Review - Quarterback Attack with Mike Ditka

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Trev
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Review - Quarterback Attack with Mike Ditka

Post by Trev » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:18 am

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Quarterback Attack with Mike Ditka – The Professional Quarterback Simulator … seriously, is this the longest video game title ever? :shock: (I couldn't even fit it all in the subject post!) No wonder most shorten it to just Quarterback Attack … I’m going to go a step further and just say QB Attack. Anyway, QB Attack manages to grow on you despite its ridiculously long name and despite belonging to the infamous full motion video genre (cue screaming masses fleeing to the hills in terror) Digital Pictures obviously had the right idea with this game insofar as they were trying to stretch the genre as much as possible within its limited framework. More interactive than most fmv titles, QB Attack surprises with a fun and addictive experience.

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I’ll bet that last statement will make some roll their eyes. :roll: Although the fmv genre has recovered somewhat in old age (at least among us hardcore old school types … hasn’t it?) it is still the target of many critics. Needless to say the critics were out en masse in ‘95/’96. After a brief spell of popularity in the early 90’s fmv games saw their stock fall rapidly in just a few short years. The 3DO, despite improving heavily over the genres main cheerleader the Sega cd, was not enough to reverse the trend. They became the Milli Vanilli of the gaming world, once beloved now ridiculed. But this review isn’t really meant to be a commentary on the history of fmv games or a discussion of their pros & cons (maybe in a different thread) Rather it's to focus specifically on QB Attack. And if I’m being honest much of the criticism directed at QB Attack is misplaced.

Probably the foremost complaint was how seemingly limited it was. You can’t control the runners? You don’t interact on defense? You can’t control the kicker? :? (insert random whiny question here) I’m sorry; normally stuff like this would be valid except …It’s a Quarterback Simulator! It says so right in the humongous title on the box and manual! (maybe all the critics only had loose copies?)
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What were people expecting? It would be like attacking Need for Speed because you can’t leave the road and explore the scenery (hey, wait a min …) Seriously, I can understand the disappointment to a degree, but this games focus was/is what it is. And for what it does, I think it does well.

The story is like something out of a Choose Your Own Adventure book with the star QB being injured and you as the young rookie stepping in his shoes. It is effective to set up the game initially and introduces you to some of the key players. Ditka gets a chance to chew up the scenery as expected, and he does it effectively.

Calling plays, picking receivers, dodging incoming receivers, scrambling if need be, these are the things you expect to do as a QB, and this game lets you. I found the controls easy to grasp and surprisingly intuitive. The two game views, behind the QB and helmet cam, are helpful and give the game some nice graphical variety besides. :)

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Speaking of graphics, the game's look is reminiscent of an earlier DP sport’s game ‘Prize Fighter’ for the Sega cd. QB Attack is far superior though, expanding the cropped look of the former to full screen, and having much sharper/cleaner footage. Really, I can’t imagine the 3DO doing much better with this type of game.

On the audio end, the drone of the crowd, chatter among your teammates, trash talk from the opposition and of course the quips of coach Ditka entertain. The sound effects are sharp and if you are unfortunate enough to get sacked, the bone crunching audio really draws you in. No complaints here. :)

The acting is more or less to DP standards (perhaps a slight step up) Neither great nor poor; it sits comfortably in the middle. More often than not the actors do fine, and those that are visibly less effective seem to be appropriately limited. Unsurprisingly there is a degree of camp/cheese value which ends up working in the games favor. And of course, the legendary Mike Ditka is a colorful character who is entertaining to watch. He looks like he is enjoying the role, and obviously it is no stretch for him to act the part. He was a good choice to have in the game, and he really does add to the overall experience, hence his name appearing prominently in the title. Add one more celebrity to the list of those who’ve graced the 3DO. 8)

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The faults are there if you choose to focus on them … you always play the same team, the footage repeats, most of the crowd is cardboard cutouts, etc… but it doesn’t matter, at least to me. Is QB Attack consistently fun? Girl, you know it's true! :P

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-Trev


P.S. One word of warning, as the entire game is based around fmv, scratches have the potential to be far more damaging then they are in most games. In fact, in preparation for this review I found my copy to be a bit problematic. :cry: Coming soon ... my marketplace post to buy/trade for a good condition copy.
Last edited by Trev on Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by oldskool » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:19 am

Cool sounds like a bit of fun. I am a Chicago Bears fan so it would almost be worth getting it just because of Ditka. Now I am gonna have to youtube some video of this, if it's even there.
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Post by Trev » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:34 am

Youtube has vids of it ... or you pick up the dvd Game Over, which is a whole movie built around DP projects.
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Most wanted - Eye of Typhoon, 3DO Magazines issues #14 & #15, Pro Stadium, Defcon 5

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