The Saturn hasn't been known for great basketball games and with the release of NBA Live 98 it doesn't look like its going to be any time soon. Live 98 features all of the modes fans are used to seeing, exhibition, season, playoff, and a new 3-point shootout mode. The 3-point shootout is super fun and allows players to go head to head. In the exhibition mode players will experience the usual knockdown, no such thing as a foul, arcade style of play. In season mode players can choose a 28, 56, or a full 82 game season. Players are allowed to choose from tons of offensive and defensive plays that can be implemented on the fly during play. Although as with most basketball games defensive play is still a bit of an issue. Players can simply drive to the basket almost at will.
Many gameplay features have been added to make NBA Live 98 a better game than last years live 97. For instance in this year's version has icon passing. Icon passing allows players to pass the ball to any man on the court at anytime by pressing a particular button that is assigned to a particular player. Icon passing gives you the freedom to pass the ball to men further down the court without having to go through a middle man. The most significant addition, however, is direct dunking. Direct dunking allows players to pick which dunk they would like to perform by simply hitting a particular direction on the d-pad when going up for a jam. I'm surprised it's taken this long for a basketball game to allow this.
The graphical detail of the players on the court has been increased dramatically, but in doing so the frame rate has taken a severe hit. So much so that at times you have trouble seeing where the ball is (kind of important in a basketball game). The only saving grace the game has, graphically speaking, is the full motion video intro and half time shows that feature not only stunning video but also some pumping music.
Unfortunately, that is the only plus the game gets from me in the sound department. Between the announcer that barely talks and a crowd that acts as though they're asleep the only noise keeping you from falling asleep yourself is the mind-numbing beat of the dribbling basketball.
Compared to the PlayStation version, the Saturn version falls pretty flat. With graphics that simply look confusing and sound that is nearly non-existent, Live 98 is just a dull basketball game. NBA Action 98 is really a much better pick for all you Saturn owners out there.