NFL Head Coach 09

XBOX 360

Rated E for Everybody

Let me first start by saying this game is not for the casual football fan. Only two kinds of people want to play this game. The hardcore football fan (the one who is interested in every aspect of the game) and the player who is just interested in gamer score.

The game starts by giving you control of the NFL team of your choice. You can either choose to take on the persona of an existing coach, or start from scratch with a created one. The “detail oriented” nature of this game starts from the start. If you choose to create a new coach, there is a very lengthy process of assigning attributes, laying out your gamelan, and determining what type of coach you want to be. 

The game starts in the pre-season of the 2008 NFL season. You can choose to delegate responsibilities to your staff, or take care of everything yourself. And when I say take care of everything, I mean it. There are free agent signings, practice schedules, draft previews, rookie workouts, the scouting combine, reworking of contracts, trade negotiations, etc. etc. I could keep going on and on with this list. The fact is, everything that an NFL general manager does, you will be able to do in this game. 

When you actually to game day, you take total control of the head coach and all coaching decisions. You call the plays, you sub players in and out, and you make all of the decisions. Luckily, you get to watch the game unfold as it happens. When you call a play, you see the simulation of that play. Throughout the game you will come across a variety of “Defining Moments.” These are those tough choices head coaches have to make on the fly; going for it on fourth down, punting or kicking the field goal, or kicking it onside. 

There is an online portion to this game also, but I would avoid that aspect o the game altogether. The biggest problem, as with more and more games, is that there is no online community. You will not find anyone to play against unless you find people looking for achievements (there is one online achievement) or your friends. The other problem is that you do not even get to watch the game like in the single player. Most of us remember those old football games on the computer, when you select a play and then the game tells you what happened. That is what the online is like for this game. You call the plays, and are just told what happened. No graphics, no footage, nothing. It’s like getting updates of a game on your pc. You get to see where you are on the field, the down and distance, and the previous play. I can’t imagine a more boring multiplayer experience than this. 

For all of those people out there that enjoy the front office part of “Franchise” mode in the Madden series, I can guarantee you will like this game. However, most people view that as an inconvenience. The main thing that anyone interested in playing this game needs to know is that there is no game play whatsoever. NFL Head Coach 09 is 100% simulation. I am a huge football fan, from peewee to the NFL. If there is a game on TV, I can watch it no matter who is playing; I even coach high school football. Having said that, this game got boring fairly quickly for me. I played through multiple seasons on my quest to achieve the full 1000 gamer score, and I must say that near the end it was quite a chore. Casual football fans will not enjoy this game at all. On the flip side, if you’re looking for a quick 1000 achievement points, this game won’t give you any trouble. 

Buy/Rent/Skip

A rent for football fans, a rent for achievement junkies, and a BIG skip for everyone else. I see no need to buy this game at all.

 

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