Connect with us

Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019 Review: Back to the Drawing Board

Doug Flutie's Maximum Football 2019

Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019 Review: Back to the Drawing Board

Ever since EA acquired the exclusive NFL rights, it has been a struggle to get a football simulation that stays true to the game of football — but it’s not for a lack of trying. After all, as I wrote about a few weeks ago, football video games continue to pop up frequently. And whether you prefer text-based simulations like Draft Day Sports: Football 2020 or a Madden-like game such as Axis Football 2019, there’s several options on the market to satiate your football needs.

For months, there was hope Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football would become the next great sports game. After all, it was produced by NFL legend Doug Flutie, much like the Madden franchise had John Madden at the helm. But could it live up to the hype it slowly developed over years of development? Would it be true competition to Madden, or would it fall short like so many sports games that came before?

Here’s my review of Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019.

What I Like

Customization

When it comes to alternatives to Madden, the other options on the market fall short on the whole. However, one area Maximum Football excels at is customization. There are over 130 teams in DFMF and users have the opportunity to customize each and every one of them. So, whether you plan to make teams look like their real-life counterparts or want to create a league all of your own, the choice is yours.

Each unique team also has 68 players, all of which can be renamed to better replicate the league you choose. If you want to recreate the Canadian Football League? Go right ahead. Want to not only edit a team to look like a NFL franchise, but rename each player to look and feel like they do on Sundays? You can do that too.

Unfortunately, users can NOT edit player faces, hairstyles and other personal features. Regardless, one thing that DFMF does extremely well is customization.

Playbooks

More times than not when playing smaller indie titles, the array of options at your fingertips can often feel limited. And when it comes to a sports games, playbooks and other features are critical so that the games do not become stale rather quickly. However, this is not the case with DFMF. In fact, the playbook can be a bit overwhelming at first, especially for those not familiar with other football video games.

Although, I’m uncertain the exact number of plays in DFMF, there is a vast variety to choose from. No, there are not team-specific playbooks or the ability to create your own plays. Instead, DFMF has only one playbook to choose from. But again, this playbook has everything and anything you can imagine.

Dynasty Mode

There’s not a whole lot to be done in DFMF. Aside from a single-player mode, the big draw is a dynasty mode. However, there’s still a lot left to be desired. Yes, you can customize your team and players, as mentioned earlier. But there’s still not a whole lot of variance from one team to another. Coaches won’t feel the heat if they’re unable to produce a winning franchise, as there’s no chance of being fired. That being said, users will have ample time each week to recruit players and this can give users a nostalgia that they may not have felt since NCAA Football 2014.

Recruits will have hidden attributes and can vary in their potential. There’s a four-team playoff and bowl games for teams to compete in as well. That being said, dynasty mode seems a lot like a basic single-player mode and leaves a lot to be desired.

Things I Don’t Like

Visuals

Truth is, no one expects the smaller indie developers to come out of the gates with breathtaking graphics and stunning visuals. But for a game that had so much potential, there’s there’s just not a ton here, especially from a visual standpoint. Most of the player models look the same and there’s not many differences between an offensive lineman and a shifty running back.

There’s no broadcast presentation that wows the user aside from a drive summary that is reminiscent of what you would see on NFL.com. I know it’s unrealistic to expect a lot from an indie title, but Axis Football is a prime example of an indie-developed football game doing just the right amount to keep the game interesting to the user.

Gameplay

The core of every great video game is the gameplay. Unfortunately, this might be my biggest gripe of them all with Doug Flutie’s Football. Not only are the animations outdated and quickly become stale, but players don’t move as they should on the virtual gridiron. Maybe a lot of this has to do with the smaller studios, but no part of DFMF feels like a real representation of the game we enjoy watching so much.

Tackling animations become repetitive quickly and often just look like two individuals running into one another. Passing seems hit or miss. The ball doesn’t realistically come out of the quarterback’s hands and the trajectory of the passes feel off. Truth is, the ball floats through the air at a snail’s pace and many times seems like it may never reach its intended target.

Running animations look more like jogging animations, and special moves like jukes and spin moves have very little place in this football game. Trench play is non-existent, and way too many times the offensive lineman will miss a block or let a player run in completely untouched. Wide receivers rarely run the routes they’re supposed to and can often feel like they’re lost at sea.

The computer AI is definitely something that needs to be fixed. Way too many times the QB drop backs into a running back that is just standing lifelessly in the backfield. The game also doesn’t really come off as overly difficult, and again, is something that absolutely needs to be fixed before DFMF can be taken seriously.

