By Dale Weir on March 20, 2000 - 10:47am.
In the end, the graphics and sound may be lacking, but Smackdown! shows up where it counts the most, in the amount of features and the rock-solid gameplay. It's not without a bit of irony that at a time when wrestling game developers are trying to complicate a player's actions in a misguided attempt to create some sort of wrestling simulation, Smackdown! manages to do just that with a far simpler style.
By Chi Kong Lui on March 20, 2000 - 12:00am.
So in Smackdown!, the ability to grow my character and further adjust his arsenal of moves with choices that only become available after I've reached certain levels of ability really caught my attention—hook, line and sinker. I simply couldn't stop playing there after, and Smackdown! became just plain smack for me.
Game Description: Lay the SmackDown! on your enemies with your own created jabroni or as one of the World Wrestling Federation's top superstars. Make friends and then break them as you roam backstage from the boiler room to the kitchen. Call upon your allies for help and then climb over them as you kick, grapple, and People's Elbow your way to the top. Just remember that backstage politics can work against you—don't let The Rock run-ins, well-placed metal chairs, and McMahon-appointed guest referees get you in the end.
By Dale Weir on December 17, 1999 - 12:00am.
I think Chi made some good points, but not many of them were important enough to require a similar rating from me. The fouling is an issue, but it adds a bit of realism to see the computer try to get back into the game late and I was happy to actually see a 4-point-play in a console game. Admittedly, I wouldn't have minded if the computer made a few quick trips downcourt and launched some 'threes' to get close, but it wasn't a big deal. And the little bugs Chi mentioned just looked awkward but never really forced me to get up and scream at the TV screen or anything.
By Chi Kong Lui on December 17, 1999 - 12:00am.
The main problem is that Courtside 2's attempts to improve upon the original either do not alleviate the old flaws or end up unearthing entirely new ones. For example, foul calls were extremely unbalanced in the original Courtside.
Game Description: Instant replay, player editing, and performance adjustments contribute to the true-game feel of NBA Courtside 2. More than 300 NBA players, including Kobe Bryant, are accurately modeled after their on-court counterparts. Each is rated for shooting percentage and range, foul tendency, dribbling, passing, speed, jumping, rebounding, strength, dunking, stealing, blocking, and stamina. In addition to the standard moves you'd expect from a video game basketball player, NBA Courtside 2 adds tons of new, user-controlled actions, such as spin moves, first-step fakes, changing hands on the dribble, post-up moves, calling for the pick, and boxing out opponents. As coach for your team, you'll also be able to call plays using the digital control pad. Moves that you can control include box, perimeter, low post, high post, isolation, motion, inside triangle, and outside triangle.
By Dale Weir on December 13, 1999 - 3:27am.
The whole 'Live' franchise is already a legendary one in this industry; every year, no matter how bad or unimproved the new version was from its predecessor, NBA Live is annually proclaimed the basketball game of choice by video game players and critics. So much so that newer and more revolutionary titles like Nintendo's NBA Courtside and Acclaim's NBA Jam (64-bit version) were consistently overlooked. I, for one, was never swept up in the 'Live' hysteria so I've always been a bit more objective and with this latest release, I am even more disheartened seeing the amount of praise already being showered on EA Sports.
By Dale Weir on December 13, 1999 - 12:00am.
There isn't much I can add to Chi's (admittedly eloquent) review. I agree that everything in NBA2K from the graphics and animations to the gameplay and sounds are unparalleled. So much so that the exclusion of some standard basketball mainstays like the 3-point contest went unnoticed or, if I did notice, I didn't much care at that point. It's what NBA2K does so well that stands out and overwhelms me with the same impact I get from watching real-life ball games.
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