In 1991 Electronic Arts began the transformation of basketball titles with Lakers VS. Celtics.
Since that time, they have been solely responsible for the best playing basketball titles for virtually
every platform. It is nearly impossible to talk about a sportsí title and not mention EAís influence
on the genre. EA, making steady improvements on their sports titles for nearly a decade, has
given Sega (as well as other developers) a working paradigm to follow. In Segaís first offering
for the Dreamcast, NFL2K, they virtually stole every aspect of the gameplay from the king of all
franchises, Madden football. In doing this they created the best football game to date. As a
consumer we could only hope that Sega would continue to follow EAís lead as they had in the
past. In NFL2K virtually everything that made Madden great was there to be seen in NFL2K.
Not only this, but Sega went on to improve upon aspects of the Madden franchise. The changes
were few, and it seemed as if the old saying, If it ainít broken, donít fix it. was followed. I
wish I could say the same thing for NBA2K; however, this title ventures out on its own too often
and in too many ways. It has never been more important for Sega to top EA than it is right now.
With EA currently dedicating their sportsí prowess to the PSX2, Sega can ill afford ANY
mistakes. After playing NFL2K, expectations across the country are very high for Sega sports
second offering. Itís time for a total dissection of NBA2K.
Upon turning the power on we are treated to a terrific intro. Once again, Sega opted to go with
real game graphics in the intro rather than cinematic displays of higher resolution, or actual
footage of NBA players. At the start of each gam, pre-game introductions are near perfect aside
from the very bland voice of the announcer (more on that later). Here is where the incredible
detail in the arenas is first seen. It appears as if they have it all, right down to the seating charts,
and individual fans reacting differently to each event. The lights then darken for the home team
and for the first time we are witness to the incredible likenesses of players like Patrick Ewing and
Kobe Bryant. The presentation is top notch in terms of pre-game hype. When viewing the
players from a close range via instant replay, foul shot, or otherwise, the detail is simply
astonishing. The expression on their face, the words on the ball, the fluid motion in which the
players seem to move during the action replay, is performed with the most intricate detail we have
ever seen as console gamers. There is little doubt that as far as character rendering is concerned,
Sega has nearly perfected the art via digitization and motion capture. Once you have gotten over
the pre-game awe, youíll soon be sent to the tip-off, or jump-ball.
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