NBA 2K1 First Impressions

Sega Sports is bringing an updated version of their popular Dreamcast baseketball game out for the new year, but can it stand up to the new competition?

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When released late last year for the Dreamcast, Sega's NBA 2k1 received critical acclaim for its crisp graphics and realistic basketball action. In this year's incarnation, Sega plans to showcase its network gaming option, along with other peripheral features, to bring Sega Sports NBA 2k1 online.

According to Sega, NBA 2k1 will feature more-detailed player models and facial expressions, improving on last year's version. All the team rosters will also be updated to match trades, free agency, retirement, and draft movements. The game's AI will also be improved, both in commentary and gameplay. Sega promises that the announcers will be more intelligent and better attuned to the action. On the court, computer defenses will apparently be more aware of in-game situations and will use advanced strategy at the end of games.

New to NBA 2k1, other than the online gaming features, will be a franchise mode. Here, you can sign players, draft rookies, and take part in several successive seasons. With the league-builder option, you can create custom leagues, teams, and even revamp entire schedules. Adding to the gameplay, Visual Concepts has also implemented new swat blocks, crisper crossovers, and the ability to pass out of layups and rebounds. And finally, the VMU save feature has been tweaked, letting you save specific roster changes or season information without piling all the data into one save file.

But ultimately, the network option is what will attract gamers to Sega's NBA 2k1. According to Sega, up to eight players (four per Dreamcast console) can hook up and play via the Dreamcast Network. You can even chat and taunt while playing against friends from across the US.

Sega Sports NBA 2k1 is currently slated for release on the Dreamcast in Fall 2000.

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