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


General/Summary: As a devoted NBA Live fan I feel the need to allow the truth to be told about this game. First of all this game is good. Not great, not bad and a whole hell of alot better than NBA 2K2. I’ve read so many negative reviews about NBA Live 2002 and I just don’t see what everyone else does. I’ve played Live 2002 for countless hours and at times I’m still in awe about how smooth the gameplay is and how the players look so true to life. To me NBA 2K2 does not hold a candle to NBA Live 2002. I’d like you to hear why so read carefully and take heed because this review is on point.



Gameplay: The gameplay for NBA Live 2002 is the reason why NBA 2K2 will always be second. The realism is unmatched. Ea Sports has close to perfected player animations. Players shoot runners, fadeaways and jumpshots that have a look and fluidity that are wonderfull. Each is useful depending on how you’re being defended. There’s also new rim-shaking jams, that if timed correctly can be done over an opponent, sometimes knocking them down. Lay-ups and hook shots are there as well. The hook shots tend to go in a little bit to much though, and with players that don’t have high inside scoring ability. Passing is smooth. Some passes can not be executed, like cross court passes by larger players with low ball control. Players cut routinely depending upon what play is being run, and with players like Magic or Payton (or any other players with high ball control ratings), thread the needle passes can be made. The dribbles are even more fun to inflict on defenders this year. Ankle brakings occur with more regularity. Players get by defenders via the "killer crossover" and different stutter steps. The spin move off the dribble (this move is different than the one used in the post) is particularly practical. You can use in the open court to beat pressure, or if your skilled use it by the key to get in the lane to either drop a dime or or call your own number and score.

The post moves are useful. The 360 degree pivot can be made. Players can make a spin move in either direction. However, the spin towards the baseline should be executed with caution because if your not far enough away from it (just below the foul line to the middle of the key is enough room) you will go out of bounds. The players only make a tight spin out of the post position going away from the baseline. This needs to be changed because players in the NBA make that spin move toward the baseline all the time without needing to be so far away from it. Players with great inside ability and a high dunk rating will dominate inside (as they should) unless you get smart on defense and double team, to force them to pass it back out. That was a complaint among many of the negative reviewers of this game. For some games you just have to figure out solution when your getting your butt kicked. Some players just aren’t willing to do that I guess, and settle for easier games like NBA 2K2.

There are no zone plays, but you can feel free to take a player off his man to go pressurize a key player without illegal defense being called. So I guess EA thought about this, but didn’t want to change the whole play calling format. I wish they would have but what they did will do. The new 8 sec. time limit to get the ball over half court is there though.

There are also new player cut sequences. Players have a full range of reactions to there own performances, and to the good and bad plays of their teammates, and members of the opposing team.

Freethrows are the same as the previous years. Pass in the air can still be made and with good players, steals can be had. Some times too much, but this can be changed by raising the foul calls bar up a few notches. This can be found under settings, then by going to rules.

The quality of the game play in Live 2002 can not be found in any other basketball game. EA’s been doing it the longest, they’ve fine tuned it and it shows.

Graphics: The graphics on the game do not need to be discussed in detail. To put it simply, they are great. Players look like themselves. From the heralded superstar, to the splinter catching pine rider the details remain true to life. The wood court is terrifically detailed. You can see player reflections in it and also the reflections of the lights. The crowd has been more precisely done than in previous years. The looks of the people could be little more diverse though. I would also like to see the unique looks of each arena in the game (similar to what Madden NFL 2002 has achieved. Grapics are very good overall though.

Sound: The sound is good. All the natural sounds of the game of basketball are acurate, from the swish of the net to the the sweaking of the players sneakers as they make their cuts. Dunks sound thunderous and every now and then you can hear the players saying things. The announcing needs work. Sometimes the announcers say something at the absolute wrong time. And if I hear," I don’t know what he did" when a player does something spectacular one more time, I think I’m going to shut off the announcing. Just listening to the arena announcer might be a good idea. Besides these small quirks the sound is more than tolerable. The crowd reacts well to whats going on in the game. EA needs to add booing to there collection of sounds to be used, to add realism.

Game review provided by www.videogamereview.com.