Review by NJ Devils1

"Amazing graphics, awful game play"

I realize with the name under which I am writing this review may cause some people to discredit my opinion as ''What does a hockey fan know about b-ball?'', but I assure everyone out there that I am fan of most all sports (and their corresponding video games). This is why I am so terribly disappointed in this game. With the graphics contained within this game, this should BE the must-have NBA game for all systems, but horrible game play bring this game way down.

From the days I first popped Lakers vs. Celtics into my old Genesis, I looked forward to the day that a new basketball game was released. I eagerly anticipated last year's NBA 2k, and even more looked towards this year's offering. After all, I thought the gang at Visual Concepts would have a had year to fix the bugs which plagued the original. Well, much to my chagrin, while they did fix some of the bugs, they created some which are much worse.

The best part of this game is far and away the graphics. Excellent player models featuring details such as Iverson's and Shaq's exact tattoos. Incredible authentic NBA arenas with actual corporate names on the floor (no longer is it the ''Atlanta Arena'', it's now the ''Philips Arena'') are just awesome. I mean, when I play a sports game, I look for these small touches that make me feel as if I really am one of these pro athletes.

This leads into why I returned this game 3 weeks after I bought it. As realistic as the game's presentation is, is as horrible as the actual gameplay is. My biggest complaint is that the game suffers from HUGE amounts of slow-down. This isn't a constant thing, but the fact that it happens as often as it does is completely inexcusable for a game on a supposed ''next-gen'' game system. It's almost like playing a game on a PC which doesn't have a fast enough processor or enough RAM to handle the graphics and on-court action simultaneously.

Other items that had me shaking my head in disappointment is the inability to hit a jump shot. I realize that about 80% of the NBA today is all about dunks, but when Allan Houston can't hit a wide-open shot throughout a course of a game, that is terrible. Also, the computer opponent is quite easy to stop even on the the most difficult setting. Simply take control of your center, park him near the basket, and the CPU-drones will fail to hit jumpers as well.

It's a shame that such a great looking game is plagued by such a shoddy game engine. When all is said and done, I'll stick with the original NBA 2k for my DC hardwood experience. After all, it looks almost as good and plays oh so much better.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/28/01, Updated 01/28/01


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