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Microsoft
Microsoft
Sports
1-4
11.15.01

NFL Fever 2002


NFL Fever 2002 was developed and published by Microsoft. NFL Fever 2002 is Microsoft's first home football title, because of this, people worried that it wouldn't stack up to the competition provided by EA's Madden series, and Sega's NFL 2K series.

Graphics

The graphics in the game are some of the finest I've ever seen in a football game. The player models look fantastic. They're chock full of details. Each player model is huge, these huge models lend themselves to making things such as tackles seem all the more damaging. The animation featured in the game is fantastic. Each and every animation in the game, from the smallest passing of the ball, to the hardest-hitting tackle, looks stunningly realistic. The graphical tour de force is topped off with stunning graphical effects, like the clarity of the company logos on the players’ helmets, that add that little bit of polish to the game.

Sound

The sound in Fever is a mixed bag. On one hand, the game’s music, which is played primarily in menus, is fantastic. It has a fast tempo and gets you into the mood to play the game. On the other hand, the commentary featured in the game is sub-par. The commentators feature tons of sound bites, so much so that it seems like they’re watching a game as it happens. On the other hand, they have no flow, there is no interaction between them as there is during a real football game. The commentators just report what’s going on and that’s pretty much it.

Gameplay

As far as the gameplay is concerned, Fever holds up quite well when compared to either of the aforementioned titles. The gameplay engine is well put together, enabling ultra-smooth gameplay that is made all the better by the game's exceptionally fast speed. The game plays faster than any other football game on the market. The smooth and fast gameplay, often times, gives a more accurate representation of an actual game. However, the gameplay tends to get a bit too fast. Sometimes, the game is so fast that it's near-to-nigh impossible to have time to make decisions during gameplay.

The control in the game fares about as well as could be expected. The controls are sharp and responsive. However, the X factor with the control is the Xbox controller. I've found that the controller often does more harm does good in this game. The button layout is awkward and makes simple things such as play-calling, more work than they need to be. In the heat of the action, the odd layout can cause you to make mistakes that you might not make with another controller. I've found myself trying to execute one maneuver, then hitting the wrong button and ending up S.O.L. It's a damned shame that the Xbox controller causes as many problems as it does with this game, because the control would be great if it wasn't for the damned button configuration problems. These control problems can really ruin the game.

Bottom Line:

All in all, NFL Fever 2002 is a great football game. The gameplay and graphics are ready for the Super Bowl. But the sound and controls need to go back to training camp.

-Jeremy Peeples




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