The first thing you need to do when reviewing a retro game is to clear your mind of any preconceptions and biases of how these classic games will look, feel, and play. So when I went back to do a review of NFL Quarterback Club ’96, I was doing it with a clear mind and no high or low expectations of the game.

After loading it up on the Saturn and playing about 6-7 games, I sat back on my office chair scratching my head. Did the developers even know about football? QB Club ’96 has so many careless erroneous mistakes that it boggles the mind. For example, it depicts Steve Young throwing right-handed….he’s left-handed you bozos!

On plays designed to maximize the quickness of the halfback, it uses the fullback instead. Offensive lineman are spread too far apart that it creates easy gaps for the defense to run through and the RB is a mere three yards behind the QB that it usually results in a loss of yards even prior to the hand-off.

These glaring oversights aside, QB Club does offer some decent features, including a strong lineup of gameplay modes and the ability to switch QBs between teams. Every NFL team is represented, but player control is jerky and the animations seem to be missing several frames.

The player model is good as are the stadiums but the lack of jersey numbers is unforgiving. I know this was developed in 1996, but football games released earlier than this one had jersey numbers.

Soundwise, the catchy 80’s and 90’s tune was one feature I did like as well as the grunts and groans the players made after a big hit. But the sound guy must have been overzealous with the sound effects because even when the teams are in a huddle, they’re still grunting and groaning away. I wasn’t sure if I was watching a football game or hearing the mating calls of the wildebeest.

Overall, the gameplay is serviceable and I did like the numerous camera angles, but the numerous mistakes and lack of detail make this game a bigger loser than the Cardinals.

PROS
– Decent graphics for its time
– Upbeat techno style music
– Real NFL teams and players

 

CONS
– Lack of attention to detail
– Jerky animations
– Overused sound effects
– Pretty long load times on the Saturn

OVERALL
It’s a decent football game for 1996 but it could have been so much better.

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Average

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