Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Four-four-four. Four-four-four. Hut! Hut! American Football is back on your screens with Sega's latest sports sim.
The game uses a horizontally scrolling overhead viewpoint, with options for one player to take on a computer team, or for two players to battle head-to- head.
At the start of a game options allow the difficulty level, type of game (one-off game or Road to the Superbowl, an ongoing knock-out competition with a password system that lets you carry on from where you left off) and time limit to be chosen. When everything's set the player(s) then choose a team from a list of all the American AFC and NFC members.
The match starts with a toss of the coin to decide who kicks off. The kick-off sequence is shown in a nicely animated close-up scene.
Plays are selected from an extensive but easy-to-use menu system. Each move is displayed as a picture which shows in detail each player's movements during the play — so you know exactly who's going where. When the move is selected, the action switches to the overhead view and the play begins.
In similar style to other games of this type, the player takes control of one particular team member, who stays under control until the ball is passed, whereupon the receiver comes under joypad command.
Pro Football is simply stunning. The presentation is superlative, with the best menus and control system I've yet seen on an American Football sim, and even though there are far more options than most games, they're very easy to use and understand.
The gameplay is great, and is both challenging and addictive, with a brilliantly-designed control method that lets you perform complicated moves very easily. The audio and visual side of things are top class as well, with superb graphics and suitable sound effects.
The whole package simply oozes quality — if you're a Sega owner who enjoys sports games, Pro Football should be a priority purchase.
A brilliantly designed and executed American football simulation with excellent graphics and sound and superb playability.