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NBA Live '98

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Reviewed by Dyson Turner NBA Live '98 was one of the last genesis games, and was the last Genesis NBA Live. It was very much like the other 3 NBA Live's behind it with just a few new features added. Not too much noticeable graphical improvements, or sound for that matter. Where it makes up for is that it is loaded with new ways to play, and new mini games, if you get tired of NBA action. The roster was pretty up to date, when it came out and the stats and roster is exactly like its Playstation big brother. My first impression, was a downer because the players looked funny, and graphics wise it wasn't as good as NBA Live '96? Then I looked deeper into the features of this game, and had many to chose from made the 5 bucks I paid for this new worth it. The sound got worst and didn't sound any thing like any other live like '96 or the PSX '98. Well I wouldn't expect it too either but this is pretty pathetic. When you play this game you will immediately turn this track off it is not good for the ears. Well even though this is an odd game, and many didn't even know existed it is a necessity. If you have NBA Live '97 or '96 then you really won't need this one, the features aren't really worth it. When you play it, it will feel just like any other Genesis Live, which isn't that bad. Graphics 8.0/10 Have I gone back to late 1995 when this came out? Yes I think I have because this looks almost exactly like that. The only difference is the players bend their knees, and that is not a pretty site. It looks like their kicking backwards if they're running with their backs to you. EA made some effort to add to the realism using this but it came up short in the process. The courts looked a little better than they use to, and they tried to add some detail to the way the light reflected off of it. It looked more like white spots just put on the floor. The dunks are exactly the same as they were in NBA Live '96, with no real or added improvement. The audience who ever looks a bit better, and you can see them move and cheer when you nail 3 pointers or slam on the competition. The over all looks of the graphics are just about the same as NBA Live '98 with just better color resolution. I really liked the graphics in NBA Live '96 and It's a good thing every thing here stayed in tact to the way things were. Sound 6.0/10 The music is pretty bad, and a crime against humanity. When I enjoyed the up tempo beats of NBA Live '96, and it sounded quite similar to what would be heard in pre game shows, this does not. This sounds sort of like fast pace new age music. The sound track went immediately off. The audience cheers louder, and you hear the voice once in a while say Three! You see it on the top of the screen too. They boo and jeer louder than before and even have two types. The sound effects like ball dribbling remains the same as it did in the past. The audience even chants "Defense" now and other things. This ever so slightly adds to the realism of the game. Well there are other team fights songs that play during the actual basketball game which are good, and they sound a little bit better than the ones heard in the '96 version. The sound effects did work well with the graphics to produce a well rounded and sounding basketball game. Game Play 10/10 This game is for 1 to 4 players. You have a huge list of features and options, that will take a while to sift through. You have your usual Exhibition, Season and Playoff modes found in all the other Lives. You have a 3-point contest, a shootout, a player practice, a team practice, 2 on 2 and 3 on 3. You have team trades, create your own player, and fantasy teams and more. Exhibition is any team vs. any other team. The Season mode is the realistic season that was played in the 1998 NBA Season. The playoff mode is a generated playoff mode of the top teams in the league of the 97 season. Or you can put any team in the playoff mode that you want. You have a 3-point contest, which are held at the all star game; you can pick or have the pick the best 3 point shooters in the league. You have a shootout where one player has a blue ball, and one has an orange one. You can't interrupt each other while playing either, and the most points under a certain amount of time, or first to get a certain amount of point's wins. Player practice, is where you pick one player, to practice on his personal steps dribbles and moves. The Team practice is where you try to work out some of those more difficult plays so you can use them on your opponents in the game. 2 on 2 or 3 on 3 is where you pick 2 or 3 players from each team, and put them against 2 or 3 in the other team. You play for a certain amount of points. There are no rules besides goal tending so play your heart out. You can also trade players like in any other live, but if you put realism mode on they have to be even, because the other side may reject the trade. You also have the create your own player, which is like the other lives, and if you put realism mode on you can't make a super player. Just like the other NBA lives you can make your own fantasy team, you can chose any NBA player how many times you want. The same crossovers, that were in the previous NBA Live's are here as well and they are just about as effective. The difficulty is adjustable and there is battery back up to save your players teams, and games. Overall 7.0/10 Well the new features truly make up for the rest of the game, being almost like the other Live's. It will take a while to learn how to use them efficiently and effectively. One other thing is this, this happens to be the only NBA Live where some of the features are included. Even the PSX ones don't have team practice or 2 on 2 games. This adds to the game a lot and makes it worth while to play. Even though you may spend more time tooling around with the different modes than actually playing the game. The replay value is high because you will always come back to play the different games for fun, or make teams of super players to increase your chances of winning. The fun factor is high, playing 3 point contest and the two on two three on three games can be very fun. This will keep you and a friend playing for hours. I really thin k they should of added more to the graphics and sound, and actually made it a different game instead of just adding on to NBA Live '96. When you think about it That's all it is, not nothing real different graphics wise likes the Playstation NBA Live's. Well if you are looking for a fun Genesis Basketball simulation with tons of features then this game is definitely for you.

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