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This is a definite improvement from last year's game. With better A.I. and more advanced features for player control the game has taken a step in the right direction. The play book still needs to be more specialized for each team, not just one custom selection. The game looks good and the feel is decent. I don't know if this can take the title away from Madden but it is a strong title on its own.
In the end, GameDay 2001, aside from its obvious roster updates and a few minor additions, is totally identical to last year's title, which was a really good game.
(Aug 21, 2000)
The only consolation, this time around, is that perhaps 989 Sports was just too busy to make the necessary changes needed to keep this game in the running with Madden. Too busy, that is, making a go at a Madden-killer with the new GameDay for PS2? One never knows...do one? In the meantime, give this game a go, and see if it is your cup of football "T".
NFL GameDay 2001 is, like so many football games before it, a bit too difficult for its own good. That being said, 989 Sports' latest revision of the first PlayStation football franchise still manages to pack a whole lot of great football into Sony's little gray machine. The game looks great, plays about as well as expected and has all the important extras that a football simulation needs to succeed. Sports game fanatics will certainly find everything to love about this game, but casual gamers and nongamer football fans will likely find NFL GameDay 2001 overwhelming due to the steep learning curve, a confusing play selection system and occasional bouts of questionable design.
Well it appears that Gameday went out without much ado. This series is still a strong one that should make a huge splash on the PS2. If you've never owned a Gameday then you might want to check this out. All others should check out Madden, which managed to bring out a good time!
A few years ago, the GameDay series was one of the most dominant football games on the market. Now, I don't even think I could put this in a top five. The biggest problem I found was that I couldn't decipher whether 989 Sports was trying to make this a realistic game, or something out of the arcade. If you really want to play this game, I recommend renting it first.
If this particular incarnation of the game were strictly a PSOne effort, it would be a very good one. However, it falls well short of the mark for the PlayStation 2. Avid fans of the GameDay series may enjoy this title, but would probably benefit from renting it first. Everybody else is probably better off with Madden NFL 2001 or Sega's NFL2K1.
The audio quality of the commentary is much clearer this year, and the licensed songs have been mercifully axed. One new feature is "new player models" that are supposed to be scaled to the height and weight of the actual players. Frankly I would not have noticed if I hadn't read about it on the back of the box. GameDay 2001 is very offensive-minded with runningbacks who shed would-be tacklers with ease and receivers that make a lot of leaping grabs. There were a few times when I witnessed a receiver shove a defender out of the way, make the catch, and take it to the house. Not cool! In one game there was a particularly heinous glitch where I couldn't see the plays on the selection screen! It shook my faith in the game, but I'm hoping it was just an isolated incident. GameDay 2001 isn't terrible, but it could use some fine-tuning.
GameDay 2001 for the PlayStation 2 is basically a cleaner looking version of its PlayStation counterpart. That may be good enough for fans who swear by the GameDay series, but those who've seen and played Madden on the PlayStation 2 will immediately see the difference and recognize that NFL GameDay 2001 is merely a PlayStation game posing as a PlayStation 2 product.
(Nov 14, 2000)
There are a lot of cool options including a solid create-a-player feature and decent stat tracking and roster management. But, none of it matters if you can't get past the AI and gameplay issues.
I wish I could go back and change the score on my PSX review of Gameday 2001. I gave that game a 59 overall, including a pair of fifties in gameplay and replay value. But then again, I gave 989 the benefit of the doubt on the 32-bit hardware. On the PS2, I expect something at least a little better. Instead I got a regurgitation of the same game that sucked then. Guess what? It sucks now.
We don't feel this way just because the game is far below the standards set by the first generation of PlayStation2 games. It's also because this horrible travesty might cheat a couple of otherwise unsuspecting parents, who meant to buy Madden, out of their hard-earned money with a game that even a chimpanzee with a transplanted goldfish brain could see was unfinished.
Back when PlayStation first debuted, EA canned Madden '96 because it was not up to their standards. Maybe Sony should have paid attention and followed suit with GameDay 2001. Not only is this game just plain bad (believe us, it's wretched), but it's simply nowhere near complete. It's full of problems that don't just show up sporadically, but in almost every single play.