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Overall, NFL Fever’s commentary does a good job of calling the shots and picking up on who does what, but the dialog is a bit too much “cut and paste” for my taste, for next years version I recommend they make it more fluid. Though, the commentary quirk is a minor setback in an otherwise perfect game of football.
Visually, NFL Fever 2002 is spectacular. You can literally count each individual strand of grass on the field, there’s that much detail. The player animations are some of the best I’ve seen in a football game. Combine that with a strong physics engine and you get one of the most realistic tackling systems to date. Players are distinguishable by their body type and when the camera zooms in, you can actually see their eyes follow the ball. The level of quality is matched in the stadiums as well. Weather and lighting effects are very effective and fully animated 3D coaches, players, cameramen and cheerleaders reside on the sidelines.
If you can get past the few flaws I mention above, you will find a really fun football game. Once I figured out the secret to passing, I would try to not call plays that exploited the AI because that was not much fun for me. The graphics are a great example of what the Xbox is capable of at this point in its life, which means we have a lot to look forward to in the coming years. If Microsoft addresses the few problems I've mentioned in next year’s version, NFL Fever may take home the super bowl ring.
Whether you're passing or running, it all looks good. NFL Fever 2002 features a solid framerate, nice player models and a good number of little graphical touches, like moving mouths and eyeballs. Though occasionally the transition animations are a bit jerky, NFL Fever does a great job handling the complex series of character animations that can go into a big play. Players flop over one another appropriately. Tack on rendered coaches and accurate stadiums and you have a pretty picture.
I think Xbox owners should buy this one on launch day and feel good that they got a game solid enough to stand on its own two feet. You don't have to look forward to next year, but if you do, this franchise is only going to get better.
While NFL Fever 2002 offers some interesting new twists on the game of football and balances itself between arcade and simulation play, its overall content doesn’t quite match up to the expectations of today’s gamers. The AI is weak against passing plays and while the normal modes are here, tournament play or optional two-minute drill modes are nowhere to be found. Despite these problems, NFL Fever 2002 is a resoundingly solid game that will hold much more appeal for novices than the infinitely more arcane Madden 2002. The inclusion of a neat Fantasy League, complete with fifteen outlandish teams that are deceptively hard to beat, adds a bit of spice to the package and ensures that the game receives enough mileage to be worth your dollar. If you’ve honed your skills on Madden’s series, you’ll most likely be disappointed here, but if you like your football a little less intense, NFL Fever 2002 will make an ideal alternative.
Purists will probably shy away from NFL Fever 2002 in favor of games they know, love, and have been playing on other systems. However, Fever is a lot of fun to play and offers considerable depth for a game that is considered less realistic than others that it's fighting side-by-side on the shelf against. Casual football fans, sim fans looking for a change up, and those that have more fun playing with a case of beer and a handful of friends will definitely want to give NFL Fever 2002 a look. As a realism fan myself, I've had nothing but fun playing NFL Fever for the last three weeks and will continue to do so.
I don’t usually like starting off on a negative note in what will ultimately be a positive review, but the commentary in Fever is some of the worst I’ve ever heard. It’s so choppy and generic I eventually just turned it off completely. Aside from that, this is a decent football game with some interesting features.
After hours and hours of playing NFL Fever 2002, I am still hooked, and I refuse to put the controller down. It's hard to compare it to Sega's NFL 2k2 and EA's Madden 2002, for the fact they're all excellent football games, and each offers something that the others don't. So don't settle yourself short, get all three if you can. You'll be happy you did.
But Fever is fun for a wide open, high scoring game of football against the computer or a friend and that is definitely worth something. Just don't expect to be rewarded for a consistent effective ground game or sound offensive or defensive strategy. With Fever you just fire up your Xbox and let 'er rip.
In the end, NFL Fever 2002 is a solid game of football. The casual football fan who wants a great-looking and solid-playing football game may not notice some of the AI quirks and high passing percentages in NFL Fever 2002. But longtime fans of the Madden and NFL 2K2 series are sure to. Many of the features in NFL Fever 2002, like being able to save in the middle of a game, are unique to NFL Fever 2002 as is the style of play. So if you're going to buy only one football game for the Xbox and aren't sure what style of play you'd enjoy more, you may want to rent Madden and Fever to see which suits you better before making a purchase.
I really enjoyed playing NFL Fever 2002. It's a likeable title that takes you back to the days when football games were actually fun (but I'm sure you're too young to remember that).
I can see this being a fun two player game or if you like high scoring battles, you might really like this game, but if you like the strategy and play calling aspects of NFL2K2 or Madden2002, you should probably just go with a rental.