What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is not a traditional football simulation game. This is a game of 7-on-7 pick-up football, played by NFL pros wearing no helmets or pads. It emphasizes the brutality of football and shows some tackles that are extreme, especially because they are shown without players wearing pads. The gameplay is about speed, action, and scoring, and it does little to reflect football's complexity.
What's it about?
Add NFL TOUR to the long line of "casual" football games that already includes NFL Blitz and the NFL Street series. NFL Tour is sort of NFL Street reborn, but EA hasn't changed or improved the gameplay enough, resulting in a mediocre experience at best.
Is it any good?
The game boils football down to a more manageable 7-on-7 (in Madden, for example, it's 11-on-11). It also throws out much of that pesky playbook and gets rid of the kickoff (instead the QB tosses the ball down the field). The game takes the most famous from every team, removes their helmets and pads, and lets them go at it, including some tackles that are over-the-top. With its simplified controls, you should be able to play fairly well from the start -- the trouble sets in after you've played awhile and realize that the gameplay is shallow and unbalanced. In Tour mode, you create your own player and pit him (along with your favorite team) against the rest of the NFL on fields that include walls (players can run up the sides to avoid hits). There's also exhibition mode and two minigames. All are fun, but they won't occupy you for very long.
NFL Tour fails where the cleats hit the fields. The game might be worth a play or two, especially with casual players, but anyone who spends some time playing will notice the huge advantage the offense has, the ineffectualness of the defense and defensive stars, and realize that the game needs significant tuning up for next season.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why players wear pads and helmets in the real football games. Why are certain kinds of hits illegal? Do you favor playing this over-the-top pick-up game or a game that is more like real football?