NBA 2002
Genre Sport -> Sport
Today's Rank 0
Date N/A
Publisher Sega
Date 2002-05-24
Publisher Nintendo
The keys to a successful basketball video game are its controls, artificial intelligence and the pacing of the game. NBA Courtside excels in all these facets, with only a few drawbacks. One is in the defensive AI, which often leaves itself open to dunks and fast breaks and is generally a slouch when it comes to rebounds. This can be remedied with the higher difficulty levels, but that makes the computer a flawless shooter, even from behind the line. The controls are good, but take some getting used to if you've spent a lot of time with other basketball simulations. The c-stick on the controller is used to pass the ball; no button presses are necessary--just point the stick at the desired player and the ball is away. Unfortunately this same system is used to select defensive players, and that can be difficult especially if the action is fast and furious. At least there are plenty of game modes: practice, exhibition, season and even an interesting mode that takes place on top of the roof. As you might expect, the player models are smooth, crisp and photo-realistic. The animations are detailed and realistic with nary a slowdown or glitch. Even the crowd looks good, and benched players are likewise in full 3-D. The audio isn't so impressive, however, with uninspired and slow commentary; often it seems to be describing plays from another game, or worse, talks about plays that happened 30 seconds prior to the current action. This is not a game breaker, but is definitely not as good as the competition. Aside from the minor flaws described above, NBA Courtside is still a stellar entry in the basketball fold and an asset for the Nintendo GameCube library. Worth the purchase now, and with a few fixes, it'll be a real contender next year. --Bob Andrews

- GameCube
- New motion-capture animation makes the game look and feel like the real thing
- Choose your NBA franchise and take your club through to the Playoffs
- Have access to the real arenas, logos and uniforms, plus the ability to track your performance online
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