Review by tuvok47

"I want to know! Who the heck is Brittany Spoons?"

I want to know! Who the heck is Brittany Spoons?

Visual Concepts is now known as the benchmark developer for fun-playing football. The huge and never-ending debate between Madden and 2KX will not end (until one goes bankrupt or pulls a Quarterback Club in the eyes of the public) and always comes down to a matter of taste. NCAA 2K2 is the first spin-off of the popular NFL2K series and is a Dreamcast exclusive. Next year, the sequel will come to the three ‘big’ systems: GameCube, X-Box and Playstation 2. But, how does the walk-on effort fare for Sega’s underrated swirl?

Graphics – 9/10

Amazing. The details on the actual players are well done, with individual detail on the faces, wrinkles in the uniforms and even small and nifty additions like wraparound animations and some unusual celebrations. The animation is smooth and the game almost always runs at sixty frames per second. The stadiums look great and are varied well. The sidelines are animated, but are very pixilated. Some stadiums have cities in the background with polygon-rendered buildings. The crowd is about the same as NFL2K two years previous.

Play-by-Play – 9/10

It took four years before EA had the sense to put a commentary team into its college football games. Although I haven’t played any of those games (I preferred Game Breaker for my Playstation college ball), I have heard the new 3-man team is adequate. But, Visual Concepts knows commentary (overlooking WSB2K2) and created a new team of Victor Shaw and Ted Mingo for this game. With new jokes and new phrases, they are somewhat similar to Dan Stevens and Peter O’Keefe but just slightly less enthused. Still, they blow the monotones of Madden and Summerall away. The introduction commentary is good, but the fact there is no weather, injury or mascot commentary (like in NFL2K) takes it down slightly. I must admit, its kind of weird without hearing ‘You can’t coach that!’ in a Sega football game! (Another example of the commentary involves my tagline.)

Other Sound – 8/10

It comes in crystal clear. Players and coaches chatter constantly as well as the crowd. The comments are now somewhat humorous. The sound effects are quite good, and the menu music is better than in the NFL2K series.

Gameplay – 9/10

The same clean interface used for all Sega Sports under the 2K moniker (except for WSB2K1 and all arcade ports) is used and still very easy to navigate! In game, the play calling screens are still the same and now show the play with numbers in 3D. The control is solid and the gameplay moves at just the right pace. The right trigger can show your receivers and their corresponding buttons before pass (or run!) plays and passes can be lobbed or bulleted. The stiff arm isn’t as effective as NFL2K, but the spin is somewhat more useful. There are many great game modes, from exhibition to season to franchise.

Customization – 10/10

Awesome. One can create players with numerous options, teams with extremely unique uniforms, plays where players go hog-wild (appropriate for football, eh?) and turn the commentary all the way up. The features are detailed, that it doesn’t matter that much that there is a number limit. All volumes and penalties can be turned on or off as well. So, if you want to cheat, you certainly are able to.

Overall – 9/10

Sadly, the Dreamcast is now out of production, but thankfully, tons of systems and games can be found. I got this game for fifteen dollars, but have seen it for even cheaper. With the tried-and-true gameplay of the blockbuster NFL2K series, a fresh new college commentary team and the expected litany of options, NCAA 2K2 scores a touchdown indeed!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/25/02, Updated 02/25/02

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