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Sega keeps the ball firmly in its court, and NBA 2K2 stakes its claim as the best basketball game on the Xbox.
Out of 2002’s assortment of basketball games, NBA 2K2 is the only title that stands out as something extraordinary. Along with the incredibly accurate play mechanics and top-rate Franchise mode, the Xbox version is equipped with improved graphics and smoother player movement.
Microsoft really has their work cut out for them. Sega and Visual Concepts have marked their territory in the Xbox basketball department, and it looks like they won't be beaten for some time to come.
Whew. Now that I got that out of my system, back to the praise. I love Franchise mode. Your players' attributes change depending on performance. This is the only game where the AI schools me if I'm not careful. It feels more like real basketball in a way I can't explain. While it's a little late in coming, this is the superior version of the superior series.
The main thing that propels NBA 2K2 above all other basketball games is the gameplay. No other title has ever come closer to capturing the ebb and flow of NBA basketball so perfectly. Everything from battling for position in the paint to dropping three pointers just feels right. The crossovers and spin moves are balanced well, as they can be used to get around weak defenders, but can lead to turnovers when used to get around the NBA's better stoppers.
No matter how you like your hoops games, NBA 2K2 is the best basketball game available for the Xbox. Thanks to the street-ball mode, it's like there are two games in one--the graphics are on par with most any basketball game on the market, and the gameplay is tight and intuitive. There are still a few issues for Visual Concepts to iron out for next year, but when it does, the NBA 2K series will be hard to top.
I enjoy NBA 2K2 mainly because it won my heart a few years ago as the NBA sim of choice and this latest version on Xbox is the best VC hoop game out there. The established animation-physics system and tough-as-nails AI have kept millions of gamers locked to their TVs for hours at a time always playing “just one more” and I’m one of them. On the Xbox, the game looks better than ever and plays the same as I remember from Dreamcast.
All in all, Visual Concepts didn't really push the bar too much as they've done in previous versions. Sega Sports NBA 2K2 is still an enjoyable game to play, although it seems if Visual Concepts had a few more months, it could have been that much better.