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The W - Video Games - Review of NFL 2k5
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Doc_whiskey
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Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

Since last post: 31 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.18
Picked this up yesterday for 10 bucks (coke cap gift certificate). Gotta tell you so far I love this game. I am not quite used to the controls after playing a lot of college football, but everything moves pretty fluidly. The crib feature is pretty cool, and the franchise mode is pretty good. I think the VIP feature (records your tendencies and allows you to play a game against a computer opponant that uses your strategy, also allows you to take a friends profile and play against them without them being there, kind of like playing against a scout team) is something Madden will steal for next year. By far one of the coolest things is the half time report with Chris Berman doing highlights from teh first half complete with game play footage from your game...very cool.

Complaints:
Recievers drop a few too many wide open passes (I know recievers wont catch everything, but you kind of expect a pro to hang on to the ball when they are wide open). At least right now the defensive audbiles are a little confusing, but I am sure once I get used to thing that will change.
Overall for those waiting for Madden or just want an alternative this is a great game.

EGM scores from this month's EGM
Madden 9, 9.5, 9
NFL 2k5 8.5, 8.5, 8



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Battlezone
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Since: 27.2.03
From: Seattle, Washington

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.36
Quick first impressions:

Wow. This game looks AMAZING. They're getting closer and closer to looking like an Actual Television Broadcast every year. Awesome.

The game plays similar to last year, although it seems there is a ton more strategy involved. You can now make an adjustment to every single player on the field, if you want to. Last year, I think I maybe called a handful of audibles, and played with hot routes once or twice. This year, I'm going to have to work those into my arsenal to suceed.

The Crib is cool, although you start off more bare bones than last year's version. I wanted to get a game of paper football going, but no dice. I love how I keep getting harassed by Carmen Electra to play a game, and then she pouts when I tell her I'm busy.

One of my favorite features, by far, is the customizable music. You can edit clips of songs, and splice them into your game for specific events (TD, FG, 1st down, etc.). I might have to spring for that XBox Music Maker thing so I can transfer my mp3s over to my XBox so I can edit these suckers to my hearts delight.

I usually buy both games every year, but I don't even think I'm going to bother with Madden this year. The NFL 2K series seem to improve every year, while Madden throws out a roster update and a new gimmick, and charges you 50 bucks for it. Thanks, but no thanks.



"It's the four pillars of the male heterosexual psyche. We like naked women, stockings, lesbians, and Sean Connery best as James Bond because that is what being a [man] is." -Jack Davenport, Coupling
JoshMann
Andouille








Since: 17.11.03
From: Tallahassee, FL

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.83
    Originally posted by Doc_whiskey
    Recievers drop a few too many wide open passes (I know recievers wont catch everything, but you kind of expect a pro to hang on to the ball when they are wide open). At least right now the defensive audbiles are a little confusing, but I am sure once I get used to thing that will change.


Is there any way to toggle the AI/gameplay settings up a little so that they catch a little more consistantly?

EDIT: although that quibble aside, I'm probably going to plunk for it today since a) you can't beat the price for something out of that series and b) I wasn't really insane about Madden 2004.

(edited by Blanket Jackson on 22.7.04 1346)


"Does Orton even know about this guy Jeb?"
chill
Landjager








Since: 18.5.02

Since last post: 2635 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.39
Absolutely, it looks excellent. I'm not a huge fan of Madden either. I won't be buying any football games this year, as I'm just getting the hang of MVP Baseball.



The inevitable WILL happen: The Big Unit to the Yankees
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KaneRobot
Morcilla








Since: 24.2.02
From: Bowels

Since last post: 2373 days
Last activity: 1665 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.01
One thing I'm loving in the XBox version is the "use your own stadium music" thing. At first I was really pissed because the clips I used were too short and they just stopped out of nowhere, giving the effect of "man, this was really just tacked on at the last minute"...but if you make your clips long enough, the music will fade out when they next play is about to start just like it's supposed to. I haven't experimented with this a lot yet but it lets you assign multiple songs to a certain situation, so I hope that means it rotates what song is played so I'm not hearing "Kickstart My Heart" every time I get a first down (you know damn well "arena hair metal" is awesome at football games).

