NBA Live 2002
Review of NBA Live 2002
The graphics have improved quite a bit from last year’s version. The players are much more animated, and we now have –gasp!!- officials. The movements of the players are much smoother and more realistic. They even have some nice animations of the players arguing calls with the officials. The players are rendered very well and the polygons are barely noticeable. The playing surface and nets are outstanding. The floors of the arenas are true to form with all of the graphics that you see in a regular NBA game. The floor is highly polished, so there are reflections of the players on the floor as they move. Very nice. Also, there are reflections of the arena lights on the floor at certain angles.
The playability, as advertised, has improved over last year. There is less of a quick start to play and be successful, but after a few games, the playability pays off with more wins and better stats. The improvement comes from a better AI engine. In last year’s game, using the hand-check move almost always ended up in a foul. Now the opposing player backs out of the way and your player ends up with the ball. Before you know it, you’ll be winning games, then moving up in the skill level to keep it challenging. The camera angles are a bit different and the game defaults to the on the court angle from behind the player facing the offensive basket. That angle can be annoying, depending on your preferences, so there are several other options to choose from. I didn’t like the other angles, there were better ones in the previous versions. It probably is because of the improved graphics on the players has pushed the camera work back. It certainly is not terrible, but not great either.
The game play modes haven’t changed from last year. There is the standard quick play to get going right away. There is season mode to run your favorite team as far as you can take it. And, of course, you can build your own super team with all of the good players and dominate the league. The one-on-one mode is unchanged, but still is better as a two-player option. The CPU is pretty unforgiving as a challenger.
The sound effects and sounds are excellent. Only one thing to note is on the replays, the squeak of the shoes on the court is replayed as well. That’s a little bit odd. The play-by-play announcer and color announcer are both excellent and not too much overlap in the repeated phrases. There seems to be enough canned phrases to keep the action sounding real.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'NBA Live 2002' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Tom Downey © Absolute PlayStation
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