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Comparing football games


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 13, 1999

NFL GameDay 2000, Company: 989 Sports

Madden NFL 2000, Company: EASports

Platform: PlayStation

It is time for the PlayStation Bowl, with EASports' Madden NFL 2000 facing 989 Sports' NFL GameDay 2000 for pro football game of the year.

The level of competition is at an all-time high, making the decision on which to purchase even harder and more confusing.

Graphics: Both games have improved graphics this year, but GameDay's are the smoother and flashier. Madden's stadiums are slightly more detailed and include such fine points as Raymond James Stadium's buccaneer ship. But the on-field sights are most important and GameDay wins out.

Touchdown GameDay! GameDay leads 7-0.

Sounds: The tackling, grunts and groans are there in both, but GameDay's seem more realistic and less annoying. For some reason, Madden abandons rock riffs for a cross between hip hop and ska, which isn't a wise choice. Play by play is on the ball, with Pat Summerall and Dick Enberg deftly calling out the defensive sets prior to the play in Madden and GameDay respectively. But Madden and Summerall are often monotone, which puts a damper on what is supposed to be an exciting game.

Touchdown GameDay! GameDay leads 14-0.

Game play: GameDay wins the whole shebang here, with more moves, such as jumping over piles, double spins and charging tackles, as well as controllable celebrations and hurry-ups between the action. Passing in Madden is often hit-or-miss. In GameDay, if you throw an interception, it is usually your fault -- except, of course, when GameDay receivers mysteriously abandon their routes, which happens a lot on bombs. GameDay's running game also is more fun, with running backs able to drag tacklers. Overall, the speed and ease of control of GameDay make it shoulder pads above Madden.

Touchdown GameDay! GameDay leads 21-0.

Options: Madden saves a little face with some creative options, including the Madden Challenge, which tempts players with secret codes if they can accomplish a variety of tasks, such as beating Green Bay at home in the snow and holding an opponent to 7 or fewer points in a game.

Both games let you draft players from their college counterparts, EASports' NCAA Football 2000 and 989 Sports' NCAA GameBreaker 2000, and each has franchise, play editor and practice modes. Only in GameDay, however, do players practice in their shorts, and, again, only in GameDay can you clothe players in throw-back uniforms. But Madden wins for more meaningful enhancements.

Touchdown Madden! GameDay wins 21-7 -- in a game that is not as close as the score indicates.

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