Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019 Review

It’s pretty safe to say that I’ve been one of Maximum Football’s biggest critics over the past three years.

I’ve criticized the series for feeling more like a college project than a game worth any amount of money. I’ve also called a game in the series one of the worst I’ve ever played.

With Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 19, not only am I happy to see the game make a large step forward but it’s become a game that’s pretty enjoyable if you’re a fan of college football.

College Football Returns

The biggest selling point for Maximum Football 19 is the game’s College Football Dynasty mode. For the first time since 2013, fans have an actual college football game to play.

From recruiting to conferences to the playoffs, almost everything you’d want in a college dynasty mode is here. The game even offers you a choice between American or Canadian college football with every team and player being fully customizable.

Be warned, however, that due to legal reasons, sharing and downloading custom teams and players isn’t available within the game. If you want to have every real school in the NCAA, you are going to have to make them yourself.

Doug Flutie's Maximum Football 2019 Recruiting
Recruiting is one of the deepest aspects of Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football 2019

Each recruit you try and bring aboard has hidden attributes that can be dug up by doing your due diligence on a player. Some players will even tell you that they don’t want to play for you because your reputation is utter garbage. It’s all part of the college recruiting experience!

The one gripe I have with Dynasty Mode is that there’s no coaching carousel like there are in other football titles. Though, that’s an issue that I don’t put too much weight into solely due to how much is still here in a mode in its first year.

If the College Football Dynasty Mode isn’t your thing, you still have standard seasons to play. Both American and Canadian professional seasons are available, though they remain largely unchanged from last year’s game.

Hit or Miss

Of all of the aspects within Maximum Football 2019, none has proven to cause more arguments than its gameplay.

There are incredibly deep playbooks that will have you calling a variety of plays each game.

For some, the gameplay is the most boring football action they’ve ever seen; others see it as a great effort for a small studio. I happen to fall closer to the latter than the former, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see on-field issues.

Let’s start with the good.

There are a number of little things that happen on the field that make the action appear much more realistic. Players now shed blocks at the line. It was a gripe I had in both of the first two games, and that was addressed this year. On top of that, you will see receivers catch the ball in stride much more often than not while runners will — for the most part — attempt to work their way through holes as opposed to just running straight into tacklers.

There are also incredibly deep playbooks that, while not specific to any team, will have you calling a variety of plays each game.

But with the good comes the bad.

The tackling remains far too floppy and quarterbacks still don’t release the ball in a way that you would classify as anything close to realistic. Running the ball also feels a bit too slow as though everyone just overate on turkey and mashed potatoes before taking the field.

Still A Way To Go

I’m not going to let the fact that this game was created by a team of three developers sway my opinion one way or another. What I will do, however, is give credit where credit’s due. For everything that made it into the game in a single year, it’s pretty damn impressive to see. Just look at everything in the Dynasty Mode that’s at your fingertips. It’s hard to see that and not give kudos.

That said there’s plenty of issues in Maximum Football 2019 that leave me just wanting more.

First off, let’s talk about the game’s load times. Boy, are these atrocious. Everything from changing menus to going through a game takes far too long. It may be something that doesn’t get addressed until the next installment of the series, but, if possible, the load times are at the top of the list for a mid-year content update.

The game’s visuals also leave a lot to be desired. They’re a step up from the past two installments, but they still look too late PS1-early PS2 era for my liking, even with the new player models. Speaking of new, the game’s animations get repetitive really quick. Everything from pregame to presnap just feels old and stale by the third or fourth game you play.

Verdict

For the first time in the series’ short history, I truly believe that Maximum Football is on the right track.

The College Football Dynasty Mode is one of the deepest modes I’ve ever seen in an indie sports game, especially one with as small a staff as Maximum Football. The gameplay, while still needing work, has improved when it comes to how the small things play out on-field. Unfortunately, there are still too many sore spots for this game to be an option for the casual football gamer.

There’s so much potential sitting there with the series, it just needs some heavy pressure to become the diamond it hopes to become. Hopefully, with the hype the game has generated, it can get the investments needed to make a bigger step forward in 2020.


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  • 5/10
    Gameplay - 5/10
  • 7/10
    Game Modes - 7/10
  • 5/10
    Presentation - 5/10
  • 6/10
    Longevity - 6/10
Overall
5.75/10

Summary

There’s so much potential sitting there with the series, it just needs some heavy pressure to become the diamond it hopes to become. Hopefully, with the hype the game has generated, it can get the investments needed to make a bigger step forward in 2020.