Title  : NFL Gameday '99
Platforms  : Sony PlayStation
Publisher  : 989 Studios
Game Rating  : 9.2
Review by  : Joe Talladira

Sony returns to the grid iron once more with NFL GameDay '99 and, as has been the case for the last three years, delivers a very solid product with many improvements. 

For starters, this year's update to the GameDay franchise is Dual Shock compatible, featuring analog control and force-feedback, both of which add greatly to the overall experience. The multi-tap is also supported, allowing up to eight players to get in on the action. 

The new TV-style presentation, complete with stadium fly-ins, player zoom-ins and cut-aways along with the colorful, if sometimes repetitive, commentary provided by Dick Enberg and Phil Simms give the game a great sense of realism. The graphics are also improved over last year's version, but not so much in quality as quantity. NFL GameDay '99 has added or improved a host of new motion captured animations which can be viewed with one of four in-game camera angles or in much greater detail using the all-important instant replay feature. 

Some of the in-game music can grow old after only a few games, lacking any real attitude. As noted before, the commentary becomes repetitive after a short while, such is the nature of the beast, but it's much more varied and interesting than the dull commentary offered by most other sports games. Grunts, crowd noise and other various sound effects do a good job of complimenting the visuals as well. 

NFL GameDay '99 offers gameplay that's suited to rookies and veterans alike. There are a variety of control schemes available, giving you as much control over your players as you desire, accompanied by a deluge of other options that let you change the weather, team rosters and even create your own player. Play modes include Pre-Season, Season, Custom Season and Tournament with Rookie, Veteran, All-Pro and Hall of Fame difficulty settings. 

All this would mean nothing without gameplay, though. Thankfully, NFL GameDay '99 delivers one of the most enjoyable football experiences around. The action is fast and smooth, the controls responsive and the scores a little more realistic than last year's version thanks to the much improved AI. This is also one of the few PlayStation titles that makes good use of the Dual Shock controller. 

All things considered, NFL GameDay '99 is a great football sim with very few flaws, excessive loading times between menus being the biggest complaint. It is arguably the best football title on any system right now.


This article is copyright (c) 1998, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.

Original publication: Sentinel & Enterprise, 14-Sep-98