NFL Fever 2003 isnt one of the big boys yet, it shows an awful lot of
promise and potential. Being that it doesnt quite measure up to a
Madden or NFL 2K3, Fever is perfect for folks who are not heavy-duty
football fans. This is a flashy, fast paced title with good overall
mechanics. There are some gritty details missing, though, that will turn
away those looking for the real-deal Holyfield.
not dwell, though, because Fever does do a lot of things nicely. Upon
entering Fevers arena, players have some various options. You can enter
the practice mode to come to grips with the gameplay, jump into a single
game exhibition, enter season mode, or jump online via the Xbox live
service. The first two options are self explanatory, but the season mode
offers two different options. You can either begin your own dynasty with
a current NFL team or one custom built, or you can jump into a "Classic
Challenge." This challenge consists of seven games against some of the
NFLs most memorable teams.
addition, the main menu offers a general manager mode where players can
institute trades, substitutions, and custom player creation. Also to be
found is a user profile option that allows you to build your own plays
and customize your settings for audibles, hot routes, and favorite
plays. As far as customization options go, NFL Fever provides quite a
playground for creative genius. Fever allows players to build their own
teams from the ground up with their own uniform designs, rosters, and
X-box is no slouch when it comes to graphical power and Microsoft has
created some slick visuals for us to enjoy. The animation is top notch
as well. The players run jump and dive with fluid grace. As players are
repeatedly tackled, their uniforms will show wear and dirt. Microsoft
needs to notice, however, some standards that have been set in the
industry. Madden set a great standard for the realistic representations
of the players faces as well as their coaches. NFL Fever has made sure
that the black guys are black and the white guys are white, but thats
not good enough anymore. The technology is there and thats what the
competition has been using for the last three years, so NFL Fever has
some catching-up to do in this respect. Aside from these graphical
nitpicks, the visuals of NFL Fever 2003 are generally quite satisfying.
high point of Fever is the solid control. Something that can really kill
a sports game is fuzzy control, but all the tasks you ask of your
players will be fulfilled with precision in this title. The older Xbox
controller tends to hamper your quick reflexes with its bulky shape, but
the newer design helps keep you in the game.
in NFL Fever is not bad, but still not great. The commentators are
mediocre and their quips will soon annoy. I would have liked the sound
to help accentuate those exceptionally hard hits for flavor.
Occasionally youll hear a player talking trash on the field, which is
entertaining, but hard to understand.
all accounts NFL Fever is a solid title, but what is holding it back
from the next tier in football titles? There are several reasons for
this setback, but none of them are unfixable. First of all if folks want
an unrealistic representation of football theyll pick up the Blitz
series. Fever is marketing itself as an ultra realistic experience when
in actuality that is not true. Two of the best examples of this are the
speedy characters and "Blitz style" tackles.
agree that a fast paced game is a more exciting one, but that pace
should not be achieved at the cost of realism. The pacing in Fever is
blistering. Technically each mans stats affect his speed, but youll
find even your tight ends going to the races when it shouldnt be
possible. It sounds weird to want to be caught, doesnt it? I also am a
fan of nasty tackles, but clothes-lining should really draw a flag dont
you think? Dont get me wrong. Its a satisfying feeling to stick out
your arm and behead a quarterback, but it kind of cheapens the
experience at the same time. Now if youre not a hardcore fan of
football games this aspect wont bother you, but until Microsoft fixes
things like this they cant expect to muscle Madden and 2K3 out of the
Fever also is lacking when it comes to its classic teams. I first
decided to take the field with an older version of the Detroit Lions,
expecting to see Mr. Sanders strutting his stuff. To my horror all I saw
was a blank portrait with a number. This is completely unacceptable.
This feature isnt even a new and untested one. The option of playing as
one of the greats is a standard feature, and Microsoft really dropped
the ball, so to speak.
As you can see none of these points are unrealistic goals for the
next incarnation of NFL Fever. This years model has got all the
building blocks of being a very serious contender, but they just havent
come together yet. If Microsoft addresses these glitches EA and Sega
will have no small crisis on their hands. As it stands, though, I would
only recommend this title to those who are not so concerned with having
an ultra realistic and comprehensive football experience.