This is a bit of a mixed bag and could be considered the only problem with the first offering from Visual Concepts. Basically anything you can see in the NBA you can perform in the game. For example, being a Raptors fan I was happy when I could make Vince Carter perform his windmill slam. The slam system is easy to use. The type of slam performed will depend on the proximity of the player to the basket. This becomes problematic when you want to perform specific jams. The game also features most of the plays and coaching scenarios the most diehard simulation fans could want. You can trade, sign and create characters. The create a character option is quite funny as you can manipulate every detail of the player to create some real wacky characters.
The basic controls are tight and easy for anyone to pick up. The free throws on the other hand will require some skill with the analog left and right shoulder buttons. While many have argued this new technique is annoying, I find it quite refreshing from the usual "line up the arrow". With a little practice you will be throwing free throws with ease in no time. So what's the problem you may ask? There are few quirks that become apparent after you spend some time with the game. For example, the guard on the right side of the court most of the time stands with one foot out of bounds. Pass the ball to him and it's an instant turnover. The AI always makes the centre come back to in-bound the ball even if he is out past centre. This is a pain in the ass and causes difficulty when you are trying to execute a fastbreak. Alley-Oop dunks are hard to come by. For some silly reason you'll pass to a guy wide open and as soon as you pass it, he runs away from the basket, even if they are still open. Another issue is changing your plays on the run using the digital pad and one of the four main buttons. Basically you have to stop your player and the flow of the game to change a play. Another gripe is the stats system. The game only tracks an individual game's stats and does not record the entire season. This can become problematic when you are trying to figure out who is hot and who is not.
As a single player game, people may find the game may lose its luster after playing through an entire season. As a multiplayer game your friends will love you and so will those boring parties. Missing from the game are the extensive extras that we have come to expect from EA's games. There could have been Hall of Fame players, or alternative modes like 3 on 3 or even 1 on 1. Even a General Manager's mode would have spiced up the game's longevity.
NBA2K is a solid first outing for Visual Concepts. I can't even imagine what next year's iteration will be like. Maybe we will finally see some online components so we can play other people live. Whether you are a fan of the sport or looking for something fun to play, NBA2K should not be overlooked.
It is one of the must have first generation Dreamcast titles. Happy slamming!!
Review By: Mike Weatherup