Average and unremarkable sports sim
American football fans are not exactly starved of fine sims with which to spend their computer-based sporting time, with the John Madden series being perhaps the most well known and accessible of franchises. Unfortunately however, while Mike Ditka make have been a pretty good coach in the real world, this little known 1990s effort which he lent his name to does his reputation more harm than good (well, it would if anyone really knew about it). The game takes a pretty conventional approach to the sport, with 28 pro teams included in the lineup and with a variety of pre-existing plays to be utilised, which can also be customised to suit your own needs. Other expected features like different passing methods and instant replay are also included, while the game can even be played in traditional real-time or 'stop-action', allowing players more time to think about their actions and decisions. There is a good range of options on display here, and you can take part in single games, practice drills, season play and playoffs, and which all add to the replay value. The game is heavily arcade-oriented with a greater emphasis on action over stats, which is a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective. Visually, the game is pretty standard, with some fluid animations, nice chunky sprites but little to make it really stand out. in terms of challenge, this is pretty low, with even new players able to win without too much effort and which also contributes to its lack of any overt appeal. Really, Ultimate Football is little more than an average American football game, and in a crowded marketplace this isn't enough to recommend it to anyone but the most die-hard sports fan.