Review of NCAA Football 2003 for PS2

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_Fisher, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    Well,
    I've had about 4 hours to sit down with this game, and what can I say, its pretty much the same as 2002. The graphics look exactly the same to me, the players *maybe* look a little cleaner than last years. The field actually looks a little like grass this year, but other than that, the graphics look the same.

    After playing about 8 games, I've seen about 3 new animations. Other than that, the tackling looks the same. The game of course plays exactly like the other NCAA and Madden games, which is a good thing. The introduction of the teams is excellent, especially with the smoke effects.

    Other than those few improvements, there isn't much else to talk about. I really don't see a reason to buy this game unless you have to have the most updated rosters.

    What are your alls opinions?
     
  2. Doug Schiller

    Doug Schiller Supporting Actor

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    This is a little disappointing. NCAA2002 seemed to be using Madden 2001 engine (complete with the zombie eyes). I was hoping the new release would use the Madden 2002 engine.

    I have read the DB AI is leaps and bound better. That alone is worth a purchase. Last years game was woefully inept at coverage so the AI cheated with super human DBs (like Madden 2001). So a wide open receiver would magically be covered by the time the ball arrived.

    Doug
     
  3. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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  4. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Is this for the XBox, PS2, or GC?
     
  5. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    PS2
     
  6. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Second Unit

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    I'll have to disagree with ya, Paul. I think this year has some very significant improvements to gameplay.
    But first, let's talk about the graphics (PS2 version). I've only played the actual game for an hour (spent hours putting in my team's and other SEC teams' player names [​IMG]), but during that time I've already seen a new DB swat animation and new stiff-arm animation that actually works! But as far as the player models they look about the same as 2002, and the jaggies are actually worse--bizarre. The grass looks more textured and realistic. That's about it as far as graphics.
    All Division 1 schools have their fight songs in the game now! As an MSU fan I was miffed that last year didn't have our song, so that's a definite plus.
    Now to gameplay. Ever try play-action in 2002? It was an almost guaranteed sack. This year play-action actually works. You can see linebackers biting on it! Running feels a lot better with jukes and stiff-arms that aren't useless, and more varied tackle-braking animations. There are also more refined audibles for defensive shifts, separate ones for DBs, LBs, and DL. I'll have more to say in a few days after playing it a while longer, but I doubt these are the only improvements there are.
     
  7. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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  8. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    One more thing about the gameplay that I don't like is the super duper D-back trick.

    My receiver will be wide open and as soon as I throw the ball, every defensive back within 15 yards, even ones with their back turned, will all-of-a-sudden run super sonic speed and break up the pass. I have witnessed this many times on instant replays and its ridiculous. I go from a wide open receiver to 3 DB's knocking down the ball.
     
  9. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    Will an administrator please edit the title of this thread to the official NCAA Football 2003 PS2 discussion thread.
    THank you. [​IMG]
     
  10. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    I forgot to mention one thing that is really awesome about this game. If you go to "Preseason Options" before you start your season in Dynasty, you have the option to change your schedule. So you can schedule some big schools like Miami etc. instead of cupcake teams.

    This is a great option IMO.
     
  11. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Second Unit

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    Oops, didn't know about Auburn not having their fight song in there. Do they at least have a song in there relevant to Auburn, or is it just a generic song? That's really strange.
    I agree about the scheduling. Being able to customize your non-conference schedule at the beginning of every new season is a terrific feature. Goodbye Southeastern 1-AA, hello Nebraska!
    The super D-back cheat is really frustrating. I wish the programmers didn't have to resort to cheats like that to make the AI competitive, but with smart playing you can still overcome the cheating.
    Here's a piddly little addition that actually helps a lot: the new defensive coach cam. This is like the offensive coach cam, except that you use it while on defense (duh). It zooms out so you can see all the players, which makes it easier to adjust to motion plays and audibles.
    And about MSU doing better than last year, uhm... it would be really hard not to. :b Getting beaten by Troy State? I mean, come on. How do you think Auburn will do this year? (Oh, and make sure to discuss NCAA 2003 so you aren't completely off topic [​IMG])
     
  12. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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  13. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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  14. Brandon_H

    Brandon_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I just fired it up after I spent a good half-hour entering the roster for my beloved GEORGIA BULLDOGS! (Anyone notice how only SEC folks are posting in this thread so far? Are we the only people crazed enough to buy this on its first day?)

    I'm using the Xbox version. It definitely looks similar to last year's PS2 version, so I assume it's also about the same as this year's PS2 incarnation. Grass textures do look much better, helmets are shinier and more reflective, but that's about it.

    At least 95 percent of the commentary seems to be repeated from last year.

    I do have some quibbles about gameplay. Money plays from last year -- in Georgia's playbook, most notably "Double Flag" -- still seem to work almost every time.

    Also, EA still hasn't figured out punt blocking. Last year, I had numerous fumbles due to my punt returner getting hammered when his blockers played matador with the opposing team. This year? Same thing. I just know I'm going to throw my controller in frustration a few times because of this.

