Sunday, March 24, 2002.
by Queasy Buddy

NFL 2K2 Box art This is not your average football simulation, the game it is more of an arcade game. With bone crushing tackles, live injury reports and a great variety of plays. This game is by far the most enjoyable football game out there except for the poor graphics. Madden take the top when it comes to graphics. But other then that this game is exactly what a football game should be like old fashion ball?s out action. This game must be also the most realistic football because they did not exaggerate the tackles they look like the one?s you would see in real life and in my opinion, this makes the game better overall. This game has many different modes to pick from, from practice where you can practice your special moves, deeking and you can practice only you offence or your defence to playoffs where you bring your favourite team to become the super bowl champions. You can also play a whole season and even play your fantasy tournament with all you favourite teams you can have a four-team tournament up to sixteen teams in a tournament. If you just want to play a quick game without all the hustle of picking your team and setting the controllers, you just press on quick start and the computer will pick two teams randomly and start the game immediately. You can also customize the current rosters by trading players from other teams or even trade the players that you created. You can also create you own team. In my opinion, this must be the best foot ball game on Xbox. The game play is as solid as ever.

NFL 2K2 has a very simple control design. It is a quick and easy process to picking plays in the playbook. It is also very easy to throw the ball at the desired player with the tap of one single button. When one of the players throws the ball the player that has to catch the ball has to do it manually. It is hard when you play against the computer because the player that you are controlling to catch the ball is to slow he does not correspond quickly enough when you press the button therefore the other team intercepts the pass easily. However, when you get the hang of it you realize you have to press the catching button as soon as the other player throws the ball. The boost button is easy to use it is the X button which is very convenient. In the menu when you are choosing your plays, it is hard if you use the joystick to pick a play or a mode. Because when you are about to pick it and you let go of the joystick it goes right back to the center of the menu therefore you must hold the joystick to pick a play. However, it is so sensitive that when you press it a bite to the side it scrolls threw the plays very quick and then you pick a different play by accident. But you can also use the d-pad to pick a play. With the d-pad the cursor stays on the play you want to pick and it does not pop right back to the center of the menu and it doesn?t scroll threw you play book so you pick the play you want. But other than that the in game play is pretty good the deeks and the special moves are easy to do and the joystick is really touchy but it really helps when you try to circle the defence. The d-pad is also very useful if you try to run in a strait line along the foul line. When you start the game with a kick off or when the other team scores a touchdown you have to start the play with a kick off and it is easy to aim at where you want to kick and how hard you want to kick it. The playbooks have been expanded as well. Every team has a standard stable of plays, and these are broken down into formations, which are further split into different pages. The formation/page scheme isn't very intuitive at first, which was pretty frustrating. But once you discover how to navigate it, you'll notice a ton of extra plays.

The facial expressions and the clothing on the players are well defined, compared to the rest of the visual aspects in the game. Their Jersey?s and the rest of there equipment is well done. The shadowing is very accurate and the reflection bouncing of their helmets is all right but the helmet itself looks a bite choppy it?s kind of square and it has a low texture. The crowd is very poorly done you can barely see any details on them because they are so blurry and they do the same movement all the time it gets repetitive. The referees have a lot of room for improvement. They do not even have facial expression you cannot even see their nose but their clothes are well defined. The slow motion replays must be the most exciting part of this game. By slowing the replays down you do not miss any of the heart pumping action. You can really see all the little details on the players in the replays. The fields and stadiums look nice as well. You would not expect a game like 2K2 to have such nice textures, but the playing field is beautifully rendered. The grass actually looks like grass, and the turf like turf. The arenas are fairly true to their real-life form as well. The only thing I wanted to see was more populated sidelines.

Madden has always had a distinctive sound. From the robust, testosterone-filled announcer to the abrasive sounds of men beating each other silly, from the unique sound of a pass being dropped to the thunderous thud of a body-slam, you can always tell when Madden is being played nearby. The aural tradition continues with NFL 2K2 it has a great commentary during game play because it follows every step-by-step play with enthusiasm. The chanting of the crowd really brings more excitement and intensity during game play. While the players are in the huddle you can here the quarter back yelling some plays that brings a bite more realism to this game. When they line up you can here the players yelling intimidating words is cool. In the menu there is some cool music that is mellow like that makes the game have a different feel sometime so it?s not all ways intense and loud. But during half time there is some more loud and intense music to get you pumped for the last half. All of the effects employed help to set the emotional tone for the game, and work quite well as they are intended. When you hear that plink sound as your game-winning field goal caroms off the upright, you may want to throw your Xbox across the room. It's like the game is taunting you, and that's a good thing... 2K2 forces you to want to play it again, just to prove something.

Pay more attention to the small details surrounding the field. A better-looking crowd would also be a good idea. I hope on the next SEGA football game they do not try to rush the game out. Overall, NFL 2K2 is a must-own for any football fan.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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