Load Times

I understand that Canuck Play is a small, independent company. But everything about the game from the first menu to the final whistle takes me back to my time waiting aimlessly for the final season of Game of Thrones. All kidding aside, no one likes to have to wait a few minutes for a game to load. However, that’s not even the worst part. Having to wait throughout the game can be even more frustrating, and at times had me contemplating turning the game off. If DFMF wants to be taken seriously and be legit competition for Madden and Axis 2019, this is something that needs to be fixed — if not this season then in a future installment.

Bottom Line

In the end, Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019 is loaded with potential. For gamers desperate to find an alternative to Madden, this game might be enough to sway some of you towards the new, innovative product. But in the end, the clunky animations, poor route-running, repetitive tackling, poor AI and overall lackluster gameplay do not quite live up to the hype this game built up over the years of development.

No one can argue what type of player Doug Flutie was on the field. But his first attempt at a hall of fame football simulation came up a bit short. That’s not to say the game couldn’t compete with Madden and Axis down the line, but for now there are way too many issues to recommend this title to most audiences.

29 Comments

Leave a Reply

Discussion
  1. Can't say I disagree with a lot of what this review says. I still am glad I supported the game and hope it leads to more improvements in the future as they grow the team. And I have been impressed with the post launch support from such a small team.
    Should note - the review mentions that the "tackling animations" are too repetitive. There isn't a single animation recorded between two players for a tackle. Each tackle is generated through a physics engine.
    Would also like to know the version of the game that was used for the review? There have been two content updates since release, including the addition of gameplay sliders.
    Spear
    Should note - the review mentions that the "tackling animations" are too repetitive. There isn't a single animation recorded between two players for a tackle. Each tackle is generated through a physics engine.
    Would also like to know the version of the game that was used for the review? There have been two content updates since release, including the addition of gameplay sliders.

    I'll say I've not played much since the updates. I am waiting on an update that allows me to either change the quarter length without restarting my Dynasty or a fix the clock stopping and staying stopped until the ball hikes after every first down.
    All and all, Spear, you guys have put a solid foundation to build future titles with. As I said in my first comment, I'm happy I made the purchase. I know you were addressing the reviewer and not my comment but I wanted to clarify.
    My pa was a huge flutie fan back in the day and we are both fans of the CFL, despite the shortcomings of this game i still bought it day 1.  Its a rough game but i love the customization.
    Love the fact that they made a customisable college football game .  I can't disagree with the flaws of this game. I had so many glitches i just  gave up on trying to play it.  To be honest  IMO the gameplay is horrible.  With that being said though I don't regret buying it and will certainly buy next year's version if there is one.  The reason being is I can see the potential  and for a small company i applaud the effort. I will continue to support them in the hopes they keep improving the game and grow their company. I can really see this going somewhere in the future.  One thing I noticed that the big AAA  companies should do is they support their game and have been very open to suggestions to improve their product. Bottom line for me is i just can't bring myself to play it at this point but they certainly earned my respect and support.
    Spear
    Should note - the review mentions that the "tackling animations" are too repetitive. There isn't a single animation recorded between two players for a tackle. Each tackle is generated through a physics engine.
    Would also like to know the version of the game that was used for the review? There have been two content updates since release, including the addition of gameplay sliders.

    The review is from after the content/patch updates. We wanted to give the game a little time before reviewing it for those reasons.
    ChaseB
    The review is from after the content/patch updates. We wanted to give the game a little time before reviewing it for those reasons.

    We're all for criticism and we use all feedback to improve the game with each update, but some of the largest points in this were addressed with the last content update which is a bit misleading to people looking for a review of this game.
    InspiringFool
    We're all for criticism and we use all feedback to improve the game with each update, but some of the largest points in this were addressed with the last content update which is a bit misleading to people looking for a review of this game.