I hope next year they touch this up even more and add more situations where you can assign music. The ones you can adujust are:

HOME TEAM - Touchdown, PAT/FG attempt is good, sack, first down, 2 pt. conversion successful, safety, fumble recovery, interception, and during a punt or kick return.

AWAY TEAM - Incomplete on 3rd down, loss on 3rd down, missed 2 pt. conversion, and missed PAT/FG

NOT HOME/AWAY SPECIFIC - end of quarter, end of game, stadium intro, and 2 minute warning.

It would be nice to have custom music for when the home team goes for it on 4th down, among a few other things. My favorite moment so far is having the visiting team miss a 2 pt. conversion attempt, and having "Spanish Flea" come up immediately after the incomplete pass.

Can't wait to do this in the NBA and ESPECIALLY the NHL games coming up.

*edit*


    One of my favorite features, by far, is the customizable music. You can edit clips of songs, and splice them into your game for specific events (TD, FG, 1st down, etc.). I might have to spring for that XBox Music Maker thing so I can transfer my mp3s over to my XBox so I can edit these suckers to my hearts delight.


You may already know this, but a lot of people, including myself have had CD-RWs work in the XBox DVD drive (especially if it's not the old, more common Thompson style of drive), although unless it's a brand new CD-RW one you're going to have to fight with it it and keep trying it over and over until it finally reads it. I also want to get the Music Mixer disc so I can do it, but for now I can do the more annoying way.

(edited by KaneRobot on 23.7.04 2221)

EddieBurkett
Boudin blanc








Since: 3.1.02
From: GA in person, NJ in heart

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 5 min.
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.20
The graphics are impressive, and I'm still getting the hang of the gameplay (only played one game). I can respect the attempt at an interface that the Crib is supposed to be, but its not to my liking. It feels like some bastardized cross of the older Smackdowns and .hack. That, and the generic EPSN-ish music in the background at points are areas that need work. Otherwise though, the game is AMAZING! I like Chris Berman with the halftime report. I just wish I could turn off the celebrity phonecalls altogether. Go to hell, Arquette!

Edit: Thanks to Teapot for his tip about Target selling the game for < $16 (The W)

(edited by EddieBurkett on 25.7.04 1715)


You've gotta carry that weight...
Matt Tracker
Scrapple








Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 22 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.95
I managed to find the game at Wal-Mart. Barely. They had it stashed with the other $20 games -- in an overstock aisle endcap basket -- NOT in the glass case with the other new games.

This is my first time playing an ESPN game, not to mention their football game. I grew up on Madden and stuck to it. But $20! Granted, they'll miss out on adding the last-minute roster changes (bye, Ricky Williams; sit and stay, Eddie George), but ... $20!

I cranked it up with barely a look at the manual and could manage the player controls pretty well. Love the broadcast touches, love the in-game player highlights and stat presentations. Love love love the Panther defense. I played just two quick games against the Bears and Saints, and while my passing game suffered, fellow hometown native Steven Davis went to town on their defensive lines, and my secondary intercepted and tipped passes all game. And just for the Wienerboard connection, my return guy is Rod "He Hate Me" Smart. I accumulated some good Crib points right off the bat (running TDs and numerous tackles), but I haven't played with that Crib option yet.

I'm not fond of the static replay images during the Berman halftime show, and I hope the season mode allows for replay video footage instead of stills. The stadium fans shots are a little underwhleming, but I get what they were going for, and you know, it does resemble the actual game broadcast shots.

What I find really funny is how the SkyCam was intitially a recreation of videogame camera angles and now it's reproduced in a video game. Levels of reality and simulation fly right past my nose, but I'm too busy sacking QBs to care. The post-play player animations are great fun, with receivers looking for flags, touchdown celebrations taking place on the sidelines and the coaches talking to the benched players. I was hoping for the Big Three ESPN NFL announcers -- Paul, Joe and the Other Guy -- but these two in-game voices are fine with me. Not too much distraction with their repetition and their banter was actually amusing.

