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FF2002's button layout is as perfect as it can be. The only exception is that when trying to throw an ally-oop, the button combinations can make it hard to time this perfectly choreographed feat very well. NCAA Final Four 2002 is a solid game and easily the best in the series, if not the best college basketball game period. Playing it definitely gears you up for March Madness.
Accordingly, my advice is to give it a rent and play it, if for no reasons other than the obvious: 1) it's the only PS2 college basketball game currently available (not including last year's disaster), and 2) for comparison purposes when March Madness finally arrives. Now does anyone have any idea what Sega Sports is up to?
As a result, pro basketball games always seem to be of greater quality than college games and 989 Sports has done nothing to change this tradition, but has instead widened the gap. The gameplay could be a lot more realistic and many game elements could be tweaked to alleviate some of the flaws in the game.
Although not quite to where we would like to see it, 989's NCAA Final Four 2002 has moved itself out of mediocrity and into the area of good. There's still quite a few changes we would like to see in 2003. If Killer Game can get them and add online support we may just have the new king of College B-Ball next year. Until then B-Ball fans should give this one a try.
Nevertheless, I still can't give this game a buy recommendation. If you have a really strong desire to buy a college basketball game, you should wait and see how EA Sports' March Madness 2002 turns out before you plunk down the $50 to pick this baby up.
Game Informer Magazine
I wanted to objectively weigh Final Four's positives and negatives. Then my stats screwed me. Without warning, none of the career numbers matched. I should've known better, since this is a 989 game.
In comparison to last year's NCAA Final Four, 2002 is an improvement, as it should be. Unfortunately, the improvement is extremely slight. As far as truly providing the sights, sounds and (most importantly) the feel of college basketball, this game just doesn't get it done. Brick!
If you're looking to stir up some early March Madness in your PS2, wait until EA's offering shows up. It might not be a winner, but at least it might make it to the tourney. NCAA Final Four 2002, on the other hand, was sitting on the bubble when it burst.