ESPN NFL 2k5 X-Box Review, Take Two

For a full review of NFL 2k5 you need to read Matt's review. I just wanted to add my two cents. One of the best things to come out of SEGA is Visual Concepts. This game was good before they added the ESPN trimmings. This year's edition to the 2k franchise is the best yet. Before I go any further, I must say I am quite biased. I don't like Madden (the commentator or the video game). I was always a fan of the Joe Montana series. When NFL 2k came out for the Dreamcast I had it, as well as 2k1, and 2k2 on the DC. I rented Madden 2003 and 2004 and I just prefer the game play and graphics of the 2k series. I would suggest, as Matt prefers as well, the X-Box version of NFL 2k5. The PS2 version requires the hard drive for video during the Boomer half time and post game shows, as well as the weekly SportsCenter shows. Its nice to be able to choose which console to buy a multi-release title for. If you only have a PS2 then don't let the video limitation stop you. They get old fast. But it sure is nice eye candy. I prefer the X-Box version for another reason though. The X-Box controller is such a rip off of the DC controller it is uncanny. The controller is the same, the controls are the same. Its just like playing the game on the DC, with some updates of course. Matt is right, the default difficulty is way too easy. So far I have played a couple games, started a franchise and gone through 4 celebrity challenges in The Crib(tm) and the "Pro" difficulty is good for those of us who are not hard core sports gamers.
Highlights: The practice mode is nice, nothing special but it gets the job done. Having the manual in game is a nice touch. The reference guide is great. X-Box Live was very simple to setup and get going. I got shellacked in my first Live game, but man it was fun. The presentation is complete to a T. I will take Chris Berman, Peter O’Keefe and Dan Stevens any day over John Madden. NFL 2k5 has pushed the bar on what the game should look like. It looks like a NFL telecast, it feels like a NFL telecast, exactly like a football telecast. Visual Concepts and ESPN have done very well this year. I will probably be picking up other 2k5 games because of this, namely NBA 2k5. Passing is a lot better this time around. Complaints: Play by play is a little bit repetitive. I noticed this even after the 1st game I played. This is going to happen in any sports game though. There is a finite amount of space for the amount of play by play voices. The color commentary has gotten better though. The smack talk from your celebrity opponents is really annoying. Let me say that again, your celebrity opponents is really annoying. Those faces they had to make for this game, that is just sad. Not only that but it is overlaid above any on screen graphics, such as the audible window, for example. I noticed the voice sometimes does not match the face. This has happened twice so far. But you know what, without the face pop-ups how would you know you were playing a celebrity opponent? Do we care? There is almost no lip sync on Chris Berman, Suzie Kolber or the player she interviews. The mouth tries to match the vowels. I assume lip sync was low on the "To Do" list. It does not detract from the game too badly. I am getting encroachment penalties from my CPU players too much. I turned down the neutral zone infractions a tad and now I don't get those calls.
I can't wait to see NBA 2k5. If it has the same production values as NFL 2k5, and the same price tag, that purchase will be a no brainer as well.

Comments (1)

Wow....we agree on something! Actually, we agree on almost everything here and that is rare. The only thing I disagree on is that the half/post game shows get old fast. I think they are easily one of the best features and I still watch 'em every game well into my second season. Superb stuff and if the lip-synching issue is fixed, I hope to see more digital Berman next year.

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