    I have, however, noticed that defensive backs seem to be a lot smarter about reading passes over the middle, and stepping in front of passes for interceptions. I had two INTs in my first game, largely due to AI of computer-controlled DBs. Also, DBs can run at full speed after an INT -- as opposed to last year's game, in which it seemed easy to chase down even the fastest DBs.

    I've only seen one noticeable new animation so far. I hit an opposing player so hard on a kickoff return that I knocked his helmet clean off. Never saw THAT last year. But tackles seems to be particularly more violent.

    "Campus Challenge," at least in my first game, seems more difficult. Last year, I would routinely finish games with 100-150 points. I had only 44 points after my first game with the 2003 version. Maybe it's just because I've only played one game.

    I'll continue to post more impressions as I play more. In the meantime, I wish MSU and Auburn a good season -- 'cept when the Tigers play the Dawgs, of course. . .
     
  15. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

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    Three questions:

    How many roster spots do you get in dynasty mode(49 from PS1 was too few)???

    GameCube 16/9 or 480p?

    Is PS2 16/9??
     
  16. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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  17. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

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    The only reason I considered purchasing this years version is the 'create a team' option. However, I do not believe that is worth the $50 alone when I have a great game in NCAA 2002
     
  18. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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  19. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    I've bought it.... I actually am playing it on my computer (thank you, AIW 7500!) so I can glance at the rosters while I'm entering them in the game. It makes the naming a lot easier.
    As for the game -- It is indeed better, but I'm frustrated to see the lack of punt blocking. I HATE having to fair-catch the ball all the time. Let's hope they fix it next year.
    I HAVE seen new animations, though. One quite interesting one involved my RB hurdling right over a defenseman to get a touchdown. The RB went right over the opponent's head.
    To the person looking for Campus Challenge points -- how bout a mascot game? The Orangemen mascot team seem ripe for an ass-kicking. [​IMG]
     
  20. Damien

    Damien Supporting Actor

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    OK here goes my mini-review: This game IMO is amazing, I don't say that about too many games. First some tips for some of you with trouble:

    -choose a 4-4 or dime when you return punts. PUNT BLOCK works too. don't use any of the actual return plays, you'll get smacked every time by the invisible defender that no one one your team can see. After you do this, its no big deal. I do agree it is ludacris EA can't see this when they lived and breathed with this game for 9-10 months! And it was in last years version??

    -Pass rush all you can do is turn the computer sliders down a few notches for pass block. that gets rid of that.

    review 4 X-BOX version:

    Graphics: 9.0

    I haven't noticed the slowdown some people have been refering to. Still some jaggies on goal posts and edge of players with s-video connection. The thing that keeps the score over the hump are the animations. Everything moves at a very realistic pace, the replays look very authentic. This is debated, but IMO this game implements a form of gang tackling. everyone collides with each other, that part is dead-on. the animations look nice, but the helmet popping and one-handed grabs are overused. The play-actions are a sight too behold. Also if you play around six o'clock the sunset in the sky is beautiful. The crows is kind of bland but look good from a distance. Nice sideline action with cheerleaders, but the band would of been nice. The entrances are OK, but EA has to work on making them team specific next year. The snow swirls around which is cool, as is the lighting and helmet reflections. Nice fields round off the package.

    Control - 7.5

    C'mon EA what is this?? I smell laziness, you give us ONE alternate cofiguration that doesn't even use all of the buttons. I'm am slowly getting used to the feel with the s-controller, but they should of known to add a custom control option. otherwise control is very responsive

    Sound - 8.25

    The intro cheers from the crowd got me real excited, but when I played the game it wasn't anything to special. They really don't get wild or loud as I would like. A lot of nice sounding fight songs, but some are inaccurate. The field chatter feels very quiet compared to Sega games. The announcing is done very well this year, they added 8000 lines according to EA The 5.1 uses the center for the voice finally, the rears for the crowd(everythings circle for replays) and left/right for most of the effects and music. Still could be much better with Dolby Digital out now.

    Features/Replay - 10
    Has a ton of modes, I don't know if I'll ever get tired of the them. Practice can be very addicting for a strange reason. Dynasty is better then ever, you can create your own coach along with a school and stadium. There is a different vibe when you play dyansty games. Unrivaled. Campus Cheats or whatever are pretty fun too(mind i don't have madden or ncaa 2002)

    Gameplay - 9.5

    The physics is what wows me about this game, it is very realistic as i was on a field for a short time in my live. You cannot turn on a dime like its competitors, and the moves work like they are supposed to. You can really plant a DB on his A... with the juke. The option play also has a lot of different variables. I have a problem with the QB slide, it is very inconsistent. I also think fumbles and injuries are on the high side, but that can be lowered with better knowledge of the game. The interceptions this year are done very well. The swat and scurry moves add to the defense. Hot Routes and seeing sefensive assignments are very cool. Also, the rushing game is fun as all the moves are functional. The AI is smart, in fact so smart that it is frusterating people inluding me. That's why they put the sliders in though, put them to good use. The offensive AI can really make you look silly. I also can see momentum change pretty realistically: one minute your yelling at the game another time your having the time of your life.

    overall 9.1- points deducted for faulty and glitchy copies circulating for the second year in a row
     

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