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NCAA College Basketball 2K3 Package Art
†GENRE
††Sports
†DEVELOPER
††Sega
†PUBLISHER
††Sega
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-4
†CONNECTIVITY
††no
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NCAA College Basketball 2K3

College basketball is one of those sports that pretty much everyone knows about. This is due mainly to the fact that in Spring, a little thing called March Madness takes over every office building, work place, school yard, and home across the country. This year, Sega Sports gives GameCube its first college basketball title. Now the only question is: Does it live up to the hype generated by the real sport?

visuals

The in-game visuals are something of a mixed bag. While overall they are generally impressiveówith nice court renderings, solid player models, and a steady frame rateóthere are some problems. First of all, the crowd just plain sucks. Itís ridiculous. I honestly think each person in the crowd is made up of 20 pixels. Yes, thatís pixels, not polygons, and they're very poorly done. Also, the animation of the players, while good, can sometimes be very stiff, especially when trying to perform crossover moves or taking some of the lay-up shots. Another area that could use some attention is the player faces. I know they canít license the real player faces, but they could do a better job of making them more individual and distinct.

audio

Music in the game is excellent. From the ESPN studio music over the menus to the school fight songs, everything is well done (even the on-court tunes during time-outs). The commentary, on the other hand, could use a little work. While most of the time itís right on for whatís going on in the game, there are times when you wonder what on Earth they are talking about. In addition, when there is a lot happening in a short time, there is a tendency for the commentary to fall behind. I have had several times when, after a few quick turnovers and shots, I will already be dribbling down court and they will comment on a shot taken 10 seconds earlier. Totally out of place and something that needs to be corrected.

gameplay

A slick ESPN-style presentation, several modes of play (including season, legacy, and exhibition), and a solid basketball engine make this one of the top basketball games on the market this year. The game does an excellent job of balancing the offense and defense so that you can master both ends of the court, and it keeps everything in check by not allowing players to make every single shot, no matter who they are or where they are shooting from. Not to say you canít have a good night shooting, but if you track the stats, you will see everything is realistic in its value. The stat tracking is also fairly deep so you can compare your players to the rest of the country and set up your lineups as you prefer.

multiplayer

Standard sports game multiplayer fare, with 1-4 players at the same time and players split up however you like (2-on-2, 1-on-3, or all 4 on one team). The multiplayer doesnít affect the frame rate or the gameplay, so it is basically there to extend the replay value and give you variety in competition beyond beating the computer all day.

overall

I love this game to death. Although flawed, it is still a lot of fun to play and gives you a good feel for the college game. I would definitely recommend picking this game up if you can find it. Thatís one problem that I found; it is very hard to track down. The store where I got mine had only one copy and hasnít received any since that day. If you find it, pick it up. If you are a fan of the college hoops scene, it shouldnít be missed.

final score 7.9/10





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Staff Avatar Jeff Miller
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