NCAA FINAL FOUR 2002
General/Summary: Overall this game is prettey cool. In the past, 989 has gotten a bad rep and deservedly so. Well, what a surprise to see it finally out doing the well favord EA sports company. In my mind, this game is the best college basketball game out. Now I know that isn’t saying much but Final Four is the best option for college b-ball lovers like myself. After seeing EA’s March Madness, I had to laugh because it dosen’t even offer the option of playing in a season. So unless you want to play a six game tournament over and over, Final Four is the choice to make. However, this game is not without some flaws of its own. The game has prettey good graphics but it still doesn’t come up to par with the capabilites of the PS2. The lack of player models is sort of a let down. I understand that you can’t make every person in the game down to their exact physical characteristics but a little more than 8 diffent player faces would be nice. Also when playing the game, I was impressed by the movement of the crowed and the chears that performed at various times. However, This game promissed to have the crowds chant authentic school cheers and the band playing the fight songs. I have heard these on a very rare occasion. It would also be nice to have the crowed yell real loud when the visiting team has the ball. The commentary is prettey good. I do wish that they could say a little more though. Every time you turn the ball over like 8 or more times you will hear " They’re just givin the ball away tonight." But other than that the sound is good. This game is fun and it allows you to get into it with option of playing a full season and keeping track of rankings, stats, and even 1st and 2nd team all conference and all american awards.
Gameplay: The game play in this game is above average. The best addition in my opinoin is defenately the new back down buttin. By pressing r2 while dribbling the ball in the key you can back your defender down and perform a variaty of post moves. The touch shooting is also cool It allows you to control your shot very well but with some difficulty. The only flaws are when you try to drive to the basket. This game promised a more challanging defense, and they were not kidding. At times it is a bit too challanging. It is very hard to drive past your defender he just seems to mirror your every move. If you use a screen or ball fake you can achieve a successful drive to the basket. And with over 300 teams to choose from, nearlly everyone can play with their favorite school.
Graphics: The graphics in this game are very good but not perfect. I would really appriciate it if there were more than just a handfull of player models. Despite this the players still seem realistic and the bench and even the crowed seem to actually be alive. In previous games the bench, crowed and other backround figures seemed to be made of cardboard cut-outs. The courts are very realistic. Each individual court is very accurate with its real life version. It is amazing. The Cole field House in the game is almost identical to the real one that the Maryland Terrapins play on.
Sound: The sound is somewhat of a disapointment considering what I expected from the ps2. The crowed does chant and cheer and the band does play songs but they seem like the same ones over and over. "Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!" before every tipoff is very annoying but it doesn’t take away with the fun of the gameplay. It would be nice if the bands could play the fight songs of their schools more often. The commentary is the best that I have heared in b-ball game. It’s not perfect but it’s good. I also like having some well known commentators in the booth. It makes it feel more like a real game. The on- court sounds are probably the best acheivment on this game sound-wise. If you listen carefully you can hear the players callig out to their teamates to switch guys or watch for a screen. You can hear the shoes squeeking on the hardwood. You can heare the ball swish through the net or clank of the rim. It is prettey cool.
Game review provided by www.videogamereview.com.