NBA Live 2000 Review

For PlayStation

Rating: Average
   After years of little to no major gameplay innovations, the NBA Live 
series has finally started to feel outdated.  The result is a game that's 
nowhere near as fun as its predecessors, but still more fun than NBA 2K.
   The graphics actually seem to look worse than they did last year.  The 
best word I can use to describe them is "muddy."  It's common for large 
groups of players that are close to each other to look like one big blob 
rather than individual players.  While Madden 2000's graphics still seem 
solid after you've played NFL 2K, Live 2000 looks just plain silly after 
you've spent some time with NBA 2K.
   The gameplay is completely unchanged, with the exception of slightly 
better Artificial Intelligence.  It's insulting that EA Sports didn't make 
any other noticeable changes despite their new and technologically superior 
competition.  The new 1-on-1 mode is only fun for as long as it takes you 
to figure out a certain cheap trick that I won't mention here so that I 
don't ruin anyone's enjoyment of the game.  The three-point shootout mode 
was fun when it was first introduced a few years ago, but it has gotten old 
after having no changes made to it for years.  
   One of the areas in which NBA 2K eats Live 2000 for breakfast is in the 
individuality of the players.  I'm not just talking about the huge 
difference in the graphics; I'm talking about the gameplay as well.  NBA 2K 
feels a lot more like the real NBA in that certain players are a lot faster 
than others, certain players are a lot stronger than others, and certain 
players are a lot bigger than others.  This never comes across in Live 
2000's much more generic players.
   The two other big gripes I have with the gameplay are the blocking 
control and the crunch-time AI.  There is a pathetically long amount of 
time between when you press the button for a block or rebound and when your 
player actually jumps.  And once they are in the air, they float in slow-
motion for several seconds rather than behaving realistically.  As for the 
crunch-time AI, you'll realize that it still sucks when you're in the 
closing seconds of a game and the computer needs a three-pointer, but they 
go for two instead.
   Like NBA Live '99, Live 2000 lets you play multiple seasons in a row, 
but it doesn't offer any kind of full-fledged Franchise Mode like Madden 
does.  The foundation is already there; all EA needed to do was adapt it to 
the NBA.  It's a shame they didn't, because a Franchise Mode would have 
dramatically increased the game's depth.
   Why can't somebody make a basketball game that's fun and innovative 
instead of just one or the other?  NBA 2K has bold, new, innovative 
concepts that are marred by poor execution and a complete lack of balance, 
while Live 2000 has horribly outdated gameplay that's still much more fun 
than NBA 2K's.  Personally, I'm not going to buy either game, but if you 
feel like you have to have one of them, I recommend choosing fun over 
innovation and buying NBA Live 2000.

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