NBA Shoot Out 98

a game by SCEA
Platforms: Playstation, PSX
Editor Rating: 8.3/10, based on 7 reviews
User Rating: 10.0/10 - 1 vote
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NBA Shoot Out '98 looks to deliver the entire hoops package, including crazier dunks than Live '98.

Gimme the Rock

On the graphics side, Shoot Out looks just as polished as in previous years, but the camera angles in this unfinished version definitely leave something to be desired: At times, players bunch up along the far sideline, making it hard to see who has the ball. In other views, the action seems just a bit too far removed to make it look in-your-face spectacular. The gameplay moves along at a fast clip, and the A.I. is definitely more challenging than Live's, but the computer tends to steal the ball way too much. As for features, all the standards are included, along with icon passing, create-a-player, and a draft mode. If Sony does a little tweaking here and there, Shoot Out '98 might just run Live right off the court.

Rim-Shahin' Dunks

Sony's looking to bring some serious oncourt flash and funk with NBA Shoot Out '98. The variety of dunks has improved this year; players can now get nasty with no-look and double clutch rim rockers. And with the addition of Total Control Dunking, bailers can choose to deliver their favorite whenever they drive the paint. Tip slams have also been added, along with a bigger shot repertoire that includes leaners and fadeaways. Hoop-heads can also control a specific player to cut to the basket with the new Icon Cutting feature. In the hands-on copy we played, the new additions worked well and really added to the game's fun and intensity.

Download NBA Shoot Out 98

Playstation

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PSX

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Get ready for the wildest, most in-your-face basketball game of the season! NBA Shoot Out '98 scores with the coolest dunks ever seen, while providing the most realistic action of any hoops game yet.

The Slams and the Slam Nots

Shoot Out fires onto the PlayStation with an impressive repertoire of moves, from no-look passes to fadeaway jumpers, but it's the intense dunk confrontations at the rim that'll have you screaming for more. The game features 30 amazing slams, from backboard-rattling Shaq attacks to the East Bay Funk Dunk. And while everyone loves to jam. it's Shoot Out's dunk rejections that'll really get you hyped. Shoot Out is the first basketball game that lets you frequently block dunks, finally giving the defense a chance to stop their opponents from scoring on almost every play.

Other options include Exhibition. Season, and Playoff modes, along with a fantasy draft, authentic plays, player creation, and trades. Unfortunately, though. Shoot Out fails to deliver the three-point contest featured by its main competitor. NBA Live '98.

Hoop It Up

Shoot Out's player control is the best of any basketball game on the market. Adding to last year's list of innovative controls, Shoot Out '98 brings icon cutting to the court. Similar to icon passing, with icon cutting, you hold R2 to toggle the player icons, then press the desired icon to make that particular player cut to the basket. Other advanced controls enable you to cherry pick on defense, control any defensive player you want through icon switching, and select which slam you wish to perform using Total Control Dunking.

Graphically, Shoot Out slams its competition through the hardwood. Jerry Stackhouse was motion-captured to lend his slick moves to the game and the result is remarkable. The crazy dunks and smooth-looking shots are almost as fun to watch as the game is to play.

The sound, however, doesn't live up to the high standard set by the rest of the game. The announcer becomes annoying by halftime, while the crowd simply chants "Defense!" repeatedly just like in NFLGanieDay '98.

The Bucks Stop Here

If you're a hoops fan, you'd be a fool to miss out on all of the smack-talkin' fun and 360-degree slams Shoot Out has to offer. It's the best basketball game of the year. Buy it!

ProTips:

  • Use pump fakes to draw your defender into the air. then either drive around him or shoot while he's on his way down.
  • The best way to block shots is to use one player on defense and rotate to the ball. Sometimes the shooter won't see you, enabling you to bat the ball back in his face.
  • If you beat your defender to the hoop, avoid using dunks that swing the ball behind you to decrease the chance of your shot getting blocked.
  • Using jump passes is a good way to fool defenders into thinking you're shooting.
  • After scoring, use one of your guards to pressure the ball in the backcourt as your opponent attempts to set up his offense.

NBA Shoot Out supplies a rare combination of style and substance, sending it on its way to becoming the best basketball game ever created. It features all 29 NBA teams, authentic players, playoffs, trades, set offensive plays, and stat tracking. The amazing graphics are highlighted by Latrcll Sprewell's motion-captured dunks, and everything from the court to the fans and players help make basketball look beautiful. The sound still needs smoothing out, but that's only a minor flaw in an otherwise remarkably fun, realistic game. Shoot Out shines-it's sure to leave its competitors stranded on the bench.

