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Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega Sports
Media: GD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Sports

Graphics & Sound:

By far the most realistic football game ever created, NFL 2K2 again gives you jaw-dropping graphics and perfect ear-piercing sounds. I cannot believe how fluid player animations are, as well as how smooth the textures on everything are. You will definitely feel like you're a part of the game. In fact, to draw you in further, bone-crushing hits will make you cringe in pain. The announcers in NFL 2K2 are easily the best ever in a football video game. As stated on the back of the box, there are more lines of commentary in NFL 2K2 than any other football game, ever. If that's not enough, you can even here players on the field taunting to each other... even singling out certain stars and using their names!


Feature after feature, tweak after tweak, and play after play, NFL 2K2 outdoes the rest. I never thought I'd see the day, but NFL 2K2 may even outdo long-time number one Madden. (Did I just say that?) That's what my brother-in-law said, and I have to agree. This year's Sega Sports incantation includes tons of game modes: Practice, Exhibition, Tourney, Season, Playoffs, Franchise, Fantasy, Quick Start (random teams), and the Tutorial for learning all about NFL 2K2.

Whether you want to play a single season or build up your franchise, NFL 2K2 will deliver non-stop action at a fast pace. If you've never felt the pressure of a 350-pound lineman in your face, you will now! Blitzing defenses will create almost no run opportunity (maybe almost too hard to run), while leaving the field wide open for the big pass play. It's so real, you won't be able to wait to take the field!

Also included in NFL 2K2's features is the Fantasy Draft. If you love your franchise team but hate the players they're stuck with, just start over and join the other 31 teams in a full draft. This is a great way to start a new Franchise, but also makes for a cool party game to have a Fantasy Draft Tournament. When you really, really hate your players, bust on over to the create-a-player and make your own. Don't like any of the teams? Create your own. You can even create your own plays from scratch! The play editor does feel somewhat clunky, but you really do have nearly unlimited options when you modify plays.

Oh, yeah. I bet you're wondering about network play. Well, it's here. Unfortunately, at least with my experiences, it's not worth playing. Multiple times I tried to play, but you'll have better luck chatting with people in the game lobbies than getting them to play! I know this has nothing to do with NFL 2K2's gameplay, but it does let you know what you may have to deal with. When I finally did attempt to play some games, the connection was horrible every time and we had to quit the game. Lag time was terrible, which makes for some very sluggish online gameplay. I would suggest that you definitely give it a try, but don't get your hopes up.


NFL 2K2 offers three difficulty levels: Rookie, Pro, and All-Star. I really didn't notice a huge difference, but the computer does perform a little better on both sides of the ball as you choose to play harder. Along with these obvious settings, you can tweak many factors in the game, including the speed of the game. The biggest difficulty in this, as in any sports game, is learning how to read your opponent. NFL 2K2's computer defenders do an awesome job of reading the quarterback, and on offense, you will need to learn how to see the whole field, or risk a very bad passing percentage.

Of course, playing a human opponent is usually a complete change of pace for sports games, but NFL 2K2 offers the best AI (artificial intelligence) I've ever seen. What does this mean for you? It means a more realistic simulation whether playing the computer or playing your bud. And, when you're playing your bud that just can't seem to keep his prying eyes off of your play calling, you have two options. The first is the bluff mode, in which you can select your play and keep cycling your playbook so that he/she has no clue what you chose. If that's not enough, NFL 2K2 makes wonderful use of those expensive little memory cards and allows you to do your play calling directly from your VMU screen!

Game Mechanics:

Sega set up the controller scheme absolutely perfect for NFL 2K2. Yes, you can change it if you want to, but why fix what ain't broken? Menus are set up very well, but you won't be able to access some Modes of play in the game without erasing your VMU (because you will need up to 180 blocks free). For example, if you have a Franchise going, and you want to play a quick Tournament with your buds... use a different memory card! If you don't, the game will overwrite your save with the new Tourney settings and you can say goodbye to your hard-fought Franchise.

The rest of the game is complete perfection. The only thing I would ask of Sega to include in their next version would be the ability to transfer Season data via the Internet to other Dreamcast owners. This way users would be able to play in the same season while living anywhere in the country/world. Then, when the time comes to play each other, both players can hook up on SegaNet and duke it out to find out who's the top dog on the gridiron.

NFL 2K2 is most definitely worth your fifty bucks, and any football fan should pick this one up right away. It is unfortunate that this will (probably) be that last of the series on the Dreamcast, but at least the franchise will live on through other systems. In short, NFL 2K2 is a must have.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Sega Dreamcast Death Crimson OX Sega Dreamcast Tomb Raider Chronicles

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