Brutal Sports Football

Atari Jaguar

from AEO Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 11

 |||   Review: Brutal Sports Football

 |||   By: Tal Funke-Bilu

/ | \  Delphi: AEXPLORER   GEnie: EXPLORER.5


Well folks, it's been a while since the last regularly scheduled AEO,

but I made it... about 4000 miles, 6 hours of video tape, a ton of

orders, a new Tempest high score (4,513,945), a new job, new pad, and

a huge crush on a new girl! Oh yeah, and a new game to add to my

Jaguar library... all that and I still find time to write for my

favorite online mag. ;) Seriously though, here is the official AEO

review of the first 3rd party game to surface for the most powerful

home entertainment system ever created, Atari's Jaguar.

Brought to you by Telegames, Brutal Sports Football (BSF) captures the

essence of rugby, football, and good ole smear the queer and throws

them all together in to one sport. To call BSF a sport is rather

ironic, since most sports have rules by which you abide by. BSF as you

might already know, has no rules.

The game starts off with a tip off by the referee much like

basketball, and then, for the next seven minutes, it's a free for all.

Use a variety of methods ranging from punching, stomping, passing,

kicking, diving, jumping, blocking, slashing, hacking, freezing,

decapitating, tackling, shocking, etc. to find a way to put the

football into your opponent's goal. Yet before the game begins, you

must choose your team. Assassins, lizards, goats, rhinos, warlords,

and many other compilations of barbarous savages adorn your screen as

you decide who (or what) you will use to wreak havoc against the


Before you make that choice, you must determine how you will use your

arsenal... whether it be in a single elimination Knockout tournament,

a quick and simple Unfriendly match, or an entrance into actual League

play; the choice is yours. In both Knockout and Unfriendly play, your

team starts out at full health at the beginning of each match, while

after each League game you have the option of using moneys won during

play to "rebuild" your team. You can acquire new heads, more health,

and even a speed increase for the next game. Now that we have all of

the "pre-game" activities out of the way, let's see what the game is

really like.

[] GRAPHICS: For better or for worse, BSF's graphics have been one of

the most talked about aspects of this game. The general consensus has

been that BSF has 16 bit graphics. Well, they might not be

64-bit-in-your-face-this-is-what-the-Jag-can-do graphics like Alien

Vs. Predator, but they definitely aren't bad. I'd say they're average.

You have nice character animation, nice scrolling, nice body parts

flying, nice blood. It is all NICE, nothing amazing, but very nice.

Everything is happening at the same time which also contributes to

this game's niceness. I didn't notice any slowdown, even though I had

practically ten different guys on the screen all doing different

things, with about two or three heads bouncing in different directions

and blood spurting all over the place. I love a good decapitation!

The bottom line? The graphics are nice, not superb, and not 16 bit

like the many net-perfectionists make them out to be... just nice.

Rating - 7

[] PLAYABILITY: This is definitely the strongest point of BSF. It is

one of the most fun games I have played, especially in two player

mode. Granted, the computer is fun, but hey, we all know that you

eventually figure out a way to beat the computer. Nothing can beat a

good seven on seven Unfriendly tournament with a group of friends.

The controls are very responsive. You move your players, and they go

where you want them to. They dive where you want them to, and jump

like you expect them to. The power-ups are a perfect addition to game

that is already great fun to play. Swords, axes, and shields add

another dimension to basic punching and stomping, while other

power-ups like Lightning and Ice Cubes can be used effectively towards

the end of a game to alter the expected outcome. The bottom line?  The

game is responsive and has enough cool power-ups to keep your interest

much longer than a normal sports game.

Rating - 9

[] SOUND: Nothing great here. The music during gameplay is OK, and the

sound effects are slightly better. There are a few grunts and thuds

that would be very cool if their volume was increased, but f/x control

in BSF was one feature that was missing. The crowd reacts to different

tackles, punches, etc in different ways, and is definitely a good

addition. Again, the sound effects are nice, while more would have

been a good addition, they definitely aren't bad. The bottom line? The

sound doesn't stand out, nor does become annoying... it sort of blends

into the game, a feature I was not disappointed in.

Rating - 6.5

[] VALUE: While I will be the first to tell you that BSF is a very fun

game and should definitely be played before it is discounted, I will

warn you that I don't feel it is worth the $69.99 price tag. Sorry

Telegames, with games like AvP, Kasumi Ninja, and Checkered Flag

coming out at the $69.99 price range, it is hard to see paying that

much for BSF. Maybe for Brutal Sports Baseball if they beef up the

graphics and sound, but right now BSF looks like a $50 - $60 game.

The bottom line? Buy it with a friend.

Rating - 4

[] OVERALL: BSF's playability is definitely the high point of this

game.  So much in fact that it makes you realize that you don't need

the flashy graphics and sounds to make a fun game. The bottom line?

While the graphics aren't mind blowing, and the sound isn't special,

the game is a blast to play. My brother and about six of his friends

had a six and a half hour BSF session last weekend, so I know I'm not

the only one who feels that way!

Rating - 7.5

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