Review by Psycho Penguin

"It still is the best basketball game ever.."

When I went to Blockbuster one Friday evening, I wanted to rent out NBA Live '99. However, I disappointingly realized later on that evening that I had rented out NBA Live '98 on accident. I was concerned because I thought that Live '99 was the best basketball game ever. However, NBA Live '98 for the Playstation is the best basketball game ever created, for any system. The nice graphics, tons of options, and great gameplay all lead up to a winner. If you're a basketball fan, you cannot miss out on this great game.

NBA Live '98 is still my favorite basketball game of all time, bar none. Some of you may think I am crazy for saying that this game is better than NBA Live 2000, but I am not crazy. The game may not have as many modes, but the simple fact that the game is so much fun to play more than makes up for any shortcomings it has in the game modes department.

The graphics are very nice, however, there is a lot of slowdown and the player's faces look like they were deformed by some radioactive crap. I am for real, I mean just look at some of the face models that are shown after a big basket or other play. Do you see the faces that are in the boxes? The faces look like they are deformed, and I am dead serious when I say that.

The rest of the game looks pretty good, the thing I like a lot about the game when it comes to graphics is the fact that the frame rate barely takes a noticeable hit no matter what you happen to be doing in the actual game. You can be fast breaking the ball for 9 straight plays and the frame rate will keep right up with all of the action. This is definitely a great thing about the graphics of the game.

The music in the game is pretty solid, although it is safe to say it does not come close to some of the music featured in the later games in the series. That is because Live 2000 and 2001 use the rap soundtracks, while this game just uses plain old game music. That is not to say that the music featured in this game is bad or disappointing, because it is definitely not. I really did enjoy the music in this game, even if it was not as realistic as I would have expected.

There is a great presentation to this game, with TNT broadcasters Ernie Johnson doing the pregame and Verne Lundquist calling the play by play. The music that plays sometimes during the game is very well done and has a nice pop rock beat to it. However, the play by play is somewhat marred by lateness in the calls and the player's number sometimes being called out instead of their name.

The control will not disapoint you in the least. The control layout is very well done, and it is very easy to switch control to other teammates during the game. It was very easy to control all aspects of your team, as well as going through the various menus, etc. This is a very important part of any sports game, especially a basketball game, because the control is vital when you think about it. The control will be the difference between you liking the game and hating the game, and the control in this game is awesome.

The game itself may not have as many modes as the other games in the series, but the game is still fun to play. That is the thing that makes the game better than any other basketball game ever released, the fact that the game is so much fun to play. I really enjoyed playing this game, and it is such a shame that it does not get the recognition that it deserves, because it truly is a great game. I really did enjoy playing this game.

The game may not have as many game modes as some of the later games in the series, but it still does have enough to be classified as a solid game. You get all the basic modes, like 1 player, 2 player, season, etc. as well as a draft and coaching mode. I really didn't check out much of the game modes besides the exhibition and season mode, but there are a lot of modes available to choose from, this I can assure you.

Let me now tell you about the only game mode I ever really did: the actual season mode. You choose a team (the only two teams I ever used were Sacramento and New York) and go through a 21, 42, 64, or 82 game season in order to make it to the playoffs. Once you get to the playoffs, you have to make it through series in which each time the number of games you have to win changes. The season mode is definitely a fun aspect of the game.

The replay value in this game is top notch, and I have never played a basketball game that drew me back the way that this game does. Not only does the game feature a lot of great attributes, it is so much fun to play, which only increases the replay value even more. It may not have some of the innovations of the later games in the series, like the unlocking classic players found in NBA Live 2000, but it goes without question that this game still has solid replay value, regardless.

This has always been the major flaw of the NBA Live series, and unfortunately, is still a problem in this game. It is not uncommon to run up the score on a simulation-style game playing the superstar difficulty. This is very unfortunate but was almost corrected in Live '99. I did have some troubles at first getting through some of the games, but after a while the challenge level of the game definitely decreased.

This is the best basketball game ever created. No fan of basketball should be without this top quality game. I really did enjoy playing this game, despite the fact that it does have some flaws to it. It is still a lot better than any other basketball game, and that is a Ladies Man guarantee.

Good Points
-The game is so much fun to play.
-There is enough game modes and teams to keep you busy for a while.
-The commentary is the best I have ever heard in a basketball game.
-Have I mentioned how fun this game is to play?

Not So Good Points
-The music could have been done better.
-The AI could still have been much better.
-It is so easy to run up the score in simulation mode.
-Have I mentioned the music?

I Run Down the Ratings... DaLadiesMan style!
Storyline - Not Available
Graphics - 9.2/10
Music - 7.7/10
Sound Effects - 7.8/10
Control - 9.6/10
Gameplay - 9.8/10
Replay Value - Above Average
Challenge - Below Average
Overall - 9.8/10

The Last Line: It may have some flaws, and it may be outdated, but the fact that this is my favorite basketball game of all time remains. Get it today!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/06/00, Updated 07/16/01

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