- What's a Dreamcast?
- Why Should I Buy One?
- Sega History

- Best Games
- Cheats
- Dreamcast Database
- Reviews (A-M)
- Reviews (N-Z)

- About PDC
- News Archives / Search
- POTD Archive

- Sega E3 2002
- Dreamcast: The Afterlife
- Bring Back The Classics!

- Controllers
- System
- Other

- Forums
- Mailbag
- Links

- DC VMU Icons
- Jet Set Graffiti Site
- KOF Orochinagi
- PSO World
- RE Mega Site
- RE Survivor's Guide
- Shadow of a Hedgehog
- SOA World
- Tony Hawk P.S.

  Founders' Club
  GameSpy Comrade
  GameSpy Store
  Vault Network
  Planet Dreamcast
  Planet Nintendo
  Planet PS2
  Planet Xbox

   PlanetDreamcast | Games | Reviews | NFL 2K2
    NFL 2K2
Football is back on the Dreamcast with NFL 2K2. - Review By Josh Hiscock - Page 1/2

NFL 2K2 Logo

History is a cruel judge -- especially when the judging is done in advance of the actual event. Imagine, for example, if Commodore Perry had known, upon arriving in the harbors of Japan, that Pearl Harbor would be the target of a Japanese attack aimed at keeping us out of a war the likes of which the world had previously never seen. Would he have been quite so eager to establish a diplomatic relationship with a nation stuck in the Middle Ages -- a relationship that would ultimately bring the Land of the Rising Sun into the modern era and see them forge an alliance with Adolf Hitler that would ultimately plunge the Pacific rim into chaos? For that matter, would Chamberlain have been as eager to obtain "peace in our time" if he had known that appeasement would lead to the Second World War?

The truth is, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of such examples where foreknowledge of an event perhaps could have altered the flow of history. The fate of the Sega Dreamcast certainly isn't nearly as fraught with peril as the two worst wars in America's history, but our knowledge of when that fate will occur certainly has the ability to impact our perspective on the final games for the system. It's neither particularly logical, nor fair, to the games in question that it should be so, and yet, the knowledge that a particular game will be the last of its kind for the console unfairly raises expectations.

Call it the "Grand Finale Syndrome," if you will. Games such as Shenmue II are already being hailed in advance as being the greatest the system has ever seen -- or will ever see, for that matter. Is that fair? Maybe so. It's certainly true that every console has its limits, and for a game or series to thrive, it must constantly push at those limits. I question, however, whether it's fair to say that those limits have been pushed as far as they can go after two short years.

In a sense, this might be a side effect of such a sudden, jarring announcement. With most consoles in years past, the end has come "not with a bang, but with a whimper." Games continue to trickle out, but the absolute end is never seen until the announcement is made with the game's release. There is, yes, a sense that the stream of games is drying up, but rarely have we seen a company announce nearly a year in advance that there will be no more games for their console after a certain date; the reason being that one runs the risk of driving their customer base into the arms of their competitors. Admittedly, with no new Sega consoles on the immediate horizon, that's of small consequence.

  • The Good & The Bad

    Full size detailed players are nothing new to the NFL 2K series.

    And yet, that's where we find NFL2k2, sadly. The bottom line is that this IS the last football game, pro or otherwise, that we're going to see on the Dreamcast from the team that fired an earth-shaking shot across the bow of the EA Sports juggernaut. For better or worse, this is as good as it will get on the Sega Dreamcast.

    When you think about it, that's a remarkable achievement, both for NFL2k2 and for the Dreamcast. Sega, for better or worse, is the pioneer of online play, at least in its current form. Yes, we've seen the X*Band, and yes, we've seen the Sega Channel, but online play on a console as we currently know it began to take its shape with the Dreamcast, thanks in no small part to NFL2k1. Had NFL2k1 and NBA2k1 not been as successful as they were, had Sega not shown that online play is a viable component to gaming, who knows where we might be today?

    It's certainly possible that the Xbox would still include the broadband adaptor, given Microsoft's desire to integrate their product offerings (can anybody say MSN?). Perhaps even Sony's plans for an online network might still exist. I must say, however, that many of Sony's early moves seemed aimed at sapping the momentum from a concerted challenge on Sega's part - and that includes the online network. Have we yet seen anything to indicate that Sony actually has a cohesive plan in this area? Indeed, that they're doing anything but sitting idly on their twiddling thumbs?

    Explosive hits, new player animations = very cool.

    Meanwhile, Sega has continued to push the borders of online gaming, branching outwards into nearly all of their sports offerings (Tennis2k2 seems as though it will be the lone exception). NFL2k2 is certainly no exception. Without a doubt, that's a good thing -- improved online play means NFL2k2 has, even if no other changes were present, improved from a year ago (which is more, sadly, than we can say for its baseball brother, WSB2k2).

    However, it is worth noting that the improvements are few and subtle. This isn't going to be the same kind of quantum leap over NFL2k1 that NFL2k1 was over NFL2k. Partly, that's due to hardware limitations, a testament to just how impressive NFL2k1 really was. Partly, that's a tacit admission that in a world where Sega is going multi-platform, Visual Concepts hasn't been able to devote their full resources to the Dreamcast, since they must also make a strong first impression on the PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube. That said, let's take a look at the improvements the game does has to offer.

    Next: More Good, More Bad, and The Final Word

  • [Main Page] [About] [Games] [Site] [Hosting Info] [Features] [Community] | GameSpy | Comrade | Arena | FilePlanet | ModCenter | GameSpy Technology
    TeamXbox | Planets | Vaults | VE3D | CheatsCodesGuides | GameStats | GamerMetrics | Rotten Tomatoes | Direct2Drive | Green Pixels
    By continuing past this page, and by your continued use of this site, you agree to be bound by and abide by the User Agreement.
    Copyright 1996-2009, IGN Entertainment, Inc.   About Us | Support | Advertise | Privacy Policy | User Agreement Subscribe to RSS Feeds RSS Feeds
    IGN's enterprise databases running Oracle, SQL and MySQL are professionally monitored and managed by Pythian Remote DBA.