Football game carrying quite a few loose screws

January 27, 2001|By Nathan Pitts

One of the big selling points for computer games these days is how "real" the action on the screen is. But after playing a simulated Super Bowl this week using some of the latest technology, all we can say is "get real."

It's not just the score that bothered us (or scores, that is; after the Ravens fell by three points, we tried it again, and they lost by seven). It's that the digitized game bore little resemblance to what is expected to happen this weekend at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

For the record: We ran the "Madden 2001" football game on a Sony PlayStation. We set the game to "pro" level, updated the rosters (replacing Tony Banks with Trent Dilfer at quarterback, for example), put the players in Tampa and let the computer play the game.

It became clear pretty quickly that "Madden 2001" prefers high-flying offense to tough defense. In both games between these run-oriented teams, passing dominated. In Game 2, in fact, the quarterbacks for both teams had thrown more than 60 passes each by the end of the third quarter. Receiver Amani Toomer was the big star for the Giants; for the Ravens, it was fullback Sam Gash.

Neither game was a blowout. In Game 1, the Giants squeaked by, 29-26. In Game 2, the Giants prevailed 31-24. For our money, Sony and "Madden 2001" (ought to get busy and update their software. Like Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said after the AFC championship game, up close and personal on the field, the Ravens defense is nothing like what you see on film. Or, we might add, on the computer.

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