NFL 2K2 Xbox Review
Will Fairway / Jan 8th, 2002 No Comments
Being a Dreamcast owner, I’m no stranger to the much heralded NFL2K series. In fact, NFL2K was the reason I bought the system – there was nothing like it on the market for any platform. Now, from Sega’s transition from console developer to software developer, we see the latest installment of the series featuring Randy Moss in NFL2K2, for the brand new XBox platform.
Having played the title on the Dreamcast already, I was very surprised to see the massive changes for the XBox system. All new interactive menus and rosters fill the game , giving it a distinctive Xbox feeling. NFL 2K2 features all of the standard gameplay modes, including exhibition, practice, tournament, season, playoffs, and franchise. It carries the full NFL license, which means the game has all the real players, teams, and stadiums from the NFL 2001 season. The game supports 4 simultaneous players, which at no time dragged down the gameplay whatsoever.
NFL 2K2 can really grab gamers with the ability to take control over everything a given player can do, with extreme sensitivity – definitely moreso than Microsoft’s NFL Fever 2002. The physics involved seem to be exactly the same as the other NFL games from Sega, which is a positive. The gameplay is pretty standard as far as button functionality, for example, you can run the ball faster by tapping the A button as fast as you can. One thing new to the XBox version is that as the Quarterback in a passing situation, you no longer need to press the A button to bring up your receivers. This led me to about 10 passes backwards, which are considered fumbles! Anyway, it took a good 2 quarters of an exhibition game to get used to.
The AI of NFL2K2 is pretty good, but nothing extraordinary. The easy setting is just that – easy, but as you progress into Medium and Hard modes, you’ll find the degree of difficulty to be quite challenging for even the NFL2K veteran. The one constant issue with the series is the extremely high degree of passing efficiency out of any of the difficulty modes, and I imagine gamers will continue to be a little dissapointed in this regard. Feel free to expect 24 for 26 days out of your (or opposing human player) quarterback every game. The playcalling is pretty standard as far as system convetions go, and the amount of plays entered into the game should be plenty to satisfy most gamers.
From a graphics standpoint, NFL 2K2 for the Xbox is decent. Honestly, with the ground-breaking graphics for the Dreamcast, I was expecting another “quantum leap” in technology from Sega, but was left to be only marginally satisfied. The game is undoubtedly of MUCH better quality (both in-game and high-render replays) than NFL Fever 2002. On its own merit, NFL2K2 is an impressive game, and the high render replays will astonish people that are new to the XBox experience. You’ll find the main difference between the Xbox and PS2 versions is that the Xbox version doesn’t slow down at all, which does make the game look a bit better in comparison to the PS2 version. . The sounds of NFL2K2 are nearly identical to the series. You’ll find the same play-by-play and the same in-game sound effects you did in the Dreamcast versions. This isn’t a knock against the game, it’s just not ground-breaking.
The Franchise mode is very similar to the Season mode in the game, where you pick your team and go through a full season. At the end of the season, players will have to make big time decisions about their NFL team. Players will retire, contracts will be up forcing players into Free Agency, and college players must be selected in the annual draft. Franchise modes in sports games are a requirement nowadays, and for good reason – you really get a great longevity factor being able to play through (via simulation or by playing it out) multiple seasons. You’ll find NFL2K2’s create-a-player, create-a-team, and other Franchise goodies to be exactly what you need for long-time fun.
Overall, NFL2K2 is a very solid game for the XBox and comes highly recommended over NFL Fever 2002. The in-game play is consistant with the series and the graphics and sound add a nice touch to what is a very fun game to play, especially in multiplayer mode.
tags: nfl , review