Review by Dragon

"If you make a basketball game, and no one plays it, does it still suck? Yes."

Let me put it to you this way. laying ESPN NBA 2Night after playing any other basketball game is like smashing yourself in the face with a hammer after eating a gourmet meal. The difference? The hammer-smashes don't leave you with as much a headache afterward.

I was made a bit distraught by the gamer's sheer graphical impotence. Looking little better then a mediocre 3DO game, NBA 2Night shows more seams than an understaffed sweatshop. Player models are sloppy and hard-edged, and their animations consist of roughly three frames apiece. Players move up and down the court in perpetual slow motion, and the game's framerate chugs along at the speed of a slide show run by a sedated sloth. This is undeniably one of the worst-looking games i've ever played, and i've played a whole lot of them.

Graphics are not everything, though. NBA 2Night's gameplay sucks equally hard. In stark contrast to Visual Concepts' finely tuned, expertly crafted hoops title, NBA 2Night's controls accommodates all the finesse of an aging meatloaf. Getting your player to do ANYTHING, even something simple, like passing to an open man of cutting toward the basket, is an exercise in frustration. Cross-overs and spin moves do nothing but slow your player down. And draining a jumpshot involves not mad skillz (or even mad cows), but rather mad luck.

Also worth noting in this is the lack of anything even resembling a physics engine: balls dont bounce, they just sort of awkwardly float though the air at their own leisure (I was expecting the camera to cut away for a shot of the International Space Station). Playerrs dont hold the ball, but attach to to invisible strings which extend from their torsos. And when a ball rolls onto the court for some reason, it becomes impossible to pick up. Sigh.

The practice mode is weak, classic players are absent, online play isn't available and the game dosen't even have a franchise mode! The free-throws are clearly pre-determined: a make bounces off the back rim and balls in, while any miss will hit nothing but air. Stupid!

I'm quite disappointed in Konami for unleashing this game upon the masses. And to all those who purchased this game, sight unseen, allow me to give you my condolences. If you see this game for less then $1, get all the copys you can get and burn them. Please.

Graphics: 1
These graphics are a crime against humanity!

Sound: 2
Stewart Scott's quips are funny for about 20 minutes before becoming annoyingly bad.

Control: 1

Horrid. Absolutely horrid.

Gameplay: 1
Worthless. While it can be fun to make a shot once in a while, thats about it!

Happy Gaming, and ''Cremate this game, and take it out of its misery''

Reviewer's Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

Originally Posted: 05/24/03, Updated 07/14/03

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