NBA Fastbreak 98
Midway shoots onto the PlayStation with NBA FastBreak '98 (formerly known as Hardwood Heroes), its first attempt at a five-on-five basketball simulation. And while FastBreak scores with fantastic features and above-average gameplay, its on-court action isn't as fun as NBA Live '98.
Penny from Heaven
NBA FastBreak sports slammin' features, including extensive play-books, signature moves like the Shaq-attack dunk, and a practice mode to help tune your jumper. FastBreak also allows you to determine how close your defenders play to their men, pressure the ball with full, half, and 4-court traps, and call for double teams when your opponent is lighting you up.
Bailers rise to the rim in Exhibition, Season, and Playoff modes. You can switch between arcade and simulation styles of play and three game speeds from slow to fast. FastBreak also enables roster-management fans to trade, create, and release players.
When it comes to gameplay, FastBreak does a good job of capturing the NBA experience, but it's missing the attitude that pushes NBA Live to the top. Dunks aren't slammed with authority, players don't get shoved to the ground very often, and the game sometimes turns into a cherry-pickin' battle as long passes lead to some easy baskets.
Dribbled out of Bounds
The control is also not up to Live's standards. The drive and deke controls are both on the same button, so occasionally when you intend to dribble the ball between your legs you end up shooting a brick. On the positive side, icon passing enables you to whip the ball to whoever you wish, as well as making alley-oops easier to perform.
Graphically, FastBreak's player animations are both sharp and smooth as players spin, shoot runners, and use an assortment of dunks. Players will even limp off the court if they injure their leg. FastBreak's sound clangs off the rim, though, as the announcer is often wrong on his calls, and the crowd is virtually nonexistent.
If you're looking to buy just one basketball game this year, the choice is still NBA Live '98. But if you're a hoops junkie who's looking for more than one b-ball game to jam with, FastBreak is a solid second selection.
- Defend your opponents point guard from getting the ball in the back court. Forcing your opponent to dribble up court with a poor ball handler can lead to a turnover.
- If your opponent has the momentum meter on his side, call time-out to stop the surge.
- There's no illegal defense in FastBreak, so camp out in the paint with your center to prevent drives or get a rebound.
- After getting a defensive rebound, immediately look downcourt for streaking players. Use icon passing to pass the pill directly to the offensive player ahead of the pack for an easy two.
Download NBA Fastbreak 98
Midway is very close to releasing NBA Fastbreak '98 (the game formerly known as Hardwood Heroes).
The game, developed by Visual Concepts, will feature big-time NBA basketball and all the licenses and players that go along with it in a fully polygonal 3-D basketball shootout.
While the game seems very straightforward, there will be some interesting moves making their debut in this title. Namely the side-step maneuver which gives players a new move to cut into the lane with. Also noteworthy is the ability to call up defensive and offensive formations as the ball is in play. The extensive playbook will layout the plays beforehand, while certain favorites are assigned to buttons.
- MANUFACTURER - Visual Concepts
- THEME - Sport
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-8