NFL Tour Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

NFL Street certainly wasn’t a series that was going to persuade fans of football (the American kind) to part with their cash if they solely preferred the more serious sim. Indeed, Street was a completely different beast from the Madden series and could be better approached by those who may not usually play a game of the stop and start (repeat to fade) sport. NFL Tour may not share its name and is no longer played on the streets, although it’s still an intuitive American Football game. Sound familiar?

Bringing a third NFL franchise onto the market may suggest to you that EA need the cash, although apparently NFL Street is no more (hence the reason why I was talking about it in the past tense in the opening paragraph) and, in NFL Tour, we have its replacement. Right, moving on…

If NFL Tour had retained the Street title it wouldn’t have been very fitting being that the game leaves the streets behind. So gone are the grimy urban areas and in their place are arenas surrounded by walls and a stoked (pardon my use of American) crowd watching on.

Anyway as for the sport itself, I have always been puzzled as to why the American version of football was ever called football in the first place, the burly players predominantly carry the ball instead of kicking it after all. To stop this turning into a further rant on the subject, NFL Tour doesn’t involve kicking at all. Ah well, I rest my case.

Like NFL Street each team is comprised of seven on field players and obviously the rules of the sport are bended in a few significant ways too. As there’s no kicking involved, field goals and kick-offs are obviously absent, whilst two halves replace the usual four quarters, there’s no timeouts, and you can basically get away with more than the real life NFL players can. With that said, perhaps we should all feel privileged.

The game can be played using the default one button pass or you can opt for the classic three button passing system if you’d prefer. A turbo meanwhile does what you would expect and increases the speed of the currently controlled player, whilst the special moves and the Gamebreaker (replaced by a defensive smash meter) have disappointedly had the axe falling down on top of them.

One of NFL Tour’s big features is the ability to reverse, which means you can evade tackles and even reverse reversals. If you find yourself getting good at countering you’ll be running down the field, shoving the opposition down with some real American authority, and producing spectacular solo efforts to wow the appreciative crowd. On the other hand, if a non-reversing ball carrier and a non-tackling opposition player clash, a button bashing battle ensues, and we all know that it’s the strongest and fastest fingers that win these furious wars. Battle weary fingers need not apply.

NFL Tour isn’t exactly bloated with options, although what’s present is pleasing enough. Tour mode involves you creating a player and then pushing him into 9 weeks of task based helmet-free action in your quest for an NFL contract, here you’ll be rubbing shoulders (a friendly warning, in American Football this isn’t painless) with real life NFL players. Oddly enough, you still play as an entire team though.

Other than the usual, play now, exhibition and online and offline multiplayer modes the game also has a couple of shallow mini games, which actually held my interest for a respectable amount of time. Smash & Dash basically has you keeping possession of the ball as long as possible or attempting to steal the said ball from your always running opponent, perhaps it’s a nice way to sharpen up your reversal skills. The second and final mini game is Redzone Rush which basically has you trying to stop or attempt a touchdown in a single play. Both games offer a little bit of casual and limited fun – nothing less, nothing more.

Remaining on the subject of limited, the commentary is basic, annoying, and perhaps short lived. Admittedly I did find it mildly amusing to begin with, although I soon got tired of remarks about videogame announcers being repetitive and if ever there was a game commentator to be muted, then this guy is the one. The graphics don’t fair that much better, as despite being decent, they remain rather underwhelming.

As the spiritual successor to the Street series, NFL Tour is going to understandingly disappoint. The game certainly hasn’t got the same appeal or as over the top action as its predecessor, although that’s not to say that NFL Tour isn’t intuitive fun. It’s just not NFL Street.