NBA Basketball 2000
|a game by||Sony Imagesoft|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 3 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 2 votes|
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|See also:||NBA Games|
Armed with THE NBA license, Fox will try to steal some basketball thunder with a little razzle-dazzle this fall. NBA Basketball 2000 already features nice touches like gritty playground practices, warm-up shoot-arounds, and cool Fox-Scope replays. Naturally, the game has such necessary details as stat tracking, player creation, eight-player support, and big-name announcers (Greg Papa and Doc Rivers). The controls will feel comfy for newbies, but the graphics could use a polish before game time. More importantly, with two other seasoned franchises on the shelves, can this rookie survive Shoot Out and live through Live?
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Fox Sports Interactive is looking to break into the tough sports genre in a major way with the help of developer Radical MBA Basketball 2000 promises to take television-style presentation to the next level with actual graphics used in Fox Sports broadcasts. A comprehensive Create-a-Player mode is another key feature. Look for NBA Basketball 2000 this October.
It's hard to put a finger on why I'm such a fan of Fox's NBA Basketball 2000, but I'll try. Part of my fondness is based on the way the rim reacts to shots. Sometimes they clank around on the rim, sometimes they drop right through, sometimes they roll off. It reminds me of watching real hoops. The game looks nice and the players move with great realism and smoothness. The announcers commentate with accuracy and purpose, noting if a team is on a run or they'll poke fun at the inexcusable occurrence of a missed dunk. It's fun to block shots and rebounding is intuitive based on positioning and timing jumps. The instant replay is done with Fox attitude using the FoxScope and sometimes a blur method. As far as flaws, there are a few, and one is huge. The biggest problem is the nearly non-existent Al, which allows anyone to knife to the hoop without much effort. It's not just the superstars that can dribble down the court without threat of a steal. The other big flaw is the free-throw meter. After a near loss it was easy to blame my o-for-17 free-throw woes. The meter is still a mystery to me. A mild problem is that every shot hits the rim, even full court, last-second bombs. Also the camera, on a foul, doesn't follow the ball but closes in on the person fouled. Overall, a solid hoops effort but where's the "D"?
At first glance, NBA Basketball 2000 seemed like it might be a contender this year, but after spending some quality time with the game, I've come to realize that this is not the case. The game's got some positives (great play-by-play, solid game engine, etc.), but it's plagued by poor Al and iffy controls. The lethal combo of Speed Burst and Special Move will burn any D on any difficulty, and some of the physics are just bizarre. Maybe next year, Fox...
Fox has packed this game full of TV-style do-dads and what-nots but sadly forgot to put in any Al defense. For example, It's possible to walk up court pushing defenders away as you go. Get to the hoop, pause to gather your thoughts, then slam home the big jam--all this while in All-Star difficulty level no less! It's a fatal flaw as far as I'm concerned. It's unfortunate, other things such as the animation and general gameplay are not bad at all...
If you feel woozy from the frenetic pace of NBA Live 2000, NBA Championship offers a nice alternative. It feels more like real basketball, with plenty of time to set up plays, look for guys in the passing lane, and run an offense. Visuals are well-done, including unique replay angles which help immerse you in the game. One big negative was the free-throw meter, which seemed more difficult than the controls of some flight sims.