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XBox Reviews: NFL Fever 2004


NFL Fever 2004 Screenshots


The Final Say!


NFL Fever 2004
 - reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Score: 6.9/10 
Distributed By: Microsoft

This title is an odd one. There are improvements from the previous years incarnation however there is not enough new to make me sit up and really pay attention. I almost feel bad saying it as there is definite improvement, however video games and the people who buy them do not have the time, patience or money to throw their lot in with just an improvement. The Madden series every year has the wow factor and just keeps getting better which is amazing when you consider that it is nigh on perfect in the first place.


The main thing that can be said in favour of this version is the innovations that were brought to the table with XBox Live. The online experience is a lot of fun and the ability to interact with other players goes an awful long way toward making up for the overall unsatisfactory gameplay. I can't figure out why but it seems that the whole game is in slow motion, as though the machine can't calculate what's happening on the screen so it has to lag whilst it figures out what to do. Then when that is done, the game lurches forward again to make up for the pause and goes a tad too fast.


It seems that the physics on the game are a bit out of whack as they were to an extent last year. Players seem to be running in jelly onscreen and the ball must weigh a lot less than it does in real life. Catches are made that you didn't get the player to perform and moves are enacted without a lot of player input either.


Graphically this title will impress as you can see from the screenshots. Images are crisp and clear and the attention to detail is wonderful. From the stadiums to the players and even the pitch itself, Fever 2004 has upped the ante from it's effort of last year with excellent results. It's just the way that all this eye candy interacts with both itself and the player that leaves a bit to be desired.


Audio in the title is nice and there is nothing really to complain about within the title in regards to this. In game sounds are what you would expect and the commentary is a bit stilted, not really convincing enough to make players think that they are somehow participating in a real game of Football.


I do think that it's a shame that this title didn't offer more than the 2003 version, however last year was the first year of the XBox and we were prone to be a bit more forgiving as developers came to terms with programming for the console. This year though, I did expect a lot more and unfortunately it did not occur as I would have hoped.

I'll be waiting to see exactly what NFL Fever 2005 has to bring to the table, however not with baited breath. This franchise has had three years to come up with the good (two years in Australia) and there are still many things lacking in the game that by simply avoiding it and buying Madden NFL instead would let players avoid.

I do have to repeat that this game is a lot better when playing it online and using your Live account and your PC to communicate with other gamers. There is a real feeling of community and competition that just can't be simulated in the single player experience. I think that this particular part of the game is something to be proud of and will have many players sitting back and taking notice.

There are some promising initiatives that have been hinted at that I sincerely hope are made good upon in the next incarnation of the series, however unfortunately for 2004, I would certainly have to say that it would be best renting this title before commiting to it with a full purchase.

- Tory Favro

Copyright 2003 www.impulsegamer.com