"This one caught me off guard"

I'm start off by saying I'm not a really bug sports fan-on a console or in real life. I don't follow college football too much, so there are probably quite a few things that I'll overlook. and besides, its just my opinion anyway.
So, as soon as Electronics Boutique felt like admitting that the DC was dead, and dropped the price of this game to $20, I gladly picked this up. I have NFL 2k1 and played NFL 2k2, so I kind of knew what to expect. Then I actually got playing, and it surprised me quite a bit.

Graphics: 7.5/10
If you're not really paying attention, this game is beautiful. Down right gorgeous, even. But when you actually start looking for things, it starts to look a little worse.
For the most part, the character models look good. I haven't noticed any without necks, as EGM and IGN like to make a point of. I don't really know of too many players, so I can't tell if individual models are correct, but a QB looks like a QB should, and so on. When the action gets really heavy, however, I've noticed an awful lot of model swapping. When I saw my MSU receivers turn from green to blue and back again, I knew something was up. It doesn't hinder gameplay, but it is kind of annoying. Also, the stadiums are questionable. But considering how there are over 100 of them, this is forgivable. The sprite-based crowd characters are just hideous and have no place in a 3D game.

Sound: 8/10
The commentary in this game is fairly good-as good as I've seen. Yeah, they make some mistakes, but for a video game, its pretty impressive. The usual grunts and snap sounds are fully intact and sound just fine. While on the line, players egg on one another. They all sound the same, but its nice to have. What kills it is that while it has over 100 teams and stadiums, it has probably under 30 fight songs. You will hear Notre Dame's fight some in almost every other game.

Gameplay: 10/10
I don't know whether it captures the college football spirit or not, but I feel that, gameplay wise, this is the best football game on the system. NCAA, NFL, whatever. this one beats them all out. Unlike NFL 2k2, running actually works. When you hit ''B,'' you actually spin within a second. The juke actually works. the dive still sucks, but you shouldn't need that very often. My only gripe is that the difficulty is kind of steep. At first, I was winning by close to 60 points on walk-on (the easiest), but losing by as much as 30 on starter (the middle difficulty). Otherwise, all is well.

Replay: 9/10
The franchise mode is kind of weak, and you can only play the same season so many times over. But online play is a blast. There is some lag, but that just means you have to plan ahead just a little bit. The only limiting factor is how long people are on the servers, which might not be long if and when Sony and Microsoft get their networks up.

Overall: 9/10
This game is seriously fun. I don't think I've ever had this much fun on a football game before. go out and buy it, its only like $20, and for that kind of money, you can't go wrong.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/01/02, Updated 03/01/02

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