From the makers of NFL GameDay comes another fast-paced, in-your-face, rip-roarin' sports game. NBA Shoot Out shows that Sony knows sports and can deliver an awesome next-gen game with the best of 'em.

Hoop! Here It Is!

Great players fill this great game. You get the full slate of teams with up-to-the-minute rosters (including all trades made as of January). Although you'll see star players like Hakeem, Scottie, and Hardaway, fans will notice the obvious absence of superstars like Jordan. Shaq, and Barkley. But don't blame Sony, blame the agents.

On top of great players, you also get great features. Substitutions, a bookful of offensive and defensive plays, the ability to trade players and to foul out, and fatigue percentages make the gameplay more realistic than Jam's and better than Live '%'s (see "Sports Pages" ProReview this issue). But Jam fans can also set the game to Arcade mode, which has enough fantastic slam dunks and impossible three-point shots to make any Jammer happy.

Slamtastic Voyage

You would expect such gorgeous, realistic polygonal action to slow down the game, but it doesn't... much. Players glide smoothly, pivoting, shooting, and stealing with fluid motion-captured movements.

The effective sounds are especially buggy when the Knicks or Rockets play (the announcer calls out Duane Ferrell's name even when he isn't playing). Otherwise, all else works fine.

The controls are the game's minor Achilles sneaker. Long passes (prone to interception) seem to happen randomly, even when you've pressed the button for the short pass. It's easy to snatch the ball when Abounding, and the referees miss too many calls. But mastering this game is half the fun, and once the pad assignments are learned, players will find themselves up for a good challenge in multiplayer contests.

Despite the control, NBA Shoot Out is the best new basketball game on the floor so far. It outshines NBA Live, its closest counteipart, and makes Jam seem like child's play. Shoot Out is the real thing, not just for b-ball fans, but for sports fans in general. Take this one to the hoop.

ProTips:

  • Always get a defender to cover the inbounding player. Hit Steal at the right moment, and you have an easy two.
  • Clear the lane underneath the basket by passing the ball around.
  • Pass while your player is going up for his shot to psych out the opposition.
  • Don't always go for the spectacular dunk. Mix up the shots to keep your percentages high.
  • Steal from the hand dribbling the ball, not the free hand, or you'll be called for a defensive foul.
  • Once you find your three-point player, stick with him. Try to use him in the clutch, though not for every play.

Based on Total NBA '96, which is due out this year in England, NBA Shoot Out drives the lane in the U.S. with better dunking animations and enhanced gameplay. Look for all 29 NBA teams, fully polygonal players in a 3D environment, player trades, big dunks, and eight-player simultaneous action (using two multitaps). If you want a realistic A.I, set your picks and call your plays in Exhibition, Full Season, Playoffs, or Finals mode.

Overview

For some reason, Sony has waited until the 1998 NBA season has started to wind down before releasing this year's version of NBA Shoot Out. Knowing Sony and the quality of games that they bring to the party, the only explanation that I could muster was that the game was not up to their standards and they decided to fix whatever may have been ailing the game prior to releasing it. Was this the case? I can't say for sure, but what I can tell you is that after the delays, I expected much more out of this game.

NBA Shoot Out 98 combines all 29 NBA teams, jerseys, and stadiums. What makes the game stand out from the competition is the advent of updated Icon Passing and the new Total Control Dunking. This means that you now have total control over you point guard, power forward, and dominant center. It is now up to you to decide what pass would be best to make or which dunk will wow the crowds.

Gameplay

Before I get into this review, I want to make a couple of general statements. Fist, I am not going to list all of the modes and options available because everything is pretty much standard fare these days. Just about anything you would expect out of a third generation basketball game is here and at your finger tips. Second, I just want you to know that this game was very difficult for me to review: there were so many little things that really annoyed me'and some that just plain pissed me off'but for some reason, I could not stop playing. This fact alone makes it hard for me to trash the game even though it has some definite flaws. I guess it goes to show that fun gameplay will make some flaws acceptable.

I have never really been a big fan of video basketball games. Check that... I have never been a fan of the basketball games that have been released to date. It is not that I don't like basketball, but I just think that basketball titles have lagged behind football, hockey, and even baseball when it comes to proper representation on video game systems. Admittedly, the games are getting better, but they still don't hold my interest too long. I am not sure if it is because there is so much computer controlled action, but I usually get bored and move on to something else. With that said, I actually found myself unable to stop playing this game. I started a season and just kept playing game after game. That alone is a testament of my feelings towards this game.

If you were to ask me why I could not stop playing this game, I could not tell you. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is that got me so addicted to it. My best guess is the Icon Passing and Total Control Dunking. If you are not familiar with the Icon system, let me explain. The Icon system gives you ultimate control of the on court action. For Icon passing, you hold down one of the shoulder buttons on your controller. This will bring up an icon over the head of all of your players. The icon is either the square, triangle, circle or X. You push the button on the controller that corresponds to the player you want to pass to. It is that simple. There is no more yelling because you passed to the wrong guy. The Total Control Dunking is similar except instead of getting a random dunk controlled by the computer, you can pick the slam you want to execute. These two features give you more control of the game than ever imagined.

The other thing I liked about the game was the skill level. Everything was weighted just about perfect. First, your 3 point shots would fall at a very realistic percentage with some games going 0 for 10 and others 7 for 10. This kept your interest level in the 3 point shot but also made you think about things before running down and shooting a 3 every possession. Also, the games were very equally weighted. When you played a good team against a bad team, the good team would usually prevail. Sometimes there would be an upset but most of the time the team that was expected to win would do so. When you had two evenly matched teams, it was quite a battle. I played a few games that went into double overtime. This also kept my interest level up in the game because I was not always getting bored of blowing out the other team. Everything seemed to be weighted just perfect.

Now, there were things that I did not like about this game. Actually, there were quite a few things, that I thought were lame so I am surprised that I actually enjoyed it as much as I did in spite of these flaws. The first of the flaws'and the biggest'was that the game should have been called NBA Blocked Shot 98 instead of Shoot Out 98. This is no exaggeration either. The first time I played the game, on the first possession, I had three blocked shots. It was not uncommon for a player to get his shot blocked, get the ball back and try to shoot again, only to be blocked again. But in Shoot Out 98, I have seen as many as five blocked shots on a single possession. Get real. A realistic block total for an entire team for a real NBA game is three or four. I was finishing games with 25 to 30. That is not the worst part of it either: it does not matter who the players are because they will still get blocked. I would pay top dollar to see Gary Payton block David Robinson's shot. It happened more than once and was very unrealistic. Period.

The second thing that bothered me about the game is that it also could have been called NBA Dunk Out 98. I am all for some serious slamming, but this game was out of hand. It was not so much the dunks that were out of hand but the players who were dunking. The day John Stockton pulls off a 360A° slam in real life will be the day I try out for the NBA. There are players who just do not dunk. Not in Shoot Out 98. Everyone can dunk, in spectacular fashion. Also, to combine the blocked shot complaint with the dunk complaint, there are too many blocked dunks. In the NBA, it is rare that a dunk will get blocked; that is why they dunk. In this game, fast break dunks are blocked all the time. It was almost better to pull up for a short jumper on the fast break instead of dunking, because they are blocked so often.

My last complaint about the game was that it was sometimes difficult to gauge depth. There were many times that I ran past a loose ball trying to pick it up, only to find out that I was way off line. This also caused me to run out of bounds on numerous occasions. It usually happened when the ball was on the close side of the court because you really did not have a great view of your position.

Graphics

This is one area where the developers spent some time doing it right. All the players are 3D "motion blended" polygons. They all look very close to their real-life counterparts, and all the movements looked very realistic. The players had tons of different animations and dunks that looked very cool. One of my favorite things was when a player would pull off the no-look pass. You could actually see him turn his head and look in one direction and pass the ball off in another direction. Very nice touch.

Bottom Line

For a guy who has not been impressed with basketball games and for as many flaws as this game had, I really enjoyed it. If you are looking for a true basketball sim, all of the dunking and blocked shots will really turn you off. I think the great graphics and the Icon system make this a very playable, arcadee style game with a few simulation aspects thrown in. The game has a great engine and look, but it really needs to be tweaked for the added realism that would make this live up to its full potential.

Overview

For some reason, Sony has waited until the 1998 NBA season has started to wind down before releasing this year's version of NBA Shoot Out. Knowing Sony and the quality of games that they bring to the party, the only explanation that I could muster was that the game was not up to their standards and they decided to fix whatever may have been ailing the game prior to releasing it. Was this the case? I can't say for sure, but what I can tell you is that after the delays, I expected much more out of this game.

NBA Shoot Out 98 combines all 29 NBA teams, jerseys, and stadiums. What makes the game stand out from the competition is the advent of updated Icon Passing and the new Total Control Dunking. This means that you now have total control over you point guard, power forward, and dominant center. It is now up to you to decide what pass would be best to make or which dunk will wow the crowds.

