ESPN NFL 2K5
Each year, I need to buy one football game, and I usually
alternate between college and pro video games so that I don't feel
too ripped for buying the latest version of Madden or NCAA Football
year after year.
So, after buying NCAA Football 2004 last year, I needed to go pro
this year, and for the first time, I decided to go off the beaten
path and buy a non-Madden pro football game since I purchased Super
Tecmo Bowl for the Sega Genesis back in 1993. Yes, you should
be shocked by this...and, what's more shocking is...
...for the value and the graphics alone, this might be the
second-greatest football video game of all time, since no one
questions that Super Tecmo Bowl is the greatest football game ever
made. (At least, they shouldn't question that!)
Sacre bleu, you retort? Well, what can I
say--everyone talks about how the graphics of video games are so
good that the casual observer might walk by the television and think
the video game football might pass for a real, live broadcast...with
ESPN NFL 2K5, thanks to the use of the ESPN Sunday Night Football
broadcast standards, actual ESPN staffers Chris Berman and Suzy
Kolber providing voice work and player models more detailed than any
sports game in history, this game really does pass for real TV if
you don't notice that your Xbox is running at full-tilt boogie.
The game itself is great, with all of your normal
flavors--franchise mode, loads of individual moves for your
offensive players, loads of plays, a playbook editor, practice modes
and every single player in the league. Plus, on the Xbox
version, you can import your own playlist from the Xbox hard drive,
so now I can go through the menus between games with Basement Jaxx
or A Tribe Called Quest keeping me warm at night. Naturally,
there's online play, assuming you like getting your ass kicked by
some burlyman in Nebraska with some time on his hands.
All of this AND the fact that ESPN NFL 2K5 costs just $19.99
means you almost HAVE to buy this game; and, in a season where
you're going to be dropping a lot of money on games this fall (jeez,
this year is getting ugly already), you gotta think about that
Rating: Opening Weekend
Feedback? Comments? Salma Hayek's digits?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience