansive than it was in the past; for example, he'll describe the play as it unfolds instead of waiting until it's over.
Madden also makes comments which are specific to certain players, such as when he talks about Jake Plummer of the Arizona Cardinals being a natural leader when he guides his team on a long drive. These kinds of comments were missing from pervious versions of the game, and they suffered for it.
This version also adds comments from the players after they make great plays, but they don't sound as if the player is saying it in a stadium full of cheering fans. The crowd noise actually cuts out for a few seconds (it does this sporadically, which is annoying) and then the player says something which sounds like it's being said in a recording booth, which of course it was during the production of the game, but that fact doesn't need to come across so obviously. Sumerall also sounds like he's in a tunnel sometimes. It's a shame that EA couldn't mix all the sounds together well, but overall they're passable.
The pre-game video, however, is abysmal. James Brown shows up to make some comments, and then the user gets to see Madden and Sumerall discussing the game at hand. None of the audio matches up with the speakers' mouths, which makes you feel like you're watching a poorly dubbed foreign film. This is simply inexcusable.
Madden NFL 2000 is much better in the visual department. The players are about the same size as the ones in NFL Fever 2000, and they're all various sizes depending on which position they play. They look leaner than the ones on the Nintendo 64, although the quarterbacks could use a little slimming. Most of them resemble linebackers. The players move fluidly even though they sometimes give the impression they're skating across the field.
Like its cousins on other platforms, this version has Franchise and Season Modes, which are a must for football junkies. Taking your team through season after season while playing general manager and coach is a dream come true for many fans. I'm glad that Electronic Arts finally got around to doing this.
I'm also glad they put in the Situation Mode, which is great. You get to replay classic matches from years past, starting with the 1981 playoff meeting between the Miami Dolphins and the San Diego Chargers. You only get to play the end of the game, however, which is a bummer, and of course there are no real players' names; for example, the Chargers' quarterback has the abilities of Dan Fouts, but he's called "QB #14." I'm sure it would have been a nightmare trying to get the rights to all those players' names from years past, so I understand the second point, but I wish you could have the option between playing out the climactic moments of the game and replaying it from the very beginning.
In the gameplay department, this edition is solid. There's a large variety of plays, and some of the formations are only available in certain teams' playbooks, although I wish there were more trick plays. A little razzle dazzle is always fun. Controlling the players hasn't changed much from past versions of the game, although Tiburon Entertainment has now added jukes to the list of moves you can make, which adds to what's already a realistic football game.
Overall, this is a worthy addition to the long line of Madden football games. It would have been close to perfect if the audio was better. I'd also like to see more elements from real football telecasts such as more complete sidelines and shots of the crowds cheering in future editions, but in general I'm satisfied with Madden NFL 2000 and would recommend it to anyone who likes football videogames.
Graphics: Really well done. The players vary in size and the stadiums are authentic.
Sound: Yes, there's more variety, but there's an inexcusable amount of pauses in the speech and sometimes the speaker sounds like he's in a tunnel (or a recording booth).
Enjoyment: This game is fun, sure. I just wish the sound was better.
Replay Value: Lots to do here between Franchise Mode, the Madden Challenge and the Situation Modes.
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