NCAA Basketball 2K3


posted 3/22/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PS2
It’s time for March Madness and what better way to celebrate the nirvana of the college basketball season than to fill out those brackets. Well besides that you can also participate in the season yourself with Sega’s NCAA College Basketball 2K3 for the Playstation 2. With the help of ESPN, NCAA 2K3 offers a solid representation of college basketball with the ESPN flair for presentation.

Right from the start you’ll see the ESPN influence with menus and transitions that mimic the style of the Sportscenter. As far as sports game menus goes, NCAA 2K3 has some of the best-looking menus around. As an avid watcher of Sportscenter, I thought the look and feel was incredibly well done and Visual Concepts does a great job in copying the ESPN style.

A good number of different types of game modes are available to you. Besides the standard season and tournament affair there’s also a gym rat mode where you can play 1 on 1 to 5 on 5 in an empty gym up to a certain score that you can set. There are two different legacy modes depending on how you want to play. You can either take any team and try to create another UCLA dynasty or you can take a limited number of openings at low profile schools at the beginning. After achieving various goals you’ll have the opportunity to take other coaching jobs at higher profile schools. I rather enjoy this mode as it gives you something to work for instead of having all teams opened to you at once. You’ll play harder because really who wants to spend their career coaching a school like South East Missouri State.

NCAA 2K3’s gameplay is a mix bag of good and annoying. Unlike the NBA, teamwork’s still a major factor in the college game. Ball movement and trying to get an open shot is critical. The Ricky Davis style of gameplay will most likely result in a loss.

The speed at which the game is played is a little slower than what you might be used to if you play EA’s basketball game. You can adjust the speed to make it a little faster than I actually preferred the faster speed but still not as fast as EA’s, which is a good thing. Free throw shooting features the moveable arrows with your analog sticks and pressing the R1 key to shoot the ball. You have to line up both arrows to point to the basket by maneuvering the analog sticks simultaneously. It definitely takes more skill than the double click cross of EA’s game.

You can call some set plays and you’ll need them to get that look on the basketball. Picks and screens play an important part of this game with NCAA 2K3 providing good player movements and positions to enable this to happen. Visual Concept has done a good job in modeling an offensive scheme with the players constantly in motion trying to get open.
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