Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6.5

The Sega Sports franchise came out of nowhere and blinsided EA Sports with an incredible first year effort on the Dreamcast. The series continued and flourished, pretty much funding Sega for the short shelf life of the consolet. With Sega out of the hardware business, their games are going multi-platform which is great for gamers who have never owned a Dreamcast, but the competition is much greater, especially on the Xbox.

For those wondering if this game is better than Madden or Fever, it's not. This definitely doesn't mean it's a missed opportunity, but the other games are just so strong that Sega really didn't stand a chance with an upgraded port. The gameplay has a few new additions including an updated running game and for some odd reason, a downgraded passing game. Catching a pass seems completely random with even the NFL's best receivers dropping nearly every pass. Lowering the difficulty level increases caught passes, but this makes the game too easy for all but the younger crowd.

Playing around with the menu system reveals the usual franchise and season modes, player creation system, practice, and playoffs. Nothing earth-shattering, but it helps make the game a contender. The lack of online play will turn off those accustomed to the DC version, but the multi-player mode can alleviate some of the problem.

The graphics feature the majority of the animation we've been seeing in the DC editions for the past few years, but a few new tackles add some new life to the game. The graphics are a mixed bag, with some decent (though way too skinny at times) player models and real player faces under the helmets. This technique has been tried before and rarely works. This is probably the best I've ever seen, but some players look laughable behind their helmets. Even some of the star players look nothing like their real life counterparts. The rest of the game is solid with the usual flat crowds and animated sidelines.

Sega gets loads of credit for the outstanding job on the play-by-play. Dan Stevens and Peter O'Keith have more lines than any other sports game before it and sometimes their downright hilarious. They even talk over the replays and use a telestrator to show players what happened on the previous play. The crowd will chant players names and roar in approval when the road team screw up resulting in their hometown boys putting six on the board.

While the improved running game is a welcome sight, the passing game is downright ridiculous. Way too much luck is involved and this makes the game more of a exercise in frustration. This is really the only thing holding this game back from greatness. With one more year, Sega could easily have the ultimate football game, unless of course, Microsoft tackles them with and even better version of NFL Fever. 2K2 isn't a bad game, and any other year it could've been a contender, but EA and Microsoft pulled out all of the stops this year. It's sad to see that Sega didn't.


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Last updated: Sunday, April 22, 2007 08:39 PM