Conclusion: March Madness 2002 is not worth buying, because of the limited replay value and shaky AI. However, the game shows promise with the "realistic" gameplay additions and excellent sound package. Even though this is the first March Madness for the PS2, this game feels terribly rushed. Almost as if there was an order on high saying that this game must go out by early January, even if it's missing features that are expected in any sports title worth its salt.
Excerpt: When I review a game, I generally like to start off with praise before I criticize certain features I'm not fond of. I feel I'm always respectful to the creators with my comments, because they took the time to make something for we, the gamers, to play. This is nowhere near the case for NCAA March Madness 2002 for PS2, because I don't think they took any time at all creating the Worst EA Sports Game I've Ever Played! But like always, I'll start with the good.
Excerpt: Basketball sims have become quite popular as of late, unfortunately, with the exception of one (NBA 2K2) pretty much every ball sim on the market is an overall flop. NBA Live 2001 was a good first attempt, but not different than its PSX counterpart, gameplay wise. It was even worse for Live 2002 as it was nearly identical to 2001. Sony's Shootout games were a travesty better left un-spoken of.
Excerpt: Will basketball games ever stop appearing on consoles? Don’t hold your breath. Every year there are more basketball games released for consoles than I can count on my fingers. The NCAA March Madness series first appeared on the original PlayStation, with NCAA March Madness ‘99. It was soon followed by March Madness 2000 and then 2001. I’m a pretty big fan of March Madness 2001.
Excerpt: Throughout the PlayStation era, EA Sports' NCAA March Madness series dominated its respective genre with tight controls, intelligent AI, cool college-specific trimmings, and ample modes of play. In its first PlayStation 2 outing, the gameplay system, although not without its flaws, and much of the college-specific presentation made it over unscathed.
Conclusion: Why settle for a poorly developed basketball game when there are better games out there? I had high hopes for March Madness 2002, but my hopes were quickly dashed. The game is easy to beat and short in replay value. This is one disappointing effort.