Game Over Online ~ NFL Fever 2000 Roster Update

GameOver Game Reviews - NFL Fever 2000 Roster Update (c) Microsoft, Reviewed by - Jimmy Clydesdale

Game & Publisher NFL Fever 2000 Roster Update (c) Microsoft
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 200, 32MB Ram, 50 MB HDD, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 35%
Date Published Thursday, September 7th, 2000 at 09:15 PM

Divider Left By: Jimmy Clydesdale Divider Right

Ok, I know you're all itching to ask me the following question:

"Is he really reviewing a roster update?"

The answer is yes, if not so I can toss a few rants and raves out, for Microsoft has released NFL Fever 2000 Roster Update, and I'm not quite sure whether I want to shake their hand or slap them upside the head. I know, I know, here comes the next question:

"Shake their hand, why would you do that?"

Well, at least they had the decency not to release an aptly titled NFL Fever 2001, with little more than a few tweaks and a roster update ala some other publishers who shall remain nameless. Hey, I'm way ahead of you:

"So why would you slap them upside the head?"

That's simple, because they still had the gall to release a roster update without having the decency to make it available for free to owners of the original game. That and the fact Microsoft seems to be letting EA Sports kneel down to run out the clock. With no competition this year, the Madden NFL series becomes the only option for football fans and much like Kordell Stewart dropping back to make a pass, that's definitely not a good thing.

When NFL Fever 2000 was released last year, it injected some life into the PC football market with its incredible animations, exceptional ball physics and smooth gameplay. Sure, despite its solid rookie season NFL Fever 2000 wasn't without it's faults. For starters, the running game was poorly designed. It was either too easy to run on the Rookie difficulty level, or impossible to run on the All-Star setting. The passing game also had a few faults as well, often distorting game statistics when looking at the overall picture. While on the topic of statistics, NFL Fever 2000 didn't keep track of season or player statistics outside of the overall standings. It also simulated games poorly, resulting in scores that didn't nearly match the general statistics of each game. There were a few bugs as well but all in all, it was an excellent first year experience that, much like Edgerrin James, was only going to get better with age.

NFL Fever 2000 made a fatal mistake during the off-season, it stayed on the couch eating chips and drinking beer instead of hitting the weight room to improve itself. Microsoft was content with simply bundling a Roster Update with NFL Fever 2000. This necessarily isn't such a bad thing if you didn't purchase NFL Fever 2000, but those of us who already own the original must now purchase the exact same game a second time just to receive the rosters and official schedule for the 2000-2001 season. Does a simple Roster Update warrant another $20 purchase? It certainly doesn't. Does this mean Microsoft won't release any more updates throughout the year? If you think of it, if they do, why should somebody who already owns NFL Fever 2000, purchase it again for the Roster Update when they could simply wait a few months for Microsoft to release a free mid-season roster update?

It's a shame Microsoft decided not to partake in this year's football season, I was looking forward to seeing their sophomore effort. Instead, all I get is a Roster Update, and a fairly poor one at that. Hang on, I've got this one:

"Why is it poor?"

Well my good friends, it's not complete. If you look at the screenshots to your immediate right, you'll notice that I've taken two shots of the Washington Redskins expensive new roster. You'll notice it includes all major off-season acquisitions such as Deion Sanders, but it doesn't include all the rookies. I'm not quite sure when this Roster Update was completed and sent off for duplication, but as you can see in one of the Redskin roster screenshots, an important rookie such as LaVar Arrington is NOT included on the list. Instead, an individual by the name of LB1 takes the starting spot as the Redskins middle linebacker. This isn't the only mistake, if you enjoy playing with the Indianapolis Colts, prepare yourself to play with Mr. FB1 and LB1 on your starting squad. Why such rookies as Jamal Lewis and Peter Warrick were included and not others, is beyond me. The bottom line, this Roster Update isn't even finished.

I'd love to tell you how some of the rookies and newly-acquired players perform in NFL Fever 2000, but that's extremely difficult to do without player statistics, a feature that has yet to be implemented. I could tell you from personal experience that Baltimore Ravens' rookie WR Travis Taylor is a solid player, but since I haven't played with each of the teams in-depth, that's about as far as I'll comment for fear of missing key players. I will mention one thing though, that despite the Roster Update, the teams in general don't fair much better than they had before. In other words, although the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl last year, they continue to struggle in NFL Fever 2000, barely scrapping the .500 mark year in and year out. After simulating several seasons, I found that the Rams and Colts often faired quite poorly (6-10 if not worse) while the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons continuously found themselves in the Super Bowl.

It's a pretty simple equation. If you already own NFL Fever 2000, do not purchase the Roster Update. It simply is not worth the extra money, especially since it's incomplete and has little effect on any of the teams in general. If you don't own NFL Fever 2000, than you might want to think about picking this title up. It doesn't offer any general manager features whatsoever (and those that it does offer are pitiful), it doesn't track statistics either, but it does offer solid gameplay. I'm not here to judge NFL Fever 2000 as an original title though, I'm here to judge it as a new release, a Roster Update, and in that respect it doesn't even make the pre-season cut. Let's hope Microsoft realizes they fumbled the ball and tries to recover it, for this rookie once had potential.


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