Gameplay

Before I get into this review, I want to make a couple of general statements. Fist, I am not going to list all of the modes and options available because everything is pretty much standard fare these days. Just about anything you would expect out of a third generation basketball game is here and at your finger tips. Second, I just want you to know that this game was very difficult for me to review: there were so many little things that really annoyed me—and some that just plain pissed me off—but for some reason, I could not stop playing. This fact alone makes it hard for me to trash the game even though it has some definite flaws. I guess it goes to show that fun gameplay will make some flaws acceptable.

I have never really been a big fan of video basketball games. Check that... I have never been a fan of the basketball games that have been released to date. It is not that I don't like basketball, but I just think that basketball titles have lagged behind football, hockey, and even baseball when it comes to proper representation on video game systems. Admittedly, the games are getting better, but they still don't hold my interest too long. I am not sure if it is because there is so much computer controlled action, but I usually get bored and move on to something else. With that said, I actually found myself unable to stop playing this game. I started a season and just kept playing game after game. That alone is a testament of my feelings towards this game.

If you were to ask me why I could not stop playing this game, I could not tell you. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is that got me so addicted to it. My best guess is the Icon Passing and Total Control Dunking. If you are not familiar with the Icon system, let me explain. The Icon system gives you ultimate control of the on court action. For Icon passing, you hold down one of the shoulder buttons on your controller. This will bring up an icon over the head of all of your players. The icon is either the square, triangle, circle or X. You push the button on the controller that corresponds to the player you want to pass to. It is that simple. There is no more yelling because you passed to the wrong guy. The Total Control Dunking is similar except instead of getting a random dunk controlled by the computer, you can pick the slam you want to execute. These two features give you more control of the game than ever imagined.

The other thing I liked about the game was the skill level. Everything was weighted just about perfect. First, your 3 point shots would fall at a very realistic percentage with some games going 0 for 10 and others 7 for 10. This kept your interest level in the 3 point shot but also made you think about things before running down and shooting a 3 every possession. Also, the games were very equally weighted. When you played a good team against a bad team, the good team would usually prevail. Sometimes there would be an upset but most of the time the team that was expected to win would do so. When you had two evenly matched teams, it was quite a battle. I played a few games that went into double overtime. This also kept my interest level up in the game because I was not always getting bored of blowing out the other team. Everything seemed to be weighted just perfect.

Now, there were things that I did not like about this game. Actually, there were quite a few things, that I thought were lame so I am surprised that I actually enjoyed it as much as I did in spite of these flaws. The first of the flaws—and the biggest—was that the game should have been called NBA Blocked Shot 98 instead of Shoot Out 98. This is no exaggeration either. The first time I played the game, on the first possession, I had three blocked shots. It was not uncommon for a player to get his shot blocked, get the ball back and try to shoot again, only to be blocked again. But in Shoot Out 98, I have seen as many as five blocked shots on a single possession. Get real. A realistic block total for an entire team for a real NBA game is three or four. I was finishing games with 25 to 30. That is not the worst part of it either: it does not matter who the players are because they will still get blocked. I would pay top dollar to see Gary Payton block David Robinson's shot. It happened more than once and was very unrealistic. Period.

The second thing that bothered me about the game is that it also could have been called NBA Dunk Out 98. I am all for some serious slamming, but this game was out of hand. It was not so much the dunks that were out of hand but the players who were dunking. The day John Stockton pulls off a 360° slam in real life will be the day I try out for the NBA. There are players who just do not dunk. Not in Shoot Out 98. Everyone can dunk, in spectacular fashion. Also, to combine the blocked shot complaint with the dunk complaint, there are too many blocked dunks. In the NBA, it is rare that a dunk will get blocked; that is why they dunk. In this game, fast break dunks are blocked all the time. It was almost better to pull up for a short jumper on the fast break instead of dunking, because they are blocked so often.

My last complaint about the game was that it was sometimes difficult to gauge depth. There were many times that I ran past a loose ball trying to pick it up, only to find out that I was way off line. This also caused me to run out of bounds on numerous occasions. It usually happened when the ball was on the close side of the court because you really did not have a great view of your position.

Graphics

This is one area where the developers spent some time doing it right. All the players are 3D "motion blended" polygons. They all look very close to their real-life counterparts, and all the movements looked very realistic. The players had tons of different animations and dunks that looked very cool. One of my favorite things was when a player would pull off the no-look pass. You could actually see him turn his head and look in one direction and pass the ball off in another direction. Very nice touch.

Bottom Line

For a guy who has not been impressed with basketball games and for as many flaws as this game had, I really enjoyed it. If you are looking for a true basketball sim, all of the dunking and blocked shots will really turn you off. I think the great graphics and the Icon system make this a very playable, arcade style game with a few simulation aspects thrown in. The game has a great engine and look, but it really needs to be tweaked for the added realism that would make this live up to its full potential.