SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$44.99

DEVELOPER
Radical Entertainment

PUBLISHER
Fox Interactive

RELEASE
10/99

NBA Basketball 2000 Review

By: Dave Mitchel


Ah, here we are: The next "big name" sports title, the one everyone just loves to hype up. It promises real Fox Sports Announcers, a special AI system, complete roster management, a unique rebound system, and of course, all 29 NBA teams, 2 rookie teams and 2 All-star teams. This all is well and good, but whether all these special features makes a good game remains to be seen...


Highs:
Lows:

For starters, graphically NBA Basketball 2000 is a mutt. It has blurry, poorly defined players who almost all look the same, and the crowd in the background just looks like one big mess. And good luck seeing the famous faces of the NBA; the faces have nothing to distinguish themselves at all. There are no graphical glitches to be seen, which is good, but the graphics just don't meet the standard of what we've come to expect to see on the Playstation. For a game that promises "detailed high resolution graphics" it really disappoints.

The sound of the game is simply lacking in many respects. The first thing you'll notice when you start the game is that there is almost no music. Aside from a few "interludes" between plays and such, you won't hear almost any music in the game. You can see that the designers wanted to replicate the sound of an NBA as closely as possible, because basketball games obviously have little music in them besides between plays, quarters, halftones and such. But while this approach may work for basketball on t.v, it bombs in the game. It just robs the game of so much drama and intensity that really makes you think "Where's the music" while you play. The sound effects of players running, dribbling, and the audience cheering, baskets going in etc. is captured authentically, as they should be in this age of gaming. The announcers on the other hand, though their voices are heard crystal-clear on the CD quality sound of the Playstation, just get annoying. They say the same things over and over again quite a bit, and ramble on about player stats and team information while you play. Between the irritating announcers, and extreme lack of music, this game really misses out in the sound department.

The control of the game is nothing special either- actually the directional control of the players is terrible. The players always seem to move past the point where you try to get them to stop, even when using the analogcontrol. The buttons are easy to get used to, so you can get a hang of the game almost immediately. Luckily it offers a control configuration option, because the game's current setup had a couple buttons that seemed "off" to me. I was really surprised at the poor directional control of the players in this game.

My biggest complaint about the gameplay of NBA Basketball 2000 is that it's fairly slow moving and tedious. Yeah that's right, a basketball game that doesn't move very fast. I found this rather pathetic, especially considering the game touts itself as having "addictive gameplay that's fast and fun". It's not fast, it isn't a whole lot of fun, and it certainly isn't addictive. The horrendously slow loading times between games really bogs down the game as well. Some inexplicable flaws in the game engine really take a lot of the fun away. The foul shot system in imprecise and sloppy, and takes a lot of getting used to in order to get some accurate foul shots in. Speaking of fouls, the foul system is extremely silly. Almost any attempt to steal the ball will be declared a foul, which simply doesn't make any sense. Also the shooting system isn't consistent: often it lets in shots that don't seem like they should go in, and doesn't allow in shots that seem right on the money. Even the dunks fail occasionally for no reason. Finally, the so-called "realistic" players all are very much the same, with little differentiation between them.

This title proves that it takes more then a slick license and official announcers to make a good game. It lets down in the areas of graphics, control, sound, and gameplay. The two-player mode offers little more enjoyment then the one player mode. Simply put, this is an overhyped, underdeveloped, inferior game. I see very little reason to buy it, and it would probably bore you quickly even on a rental.

OVERALL
5.0

GRAPHICS
5.5

CONTROL
6.0

MUSIC/FX
6.0

FRUSTRATION
8.0


Second Opinion

By: John Doe

I disagree with Dave on a few key points. I personally thought the games graphics looked very good. The animation was fluid although the lag in certain controls annoyed me. I found the AI a little lax in places although playing multiplayer eradicated this problem. The announcing was quite well done although it did tend to get fairly repetitious after a number of games. All in all, I thought it was a good effort from Fox and just like their NHL series, I think this will be a franchise to watch for.

OVERALL
7.0

GRAPHICS
7.5

CONTROL
6.0

MUSIC/FX
7.0

FRUSTRATION
5.0

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