ABC's Monday Night Football


Review by Matt Paprocki

Data East


Graphics: 3

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 2


mnfsnes1.bmp (171290 bytes)Part of the enjoyment of football is the speed. A running back barreling down the middle, receivers flying down the sidelines, a special teams member blasting a kick returner. It's all a necessary component of the game, and one that Monday Night Football misses entirely.

Though the intro, complete with always classic theme music and clashing helmets, signifies something great, it's all a farce. The list of fake teams, even with a surprisingly robust create-a-team feature, is an obvious concern. Al Michaels makes an appearance in animated digital form on menus (and between quarters), yet fails to say a single word during the game.

mnfsnes3.bmp (171290 bytes)That's probably because the console can barely handle the game as it is, and one more thing for it to process won't help matters. The game is played from the now standard behind-the-QB view, and all with mode-7. The field can rotate and spin all it wants; it doesn't make a good game.

The agonizing pace renders this impossible to play, and it's made harder due to incorrectly sized sprites. A player in the opposite endzone could be same size as the running back closest to the screen. This jumpy animation makes it tough to figure out depth, and it's even harder to throw a pass when your receivers are dwarfed by a mountain of a defender.

Those same defensive players get away with everything. They can slaughter your wide out seconds before the ball is caught without a penalty. That's the only way to make up the AI, which can allow five yards when you carry the ball up the middle, or snag a pass because the defender turned the wrong way, just like the last time you ran that play.

Further rendering the game a disaster are "power plays," of which one run and one pass are awarded each half. Using these nearly guarantees a touchdown is you're within about 20 yards, and if you can press a button fast enough, you can go endzone to endzone without being touched. You'll know these have been picked when the game switched into a closed in, side viewpoint. It's a desperate attempt to separate the game, and it ruins what could otherwise be a close game between two teams.

mnfsnes2.bmp (171290 bytes)Kicking is done the same way, via button mashing. That's the final ridiculous break from the norm, and it leaves Monday Night Football where it belongs: on a list of the worst football games ever made. Nothing here feels like football, and even if the speed issue were fixed, we'd still be left with graphical issues, bad AI, and a failure to use the license on anything other than the menus.


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Last updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2005 04:53 PM