John Madden Football '92 review - Sega Megadrive
What a veritable festive feast of footballing fun, frolics and frivolity! If you're an American football fan, you'll be wondering what this, the sequel to probably the best sports sim ever, has in store for you. And if you're not an American football fan, we'd better refresh you of the rules.
The object of the game is to get the ball into the opponent's end zone, thus scoring six points. This is not as simple as it sounds, however, as every time the ball comes into contact with the firmament, play is stopped. Play is stopped a maximum of four times, and if the ball has not been carried ten yards in this time, control is handed over to the other team.
John Madden's Football was the greatest console version of the sport ever; it viewed the action from behind the offensive team and utilized impressive parallax scrolling to bring the action to life. Different plays were selected using a variety of menus and a number of moves could be performed by the player under your control, such as diving, spinning, headbutting or intercepting passes.
This sequel aims to better the original, and with more teams, more modes of play, more options, more plays and more speed, it does exactly that.
What the Mean Machines staff thought
John Madden's Football was probably the best Megadrive game ever, I say "was" because John Madden's '92 is even better! For a start, the difficulty level has been tweaked so the game provides something of a challenge - especially if you play a weak team against a stronger one. There are yet more options and a greater number of plays. As far as the graphics go, the sprites are slightly smaller, but they're packed with loads of neat touches, such as the quarterback looking around before the snap, and some fab close-ups of the crowd and team celebrating. The sound has also been improved, with a much better crowd noise. To put it simply, John Madden's '92 is one of the best games to appear on any format recently.
The greatest ever Megadrive sports game has just got even better! Rather than completely rewrite the game, the programmers at Park Place have kept the basic elements that made John Madden's Football so brilliant, and just tweaked the gameplay and added some new features. Some people might be disappointed by this but personally I'm not - what's the point of fixing something that's not broken? So what's new? Well, there are twelve additional teams, the menu systems are better to look at, there are new presentation points (such as the digitised crowd scene), much more stats information, instant replays and the chance to choose the weather conditions. But to really appreciate the difference between this and the original, you have to play it. The differences between each team are now far more pronounced (you've got some real crap-artists in there), there are different plays, players can get injured and, if you play dirty, you can also get penalised for unsportsmanlike behaviour! More importantly if you're a single player, the computer opponent is a lot faster, tougher and more aggressive; he takes less time when choosing his move and also learns - try doing the same move more than twice! And there's a new two-player participation mode to go alongside the normal head-to-head option. The big question obviously is, is John Madden's '92 worth buying if you already own the original game? Well, if you still love playing it, but want more challenge and new features, definitely. But if you're not so sure, I'd recommend you give this a good go beforehand, just in case you think it's too similar. If you haven't already got an American football game, John Madden's Football '92 is utterly essential.
Dan - 11 Mar 2009, 09:29 GMT
An essential game if you owned an MD, simple as. I would lose myself for HOURS upon HOURS in this. The original was ace, but this had so much more to it play-wise and had a heck of a better balance to it. A classic game that was pure fun.
mitzibishi - 22 Jul 2009, 03:41 GMT
Classic, along with EA hockey and PGA tour golf. made EA
MParallel - 18 Jan 2010, 00:39 GMT
An old classmate imported this game way back in 1992. We read about it and all the hype, we had to see it.
Oh boy, what a disappointment the first time we popped in the cartridge and started to play. Every time the play finally started, it was over before you knew!
Turned out, us "Euro's" didn't know anything about American Football, let alone the rules.
So it took some time and only after realising how the came was played, it all made sense and gave us many hours of fun playing time.
Still today, a very playable game.