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Maximum Football

Score: 67%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Matrix Games
Developer: Matrix Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Sports (Football)/ Simulation

Graphics & Sound:

If youíre looking for next-gen, you had better stop reading right now. In fact, the graphical quality of Maximum Football could maybe be considered last-gen because the animations and graphics just donít produce near the quality that we expect today. Itís a good thing that this game is aimed more toward coaches and not players, because the presentation is unfortunately detrimental.

In fact, the audio is quite lacking as well. While the opening theme has a certain Monday Night Football quality to it, the rest of the auditory presentation falls an octave flat. There is relatively no in-game audio to add to the presentation, except for some basic sound effects.


Gameplay:

Letís face it. If youíre name isnít Electronic Arts, youíll probably have a difficult time breaking into the football videogame market. Since the inception of Madden, other companies have been struggling to compete for years. So what would make you want to play Maximum Football? Well, the fact is that Maximum Football doesnít require a whole lot graphically, so those with older or slower computers may care to check it out. Itís also an interesting specimen for those wanting to modify uniforms, create their own teams and playbooks, and manage nearly every aspect of the game. And there is no hacking involved... just take the textures into a paint program, open up the gameís player/team editor, and create real National Football League teams, if you please.

Since the cats over at EA have the exclusive rights to the NFL, games like Maximum Football have lost some of their appeal because you would have to completely recreate the NFL, if thatís your cup of tea. But in this case, itís not only that the game doesnít include real players, but it really doesnít include real gameplay either. Unfortunately, the lack of good animations takes away from Maximum Football greatly. On the other hand, the playbook editor is probably the best in the business, as you can create the playersí patterns by simply pointing and clicking your mouse for truly custom routes.

Within Maximum Football, you basically have two types of play. One is to control the players on the field, and the other is a coaching mode in which you call out the plays, but sit back and watch as your players take the field. Due to the simplistic style that is Maximum Football, I actually found that the coaching option is much better, because on the field, I felt like there just wasnít enough control. But with the many options to customize your game, those of you who like to play Monday Morning Quarterback will probably love all of the strategy allowed in the development process. Youíll not only be able to customize the players, however. Youíll also have full control over which types of fields you play on (NFL, AFL, CFL), but also the rules on the field.


Difficulty:

The only true difficulty in Maximum Football lies within the lack of control when it comes to on-the-field gameplay. It was quite frustrating, in fact, that I couldnít make the players move like I am accustomed to in recent football titles. It was because of this that I found the coaching mode actually more enjoyable, in a sort of chess match type of play versus the computer. But since this game is developed with more of a behind the scenes appeal, the coaching aspect of Maximum Football should be (and is) much better.

Game Mechanics:

Controlling the players in Maximum Football via the keyboard is quite difficult. It is actually a bit more accessible using a game pad, but the basics of football controls that we are used to are lacking in this low-budget title. Coaching, on the other hand, consists of basic interface clicking, and watching the plays happen on the field from a spectatorís point of view. Creating teams, players, and plays in the playbook can certainly take some time, but there is a very small learning curve involved. So those who donít like to play, but would like to try a video football game out shouldnít have any trouble getting involved in Maximum Footballís behind the scenes features.

Maximum Football is definitely a low-budget title that has a lot of work to go through if it is going to be any sort of competitor in the football game market. As is, Maximum Football will likely only appeal to a very select crowd. Those who particularly like to call the plays, but are not wanting to take the field controls themselves, may enjoy the simple design. But for those who are techies when it comes to football, this game will certainly be right up your alley. Hopefully a sequel will feature improved gameplay and animations. Whatever the circumstance may be, if you are reading this, youíll definitely want to download a free demo version to try for yourself.


-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 98/2000/XP (XP Recommended); 1 GHz CPU (1.5 GHz+ Recommended); 512 MB RAM (1 GB Recommended); 128 MB Video Card (Non-integrated Video); DirectX-compatible Sound Card; 300 MB free Hard Drive space; Windows Compatible Mouse; DirectX 9+
 

Test System:



AMD Athlon 2700+ CPU; Windows XP Pro SP2; 1GB (2x 512MB) PC3200 DDR400 RAM; ATI All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro 8x AGP Video Card; NVIDIA nForce MCP Audio; DirectX 9.0c; 16x DVD-ROM used as main 32x CD-ROM; Sony DRU-500A DVDĪR/RW; 6 USB ports; Cable Modem Hi-Speed Internet Connection

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