Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 03/03/03 | Updated: 03/03/03

You CAN coach that...

Sports games really aren’t something that I take the time to sit down and play simply because there isn’t much to them that differs from anything else that I’ve played before. In this case, the same is true in terms of the way that the game plays and the way that the game features are laid out, but the way that it looks and sounds is something that I haven’t experienced before. Having found this game as a recommendation from a friend, I decided that trying to experience the world of football in a virtual sense was probably better on my body than actually going out and tackling the nearest fool with a ball under his arm.

The Coin Toss…

NFL 2K2 is one of the better football games that I’ve played on a video game system in a long time, simply because there are a ton of options that you can go through and learn to use. Different aspects of the game such as playing through the season mode as well as trading different players and even the versus option are all a blast to play. Something that I haven’t encountered before is the ability to edit your team and players into whatever it is that you want with a highly detailed edit mode. All of these features as well as a decently skilled computer opponent makes up for a rather interesting abet fun game to play.

Once you’ve gotten into the mainstay of the game, you’ll find that depending on what team you pick, you will have a myriad of plays at your disposal and playbooks that match essentially what the teams would have on the field. Everything from running plays to passing pays are well detailed and can be reversed in order to throw off your opponent after the snap. Penalties are called fairly and depending on much punishment you want to put yourself through, you might find that upping the amount of penalties that can be called is well worth honing your skills. As with most football games, you can travel through a season, which allows you to either play as you wish, or simulate the games based on your team rating.

The edit mode is where some gamers might spend their time in which you can create your own team using different objects that allow you to create everything from play size to the types of jerseys that they represent on the field. From there, you can customize your playbooks and you will be able to use your team as you would a normal NFL team. If that isn’t your style, then you can select from all of the available teams on the 2002 NFL roster. For those of you who want to keep the rosters current, the trading feature is easy enough to use, though the salary capping can be a pain to really get around which might keep you from creating a nearly unstoppable dream team.

Control isn’t a problem here either and is laid out pretty easily for beginners and veterans alike. All of the plays on the snap are selected through the menus before each drive and you’ll be able to select either running or passing plays depending on your mood. The passing plays are easier to complete than the running plays, but you’ll find that tapping a corresponding button will allow you to complete the pass or the hand off in good fashion. Controlling your defense isn’t much of a hassle either and learning how to move the player you’ve selected while using either the juke or jump buttons is important in order to keep scoring touchdowns. The only problem that I had with the control is that the use of the analog stick was a little quirky with the handling of the ball and the camera angles reverse your movements without pause.

In The Zone…

NFL 2K2 brings to life the look and feel of actually being in the middle of a full scale football game without giving up too much to blocky figures and lose of detail in the players and plays. You might find that the game has problems with the camera angles during certain events such as the kickoff and punt returns, but nothing you can’t adjust to. Some of the cooler features in the visual department is that of the instant replays, which give you a different view on several different angles of how a big play came off from the snap with explanation of why it was so good. I haven’t experienced visuals in a football game like this yet, so it was an eye-opener for me to watch when a forty-yard passing play was caught and run into the end zone.

You Can’t Coach That…

Another impressive feature is the fact that you have plenty of ambient sound that happens throughout the game, complete with background noise of the crowd and even the music that they play in between plays. While there is no music in the game, there is plenty of commentary that is heard before, during and after every play, so at least there is something for you to listen to. A minor complaint that I had is that while the commentary is good and keeps the feel of the game right there in your living room, the comments had a tendency to repeat every so often and really take the realism out of the game. Although this is a minor gripe, those of you looking for a new feeling every time won’t find one with repeating commentators.

Are You Ready For Some Foot Ball?

NFL 2K2 is one of the better football games that I’ve played to date on the Play Station 2 and though I haven’t had the opportunity to play through the Madden series in years, I wonder if there is something that I’m missing. With plenty of plays and a variable difficulty level as well as several different modes to keep you playing, this is one title that you can’t simply experience in a weekend rental. Something that I’ve noticed though is that if you wait until the next game comes out, the price on titles such as this drop dramatically, which allows for an easy pick up instead of a rental. If you like football games, then you might want to check this out if you already haven’t.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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