NFL 2K3 Reviewed On PS2 @
NFL 2K3 Reviewed On PS2

Think American Sports games, think EA Sports, think again. Sega's latest installation of their NFL 2K series has just hit the streets and it's put a big 17 ½ stone dump-tackle in on EA's Madden franchise!

Strange phenomenon this; in this country, sports such as Ice Hockey, Basketball and American Football enjoy relatively few supporters of the real thing, yet games of these sports are and always have been very popular. As a contrast, the second and third most popular team sports in this country, Cricket and Rugby, both only have one current title available each.

You can see why though, with games like this, it is a complete knockout!

Even for someone like me who isn't a big fan of American football, it's seriously addictive! Graphically it's far and away superior to any other sports sim I've encountered, and this coupled with the sound and commentary puts it head and shoulders above all other sports sims as far as the "as on TV" stakes are concerned.

Much of this is down to Sega teaming up with ESPN and the result is a smooth completely seamless presentation. The games biggest strength, it's "as live" broadcast feel, is a result of the in game commentary being varied enough not to become boring when you play the game for a long time, which happens so often in other sports sims. I really liked the replays, in that they're detailed and above all, of some value and relevance. I get so sick of some games (mainly (proper) football titles) that show highlights that no-one wants to see, like when a shot trickles past the post; it fits the computers criterior of an exciting moment, but in reality is as dull as dishwater.

NFL 2K3 Reviewed On PS2 @
NFL 2K3 Reviewed On PS2 @

NFL 2K3 really has an intelligent feel, from the selection of it's highlights right through to the AI of the players. The result is a truly polished feel that games so often lack these days. It is obvious that

putting this title together was no rushed job, this really has a feel of every detail of the presentation being tweaked until it is just right. The result is most pleasing indeed.

The modes of play are pretty much as you'd expect, these include single game, season, tournament and, practice game. However, NFL 2K3 includes additional modes that allow you to play situations, or scenarios involving different teams, not a new concept ( think of the original ISS titles), but

nice to see none the less. There are some additional, nice touches include player editing and coaching tools.

The game play is also highly enjoyable, if a little chaotic at times. A slight criticism is that sometimes (especially in defence, where the feeling of helplessness and mild frustration are commonplace) you achieve the tackle or complete the pass more by good luck than good management and that a pass that worked perfectly previously, is wildly off target. This could however,

be down to my lack of knowledge of "futbawwl" or my general cack-handedness.

The learning curve could do with being a little less steep, (I've been playing the game for a week and I'm still struggling to beat the best teams on Rookie level), but again this might be down to a lack of familiarity with which is the best play for which situation. There is a very extensive

playbook, possibly a little too extensive for the uninitiated. But fans of the sport and experienced maddeners will love it.

NFL 2K3 also includes a player-manager style franchise mode where you can become the owner of your team. This allows you to manage your team by signing free-agents, making trades, setting salaries, and even have your scout scour the land for the very best emerging talent. This somewhat

leaves me cold (as I said, I'm not a huge fan of the game, I don't even know my Jerry Rice from my Randy Moss.

Overall, a cracking game but it just loses a bit in the translation.

9.0 out of 10