Joe Montana 2 review - Sega Megadrive
American football is a game in which the player attempts to score points by carrying the ball across his opponent's touchline. Play stops every time the ball hits the floor, and if the ball has not been carried ten yards by the time play has stopped four times, possession is awarded to the opposing team. Points can also be gained by kicking the ball through the opposing team's goalposts, or by forcing the other team behind their own touchline.
American football has been represented in a number of games on the Megadrive, the best known of these being John Madden's Football. Joe Montana II tries to shake off the shadow of this title by adopting a new, side-on viewpoint and zooming in on the action once play gets underway. Tactics are still chosen in a style similar to Madden, but plays are directly selected, as opposed to being reached through a series of choices such as formation and set.
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Joe Montana II is at last attempting to do something not inspired by John Madden's, and it works. The zoom function makes the game feel a lot more realistic, and arcade skills are required to keep you standing as opponents rush in from all angles. But the really strong point is the speech. This adds an awful lot to the game, and makes it possible to overlook some of the gameplay flaws and annoyances. If you've got John Madden's and you're looking for something different, give this a go, but if you're looking for the best American football game on the Megadrive, go for John Madden '92.
Rather than tackle John Madden's head-on, Sega have taken an unusual and very clever approach with Joe Montana II and come up with what is basically a stunning showpiece game. It's not endowed with spiffing graphics, but what it has got is speech. Tons of it. In fact, over 150 different phrases! They're very cleverly put together so that the console doesn't keep on repeating itself, and the end result is truly amazing - it really does sound like there's a slightly muffled old commentator chattering away throughout the game! The game itself is quite simple, which means that novice American football fans can easily get into the action, but there is scope to learn some clever moves and develop your play. If you're after the best American football simulation available, John Madden '92 is the obvious choice - but Joe Montana II is different enough and impressive enough to deserve a place alongside it in your collection.
Have your say about this review
Laurie - 28 Aug 2008, 13:56 GMT
"I don't believe it!" So says Joe Montana Sports Talk Football's answer to Victor Meldrew if, for example, a fake field goal is chosen from your own 5 yard line...on 1st down. Unfortunately, this is something you will be doing a lot of to relieve the boredom of playing this poor man's John Maddens. This is one of those 'improve the game by improper gameplay' games, along the lines of the unintentionally hilarious Match Day II on the C64, so you will find yourself deliberately running backwards and punting from 1st and down for a laugh. Do yourself a favor [sic] and do not under any circumstances plug this into your Sega.