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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

Electronic Arts

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q3 2001

 

 

- Looks good

- Lots of play modes

- Solid passing game

- Good AI

- Nice sound effects

 

 

- "Momentum" a pain when running

- Poor music

- Repetitive color commentary

 

 

NCAA Football 2002 (Playstation 2) Review

NFL Blitz 2001 (N64) Review

 

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Madden 2002

Score: 8.5/10

 

Well, another year, another Madden. That's right folks we have a new edition of the EA Sports football franchise, and with it an excuse to laugh at the expense of those ill-informed individuals who try and sell their last year's copy and find out they'll either get $5 or nothing at all, then storm out of the store. Besides providing the joy of having a laugh at the expensive of others, Madden 2002 continues in the tradition of sports sequels with the expected mix of visual and gameplay tweaks making it a worthy title for those who haven't any grid iron oriented titles for their PS2, or absolutely must upgrade year after year.

 

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The visual presentation is excellent in Madden 2002. The sheer detail in the players is quite breath-taking and looking at them up close and from different angles during the replays is mighty impressive. Even the fields are looking very good, and with weather effects thrown in you get a lot to look at, or maybe not so much so when it's snowing heavily. But whatever the case, "pretty" is the order of the day in Madden 2002. The frame rate is respectable too. There was no noticeable chop or slowness while playing, as the players all moved about quite smoothly. What surprised me in the visuals was how well it picked up on collisions. There's no bleeding into on another when players hit each other and when they catch the ball they hold it extremely well also. Like its predecessor, Madden 2002 looks gorgeous on the PS2.

 

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Sonically speaking, Madden 2002 does not fair so well. The crowds sound somewhat subdued, as their excitement just doesn't come through. The color commentary isn't anything special either. As is the case with most sports games, the announcers just don't have enough to say, so it doesn't take long for a lot of their comments to grind on one's nerves as they repeat them time and time again. Of course, one shouldn't expect much in the ways of music for the game. The stuff at menu select 

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and whatnot are nothing to get excited over. What does sound good are the noises of the players. Their shouting the audibles, as well as the crunching, cracking, smashing sounds as the pummel each other on the field are all very well done, the only on-field noise missing it the sound of players smacking each other on the ass for a job well done.

 

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Of course the real meat and potatoes here is the gameplay. For game modes you get the usual mix of exhibition and franchise modes to take a run at, as well as a training mode and situation mode for those who need to hone their skills before delving too far into the game. Execution is where everything really gets interesting though. First up we have the passing game. All in all it's solid, as the defense actually puts up a good fight in this game. The safeties are good at sticking to the receivers, so hucking the ball to get out of trouble could in fact mean trouble since they are better than ever at picking off the passes. Not helping this is the ability of the defensive linesman to get to the quarterback. You can't just sit in the pocket, humming a little tune to your hearts content, these boys can get to the QB in a hurry if you don't watch it. But if anything, Madden 2002 has the best passing game in the series. In terms of the running game this year's edition is a lot like past years, far from sparkling. First we have the ol' "momentum" feature, you know, the one that makes it damn near impossible to cut. It's back again, but a little less of a pain in the ass this time out. With that, it's still easier to just dive and hope for the best than to actually try and cut when you get into trouble. On defensive your players feel very mobile and are quite easy to move around, so sticking on a receiver, going after a running back, and chasing down the QB does not feel like a sluggish experience. What's also nice to see is that the other players controlled by the computer are not utter oafs, they actually do a competent job on defense.

 

Madden 2002 really provides some quality football on the Playstation 2. Between the pretty pictures and the solid gameplay, there's plenty of fun to be had. Just fire up your stereo for your audio accompaniment.

 

- Mr. Nash

 

(October 28, 2001)

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