Review: All Pro Football 2K8 (360)


Good: Nice to play as some retired pros, kicking mechanics

Bad: Very limited options, no player stats

One of the biggest bully moves in the history of gaming happened a couple years back when EA bought the rights to the NFL. 2K Sports was gaining ground on Madden with their own critically acclaimed series, and EA pulled the rug straight out from under them. With no NFL license to work with, 2K looked to the past to dig up some of football's legends. It's nice to see 2K back on the gridiron, but All-Pro isn't the resurrection of football gaming that fans might be hoping for.

The first time you boot up the game, it immediately has you construct your team of legends. My big stars were Joe Montana, O.J. Simpson, Jerry Rice, and Brian Bosworth. There's a pretty big selection of stars, from the more recent (Rice, Elway, Sanders) to the far older (Johnny Unitas). I'm just glad I get to sack the living crap out of John Elway again, I haven't gotten to do that since the PSX days.


One thing that really irked me while selecting my team was the complete lack of stats. Rather than featuring objective numeric statistics, you'll just get brief descriptions like "Brick Wall" or "Tough As Nails". These would be fine in conjunction with numeric stats, but they're just not enough as the only measuring stick.

Once your team is assembled, you select your team name and fictional stadium. These are pretty funny, and one even includes a Jaws reference (the Sharks play at Amity Stadium). Of course, I had The Juice on my team, so I had to go with The Assassins.

The actual on-field gameplay is a mixed bag. Those accustomed to Madden will have to re-adjust a bit, specifically in terms of the speed burst button. It also seems far more important to plant your feet before throwing the ball, as your passes will almost always miss the mark if you throw while scrambling. There really isn't anything massively different in the feel of All-Pro and Madden, just little quirks that only hardcore fans will really notice. One difference I did appreciate was the different kicking mechanic. You pull the right stick back to initiate the animation, then push it forward in time with the actual kick motion. It's a natural and practical application of the right analog stick.

Visually, All-Pro seems to have a bit more life than Madden, especially in terms of the new stadiums. Crowds are well-animated, and faces have a variety of expressions. The actual player likenesses are a bit dodgy, though. You probably wouldn't know the virtual Joe Montana was supposed to be Joe Montana if the name wasn't attached to him. You'll also get the occasional odd comment from the announcers, like "that'll bring up 2nd down" when you just got to 4th down.

It's nice to see 2K back in the game, but this title simply doesn't have enough features to warrant a purchase over Madden. The season mode is as bare-bones as it gets, and there's no franchise to speak of. If this series gets fleshed out in the future with more legends and modes, it might be worth something. As of right now, however, it'll stay in Madden's shadow.

Graphics: 8.0

Sound: 7.5

First Play: 7.5

Replay Value: 6.0

Gameplay: 7.5

Overall: 7.0


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