NBA Action '94 isn't a slam dunk, but it still scores. This latest entry in the hoops market gets a high- fives for having some of the most realistic game play around.
The best part about NBA Action '94 is its licensing. You get all 27 NBA teams and their 1993-94 opening-day rosters, plus top rookies like Golden State's Chris Webber. Besides the current stars, you can also select from three Hall of Fame teams. Lace 'em up with the all-time greats, including Dr. J and "Pistol" Pete Maravich. If you can't win with these legends, it's time to hang up your sneakers.
ProTip: The computer is slow to get back on defense. Passing the ball quicklv up the court can often result in an easy basket.
NBA Action '94 has a wide variety of options, most notably the ability to team up with four friends against the computer. Like many multiplayer games, however, the 5-Player Co-Op feature is difficult to master. It's tough enough to get two players to play like teammates, let alone five. It's also easy to lose track of which player you're controlling with so many bodies on the floor.
If you have a "hot" player, hold down Start and Button B for a clear-out play. This'll give you a one- on-one opportunity.
You play a 20-, 40-, or 82- game regular season as one of your favorite NBA teams. Since the game records all wins and losses, you're trying to earn a trip to the play-offs. If you can't wait that long, you can always compete in a single-elimination or "best-of championship series.
The game play itself is strong. One nice feature is your role as coach. Here the game gets high marks for its realism -- for instance, as players tire and miss shots, you have to send in fresh subs. One drawback is having only three offensive plays, far fewer than the number of plays in NBA Showdown '94.
Overall, the controls do the job. They're a bit sluggish at times, but they're still better than most. The sluggishness is especially apparent when passing, because the ball doesn't always go exactly where you're aiming.
When it's late in the game and you're behind, call a TO, baby! You'll save time by starting your next possession in the front court.
Shoot the Rock
The graphics are the game's weakness. The players aren't very detailed and are difficult to tell apart. Their moves, however, are authentic, especially on drives to the basket. The rotating screen makes the transition from offense to defense easy to follow.
When you first get the ball, tap Button B for a pump fake. Once your opponent jumps to block, dribble past him for an easy hoop.
The crowd noises and reactions to rim-rocking dunks are nice touches, as is the voice of announcer Marv Albert. On the negative side, the music doesn't add much.
If your opponents are jumping to block j our shot, release the ball later and you won't get rejected.
NBA Action '94 is far superior to EA Sports' Bulls vs. Lakers or any of the Tecmo simulations. NBA Showdown '94 is still the top game in the sim market, but don't let that stop you from scoring with this fun game.