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xboxteen
06-24-2003, 02:24 PM
Release Date: 08/20/2003

The primary focus of this year's game is to let players play the game the way they want to play it, which basically means that you'll be given a variety of options to select from when you're creating a player profile. One such option lets you select from three different passing types--one button, trigger, or read and lead. One button is pretty much the standard passing type that football games have used over the past several years. Trigger passing gives you a little more control over the type of pass thrown, though you will have to select a receiver before throwing the ball with the trigger. Read and lead is the most complex of the three passing types, and it's probably the most realistic. Basically, you have full control over where the quarterback throws the ball, so if it seems as if there's going to be a broken play or you see an uncovered zone with a receiver nearby, you can throw it to that spot and the receiver will attempt to catch it. Of course, as its name suggests, read and lead is also useful when you have a receiver in tight coverage, since you can place the ball just within reach of the receiver and out of the hands of the defensive back. You can also lock and unlock the passing reticle that appears on the field, meaning that you can either lock the reticle so that it's a fixed distance from the receiver, or you can throw the ball wherever you want.

Another option you can choose when creating a profile is the type of play selection. If you're not incredibly familiar with the sport of football, such as nickel and dime packages or I-formations, then you can simplify the play menu so that it will essentially say pass and run, or if you're on defense, it will say defend against the pass or run. There's also a coach's-pick feature, where you'll be given some brief hints as to what individual plays do and how they're effective. Of course, if you're already familiar with all of that, you can switch the play selection screen so it only displays formations. It's also possible to flip entire formations so that every play in that formation will automatically be the reverse of what it normally is, and the defense can make modifications on the fly to defend against the run or the pass (basically linebackers will cheat on the run or the pass if you make these modifications right before the snap).

There are all sorts of other changes you can make to a play before the snap in NFL Fever 2004. Hot routes for receivers are back, but there are hot routes for running backs as well. This option functions similarly to the hot routes for receivers, so you can basically tell the running back where to go by moving an arrow around on the screen. In addition, you can put a man in motion or modify the blocking patterns for the linemen to compensate for the new running route.

NFL Fever 2004 has a bunch of other new features as well. The development team has decided to make fatigue a much more important factor when playing on the higher skill levels simply because of the cheating that occurred in online head-to-head matches. Running momentum is also more prevalent, with the larger running backs now being able to plow over smaller defensive players. The graphics have been almost completely redone--there are 60 to 75 player faces, new player models, and better lighting, and different shaders have been developed to create a more realistic clothing animation as well, to enhance several other relatively subtle details. Players even have more facial animation than in last year's game, so during replays you'll see them grimace in a variety of different ways. The sound has also been improved, so you'll be able to hear different sounds depending on where the camera is located, as well as a variety of new tackle noises.

While all of these improvements are certainly welcome, one of NFL Fever 2004's major draws is XSN. Through the Xbox Sports Network, you can create online leagues by inviting other players to participate. You can also view a wide variety of stats, which will give you an idea of not only how other players are performing but also what their tendencies are. So if you're scheduled to play against a certain player in your league later in the week, you can study up on that player and find out if the player favors the running or the passing game. Interestingly, each player on XSN will be given a rating depending on how they interact with other players on the service. If you always start your games on time and you always finish them, you'll get a good rating, but if you disconnect or are constantly late for games, your rating will be significantly lowered. This rating system will become useful when players start organizing tournaments and other similar events.

XSN and NFL Fever 2004 will both be available in late August. We'll have much more on NFL Fever 2004 in the coming weeks.

http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2003/screen2/914919_20030619_screen011.jpg
http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2003/screen2/914919_20030619_screen002.jpg

Xbox Owner
06-24-2003, 02:36 PM
Yeah, the game look's good this year. We've got three different types of passing systems, updated graphics..whole new models and such, plus..XSN!!..

One thing that always dissapoints me is when a reciever is going as fast as he can for a ball, once he catches it..he just..stops. I would want him to keep running..and like jump in the stands or something.

But..I might check this game out this year..I disliked 2003, though.

dances with broom sticks
06-24-2003, 04:58 PM
Whens it due out? Soon I think?

Xbox Owner
06-24-2003, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by dances with broom sticks
Whens it due out? Soon I think?

Sometime in August.:D