NBA ShootOut 2004 E3 2003 Preshow Report

989's basketball series is back for another season, and it has the 50 greatest NBA players of all time in tow.

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It's always difficult to make meaningful improvements to a year-after-year sports franchise. The most obvious upgrade is a simple roster update. From the looks of things, 989 Sports has found a large collection of new things to bring to NBA ShootOut 2004, the latest installment in its long-running NBA franchise.

For starters, the strong elements from last year's game are returning. The career mode will let you start a player out in minor league basketball organizations like the Summer Pro League and the National Basketball Developmental League in an attempt to get signed to an NBA team.

NBA ShootOut 2004 will have an online mode for up to four players. The game will also have weekly roster downloads that include player ability and statistics changes, which should help the game's version of the NBA match up a little more closely to the real deal. Player attributes will be more pronounced this time around, particularly the speed statistic, which will ensure that faster players move more quickly than their slower counterparts.

In a simulation-style nod to Midway's sports games, ShootOut will contain hot and cold streaks. Hitting three shots in a row will put a player on a hot streak. Missing three in a row will have a negative effect on a player's shooting ability. Meeting certain in-game challenges will unlock the 50 greatest players of all time, as selected by the NBA. You'll eventually be able to unlock Wilt Chamberlin, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, and more.

NBA ShootOut 2004 is currently scheduled for a September release. A version for the original PlayStation is also in development.

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