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NFL Sports Talk Football ’93 Starring Joe Montana

Genre: Sports Developer: BlueSky Software Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1-2 Released: 1992

OK, I’m not the biggest sports guy in the world, the sports games that I own and actually play are limited to NBA Jam, Sports Talk Baseball, Joe Montana Football for Game Gear, and every once in a while, Tommy Lasorda Baseball. I’ve got some of those EA Sports games, but I don’t bother with those. So when I was looking for a review to do, I realized that I owned this game and it wasn’t reviewed yet! I’m no Alex Burr here, so bear with me on this review sports fans. So here it goes, my review of Sports Talk Football ’93 Starring Joe Montana.

When I first popped in this game, I was expecting some good stuff, because I know Joe Montana Football on Game Gear is a pretty enjoyable game. When I heard that start menu music, I was pumped up and ready for some football (Something I never watch mind you). But the first thing that threw me off was the controls for the start screen. I kept getting confused on how to change options. I kept accidentally pressing start and going into the game when I wanted to go to a menu to change my team or the options menu. Rather than pressing start to go to the team screen, they decided it was A, which is a little bit confusing. The team select screen is as equally confusing. You go left to right to pick the teams from one division, and hit up and down to change divisions. The screen only shows one team at a time though. Why couldn’t they make it simpler and faster by showing all the teams of one division all at once like Sports Talk Baseball rather than me having to switch between tons of teams and divisions to finally find one team? Getting the game to start has already got me confused.

And now onto the gameplay. When I first entered the game, I was expecting a simple layout like Joe Montana Football here, a pre-chosen pick, and the ability to switch though the other ones simply. But instead I find weird stuff like choosing player positions, and weird plays to choose from, and not being able to figure out how to change between plays got me really confused. It seems the design of menus and button layouts just really suck in this game. The game doesn’t give you any hint on how to actually get things started, what a mess!

Once I finally pick some random play and get out on the field, things get even weirder. If you go on a pass play, you’re players are miniscule until you throw the ball up into the air and it starts to come down, then a sort of magnifying-glass box of the field comes up in the area and zooms in on all the players, throwing you off. Why couldn’t they just keep it miniscule and simple rather than zoom in on the area where the ball will land? It makes catching the ball a lot tougher. And if you’re on a run play it automatically goes into magnifying-box mode once you pass the ball from the quarterback to the player, again throwing you off. This whole box-in for better view of the players really just throws the whole gameplay of the game off. It makes things so much harder to execute. And as if you’re teammates weren’t so stupid as to screw up every single pass play that you send to them while you’re the quarterback, the AI in this game makes it even worse! The opposing team is too tough, while your team just plain sucks!

The graphics are so-so. There’s nothing really special here, sprites don’t look too bad while zoomed-in, but they could use some work while zoomed-out. There are some nice pictures on the scoreboard though of players and coaches that tell you what’s going on, I like the one where the coach is freaking out (after all the times my team screwed up or the ball got intercepted). The sound is also pretty mediocre. Aside from the start screen, the music is nonexistent, which is not so good. But the good news is our favorite Sports Talk announcer (a roboticized Lon Simmons for those of you who didn’t know) is here to announce every move your team makes as you play this game, probably the only pro in this entire game!

In short, this game is awful. Controls are bad, menus are bad, gameplay is bad. Unless you want to hear Sports Talk Announcer announce plays (which you could easily get from the greatest Genesis baseball game, Sports Talk Baseball) pass this game on. It’s just a big load of crap with Joe Montana’s name on it to sell it.

SCORE: 2 out of 10

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