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Reviewed: NBA Inside Drive 2000
Author: Chris Kim       Date: September 24st 1999
Page: 2

With the new basketball season just starting to get underway with training and other NBA activities, the season for sports games will be arriving. The first of the pack off the lot is Microsoft and High Voltage Software's attempt at a basketball simulation NBA Inside Drive 2000, attached with a very attractive price of only $19.99, this deal is going to be hard to pass up over EA Sports' legend NBA Live. NBA Inside Drive 2000 like all other basketball games, contains the same features that have come to be expected from a NBA game, fully licensed by NBA including all players, logos, teams, and arenas. All the rosters and stats with ratings the previous seasons and others. This is one of the first rack of games that will be an entry for Microsoft into the major sports arena with the most attractive price tag of $19.99 on all their games. How does this game stack up against NBA Live?

Getting Ready for Tip Off
Seattle Wins the Tip Off
Van Exel Crosses Over

Many sports games that try to become simulations, most often fail as a simulation and rack up as an arcade game, this is true with this game as well. Sporting two styles of play, arcade or simulation, both game modes can be customized according to rules, time limit, and among others. Some of the really unique features that make this game stand out are some little things such as player introductions before each game just like in a real NBA basketball game, this is a real plus, even though it would have been spectacular had some special effects like a laser show in Chicago. Referees are actually in this game! Referees interact with the players by controlling the ball and calling penalties and so fourth. The game features three styles of gameplay, exhibition game, season play, and practice mode. Exhibition game is the typical game where any two teams match-up and play versus each other, season play is the where the player manages and leads a team to victory and win the World Championship, and the practice mode is where players can take their skills to the playground and play one on one (only versus a friend). The game modes are all fun to play in their own ways.

Hawkins Puts the Free Throw Up
Time Out!
Player Introductions

Sporting a very authentic gaming style, NBA Inside Drive 2000 provides a pretty good feel of what basketball should be like. A lot of emphasis is put on the inside post game, like it really is in the NBA. Power men like Shaq, Malone, Ewing, Olajuwan, and Robinson all will dominate the game for a large part of the game. There is little emphasis on the the outside perimeter game, unfortunately. At the hands of the user, are various moves and skills each player possesses to use against the opponent. From fake deke moves, jab steps, to drop down pivoting. The power lies within the inside game, players will be able to drive, drop step dunks, anything. Making shots, depending on who is guarding the player, are usually very difficult to make on the perimeter beyond 17ft, even for sharp shooters like Reggie Miller, so that eliminates almost all 3pt threats. There are a fair number of penalties called and free throws shot. Defense and offense have a quite accurate balance in difficulty and challenge. There are several bugs and errors in the gameplay, though. Rebounding is often a huge and large hassle to do. Rather than just simply jumping up and getting the rebound. Players will often find themselves banging the boards to get it stolen right under them by a little man or Mark Jackson will rebound over David Robinson, which is kind of hard to believe. This results in a lot of second rebounds and shots on the offensive end. Steals and bad passes are also on the high side, way too many steals occur. A lot of the coaching functions are also quite useless and not very helpful at all, most often the player will find little use for the plays.

Alley Oop To McDyess
Power Drive by LaFrentz
Billups Lays It In

On the statistical side of things, the game leaves a lot to be desired. Rather than having the full array of tons of simulation options and cool season mode features, the interface is quite bland and there are no computer made trades, intelligent trades, league leaders boards, nothing. The practice game, is a lot of fun to play. Going NBA Jam style, there are no rules or anything, all out brawl pretty much. The player can fine tune their skills or play a one on one game versus another friend, unfortunately, a computer AI player is not available for the one on one match. For multiplayer options, there is very little to do. There are no gimmicks such as modem play or internet play, rather only playing on the same PC and everyone crowded around the same monitor is available. The game is a lot of fun with multiplayers, though.

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Added:  Friday, September 24, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 2/5

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