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Developer Visual Concepts follows up the critically acclaimed NFL 2K with their second sports title for the Dreamcast, one that has the distinction of being the first basketball game released on the 128-bit system.
Endorsed by 1998-99 NBA scoring leader Allen Iverson, NBA 2K features high-resolution 3D polygonal graphics, over 1,300 motion-captured moves, and authentic teams and players from the NBA. Not only are players rendered down to the length of their shorts and style of goggles they wear, but you'll also see the actual coaches on the sidelines!
Besides offering rendered players scaled to height and weight, NBA 2K includes what is referred to as facial morphing. What this means is that players will noticeably react to the action on the court by smiling, shaking their heads in disgust, or opening their mouths in triumph as they dunk on the opposition. All 29 NBA teams from the 1998-99 season are included along with 28 modeled stadiums complete with moving crowds.
Players are also individually related in such categories as stealing, blocking, strength, and quickness. These ratings will help influence the degree of success you'll have in making a three-point shot, free throw attempt, or rebound. It also influences the type of action performed in the paint — certain players can dunk from farther out than others, while some can only perform layups near the basket.
NBA 2K features a total of five modes of play: Exhibition, Quick Start, Season, Playoffs, and Practice. Exhibition involves selecting two teams of your choice and playing one regulation game, while Quick Start randomly selects the two teams and home court. Season mode involves choosing one team and playing 82 games (which can be reduced to 56, 28 or 14) following the schedule of the 1999-2000 season. Statistics will also be tracked during this mode for your team, players, and around the league.
Playoffs let players go right to the final games leading up to the championship, whether it is a series of seven, five, or three games, or simply a one-game contest. Wrapping up the modes is Practice, where you can work on landing your shots with the help of a Shot Rater and play with any one of the five starting members on your team. You can also grab a friend and work on your alley-oops!
Once you're ready to begin the game, you'll be able to play from one of eight different camera angles. Passing involves using the analog stick or the more refined icon passing, which will place letters above each player's position. This way you can pass to one specific player instead of motioning toward his general direction with the stick. Users can also perform crossover dribbles to fake out defenders, post up while backing down, spin or pivot to protect the ball, pump fake, call for picks, clear out defenders after grabbing a rebound, and even pass out of their shot!
Aspiring coaches will also be able to select from four offensive plays (each team has a playbook of 16) within the game or decide on one of four defensive sets: Full Court Press, Half Court Press, Half Court Trap, and Half Court Set. Defensive moves include calling for a double team, executing an intentional foul, and facing up to prevent an opponent from driving past you.
NBA 2K features a different system for free throws than in previous basketball games: successful attempts are manipulated by using both trigger buttons on the edges of the controller. The perspective is from behind your player as he looks toward the basket. On either side of the net is an arrow that points away from the hoop, and shots are made by pressing both triggers at precisely the same time (which will merge both arrows into one directly above the net).
The game also supports trades (up to three players from each team can be involved per deal), allows players to create up to eight custom lineups for their team, and lets them substitute tired players with fresh blood from the bench. In addition, users can set the level of fouls called in the game or individually adjust each rule, enter a fantasy draft, choose between two styles of play (Arcade or Simulation), and create a player with custom abilities to use on their favorite team. A VMU with 185 blocks of space is needed in order to save game data. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide