NBA: in The Zone 2
I feel bad for this game only because Live 2000's dominance hasn't left much room for anyone else. If ITZ 2000 had some kind of interesting gimmick or at least more than a few things it did better than anyone else I could see recommending it. Unfortunately it puts itself in the same gallery as the big boys without the firepower it needs to compete. That's not to say it doesn't have redeemable qualities, it has several. The animation takes account of players stumbling, falling backward and getting knocked sideways. Little things like reach-ins, blocks and passes look good as well. Sadly, the animation isn't the main flaw-the Al takes that prize. While it's not as bad as others I've played recently, it has some serious problems. The computer players are often out of position, leaving gaping holes in the defense. It's quite easy for the opposing team to drive the lane when it's practically vacant. The Al players do some wacky stuff on offense too, like wandering out of bounds or getting tangled with other players. Two-player reflects the same sort of problems only to a larger degree. Overall the game lacks fluidity and the kind of natural gameplay it needs to succeed. It's a shame because it's obvious Konami is trying to do some innovative things but it's not quite there yet. Better luck next year.
In the Zone 2000 offers little improvement over last year's game, at a time when big changes were necessary in order to keep up with EA's ever-improving Live series. ITZ suffers from outdated graphics, sloppy controls, horrid sounds (is that a basketball or a lead weight?) and an ugly interface. If you own ItZ 99, this isn't different enough to warrant a purchase. If you don't, you should just get Live 2000 instead. It's a better game in nearly every aspect.
This title lags other hoop sims as far as s-on-5 game-play goes, but the dunk contest and three-point shootout modes are well-done. The regular game suffers from a lack of atmosphere, some jerky animations and weak Al. Also, there was a real sense of a plodding, slow offense. Not recommended for hardcore hoop heads. Time after time I quit at halftime to go back into the dunk contest. Maybe a rental, but really a brick.
I like this version better than the N64 edition but it still leaves a lot to be desired. The frame-rate is clunky as all get-out. The players look like they're stutter stepping when they run. Granted, the special move animation looks good, but it doesn't blend well overall. It's funny, the turbo on the N64 game shoots players across the court at hyper speeds while in this version it hardly does anything. NBA ITZ 2000 has way too many holes in it for me.