reviews\ Aug 28, 2001 at 8:00 pm

Madden NFL 2002 - PSX - Review

“No matter what happens, it’s up to you
It’s the John Madden 2002 ..”

With cutscenes taken from the PlayStation2 game, and a heart-pumping theme, you get a feeling that Madden 2002 for the PlayStation – from EASports – has something new to offer players.

It does. Not only is the graphical quality of the game improved, but also with the helmet-popping hits, the force feedback and the ever-popular commentary of both Pat Summerall and John Madden, this is one console game that will have fans glued to their favorite monitors.

Are the graphics on a par with the PlayStation 2? No. Are they better than in previous incarnations of the game? Yes.

If you really want to key in on how far this genre has come, just launch the Madden Classic game from the options menu. It is one of nine game-playing features this package comes with. If you want to see the old 16-bit arcade style of play – there it is. If you like your graphics a little better, then you will quickly discard that version for the straight game.

Perhaps your offensive playing calling, and control of the game pad isn’t what you would like it to be. An exhibition game might not be quite the training ground you were looking for. No problem – launch the two-minute drill portion of the game. It will teach you about ball-handling and clock management. It is set up for multiple players with a scoring system passed on yardage and first downs, play variety and, of course, scoring.

If you really want a lesson on the finer points of coaching, visit the Coach’s Corner, where the game is broken down into its basics.

Don’t like the play you just ran? Perhaps you will take one of your ‘mulligans,’ if you enable that function.

As with most sports games which involve a high level of physical moves and strategies, the controls for the game can be a bit overwhelming initially. Only by playing will you learn about the quarterback drop-backs and set-ups, and how to accurately deliver those passes. Spin moves are fine, but your quarterback doesn’t need to be doing them in the backfield when he is supposed to be dropping back for a pass with little rush challenging him. It looks rather silly.

Of course, there is no better sense than on the defensive side, when you’ve guessed right and sent Baltimore’s Ray Lewis up the gut for a bone-jarring, helmet-loosening obliteration of a small rabbit, otherwise known as the opposing team’s running back.

The Madden football franchise is in its 12th year, and the game seems to be following the course of the NFL. With so many great players, dazzling abilities, it is indeed a delight to see them actuated on the field. Apologies are due, however, to some of the greats – like, say, a Randy Moss, who seems to get a bit confused after a catch and instead of streaking to the end zone, sort of dances back and forth between the sidelines and middle of the field until he is tackled.

Madden 2002 delivers the enjoyment that console programs were designed to deliver. This is a well-made product, full of excitement, with a wide range of options and thrilling game play.

This game is rated for Everyone.

Install: N/A
This program will take up one-to-nine blocks on a memory card.

Gameplay: 8.5
The action is non-stop, and plays out much like a network broadcast would, with the exception that you control the clock and action.

Graphics: 7.5.
The graphical elements are improved over the previous incarnation of the program. Though the stadiums are not quite in tune with those offered in other formats, the game is well done.

Sound: 8.5.
Yes, it is well done, but there are repetitive phrases that can be wearing, especially when you know what is about to be said, and it was the player’s ineptitude or bad decision that resulted in the error. For example, Madden doesn’t have to harp on receivers going past the first-down marker on third down plays time and again when the play comes up short of the desired goal. We know how deep they should have gone.

Difficulty: 8.5.
You can set the opposing AI in a single person game, which allows players to play at a level they are comfortable with. The range of gaming options also allows players to get very familiar with the game before tackling the season format.

Concept: 7.
Yes, a few new features – like the game options, cheerleader cards, and kicking meters – have been added, but this is the 12th incarnation of the game.

Multiplayer: 8.5.
Like the majority of multiplayer console games, this program really kicks it into gear when played against another human. That is where the true joy of the program happens.

Overall: 8
This is a very good PlayStation title. It carries the uncertainty of NFL play (the old adage that any team can beat another on “any given Sunday” comes to mind), with the dynamics of the talent on the field. The game is solid graphically and in the audio department, and the game play features add to the programs entertainment value.


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