Easily worth $20 already, and I'm just playing pick-up games so far.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Vgmastr
Cotechino








Since: 3.12.03
From: Neenah, WI

Since last post: 189 days
Last activity: 11 hours
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.36

    I'm not fond of the static replay images during the Berman halftime show, and I hope the season mode allows for replay video footage instead of stills.


If you have an Xbox or the PS2 Hard Drive, you'll get actual replays. However, the PS2 by itself doesn't have the capacity to save the replays.
LanceJr
Head cheese
Banned








Since: 21.1.03
From: Boston, Ma

Since last post: 2991 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.44
    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    Granted, they'll miss out on adding the last-minute roster changes (bye, Ricky Williams; sit and stay, Eddie George), but ... $20!





That's what roster updates are for over X-Box live & PS2.
$20 you can't go wrong even if the roster upgrades weren't available for FREE no less.



I'm am LanceJr hear me...I mean see me post
vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 2981 days
Last activity: 195 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
I picked this up over the weekend (for < $20, how could I not?), and I am ASTOUNDED by the quality level. I'm not a huge football-game guy (at least not since they evolved past 8-bit complexity), but this is just jaw-dropping in terms of presentation values, and that's WITHOUT the PS2 hard drive. If I can tweak music and watch full replays with it, I may just have to buy the bastard after all!

Hell, I'll amuse myself for months just dicking around with First Person Football, then playing around with GM and Coach Modes...

A friend of mine has mainlined EA's brand of heroin for years. I will do everything possible to pull him towards this game instead of Madden this year.




"I'm convinced that Alan Keyes' Renew America is simply a front group for people who got fired from their local Arby's for coming into work drunk." -- Jesse Taylor, Pandagon
EddieBurkett
Boudin blanc








Since: 3.1.02
From: GA in person, NJ in heart

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 5 min.
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.20
    Originally posted by LanceJr
      Originally posted by Matt Tracker
      Granted, they'll miss out on adding the last-minute roster changes (bye, Ricky Williams; sit and stay, Eddie George), but ... $20!





    That's what roster updates are for over X-Box live & PS2.
    $20 you can't go wrong even if the roster upgrades weren't available for FREE no less.


I just manually edited the roster myself. To retire Ricky Williams, I just made him a free agent, and lowered his stat values into the 20's.

This game may tempt me into the network adapter for my PS2.



You've gotta carry that weight...
Tony Stewart
Pickled pork








Since: 6.6.04

Since last post: 2682 days
Last activity: 1291 days
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.21
Bah, I think Madden is more fun to play. I can see a guy who really likes EWR or the Sims liking this because you can micro-manage just about everything imaginable. To me though all the extra Franchise stuff does nothing for me. I just like to suit up, make a trade or two, sign a free agent and play a season. I don't care about managing salary caps and getting guys to watch training videos while counting carbs.

The player detail is pretty freakin amazing as is the close up movements, but Madden is an easier game for me to follow when actually playing. Also there are times where I feel like I'm not even part of the Defense.

It doesn't help that the *celebrity* personalities are weak at best and Chris Berman just drives me up the wall anyway. The Crib may be the lamest feature I've seen in a video game in awhile.

Granted this is all stuff that may grow on me with time. There are things I do like such as the VIP tracking, but thus far I think Madden is easier to just pick up and play.
Whitebacon
Boudin blanc








Since: 12.1.02
From: Fresno, CA

Since last post: 15 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.93
I feel basically the same as Tony Stewart does about this game. My biggest pet peeve with this game is the play calling menus. The routes are too hard to read. They seem much cleaner in Madden. I'll probably end up getting Madden anyway, but this game is good enough to put off the purchase. I need a new bowling ball more than a second football game anyway.



Girthy
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 11 hours
Last activity: 11 hours
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I finally got my copy yesterday.

I have to admit something - I'm sort of an electronic football Hail Mary junky. I generally switch between 3 basic plays - Screen Pass, strong side rush, and bomb.

