I think this is best simulation basketball series out
(as if you really cared) I still find myself jammin' with A.I., Dirk, Carter and the rest of those
highly-paid hoopsters. Sega should be basking in the rich sound of applause. The commercial was good to. (The only one I've ever sat through, mainly because of it's inviting catch phrase: This is what it's like...to play in the N.B.A.)
It certainly is. No other company has come close to it's wide range of gameplay.
A sports game needs no story. Anyone who wants a sports game with a story could try Mickey's Speedway.
If I could, I'd make this a 9.5 because of the sometimes tough free throws, but I hafta round it off. The game uses the standard-with the exception of Courtside 2002- basketball controller setup. Some exceptions are being able to use the jabstep and make adjustments to layups in flight.
Rebounding is more real because you need to box out. In stealing, it is not hard, but not easy either. At least you don't get called every steal attempt. Cough-In The Zone-cough. The variety makes this game so much better. You
have plenty of alternatives when trying to get past a defender. Should I crossover? Set a pick? Dropstep? You can choose. You really feel like an N.B.A. point guard, running the court and taking charge. The Quick Play mode is fun, basic, and a good choice for beginners. Streetball is a basic, primarily outdoor game. The addition of legends from
five decades is a great bonus, but WHERE THE HECK IS KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR?! He was an excellent player who deserves a place on the 80s roster. Maybe he didn't want to be in a game, but then why was he in Slam and Jam? Anyway, I'll stop my insane rantings and get back to the review. Season mode is there, of course, as well as a wonderful franchise mode
that is very extensive. Unlike some games where the team you try to trade with will just let you trade anyone: ''Chris Dudley for Tim Duncan? Sure you can have our franchise player!'' you must negotiate with the other team to get your desired trade. The tournament mode is fun, too, especially with the fantasy draft. Multiplayer is fun, especially with
friends who are as b-ball crazy as you are. ( I once played with a hockey player who referred to the court as ''the ice'') The Sega Sports Challenge, a mode where you post your stats on the net, is a cool way to show off your prowess.
In the franchise mode, I was pleased to note that the computer chose mvps, all stars, and all of the other mid and post season awards. You can even play the allstar game in franchise mode.
The commentary is excellent, an ESPN job that has so many phrases, I'm still hearing new ones. Although you only hear a player's nickname if they score huge amounts of points, this is fine. Half-time and post-game shows add to the momentum, as well as some great player introductions. Players speak on court, and the coach can sometimes shout out advice. All sound effects seem like they were sucked out of a real game, like the satisfying ''plock'' sound when you block, and sneakers cringing on the hardwood.The downside is the music. The ESPN theme is constantly repeated, so get used to it. The only other music is a myriad of beats in streetball. They aren't good enough to sing in the shower, but they aren't bad. I'm glad the music was instrumental, because in Live 2003 I noticed suggestive and offensive lyrics. Too bad the ESRB missed it. The music here is fine, however, and I'd feel comfortable giving the game to a six year old. Christmas shoppers, please note.
The arena animations can be a bit repetitive, but you can't really complain. Audience graphics are good. The people drink from cups, wave, clap, stand and are more or less people. They wave balloons to distract free throw shooters and are diverse in appearence. The first row of spectators is 3D, an added bonus, but they look like something from an early n64 game, and by some extensive tinkering with the instant replay, I discovered the guys at the scorers table have no legs, and the 3D people have hollow heads. (honestly, the things I do for you people.) Big name players look excellent, but some guys look pretty generic: Nash looks like my old principal, and my favourite player Rafer Alston has almost no face. On the whole, the graphics are smooth but the game oozes at a slow framerate as a result.
With the Sega challenge, you will be occupied for a while,
and the franchise mode will do the same. I don't know when the franchise mode is done, but maybe it's when Amare Stoudamire retires.
This is a great game, and you should snap up any available
game if you have ever played basketball and liked it. Rent if you're unsure.