For N64 owners looking for a serious hoops simulation, this season has yet to show any clear winners. NBA Live 2000 is horrid and the jury is still out on NBA Jam 2000. Courtside 2 isn't terrible and does sport some truly interesting features like personal player development, but I can only marginally recommend the game as it is with all its flaws. In fact, if you don't mind slightly dated graphics, I would actually suggest (if you haven't already) playing the first Courtside which is less buggy and more playable.

As for fans who like their basketball action fast and loose, don't be fooled by Courtside's supposed 'arcade' mode. Like the one in NBA Live 2000, the 'arcade' mode in Courtside 2 is unconvincing and uninspired as computer AI will not react differently to the lack of rules and dominating it should be no problem. I'd stick with NBA Showtime for this type of shtick instead.

Then again, if system loyalty is not a factor, and money no object, then those of you who consider yourselves hardcore basketball mavens, go pick up a Dreamcast and NBA 2K. It's my pick for this year's best game of video b-ball.

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui

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