I suck at completing passes right now. I spent about 30 minutes in scrimmage mode trying to figure it out, and it seems like you have to first pump fake to the opposite side of the field, then throw the bullet pass, and finally switch to the receiver and hit the button to catch it.

I did the tutorial, and I can tell that I should want to use Maximum Passing, but man, that was pretty non-intuitive to do.

Still, you really don't have to use any of the features in this game, which is pretty cool. I know once I get them down I'll be a lot better at it.

The announcers are the same guys they have had since NFL2k I think. I was hoping for more diversity in the sound clips - but maybe it's because I repeat a lot of situations (failed 4th down conversions) that are "uncommon" that I'm noticing it.

The postives FAR outweigh the negatives for me, though. I had a chance to play this at work on friday on an HDTV in widescreen. I don't even know if it was set up to do that, but damn it looked good. I guess I could go look in the other room to figure out if its availble, but from what I remember the field of play was wider, not stretched. I wasn't playing, so I can't be sure, but it sure was pretty to watch.

The crib is interesting. I'm going to have to find out how to mute the celebs while playing, and Carmen's team was too hard for me to beat at this point.

I had Madden for the PC last year, and I think I'm not going to get it this year. This should hold me over.



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
KaneRobot
Morcilla








Since: 24.2.02
From: Bowels

Since last post: 2373 days
Last activity: 1665 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.02
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    The crib is interesting. I'm going to have to find out how to mute the celebs while playing, and Carmen's team was too hard for me to beat at this point.


I haven't played her team yet, but I did play against Funkmaster Flex (oh god, my lifelong dream is fulfilled). His team's stats were maxed out to 99 on everything. That's pretty cheap. Regardless, I played him twice and won the second time. So either he sucks (or his VIP file sucks at least) or I'm better than I thought (not likely, I'm not that great).



vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 2981 days
Last activity: 195 days
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    I suck at completing passes right now. I spent about 30 minutes in scrimmage mode trying to figure it out, and it seems like you have to first pump fake to the opposite side of the field, then throw the bullet pass, and finally switch to the receiver and hit the button to catch it.


Depends on the type of pass you're throwing. If you're going deep down the field, results simulate reality, i.e. even well-thrown passes get broken up much of the time.

I've had my best passing success going up the middle of the field -- post patterns, middle slants, quick curls and in-routes. The ball travels a shorter distance, I have better pocket protection and better visibility down the field. Little lobs over the front-line defenders into the short secondary are often successful, if you let the receiver get into position.

Passes go to a specified area, not compensating for where the receiver is if he got caught up by bump-and-run blocking, so you have to "know" where the receiver needs to get to or you'll be blasting lots of bullets into the turf three feet away from diving hands.

I haven't dabbled much with Maximum Passing or pump fakes yet, let alone putting men in motion, just because the running game is so much fun.


    The crib is interesting. I'm going to have to find out how to mute the celebs while playing, and Carmen's team was too hard for me to beat at this point.


I beat my first celeb team (the Funkmasters) using another unlockable team, the Bristol Swamis (another 100-point team, only cost < 3000 to unlock). 21-3 win on Pro, where his first drive (right down the field, with me lucky to hold him to a FG) scared me considerably, but I ran the ball down his throat after that and did better than I usually do on pass defense. Using one of the built-in all-star/all-conference teams should help considerably, as they're higher-powered than typical teams.

EDIT: For more passing success, consider trying a different team and/or playing a weaker team. I played my first game as the Raiders last night (which is normally against my moral beliefs, but it was one of the Crib milestones) on Pro, and I beat the Giants 73-0 with seven passing TDs and minimal running. Certain receivers (like Owens and Rice) seem to absorb passes like sponges, and higher-rated QBs throw more accurately.


(edited by vsp on 12.8.04 0759)


"I'm convinced that Alan Keyes' Renew America is simply a front group for people who got fired from their local Arby's for coming into work drunk." -- Jesse Taylor, Pandagon
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