    Noted, the reviewer played what he played, but obviously fine with you disagreeing. He didn't even really dig in to the game until after the second patch/update so this isn't a matter of having a conception from one point of time to the next after the update.
    I enjoy playing it, haven't had much time to play since the updates though. Hopefully Sliders can have their own menu within the Dynasty Menu without having to go to the team select menu to adjust them per game.
    Animations are way too stiff so I agree about the animations. Otherwise not a bad game for the price and well worth supporting it.
         I agree with the review, this is not a bad game but this does not "feel" like a college football game. The customization is great but I have neither the time nor inclination to do 130 teams. Maybe with file sharing this would be a different game but as it stands I too prefer Axis Football.  Trying to create a college football atmosphere with out school names, logos, commentary and stadiums out of the box is a tall order. I do appreciate the effort but not quite there yet.
    Based on what possibly could happen with new NCAA licensing agreement, this game may become obsolete before it really gets to where it wants to go if EA gets back into the college football market and builds on NCAA 14.
    It appears as if a few more iterations are in order before it captures the essence of a college game and there are also a plethora of on field gameplay and animations that need to be cleaned up and/or added to. That could take years especially when talking about animations, motion capture, player movement, etc.
    We all have to wait and see if EA or 2K will do a college football game if licensing allows...not sure where that is headed at this point.
    C
    If they can at least add in a feature to hire coaches and the possibility the coach can get fired and things like ticket prices , stadium upgrades and being able to truck defenders, intercept the ball easier, easier to throw the ball to a receiver on tougher routes, couple more tackles and breaking tackles better, able to challenge plays, more ppl on side lines and just tune up gameplay if that was done I don't care what E greedy A comes out with. So if Maximum Football can add those features I'm still buying DFMF over EA any day. I read something that they may release a new one next year. But if DFMF keeps upgrading I don't want to support a company that is greedy and ignores supporters.
    capa
    Based on what possibly could happen with new NCAA licensing agreement, this game may become obsolete before it really gets to where it wants to go if EA gets back into the college football market and builds on NCAA 14.
    It appears as if a few more iterations are in order before it captures the essence of a college game and there are also a plethora of on field gameplay and animations that need to be cleaned up and/or added to. That could take years especially when talking about animations, motion capture, player movement, etc.
    We all have to wait and see if EA or 2K will do a college football game if licensing allows...not sure where that is headed at this point.
    C

    If some how DFMF can at least add coach hiring and that the coach has responsibilities and can get fired. And stadium finances, able to change settings at anytime and just tune up game play before EA or 2k releases something im sticking with DFMF over the selfish companies that completely ignores supporters. When we have a shot to support a company that is willing to do what its supporters want.
    ChaseB

    Ever since EA acquired the exclusive NFL rights, it has been a struggle to get a...
    Written By: Josh Houtz
    Click here to view the article.

    In the future with reviews at least don't make up stuff because the ball does not float in the air like a snails pace when you throw it. Some of the review was ok but when you are haulted and bump into lies the review is completely thrown out and hard to trust future reviews. At no point have I thrown the ball and seen it travel in the air as slow as a snail or even at a slow pace...Even when it's a deep lob throw it travels just fine. Now could the release look better. Sure. But that's not what the issue was. Be honest and tell it like it is because that could cost the team supporters and that would suck because that is not true.
    I will say that I probably had to high of hopes for this game. I wanted very much to like it. I remembered all of the NCAA games and even bought a used PS3 and a copy of NCAA 13 to play before it came out.
    Maybe I expected to much. I appreciate the effort, but the gameplay and atmosphere to me are horrendous. The fact that there is no kind of commentary makes this game terribly boring as well.
    My biggest complaints are when I'm playing, the QB takes WAY to long to throw. Sometimes I hit the button to throw, and get sacked due to the animation being to far behind.
    Simulation in the dynasty mode takes way way too long also. I know they have a new guy to work on that. I think their biggest thing there was that they appear to be saving after every game. Just save at the end of the sims. That would probably speed things up exponentially.
    That being said, this is a great effort for such a small group. Hopefully they can improve quickly using some of the money that came in.
    It's great that they want to go after playing licensing, but the thing they need to do is improve gameplay first. Even if you have real teams and players, if the gameplay isn't up to par, then I'm probably going to stay with NCAA 13/14.
    However, I bought the game this year and will probably buy next year's game to support if it looks like they are making progress. Hopefully this game will still be a success. I think one danger they face now is if EA announces a new college football game, I think most of the wind will go out of maximum's sails. So hopefully they can work quickly to keep it relevant after all the work it took to get here.
    The ending kind of ruined the entire review for me..
    That’s not to say the game couldn’t compete with Madden and Axis down the line...

    It is almost laughable to say it is not able to compete with Axis Football this year when absolutely no improvements were made gameplay wise this year for Axis and it has SEVERAL issues.
    To even bring Madden up in this review is just silly.
    Eyeman79
    **** I agree with the review, this is not a bad game but this does not "feel" like a college football game. The customization is great but I have neither the time nor inclination to do 130 teams. Maybe with file sharing this would be a different game but as it stands I too prefer Axis Football.* Trying to create a college football atmosphere with out school names, logos, commentary and stadiums out of the box is a tall order. I do appreciate the effort but not quite there yet.

    I agree with this and hopefully next year we can see some improvement
    Yikes! I have not yet played DFMF, but the statement that Axis FB has better gameplay is truly frightening. I think Axis erred deeply in spending precious assets on adding coaching, practicing and facilities management. Playing Axis is not fun. I hope DFMF declines the call of other posters here wanting to set ticket prices or have full coaching staffs. To me, these things are window dressing I would ignore. If you can’t have fun playing out the games, then FOF will be the better option. I hope gameplay gets a lot of love for next year.
    GlennN
    Yikes! I have not yet played DFMF, but the statement that Axis FB has better gameplay is truly frightening. I think Axis erred deeply in spending precious assets on adding coaching, practicing and facilities management. Playing Axis is not fun. I hope DFMF declines the call of other posters here wanting to set ticket prices or have full coaching staffs. To me, these things are window dressing I would ignore. If you can’t have fun playing out the games, then FOF will be the better option. I hope gameplay gets a lot of love for next year.

