NBA Shootout 2001
|Editor Rating:||5.5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Hey, news flash folks! NBA ShootOut 2001 is barely different than last year's version. That's not really an indictment of 989 sports, as it is a fact of developing for a console which is past its prime. I dug deep for some real added value in this year's installment, but found only minor refinements. Overall, this is a below-average effort for a series which never really came of age. One look says it all, as grainy textured players, dimly lit arenas and a lack of transition animations give this one the feel of an older PSX title. I appreciate what they've tried to accomplish by bringing their "total control" concept to the basketball court, but it wears thin quickly. It works like this; start shooting and a bar begins to rise on a meter with red, yellow and green areas. Stop it in the green area and you're almost guaranteed a bucket. This is somewhat challenging at first, but players will adjust and soon find it better turned off (unless you think shooting 85 percent is realistic and/or fun). Other quirks include a speed burst that is overzeal-ous, too many dunks and too many fouls and steals. I know the talent level of the NBA is watered-down and not what it once was, but does the same have to be true of our console hoops titles? ShootOut is a series that has been around awhile, but it has failed to progress to the esteemed veteran status of its cousins (GameDay and FaceOff). Rent, chuckle and dismiss. Better yet, skip the renting part.
This series is starting to get about as tired and unattractive as a Patrick Ewing jumpshot. It seems that 989 Sports has hit a wall with this game, or even more probable, they're devoting their energies to a PS2 version. What you see here is basically what you've seen in the 2000 edition: the innovative cre-ate-a-dunk mode, icon play controls (passing, cutting), and all the requisite seasons and stat tracking features. The drab graphics have been marginally improved, but are still too choppy for a sport punctuated by speedy and graceful players. If you must have a hoops game, rent this, but wait until the PS2 version hits to buy.
Outwardly ShootOut and EA's Live 2001 are very similar. But when it comes to the important stuff--Al and gameplay. there's more than a few differences. For example, when playing against the computer in ShootOut 2001, your teammates tend to stand around like bystanders. Instead of jumping for rebounds they simply wait for the ball to come to them. Worse yet, they'll occasionally leave gaping holes in the lane. It's like they're afraid to leave their man for the double team in situations that call for it. Some of the animation, specifically steals and speed bursts, look forced as well. Even after alt these years, ShootOut still can't topple NBA Live.