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Madden '99 is one of the finest football games you can find for the PC.
Madden NFL '99 Review 09.29.98
It's late in the fourth quarter; your team is down by five. Sweat is streaming down into your eyes; they burn like hell, but you don't care. You don't have time to care. The referee blows the whistle and signals for the clock to start; it's time to give it everything you've got. Time is running out and you have to score, or face another damn loss. Kneeling down in a three-point stance, you hear one of the opposing players. "I'm gonna run over your ass," he spews out in an angry tone of voice. A mild grin comes across your face. "He must be new," you mutter to yourself.
The quarterback takes his place behind the center, "blue forty-eight, green fifty-two, hut, hut," there's a moment of silence, "hike!" The ball is snapped. Lunging into the defender with everything you've got, you catch him off guard and snap his neck back violently with the ensuing collision. He falls to the ground hard. You look over him and notice a trickle of blood running down his nose. It felt good to make that hit.
Meanwhile, your star quarterback is running around the backfield dodging tackles and looking for an open receiver. He
looks to the right, covered. To the left, covered. Then, like a miracle from God himself, the safety slips up on the turf
leaving your best receiver wide open. You look back and see the QB throw a hail marry for the endzone; it's a beautiful
pass. The spiral was nearly perfect. Looking up field, something seems wrong. "Oh, shit," you say to yourself. The
corner was gaining ground; it was going to be a jump ball. Not able to stand the drama anymore, you close your eyes
and wait; hoping, praying that someone from your team can make that catch. Seconds later, you hear a deafening
cheer. All 100,000 people in the stadium are on their feet as you slowly open your eyes. Your the away team; they're not
cheering for you. That corner just deflected the ball; you lost. Lowering your head, slowly you begin walking off the field.
"Those sons'o bitches," you mumble, "next time they won't be so lucky."
If you happen to have a surround sound system hooked up to your PC, Madden supports a full five speaker setup; Direct
Sound 3D is also supported. Player sounds are generally unrealistic. Unlike Gameday '99, the Quarterbacks in Madden
are limited to a uninspired "hut," which does little for the overall atmosphere. Running backs are also limited to a short,
uninspired grunting sound. These small flaws, however, don't detract from the gameplay very much. Especially since
your usually concentrating more on finding open receivers and juking defenders than listening to the sounds.
Although the graphics have a few shortcomings, they are mainly insignificant. But, the high system demands almost
require you to tone the graphics down in order to play without losing frames. In order to help find the most suitable
framerate, EA has included an Auto Detection program, which tests the graphics capabilities of your computer. In order
to get the best performance/look ratio, though, you may want to play around with the settings for yourself.
In order to take advantage of all of the functions in Madden '99, EA recommends at least a 10-button gamepad.
However, most people should get by just fine with six or eight. Controlling the players on a keyboard was also smooth
and relatively easy. If you have no problem punching arrow keys until you come down with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, then
by all means, play that way.
You want options? You've got 'em. Madden has several settings that can keep you busy for hours. The different playing modes are all exceptionally fun and offer different styles of play. One of the most notable is the Arcade Mode, which cuts down on the penalties and speeds up the game a bit, giving it an all new atmosphere. The Traditional playing option is also there; most Madden fans will immediately recognize the straight forward playing style. Also included are the usual Season and Exhibition modes, which speak for themselves.
Several teams from the past have been included to add to the replayability of Madden '99. You'll find the '67 Packers, '85 Bears and several other old-school teams to play as. Along with those, EA has included several "special" teams, such as Tiburon, All-Madden, and EA Sports teams, all with the highest ratings achievable, of course.
For the '98 season, EA has added a "One Button" option, which lets newcomers to the Madden series execute their
plays flawlessly, all with the touch of a single button. The veterans of the game, however, will be greeted with a multitude
of spins, jumps, jukes and dives activated instantaneously with the press of the corresponding letter or number on your
gamepad or keyboard.
Cool Info Final Thoughts
Computers have long been deprived of a good hard-nosed football game, but EA Sports has answered the call. Football
fans rejoice, Madden '99 has busted into scene and put the competition flat on their back. The unbelievable graphics,
along with some incredible control and player animations, all add up to make Madden '99 the best football game to hit
the PC to date.