NBA ShootOut 2003
With basketball season around the corner, publishers are gearing up and putting the final touches on their basketball releases. Not all are putting the final touches on however as 989 sports has managed to beat both Sega and EA Sports to the market with NBA Shootout 2003. Shootout 2003 comes in as a legitimate contender this year with a number of new features. Unfortunately most of them, like the new franchise and career mode, didn't make it to the Playstation version but that's not totally unexpected. What you do get is an exhibition option, season mode, playoff option, and the create-a-dunk selection, which, for the Playstation, isn't that bad.
The modes of play that are offered give a complete showing, as the season mode in particular will take you through all the options you would expect. It allows you to make draft selections, trade players, and attempt to get free agents. A create-a-player option is also available but created players will automatically be inserted into the draft where all teams have a fair shot at him.
The graphics also give a decent, but not outstanding performance with some of the players actually resembling their real life counterparts. On the Playstation however, it does look like they took a 2'?x4'? to the face, but they are still recognizable.
As for the gameplay, one notable difference from the other basketball games is it has more of a NBA feel. There is quicker action and defenses that are easier to take advantage of which can cause frustration and affect game flow. On the other side, it definitely creates a more realistic NBA experience and puts a greater emphasis on defense.
NBA Shootout 2003 will keep most basketball fans busy with the season mode or playing with up to eight friends. There are some areas that could have been better but overall it should perform well enough for most basketball fans.
Download NBA ShootOut 2003
As NBA camps get underway for the new season, 989 Sports offers up a revised pro basketball title that provides some nice features but ultimately misses the cut.
If you are an NBA fan, you will thoroughly enjoy the career mode. It starts by letting you totally customize your player, including all kinds of tattoos plus arm, leg and head accessories. My player was quite possibly the ugliest mix of modifications, but he could play some serious ball. After playing with the summer league to start your career, you get offers to play in the NBA's developmental league. Going through these games and honing your skills to get to the pro level is a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, the graphics and some aspects of the gameplay are disappointing. The players are not very smooth, and some of the pro players look terrible. Their movements are decent; especially some of the freestyle moves and dunks, but the steals, blocks and rebounds are very unsatisfying. Normally a steal and subsequent fast break would be an exciting event, but this game turns it into a slow, frustrating moment.
Despite these complaints, the game offers quite a lot of depth. The dunk editing feature and the practice mode are entertaining, and any NBA fan should try the career mode and try to go from prospect to champion. This game is definitely not a lottery pick, but you might take a chance on it in the second round.