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This is the seventh edition in the EA Sports basketball series, so we realize that many of you will have owned an earlier version and just want to know what extras have been added to last years game. If this is the case, please check out our FEATURES section for a complete run-down.
For those rookies amongst you, its rewarding to know that its very easy to pick up and start playing NBA Live 2001 offensively. The buttons used for various moves are comfortable to use and easy to remember, allowing you take a shot, or fake one and pass to a teammate, or shoot again once the opponent is tricked into moving the wrong way.
Free throw situations are made more challenging by the inclusion of a constantly moving target that must be aligned both horizontally and vertically for the shot to score.
To make things a little more realistic, you can extend the length of the quarters and adjust the difficulty settings, although we recommend you keep things short and simple, until you start beating the computer teams regularly.
As you'd expect, the game allows trading and releasing of players, but now you can create your very own basketball superstar from a selection of body parts.
Another new feature is the Michael Jordan 1-on-1. You can choose any two players for this (not just Michael vs. anyone) and its a nice distraction from the standard 5-on-5 fare.
Graphically there's little new here. Lets just say that overall they are as good as they were last year. The players pretty much look like their real-life counterparts, although sadly the developers still haven't found a way to hide the polygon joints in the arms and legs. Fortunately the character animation is top notch, more than making up for any minor glitches.
Sound quality is excellent. The ambient effects are clear and realistic. The play by play announcing is pretty generic, but still has enough variety in the phrases to keep from being overly repetitive.
· High poly count player models, which will use cyberscan technology for player heads and skin textures.
· Stadium environments include: animated bench, highly detail polygonal crowd where people stand up and celebrate exciting moments within the game, as well as signage within the crowd.
· Take on numerous gameplay challenges: win by ten, triple double, 3 consecutive treys, while earning points for succeeding. Points go towards selecting from huge inventory of awards including, Create-a-Player features and player rating bonuses.
· New Transitions. Enhanced in-game sequences add to the drama of being on-court and part of the action. Players interact with each other, encouraging teammates, and debating calls with the referees.
· Improved speech and sound effects. Bob Elliott adds new in-depth play analysis. All new color commentary provides for more intelligent and relevant interaction with game play-by-play.
· Kevin Garnett. The NBA All-Star was motion captured performing a series of high-flying dunks that are used within the game.
· Create-a-Player. This feature allows any game player to create custom players with individual features including expression (laid back, balanced, hyped), skin tone, height, weight, facial hair, hair color and player ratings.
Number of Disks: 1
Number of blocks used on Memory card per save: 15
Maximum number of Players (without a multi-tap): 2
Multi-tap compatible (max players): Yes (8)
Link-cable compatible (max players): No
Split screen multi-player option (max players): No
Other accessories: No
Dual Shock Pad Digital Button compatible: Yes
Dual Shock Pad Analog Stick compatible: Yes
Dual Shock Pad Vibration compatible: Yes