The action is certainly Madden-inspired although not nearly as polished. The overhead view of the field looks impressive with sharp, well-defined hash marks and players. Although the players look realistic, they move in a slow and choppy manner. The ball movement is equally jerky and is especially hard to follow during pass plays. The tackles look pretty cool though. Bone crunching sound effects and clear voices complement the action, but the crowd is strangely silent.
There's no play-by-play, but text is displayed after each play describing the action. No, you won't be able to hit a button fast enough to skip through that! When running the ball, two buttons are used to dive and "elude tackle" (stiff arm, spin, etc.) It's tough to get your running game going because the tackles are attracted to you like magnets. During pass plays, windows are used to view the receivers. It looks fine, but the buttons aren't responsive, so it takes a while to get the ball off. The field goals feature a nifty "behind the kicker" view, but I could have sworn I saw a kick called "good" that clearly missed.
Hall of Fame also features bonus informative materials about many Hall of Fame players. Unfortunately, when I tried to read about Johnny Unitas, the program responded with, "Due to contractual obligations, this player cannot appear in the game." Huh? The guy hasn't played for 40 years, what kind of contract could he have?! For everything the Hall of Fame does right, it seems to do something else wrong. It's not a great game by any stretch, but at least it looks good, and is definitely playable. I suppose that's more than can be said for most CD-i titles. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
If you're a football nut, you will absolutely love this game. NFL Instant Replay is played in "rounds" modeled after the real football season. The regular season round consists of 16 rounds, and if you survive that, you'll enter the playoff rounds, and then perhaps the Super Bowl.
The user interface is simple and the game has virtually no lag time. The full screen video footage looks terrific and provides plenty of hard-hitting NFL action. Most of the regular season plays are easy to judge if you're a football fan, but even die-hards will be hard pressed to make it past the playoff round. The game can be played with one or two players. Very, very cool. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
While Name That Tune claims to contain "pop classics from the 50's to the 90's", there weren't many songs that I recognized. There are plenty of obscure bands mentioned like "Free" and "Tony Joe White". If you recognize songs like "Put Your Hand In the Hand", then maybe this game is for you. Perhaps the oddest part is how you're supposed to name the song out loud, and then tell the game if you were right or wrong.
Since when do video games use the honor system?! The first time I played the game, I got absolutely nothing right, and it was hilarious to hear Bob say "It's time to check those scores!", and subsequently stare at that big zero in the middle of the screen. Better yet, when I advanced to the bonus round (by default), he exclaimed "You've earned a chance to score even MORE points!". More than zero, Bob?
Like any game show, there's too much talk and not enough action. You'll get more enjoyment out of making fun of this game than actually playing it. It serves its purpose, but Name That Tune should be filed under 'C' for Cheesy. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
To set up your shot, you have to switch between THREE screens: the main view, the map (which provides the obligatory wind information), and the club selection screen. The controls that let you toggle between screens are slow, clunky, and non-responsive. Adding insult to injury, you can't even do anything until the commentators stop talking! Philips should have consolidated the screens and perhaps made use of more than one button!
Once your shot is finally set up, it's hard to hit the ball without a pronounced hook or slice. I had a tough time judging my shots, even after repeated plays. And even if you mastered this game, it will still take forever to play thanks to the frequent pauses and load times. Palm Springs Open is a sharp-looking game, but the slow pace and frustrating interface ruin the fun. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
The graphics are sharply detailed, and the crystal clear sound effects are equally impressive. Plunderball's main flaw is how it unwisely attempts to incorporate a convoluted background story in the form of short video clips that play when the ball gets "trapped" in certain spots. The clips are supposed to shed light on the table objectives, but it's rarely obvious how they correspond to the action on the table. The actors in the clips give a spirited performance, but the cheap-looking props and sparse backgrounds make them look downright silly. After watching a few of these, you'll quickly learn to hit a button to skip them.
Another issue is the game's easy difficulty level. My very first game ran well over a half an hour, thanks to an excessive number of bonus balls and numerous "safety nets". Plunderball is in dire need of an options screen to let you crank up the difficulty and turn off those videos. As it is, Plunderball is flawed but not too shabby. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
After that, you have a first-person view of the digitized player pitching to you. As the ball zooms in, timing is critical to swing and put the ball in play. I hit dozens of foul balls before I realized you have to swing VERY early in order to get a legitimate hit. Even with this knowledge, I continued to hit fouls constantly. In the rare occurrence that a ball is put into play, you watch the action automatically played out in a series of short video clips, which aren't bad.
The commentary is terrible however, often bordering on embarrassing. Power Hitter has a few novel features like the ability to adjust your stance or initiate a suicide squeeze, but I wish the programmers had concentrated on the basic gameplay instead. Power Hitter is way slow and tedious, and the terrible controls make you feel more like a bored spectator than a player. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.