Atari Jaguar

from AEO Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 11


 |||   Review: Brutal Sports Football
 |||   By: Tal Funke-Bilu
/ | \  Delphi: AEXPLORER   GEnie: EXPLORER.5
       ------------------------------------------------------------------

Well folks, it's been a while since the last regularly scheduled AEO,
but I made it... about 4000 miles, 6 hours of video tape, a ton of
orders, a new Tempest high score (4,513,945), a new job, new pad, and
a huge crush on a new girl! Oh yeah, and a new game to add to my
Jaguar library... all that and I still find time to write for my
favorite online mag. ;) Seriously though, here is the official AEO
review of the first 3rd party game to surface for the most powerful
home entertainment system ever created, Atari's Jaguar.

Brought to you by Telegames, Brutal Sports Football (BSF) captures the
essence of rugby, football, and good ole smear the queer and throws
them all together in to one sport. To call BSF a sport is rather
ironic, since most sports have rules by which you abide by. BSF as you
might already know, has no rules.

The game starts off with a tip off by the referee much like
basketball, and then, for the next seven minutes, it's a free for all.
Use a variety of methods ranging from punching, stomping, passing,
kicking, diving, jumping, blocking, slashing, hacking, freezing,
decapitating, tackling, shocking, etc. to find a way to put the
football into your opponent's goal. Yet before the game begins, you
must choose your team. Assassins, lizards, goats, rhinos, warlords,
and many other compilations of barbarous savages adorn your screen as
you decide who (or what) you will use to wreak havoc against the
opposition.

Before you make that choice, you must determine how you will use your
arsenal... whether it be in a single elimination Knockout tournament,
a quick and simple Unfriendly match, or an entrance into actual League
play; the choice is yours. In both Knockout and Unfriendly play, your
team starts out at full health at the beginning of each match, while
after each League game you have the option of using moneys won during
play to "rebuild" your team. You can acquire new heads, more health,
and even a speed increase for the next game. Now that we have all of
the "pre-game" activities out of the way, let's see what the game is
really like.

[] GRAPHICS: For better or for worse, BSF's graphics have been one of
the most talked about aspects of this game. The general consensus has
been that BSF has 16 bit graphics. Well, they might not be
64-bit-in-your-face-this-is-what-the-Jag-can-do graphics like Alien
Vs. Predator, but they definitely aren't bad. I'd say they're average.
You have nice character animation, nice scrolling, nice body parts
flying, nice blood. It is all NICE, nothing amazing, but very nice.
Everything is happening at the same time which also contributes to
this game's niceness. I didn't notice any slowdown, even though I had
practically ten different guys on the screen all doing different
things, with about two or three heads bouncing in different directions
and blood spurting all over the place. I love a good decapitation!
The bottom line? The graphics are nice, not superb, and not 16 bit
like the many net-perfectionists make them out to be... just nice.

Rating - 7


[] PLAYABILITY: This is definitely the strongest point of BSF. It is
one of the most fun games I have played, especially in two player
mode. Granted, the computer is fun, but hey, we all know that you
eventually figure out a way to beat the computer. Nothing can beat a
good seven on seven Unfriendly tournament with a group of friends.
The controls are very responsive. You move your players, and they go
where you want them to. They dive where you want them to, and jump
like you expect them to. The power-ups are a perfect addition to game
that is already great fun to play. Swords, axes, and shields add
another dimension to basic punching and stomping, while other
power-ups like Lightning and Ice Cubes can be used effectively towards
the end of a game to alter the expected outcome. The bottom line?  The
game is responsive and has enough cool power-ups to keep your interest
much longer than a normal sports game.

Rating - 9


[] SOUND: Nothing great here. The music during gameplay is OK, and the
sound effects are slightly better. There are a few grunts and thuds
that would be very cool if their volume was increased, but f/x control
in BSF was one feature that was missing. The crowd reacts to different
tackles, punches, etc in different ways, and is definitely a good
addition. Again, the sound effects are nice, while more would have
been a good addition, they definitely aren't bad. The bottom line? The
sound doesn't stand out, nor does become annoying... it sort of blends
into the game, a feature I was not disappointed in.

Rating - 6.5


[] VALUE: While I will be the first to tell you that BSF is a very fun
game and should definitely be played before it is discounted, I will
warn you that I don't feel it is worth the $69.99 price tag. Sorry
Telegames, with games like AvP, Kasumi Ninja, and Checkered Flag
coming out at the $69.99 price range, it is hard to see paying that
much for BSF. Maybe for Brutal Sports Baseball if they beef up the
graphics and sound, but right now BSF looks like a $50 - $60 game.
The bottom line? Buy it with a friend.

Rating - 4


[] OVERALL: BSF's playability is definitely the high point of this
game.  So much in fact that it makes you realize that you don't need
the flashy graphics and sounds to make a fun game. The bottom line?
While the graphics aren't mind blowing, and the sound isn't special,
the game is a blast to play. My brother and about six of his friends
had a six and a half hour BSF session last weekend, so I know I'm not
the only one who feels that way!

Rating - 7.5


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