If there was one name synonymous with videogame football, this would be it.
For the past 12 years, longer than some gamers have been alive, John Madden's football games have been the pinnacle of simulated football, combining all the action of the sport into one package. Enter Madden 2002, Electronic Arts newest football title in the never-ending Madden series.
Now throw together the Xbox and John Madden, and what do you get? One hell of a football game, but getting to the top won't be too easy. Microsoft and Sega are both releasing football games within weeks of EA's offering, and they each look good. There's also a version of Madden 2002 on the PlayStation 2, so what is it that sets this game apart?
When we look at Madden it doesn't look too much different than it's PlayStation2 counterpart, which is surprising, given the graphical horsepower of Microsoft's console. However, Madden 2002 Xbox version gets completely remodeled player models, facial textures, etc. It may be a little revamped from the PlayStation2, but not enough to make you sit up and take notice.
So Madden 2002 may not pack the serious graphics, but that's like saying supermodels are ugly. It's all relative. Madden, regardless of console, looks good. Where Madden truly shines though, is in gameplay.
Players will take to the field in up to six game modes, including Exhibition, Season, Playoff, Two-Minute Drill, Tournament, Franchise, or Training. Two-Minute Drill is something new Electronic Arts added to Madden 2002, where points can be earned on offense or defense in a quick-hitting fast-paced game within the game. Is EA taking a page from NFL Blitz?
Along with lots of modes, Madden 2002 offers lots of teams as well, up to 31 of them. Naturally, each team needs a home playing field, so each team's stadium will also be making an appearance as well.
Tired of playing the Packers (viva la Green Bay!) or the Cowboys? Create your own team, featuring customized uniforms, helmets, and stadiums! You'll also get to play as new players not seen in games before, with our favorite addition, new cheerleaders!
Madden 2002 also packs new effects, with replays in huddle cams, touchdown celebrations, and coach's reactions; in which you can view with wide-screen TV support.
While there is a lot of choice out there for football gamers, fans of previous Madden games should be pleased with this new sequel. NFL Fever, NFL Blitz, and NFL2K2 are a short list of titles available soon, so can Madden 2002 rush past the competition? It may be a tough field, but Madden 2002 may have the right ingredients to make humble pie of the competition.
Scott "VeX" Kuss
Pie is good!