Tuesday, August 20, 2002.
by Tony Ingrassia

NFL 2K3 Box art Let's get something out of the way right off the bat...If your a Sega fan this game will appeal to you, if your a Madden fan you'll think it's crap, and if your a Fever fan it's a 50/50 split. I think alot of "What your used to playing" comes into play on these particular games, so take this, and other reviews with a grain of salt. With that being said, i am a Sega fan, have played the 2K series since the begining and it just keeps getting beter. This game is for the Football purist, no more raking up the score in Rookie mode my friends, your gonna have to really play to your strengths, and pound on your oponents weeknesses. A little adjustment is due for 2K2 alums, the basic controls are the same, timing and "touch" are a little different. The Franchise mode is as deep as an ocean, the addition of being able to import rookies from Sega's NCAA 2K3 is awsome, draft 'em take a look at them at the combine, yes you heard me, the combine. You have 7 game modes to choose from, Offseason tasks, and even may need to talk that veteran out of retirement for one last shot at the trophy. This is console football at it's best, and with the XBOX Live enabled modes it will be the cream of the crop.

Gameplay is a little slower than earlier 2K instalments, but not enough to cause any problems. The passing game is tight and the "MAX PASS" option is perfect, sharpen your timing and reads, it's more challenging than ever. The running game is dead on, no more stepping over 5 guys into a break away, either find the hole or follow your blockers or your dead meat. The "On the Fly Hot Routes" is a great edge to any die hard. Did you call a running play and noticed your WR in single coverage, and TE on the line with no one really covering him, Audible out and then set up a hot route on the fly and send your TE on a corner route and take the deffense by surprise. There are so many subtle, yet accurate tidbits to this game that you just need to play it to find out how good it really is. The great replays are also back and you can save them as a highlite reel of your most spectacular moves, Create-a-player, and Create-a-team are also back and polished up in this version. The ESPN addition suites the game well and pushes it up a notch on the scale, Quarterly ESPN stats are announced and at the half they even pick a "Hot at the Half" player. Weekly rap ups a well done with highlites of the weeks best plays. Player introductions, Stats, Free Agents, Combine, Draft, Rookie Sighnings, Coach's Desk, Calendar, Front Office, Trades, and even settting a Gameplan week to week...THIS IS AS CLOSE AS YOUR GONNA GET SITTING IN YOUR RECLINER!!

2K3 corrected just about all the 2K2 issues. Clipping, movement, etc..The charecter liknesses and movement are very well done. The addition of some exciting block, catches, and tackles make the game an eye popper. Split screen replays and the occasional telestrator diagrams add to the games appeal. Sideline animation increases the level of realism during a game. Stadiums and Uniforms are recreated very well also. The graphics are fluid and show no hickups at all. Running backs stumbling for extra yards after an atempted shoe string tackle never looked so good.

It's a football game, the crowd cheers and boos just when they are supposed to. The player chatter and QB audibles are fantastic. The Dolby Digital does put you in the middle of the action making the hits and graons very realistic. Nothing earth shattering, but this is just a football game, and for a football game it's perfect.

Can't really think of anything at the moment. Good Job.

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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