NFL Head Coach Review
Sports management sims have been around for quite some time for PCs, but until now video gamers have had to settle for the franchise mode in their favorite sports games. With the release of NFL Head Coach, video gamers can now have a true sports sim to call their own. You’ll need to negotiate salaries, sign free agents, draft new players, and put together a winning football team. At first this all may sound a lot like the franchise mode in a football game, but there’s a lot more depth to everything in NFL Head Coach. Think of it as a franchise mode on steroids.
Your first step as an NFL coach is to get yourself hired by a team. Basically you answer a series of multiple choice questions that determine your coaching style and philosophy in order to set your coach’s attributes. You can pick the team that you want to coach, interview with the owner, and expect to receive an offer from that team. You’ll also receive offers from a few other teams so you have the option of going with your first choice or one of the other teams that offers up a contract.
|Hanging out in your office.|
All but the most diehard of players will find themselves wanting to skip ahead a week or two here and there. It can get to be tedious at times to have to repeat the same tasks over and over again when there’s not all that much to do, especially when you have to face a load screen between each task and listen to the same songs over and over again from the game’s very limited list of stock NFL Films fanfares. However, taking the automated sim route has some big risks involved as the injury frequency goes through the roof during the sim sessions and the game seems to enjoy ravaging your starting lineup during these times.
Once you get past the contract negotiations, free agent signings, and draft, it’s time to take your team to training camp. Training camp is time to practice, practice, practice and that’s just what you’ll do. At various times you’ll run everything from one and one drills to full-contact plays and in each case you’ll be able to select the players or strings involved. Giving a player more practice time will result in a boost to his stats and running the same play over and over will turn it into one of your team’s key plays. After each drill or play you’ll have the opportunity to address individual players or your whole squad – basically you’ll be given the choice between yelling at the players and providing them with words of encouragement. Different players will react differently to each approach as signified by little plus or minus sign icons above their heads. Unfortunately the reactions don’t seem to be very consistent and it is frustrating to see a minus sign appear over the head of a player who has responded well to the last several encouraging things that you’ve had to say. It is also rather unclear as to how the plus and minus signs really change anything or affect the players’ performance, but it also seems to be perfectly fine to save some time and not bother with the whole thing.