Tuesday , Nov , 30 , 1999 C.Y. Ellis

NBA LIVE 2001 – PS2

NBA LIVE 2001 - PS2Few developers have dominated an entire genre like EA Sports has dominated simulation basketball. With roots dating back to 1990′s Genesis release of Lakers vs. Celtics, the NBA Live series has simply ruled the market for a decade. The only recent challenge has come from 989 Sports’ Shootout games, but after a promising start, that series was promptly boxed out, elbowed in the face and sent sprawling to the floor. So when you think about PS2 basketball, you’ll likely immediately focus on NBA Live 2001. Comparatively this is a good thing, since 989′s Shootout 2001 is about as fun as inflating a basketball using your nostrils. But aside from a few tweaks, the latest installment in the Live series plays it a little too safe. This is essentially a port of the PSX version, which itself was mainly just an upgrade of NBA Live 2000, which in turn was just an upgrade of NBA Live 1999, etc, etc, etc. Frankly, the series has made very few changes since NBA Live 98, which is both a good and bad thing. The basics are all here and accounted for. Every player and team in the league is present with the current rosters. You can play an Exhibition game, romp through a full Season, jump straight to the Playoffs or practice moves in One-on-One. Same old meat and potatoes. Sadly, that includes the graphics. While NBA Live 2001 for the PS2 is hardly shabby-looking, it certainly isn’t the galactic leap many of us wished it would be. The courts and crowd looks good, but the players don’t look nearly enough like their real-life counterparts and the motion-captured movements are often too jerky. It really looks more like a souped-up version of the PSX game rather than the fancy PS2 smorgasbord we saw in Madden 2001. There’s a very silly intro sequence at the start of every game that’s meant to mimic the player introductions found in the real world. But rather than make these team specific, you just get the starting five hopping around slapping hands, looking distinctly unathletic. Uh, yay team? The Live series has always been known for its emphasis on realistic gameplay, and here it doesn’t let down. The game feels genuinely good and players tend to play the "right" way (meaning it’s hard to score a million points with a scrub). As always, scores are often inflated if you play the full 12 minute quarters, but that’s nothing new. The game is fun and fast-paced and occasionally looks a helluva lot like the real thing. The control is generally decent. Players will find plenty of moves to practice, from up-and-under post moves to stutter steps and spins. Unfortunately, someone forgot to add the option to disable that aggravating ‘player momentum’ that has plagued the NBA Live games for years. There’s nothing worse than passing to a guy who’s walking towards the sidelines only to have him do the electric slide out of bounds right when he catches the pass. There are four difficulty settings, but the computer doesn’t so much play better as make more shots. The defense is usually just a guy standing in front of you who never succumbs to your jukes and spins, often leading to the offensive charge. This gets aggravating at times, but admittedly helps keep the AI feeling aggressive. One-on-One mode has improved due to the graphical increase – you can actually tell the legends apart from one another. However, it still boils down to jump shots and rebounds. You can indeed play as Michael Jordan as well as a slew of past superstars, though the differences are minimal since no one has any signature moves. I really wish they just switched to an NBA Jam engine for this part already. As usual, the announcers offer little to help or hinder the experience. At times the play-by-play is seamless and really works well, but the color commentary is repetitive and dumb. In a strange twist, the music kicks ass. In addition to the catchy Montell Jordan theme, a few tracks have funkster Bootsie Collins laying down heavy grooves. I actually didn’t mind pausing the game. Loading the game, however, is painful. Anyone out there expecting little to no load times simply because this is the PS2 should prepare to sit on their ass watching their expectations shatter. The load times aren’t a smidgen better than PSX games. In the end, NBA Live 2001 is a solid if unspectacular start for EA Sports’ next-gen hoops. Fans of the series will be genuinely pleased. But compared to what Visual Concepts is doing with the NBA 2K games, Live has a long way to go before it makes it to the Finals. Report Card B + It’s Live! + Solid gameplay – Not much new – Boring graphics – Long load timesNew Stadium: At main menu press L1, L2, Square, R2, R1, Circle, X Increase Superstar Stats: At the main menu, press Circle to access the active menu. Select "Roster", then "Edit Player". A Super Star player will appear if your "Create A Player" list has no entries. Press R2 to increase the player’s stats at the edit player screen. To choose a different player, press L2 to return to the "Create A Player" list. Then, press Start and change to another player. ——————————————————————————– Hints Easily Beat Mike 1 On 1: Keep switching the rules. Like when you get the ball turn the all the fouls on that way when he fouls you, you get the ball back and when you score on him he gets the ball right. So right before he gets the ball you press start go to set rules in game options. Go to any one available and turn off the fouls. After that press start. Soon after you press start roll the ball on the ground to him then run up and push him he will release the ball then you take it run down to the basket and dunk it. Or Beat Mike This Way: If you don’t want to be an outright cheater in order to beat MJ, and you would like to beat him without taking an hour changing the rules every time possesion changes, there are a few ways to go about it: 1)Take a good 3PT shooter like Larry Bird, and just shoot 3s all day long. 2)Take someone like Allen Iverson or the 90′s All-Star Pippen who are faster than Jordan and just run around him. 3)Take Kevin Garnett, who is almost as fast as MJ, can hit 3s and is 7 feet tall. Block the hell out of any crap MJ tries to put up, and just school the most overrated player in NBA history. Strong Pass: Press L2 + X in one-on-one mode to pass the ball quickly to your opponent. Between the Legs Pass: Press R2 + X in one-on-one mode to pass the ball between your legs to your opponent. Rolling Pass: Press R1 + X in one-on-one mode to pass the ball by rolling it to your opponent. Game Shark Codez: Master Code (Must Be On) EC878A80 14388F68 Home Team Scores 0 3C1831C4 1456E7A5 Home Team Scores 99 3C1831C4 1456E788 Away Team Scores 0 3C1831C0 1456E7A5 Away Team Scores 99 3C1831C0 1456E788