The whole 'Live' franchise is already a legendary one in this industry; every year, no matter how bad or unimproved the new version was from its predecessor, NBA Live is annually proclaimed the basketball game of choice by video game players and critics. So much so that newer and more revolutionary titles like Nintendo's NBA Courtside and Acclaim's NBA Jam (64-bit version) were consistently overlooked. I, for one, was never swept up in the 'Live' hysteria so I've always been a bit more objective and with this latest release, I am even more disheartened seeing the amount of praise already being showered on EA Sports.
However, the 128-bit generation is now upon us and all of the old must change now due to the ground-breaking hoops title for the Dreamcast by Visual Concepts, NBA2K. This is a game so accurate to the actual sport of basketball that it requires no imagination on the part of the user and certainly made me a true believer.
With his review, Dale has thrown down the gauntlet on the myth of NBA Live's dominance over the genre and I'm right there beside him. I'm totally baffled as to how a game with so many flaws can get so much praise from the media. This game is far from flawless (as some have actually described it!).
There isn't much I can add to Chi's (admittedly eloquent) review. I agree that everything in NBA2K from the graphics and animations to the gameplay and sounds are unparalleled. So much so that the exclusion of some standard basketball mainstays like the 3-point contest went unnoticed or, if I did notice, I didn't much care at that point. It's what NBA2K does so well that stands out and overwhelms me with the same impact I get from watching real-life ball games.
When it's all said and done, this is simply the best there ever was as far as wrestling games go. From the realistic look to the moves and the action, it's everything a wrestling game should have been since we moved into the 3D age. Ease-of-use usually equals unparalleled fun and Wrestlemania is a fine example of this.
Already widely praised by critics and fans alike as the main reason to own a Sega Dreamcast system, I was extremely looking forward to continuing my 'education' with the home translation of the two-player competitive arcade fighter. But much like the first day at any new school, I didn't get off to such a good start. I had some serious reservations and what appeared promising at first was starting to look an 'incomplete' grade.
There seemed to be limitless amounts of depth in the attack moves, grappling holds, reversals, and counters. And if you've ever seen it in the square-circle, chances are it's in Wrestlemania. Even more amazing is how it's all filtered through an incredibly simple and easily grasped control scheme.
Soul Calibur is simply a joy to watch, but thankfully, it's even more fun to play. The moves are easy to pull off (that scores big with me every time) and look great while they are being performed. And they all flow into each other without much any interruption in the animation (my personal thanks to the motion capture people and programmers).
I'll say one thing for House Of The Dead 2, it's easy to get into. Who needs a training mode in a game where you just point and shoot? I will argue for the addictiveness of the game because I think it is more so than Chi did.
The home version of House Of The Dead 2 is a pixel-perfect console port of Sega's popular arcade gore-fest franchise and as far as light-gun shooters go today, it's as straight forward as it gets. You won't find heated 2-player competition like in Point Blank, no ducking feature like in Time Crisis, or any attribute build-ups like in Elemental Gearbots.