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NFL 2K3 continues to make a strong run for the video game football title. NFL 2K3 continues to make a strong run for the video game football title. With smart A.I., great controls, and a take-no-prisoners approach to football, it should earn All-Pro status again.
The game has everything you've ever wanted from a pigskin sim, and perhaps more. The online mode is not time limited, so servers will not be shut down when NFL 2K4 hits shelves next summer. The commentary annihilates whatever Madden 2003 does, the controls are just spot on and present the ideal feel for the entire game. As a whole package, NFL 2K3 can't really get too much better. Perhaps, somewhere there is some room for improvement, but apparently, that space is too thin to slip a knife though.
Sega's NFL 2K3 for the PlayStation 2 features a number of improvements on last year's game. The ESPN license has now been integrated into the series, providing the game with a TV-style presentation. The graphics have been significantly improved to the point that a large portion of the players can be recognized by their faces as opposed to the numbers on the back of their jerseys. Online play is already up and ready for the August 27 release of the PlayStation 2 network adapter, and, most importantly, the gameplay has been honed to near perfection.
I've always been a madden fanatic. It has the best graphics, gameplay, and authenticity of any football game on any system. At least until nfl 2k3 was released. The player models are on par with their real-life counterparts with facial features and bodysize almost all of the time (some players appear to have shoulders the size of watermelons). Most readers are looking for a comparision (I have to give the edge to madden because I'm an gameplay fanatic that can't stnd players turning on a dime, the open field speed seems way to slow as well). That withstanding, if you don't mind semi-artificial moves, NFL 2k3 is the way to go. It has incredible tackle animations, announcing to rival most televised games, and a smartly used ESPN lisense.
When Sega announced that they were going to go multi-platform last year, football players were skeptical how their splendid football game would do on the PlayStation 2. Even with a shortened development cycle, Visual Concepts did a great job with NFL 2K2, even though it had a few minor problems. This time they had a full development cycle and the addition of ESPN style presentation added to the mix; which they worked in wonderfully to give PlayStation 2 owners another wonderful football game to play on Sony's Black Box.
And then it was a two-horse race. Let's face it. Ever since SEGA's NFL2K series came on to the scene, it's been slowly climbing toward the summit of simulation style videogame fooball, ever striving to overtake EA's Madden. You can't have a conversation about one game without the other coming up. While some have contended that the 2K series has already surpassed Madden, that assessment was premature. The engine was previously too unforgiving, too arcadey, and at times, too cheap.
Even though other parts are good, the running in the 2K series has always looked awkward and robotic to me. A lot of the moves (including tackles) were stiff and unrealistic, too (you can see where I'm going with this). This year, however, it looks fantastic; the boys have traded in their Frankenstein ways for smoother animation. It seems like a small detail, but everything counts when you're battling Madden for the top spot. As for gameplay, I have no complaints. Taking control of your players goes off without a hitch. Perfecting your pick-off jump while striding tight with a receiver is great fun. On the whole, I still prefer Madden, but 2K3 is a close second.
After watching the dismal opening game of the regular season last night between the Niners and the Giants, I felt far from satisfied. Both offenses fell apart regularly, and even though my Niners won, the game was about as enjoyable as a root canal. So, unsatisfied with the lousy performance of real football, I ran upstairs and popped Sega Sports' new NFL 2K3 into my PS2 and gave the Giants the ass-kicking they deserved.
With the addition of the ESPN license, and a few innovative features, VC has created their deepest pigskin game yet. The gameplay is still fun, albeit different, and the franchise mode is simply awesome. Oh, dont forget about national rankings and the icing on the cake, online play.
Madden oder NFL 2K3? Auf den ersten Blick scheint das Duell sehr knapp auszugehen. Der Franchise-Modus in Segas Football-Titel ist schlichtweg phänomenal und dürfte bei Hardcore-Fans für nicht enden wollende Freude sorgen. Auch die Grafik und Präsentation bewegen sich auf einem Niveau mit der großen Konkurrenz und kommen dabei sogar ohne Flimmern aus. Doch was Spielmodi und Spielzugauswahl betrifft, hat EA eindeutig die Nase vorn. Und auf den zweiten Blick fallen einem Probleme mit Physik und KI auf, die das Spiel zwar weitestgehend nur unwesentlich beeinflussen, aber dennoch den Unterschied zu Madden deutlich machen. Multiplayer-Duelle machen ebenfalls nicht ganz so viel Laune wie bei der Konkurrenz. Abhilfe hätte hier der Online-Modus schaffen können, der leider nicht den Sprung in die PAL-Version geschafft hat.
Difficile de choisir en entre Madden 2003 et ce NFL 2K3. Excellent gameplay, maniabilité parfaite, tactique élaborée et grande réalisation sont au rendez-vous. Mais le mode Franchise très développé pourrait bien en aider certains à décider. Sega frappe très fort et parvient à ébranler la suprématie d'EA qui trimballe son John Madden depuis plus de 10 ans.
It's difficult to review an NFL game without mentioning EA's Madden, and it probably still just about has the edge on playability and accessibility, but if you're looking for depth and detail then NFL2K3 might just be the game for you.
Sega's recent partnership with ESPN brings a familiar presentation style to NFL 2K3. Games look like broadcasts and include post-game highlights, replays that display significant player actions, and intelligent commentary. Player models and motion are extraordinarily detailed, thanks to the use of techniques such as two-person motion capture of a defensive back covering a wide receiver. On the PS2, enhancements to blocking actions and physics make the running game more realistic than last year's version. Defensive AI could use some improvement, but overall this is a solid offering that is easy to learn.
The Video Game Critic
Overall, NFL 2K3 is still a good game, but Madden is clearly better in terms of control and overall gameplay.