Review by Will Matson



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 9

This is the first game of the Sega Sports/Visual Concepts NFL trilogy. Even though this was the first game of the three in the series, this happened to be the last game that I played so this review is on the basis of how it stacks up to the later games.

The graphics look good in this first game but obviously are not up to snuff with the later editions/versions. The animation isn't as good in this initial entry, there are quite a few frames missing. An example of this is with most tackles, in which the missing frames are blatant. In this game, a lot of times, a tackle takes place and the person who gets hit goes down in the very next frame. I'm not making this up, one frame he is standing as he is hit, the very next frame he is flat on the ground, it does look pretty sloppy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this ruins the game, I am just spoiled from playing the two later games before "tackling" this one.

The sounds aren't much different from previous versions except for some minor points. The sound effects aren't as good as in later games, there is a bit of a lack of crisp, realism. The commentary is very clear, like in the later versions, but the phrases and accuracy are not as sharp.

The gameplay department, as expected, has some subtle differences from later versions. The menu and play select screens utilize the crosspad which is used in NFL2K1 but not 2K2 (which uses the control stick). There is no franchise or online play options, as seen in later editions.

Unlike the later games, the kickoff arrow does not move during kickoffs, punts or field goals. This serves to make field goals much easier than in the later editions.

Another missing feature is the ability to control or move your player after a down/play is completed, which you are able to do in the later games. This means that the more aggressive readers/gamers aren't able to perform a "late hit" on an opposing player. The AI is about the same quality as in the later games, I am surprised Sega Sports/Visual Concepts never really increased the challenge of the game (not that I mind, I am still trying to master the pro and all-pro levels in these 3 games as this review goes to press).

The passing is much tougher in this one than in the later games, although the running game is about the same as the later entries. The gameplay is a little bit slower, overall. The final point worth mentioning is the tackles/hits. The hits look more like wrestling moves or hockey/body checks as opposed to tackles so there is a bit of a lack of realism and an arcade feel here, even though the game itself isn't an "arcade" football game but more of a simulation.

Overall, this is a game that is worth picking up if you don't have any of the other ones in the series, need a sports game or are just trying to complete the Sega Sports NFL trilogy for Dreamcast. My favorite entry, to be honest, is NFL2K1, so for me, if I had 2K1 and wanted another entry, it might be a toss-up between 2K and 2K2 but I would probably go with 2K2 when it was all said and done. While there are a good share of features missing from this game that you will find in later versions (as you have heard several times in this review), this was an impressive game to start off with on the Sega Dreamcast.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 08:42 AM