    I was one that said if they did add those in a update and get it out the way it would be easier to focus on just gameplay. But they do need those features in dynasty mode or Its really not much of a dynasty.
    Max.Is.Da.Future
    I was one that said if they did add those in a update and get it out the way it would be easier to focus on just gameplay. But they do need those features in dynasty mode or Its really not much of a dynasty.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. I only play franchise mode in any sports game, and I have zero interest in setting prices (ticket, concession, etc), in full coaching staffs and in practices. I don’t think a franchise mode needs any of those. But, we all have different views and desires, so I certainly respect that you would enjoy these features. Ideally, DFMF will improve enough next year to make us all happy!
    GlennN
    We’ll have to agree to disagree. I only play franchise mode in any sports game, and I have zero interest in setting prices (ticket, concession, etc), in full coaching staffs and in practices. I don’t think a franchise mode needs any of those. But, we all have different views and desires, so I certainly respect that you would enjoy these features. Ideally, DFMF will improve enough next year to make us all happy!

    Hope so cuz I would hate to see EA. or 2K taking over everything.
    I actually like the player models. Sure they need more detail but they’re not bad. I like the scale of the players though. Everyone seems to stand upright whereas in Madden, players are always bent at the knees. I just think the models are pretty good on Maximum Football.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    "If DFMF wants to be taken seriously and be legit competition for Madden"
    They don't. You're comparing Amazon to your local bookstore. "I know they're not Amazon but they should be able to deliver to my door within an hour." Your metric is off.
    If you can, compare the previous iteration to this one and then bring everything together holistically.
    davep
    "If DFMF wants to be taken seriously and be legit competition for Madden"
    They don't. You're comparing Amazon to your local bookstore. "I know they're not Amazon but they should be able to deliver to my door within an hour." Your metric is off.
    If you can, compare the previous iteration to this one and then bring everything together holistically.

    To me, being competition doesn’t mean that they have to deliver within an hour. To be competition, you need to be able to deliver to me the next day. Which anyone should be able to do so.
    If I like your product almost as good as the same day delivery guys, I can wait the extra day.
    goillini03
    To me, being competition doesn’t mean that they have to deliver within an hour. To be competition, you need to be able to deliver to me the next day. Which anyone should be able to do so.
    If I like your product almost as good as the same day delivery guys, I can wait the extra day.

    True......
    Max.Is.Da.Future
    True......

    I will add that I have supported via Patreon and Bought the game. I will continue to support the cause because I think it is cool that the team is making a run for it. However, I also can say while people need to be realistic with their expectations, the leap next year need to be a sizable jump.
    goillini03
    I will add that I have supported via Patreon and Bought the game. I will continue to support the cause because I think it is cool that the team is making a run for it. However, I also can say while people need to be realistic with their expectations, the leap next year need to be a sizable jump.

    Also true and the reason for me is I dont want EA or 2K taking over. They are way to greedy. If they could add more features to dynasty through updates on this years game that would give more time to focus on graphics, gameplay, etc.for next year.
    So if EA gets an exclusive contract, if they want to build a game they will be trying to do this, then we will end up with Madden. EA knows even if they put out a subpar game, what will the players do? They either buy the game or not play any new game. This does not make Madden care what players say unless they stop playing, I hope to see this as the new Madden was terrible. I really hope EA, 2k and even a different developer makes a game, this will make EA work to make a better game. We will have to wait, multiple years, don't expect an NCAA game next year or the year after. Maybe 3 years unless they rush it, though EA does have a framework with Madden.
    pitsch911
    So if EA gets an exclusive contract, if they want to build a game they will be trying to do this, then we will end up with Madden. EA knows even if they put out a subpar game, what will the players do? They either buy the game or not play any new game. This does not make Madden care what players say unless they stop playing, I hope to see this as the new Madden was terrible. I really hope EA, 2k and even a different developer makes a game, this will make EA work to make a better game. We will have to wait, multiple years, don't expect an NCAA game next year or the year after. Maybe 3 years unless they rush it, though EA does have a framework with Madden.

    By the way DFMF are working hard on updates and recently hired more employees I think DFMF will be the go to NCAA game. The reason why I think that is because I see that they know its a big opportunity and they are growing and doing decent updates fast. Noticing them moving fast on those areas show they care and want to own that area of gaming and I believe they will. I know I'm not buying another football game from EA or if 2K makes one.

More in Doug Flutie's Maximum Football 2019

To Top