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A.P.I Review: NFL Xtreme
Developer: 989 Studios OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Sony 1-8 Player Multi-tap
Game Type: American Football 5 Memory Blocks
Review Date: January 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

So why is NFL Xtreme being featured almost seven months after it's US release? Is it because of that thrilling NFL Championship decider where the underdogs Atlanta Falcons stole a crucial overtime win over Minnesota Vikings? Is it because the Super Bowl Final is barely a couple of weeks away? Or was it simply delayed in the post?

Actually it's because SCEE and 989 Studios have only recently got their act together to launch the PAL version. Just in time for the XXXIII Super Bowl when American Football reaches maximum awareness across Europe.


From the makers of one of the best selling sports game on any console, NFL GameDay '98, comes NFL Xtreme - an "in-your-face," 5 on 5 arcade-style NFL experience. NFL Xtreme features helmet popping sticks, trash talking, high scoring football with all of your favorite teams, players and stadiums. The most intensely animated action ever assembled in a sports video game. Forget about the rules and penalties because after the coin toss, anything goes.


If it's a honest simulation of American Football that you are after then best check elsewhere because... let's get one thing straight... NFL Xtreme doesn't pretend to be anything other than an out and out arcade sports game. A neat selection of live action shots provide the intro to NFL Xtreme before moving off to the more cartoony world of the in-game graphics.

Once inside the motion captured three dimentional players are sculptured to amazing detail using over 400 polygons. They react fairly quick to each command throwing in a performance as over-the-top as the gameplay. Pressing the correct buttons sees them leap high in the air, perform forward jump-flips to avoid tacklers and even accelerate through a blazing trail of flames. After a fall the player in control can be made to leapt back onto his feet and reap revenge by throwing a forearm smash into the opponents face mask with comical reactions.

I found the camera angle to be a little too close to the receiver on default setting and while the option is available to raise or lower it I would have prefered to move it back a little.

Sounds and Effects

The taunting plays a major part in the gameplay and you will often find yourself name calling more than playing the actual game. After each big play you can flex to the fans and celebrate with over fifty 'in your face' celebrations.

Unfortunately this was one aspect of the game that grated on me sooner than expected. Players from both side often issue the same taunts and I very soon reached for the volume control to ease my pain.

The music is provided by Fear Factory and will surely put the fear of God into you should you dislike heavy rock.


Players can choose from 30 NFL teams and compete at all 30 perfectly recreated NFL Stadiums to enjoy a selection of game modes including Exhibition, Season and Play-Offs.

Exhibition mode allows gamers to select any of the NFL teams and enjoy a few single games without the complications and pressures of a season.

Season involves a 16-game NFL season in which success leads to the Play-Offs and a chance to play in the Super Bowl.

Play-Offs allow you access directly into the final stages of a season. Twelve teams make it to the Play-Offs but only one can be declaired champs.

NFL Xtreme allows gamers to view the players and stats of each teams roster and allows them to alter them with trades, signing of free agents and and player releases. There are variable difficulty and game-speed levels while the weather conditions may be customised.

Many Europeans would openly admit that they haven't a clue as to the rules of American Football. The fact that this is 5 players on 5 should be an easy introduction to the sport. The actual playing of this game is fairly easy to pick up as long as you concentrate on a couple of plays at a time. You may find that the quickest way to start enjoying this game is via the multiplayer modes. Either you and a friend, or up to 8 human players can play at once. Its far easier to learn the game mechanics when you are playing another human, due to the simple fact that they will almost surely make all of the same mistakes as you will, unlike the computer, who will just make you look incompetent.

Value for Money

It features revolutionary 5 on 5 gameplay with high scoring, arcade style 'in-your-face' NFL action. 20 yards for a first down on an 80-yard field translates into a wide-open and entertaining video game.

GRAPHICS: 16/20 SCEE could be onto a winner with this simplistic arcade title. NFL Xtreme is a pure pick-up-and-play arcade American Football game without the complications of rules, penalties and too many set pieces. A good introduction to the sport, but probably not for those already converted.
SOUND: 6/10
VALUE: 14/20


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