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The sequel to Microsoft's pigskin launch title features a number of additions as well as the necessary changes associated with the 2002-2003 NFL season. New features include the ability to edit team playbooks, uniforms, and plays as well as an option to challenge opponents online. Four game modes include Practice, Single Game, Season, and Network Play, with the latter supporting the Xbox Live broadband service. Players can set up individual profiles, download updated rosters, create a friends list, and monitor rankings in the areas of win-loss records, disconnects, offensive stats, and defensive stats.
Those without friends online can take advantage of the Quick Match or OptiMatch feature. OptiMatch lets players customize their game beforehand, from weather conditions to the frequency of penalties, and finds an identical match with another player having the same preferences. Players selecting the Quick Match option will simply connect with a randomly chosen opponent. Those with friends online can create a list of up to 100 players whose online status can be monitored while connected to the Xbox Live service. Members from this list can be sent invitations to play NFL Fever 2003.
The post-game highlight reel, illustrating the key plays or drives that led to a team's victory, has also been expanded, and Kevin Calabro replaces Dick Stockton for play-by-play announcing duties. Changes made to reflect the 2002-2003 season include an eight-division format, the Houston Texans expansion team, updated rosters, and new stadiums for the Bears, Lions, and Patriots. Also new to NFL Fever 2003 is a seven-game challenge against classic teams from the NFL's past, all of which are selectable once players defeat them. Previous features such as training camp, dynamic player performance, create-a-player, and the 25-year dynasty option have also made the transition. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide