Developer: Canuck Play
Publisher: Canuck Play
Genre: Sports Sim
Official Site: MaxFootballGame.com
Release Date: September 27, 2019
Version Tested: Xbox One
Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019 billed itself as a kind of stopgap game for those who absolutely loved the NCAA Football series from back in the day. There are a number of problems that presented themselves when trying to pull that off. Among the issues that are first and foremost for a game like this is that developers have been staying away from college football because they can’t use the team names or the player’s names.
Maximum Football 2019 doesn’t have the licensing that NCAA Football had either. They allowed for the ability to have all the real teams and stadiums and conferences; the players just had to be named by the users. This independent developer was kind of behind the eight-ball in that regard. They needed to start from scratch when it came to what they could offer as far as a college football game.
Because of how hard it is to build this kind of game from the ground up, Canuck Play should get some kudos for the effort they put in. The problem is that this is a project that looks like it really is being built from the ground up. Maximum Football 2019 isn’t quite there yet. There are simply too many things that are left out, or made more complicated than they would be in other games. Even standing on its own and not being compared to some of the bigger games in the sports sim genre, some decisions were left me scratching my head.
Customization is Deep But Still Leaves Something to be Desired in Maximum Football 2019
Canuck Play knew when they put this type of game out; they had to work around the limitations that were already in place. What they did right was put together a kind of framework college football season, complete with bowls and playoffs and recruiting. Without the real schools available, the game went with all fake teams and fake conferences. Then there’s the ability to change the colors and the name and the logo that go with the school of your choice.
If you want to name the school Nebraska and all the players to be modeled after the Cornhuskers, you can absolutely do that. The problem is that Cancuk Play didn’t have the budget to offer up an online database of logos. That means if a player wants to recreate the Huskers’ uniform, they’re going to have to make it all on their own. That’s something that isn’t a strike against the studio. Anyone who buys this game should know going in it doesn’t have the budget NCAA Football.
The misstep in Maximum Football 2019 is that the editor seems to be built more for people who have done this kind of thing before. Instead of picking a color, there is a very detailed modeling screen you have to go through, deciding just how much green, or yellow, or blue or other colors are in the uniform’s design. Even some of the more basic games on the market allow you to choose “dark red” or “red.” This particular customization screen seems to be made by game devs, for game devs.
The same can be said about the logo editor. The user interface seems to be made for people who are experts at making a logo for a digital college football team, rather than someone who is brand new to the task. If it gets easier as it goes along, then it’s a strike against the tool for not making that clear when a novice enters the mode in the first place. Being able to customize the teams and the game is an excellent addition, but it feels like Canuck didn’t go as far as it could have in this offering.
In-Game Mechanics Feel Off
While it is indeed fun to take the field with Nebraska for the first time in decades, the fun doesn’t last all that long once you start playing a game. The first thing you’ll notice once you find yourself on the field is that you better have paid attention to the loading screen that showed the controls for Maximum Football 2019. There isn’t a screen to figure out which button jukes, or pitch the ball, or spin once you’re playing.
That’s only the start of the problems in-game. Those who have been playing football video games for a while likely remember the old Tecmo Bowls and what happened when a player guessed offensive play call. All the players on defense would swarm through the line and give the quarterback or running back zero chance to run the play. There’s something similar that happens quite a bit when calling plays in Maximum Football 2019.
Even with tweaks, the developers have tried to correct by releasing sliders and offering up hints. There are times when the game is entirely unplayable. That’s underlined by the lack of “difficulty” controls that accompany almost any game on the market these days.
Verdict: Canuck Play deserves some credit for putting together a college football game that is playable to some degree. Despite being out for months, and even rereleasing as a physical copy, it feels like a game that should still be in Beta or even an Alpha. There’s a little something to be aggravated by at every step of the way.
- Customization options allow you to try and make your team and name your players in the game.
- Bowls and recruiting are back.
- Gameplay mechanics are broken at times.
- Customization options like renaming conferences aren't included.
- In-game controls aren't intuitive.
Oliver has been a lifelong gamer and a writer for most of his adult life. He came to Nerdstash thrilled to be able to write about what he loves the most again. Whether it’s video games, movies, or television shows, he’s a combination of jock and nerd and the two parts of the whole have figured out how to live peaceably.