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Playing with the Pros
Mark Bechtel
September 23, 2002
In a test of the latest NFL video games, most of which become more realistic with each new edition, SI's master of the control pad crowns a new champ
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September 23, 2002

Playing With The Pros

In a test of the latest NFL video games, most of which become more realistic with each new edition, SI's master of the control pad crowns a new champ

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NFL 2K3
( Sega), $49.99

With graphics patterned after ESPN's telecasts, this game looks like a broadcast by that network. There's not much wrong with 2K3, but it doesn't have anything Fever or Madden don't have. The graphics are merely mediocre. The grass looks like a solid green sheet, and the players aren't lifelike. In short, it looks like a video game. What's worse, the Browns' defense kept lining up in reverse order—Courtney Brown at right end instead of left end, and so forth.

William Green Report: At best he was an average player.
Grade: B-

NFL Blitz 2003
(Midway), $49.99

In this game you need 30 yards for a first down, there are no penalties, and tackles look like outtakes from the WWE. But the most noticeable difference between the video game and the real one is if a player becomes hot, he literally bursts into flames. When he's on fire, the player becomes faster, stronger and more violent than usual. Silly, yes, but also amusing. (Note: This game doesn't have the online feature.)

William Green Report: A flameout. When last seen, he was facedown on the turf muttering, "I want to go home," after being suplexed by a flaming defender from the Tennessee Titans. Grade: B-

NFL Gameday 2003
(989 Sports), $39

The opening of Gameday features a solemn voice delivering a speech peppered with the phrase "great country" and culminates with, "One country, one game, one goal: Emerge from the fight as champions, as heroes for another day." This is followed by a slide show of cheerleaders in poses that would be more appropriate for Maxim. The game isn't much better. It's missing a few basics, such as the ability to get an aerial view of the routes the receivers run.

William Green Report: He backs up James Jackson, who is a wrecking ball. In other words, the realism is low.
Grade: C+

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