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XBox Reviews: AFL Live 2004

 

AFL Live 2004 Screenshots

 

The Final Say!
Gameplay
7.0
Graphics
8.8
Sound
7.9
Value
7.1

AFL Live 2004 - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: September
Review Score: 7.1/10 
Distributed By: Acclaim

"Better late than never?"

 

AFL Live 2004 has finally arrived on the XBox and after its scheduled released was pushed back... it appears that something is missing from this awesome title.

 

AFL Live 2004 is created by a local software developer in Melbourne called IR Guru and with their previous hit game entitled "AFL Live 2003", the developers finally show the world what a decent Australian Rules Football game is like. As with all sequels, AFL Live 2004 promises new graphics, better gameplay and a variety of new features that should put the older brother to shame.

 

Besides the "snazzy" new menu system of the AFL Live 2004, the game boasts a variety of new features that include a new missions gameplay mode that allows you to recreate key events in AFL history. On a side note, it would of been nice if the developers implemented some new uniforms into the game, rather than use the bland modern jerseys of the AFL. For example, use the old uniforms of the 1970's, 1950's etc. Another impressive feature of the missions gameplay mode is that you can even create your own missions that allows the gamer to modify the teams, weather, venues and how much time is remaining in the game.

 

AFL Live 2004also supports a variety of mini-games that have been implemented into the series. Although these games are extremely boring if you decided to play them on your own, they do however make great party games. These new mini-games include the super kick, handball challenge (identical to the handball competition on Sunday's Footy Show) and around world that lets players score as many points as possible in 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

 

Apart from the mini-games, gamers can also select single game, full season and finals for some hardcore AFL fun. Single games allow you to play against another team, whereas the full season lets you play from day one, all the way to the finals. The game also uses the official teams and players of the 2003 season but unfortunately my favourite team Carlton, not only plays like a dog in real life but also in the game so I had to select someone a little bit more "powerful", sorry... I selected Collingwood. A nifty new feature in the game is the "snap" kick that basically lets you do a power kick down the field.

 

The gameplay of AFL Live 2004 is virtually identical to the previous instalment with the left analog stick used to control your current player, A to handball or switch players, B to evade, X to kick and mark the ball, Y to snap kick, the left shoulder button to sprint and finally the right shoulder button to modify your kicks and marking.

After playing AFL Live 2003 almost to death, I am pleasantly surprised to say that the gameplay in AFL Live 2004 is far superior and is easier to control. The ingame control system allows you to do a variety of moves that include kick, tackle, handball, mark, sprint and almost every other AFL move. One of the most frustrating aspects of the game is the inability to change the camera angles. Even though the manual clearly states that you can change camera angles ingame. Either I have a faulty XBox controller or this is a major glitch in the game. Another bug in the game is the ability to take marks on players that apparently don't exist, that is marking off the backs of invisible players.

 

Graphically, AFL 2004 is a visual treat when compared to the previous game in the series and features extremely realistic ball physics, highly detailed stadiums that are unfortunately not licensed, extremely detailed & realistic players and new player animations. The players themselves appear to contain a higher polygon count than in AFL Live 2003 and look more "realistic" when they move on the field, unfortunately, every now and then, the players will skip a few frames that makes the transition of different moves a little rough.

 

The commentary of AFL Live 2004 features Dennis Cometti, Gerald Healy and Christie Malthouse and their voices have been spliced together much better than in AFL Live 2003. The commentary flows quite well but on occasion, I didn't know if it was my imagination or a glitch in the game but it appears that the commentators sometimes say the wrong thing in the matches. Fortunately the background sounds are perfect with the roaring crowd, the sounds of the football getting kicked, smashed and handballed around the field with realistic sounds of players  being tackled.

 

In conclusion, AFL Live 2004 is graphically superior than its predecessor but is unfortunately riddled with bugs that should of been taken out in the testing phase of this game. Although the game contains a variety of new features such as improved A. I., mini-games and new kicks, the game is unfortunately lacking something. As mentioned earlier, AFL Live 2004 makes a great party game and if you have four controllers lying around, than you are guaranteed for some multiplayer fun!

- Andrew B

New Features

  • 14 new animations including new kicks (torpedo, snap), handballs, tackles, marks, bumps as well as a few surprises.
     
  • New commentary panel including Denis Commeti, Gerard Healy and Christi Malthouse as Boundary Rider.
     
  • Wizard Cup preseason competition including all the new rules including the nine point goal and three point rushed behind.
     
  • New and updated AI to make the game even more realistic and challenging to play.
     
  • 3 New mini games including Handball challenge, Superkick and Around the World.
     
  • New Instant Replay feature.
     
  • New mission based games as you try and take this years team to match a classical historical match for your club.
     
  • All the awards including Brownlow, Coleman, Norm Smith medals as well as all the club Best and Fairest awards.
     
  • Updated statistical information to include season marks, kicks, handballs etc.
     
  • New training elements and three new grounds including a suburban ground for training.
     

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