Review by DarthRain

Reviewed: 11/10/00 | Updated: 11/10/00

Visual Concepts won't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.

Every so often,a game comes along that redefines the genre.EA Sports has long held the crown in the world of interactive media as the “be all/end all” undisputed ruler of sports titles on console systems.Back in it’s heyday,the Sega Genesis was a fertile ground for sports titles,particularly the EA Sports series.Most specifically,the Madden,NHL,and NBA Live titles.I forget how many nights I spent with my cousin playing NBA Live 95 & 96,double teaming Reggie Miller just so we could knock him out of the game.We would also spend HOURS pouring through the updated rosters in the paper and trying to get our rosters to match up.Sure it was tedious,but we were so proud when we were done.Granted we would have been better served spending those hours dunking on Reggie and making him look stupid,but we wanted the most accurate,up-to-date squad we could to make sure the right guy was sending Reggie to the showers with a sheepish look on his face. Back then,that was the only way to keep your rosters current.Putting them in one at a time manually.Now,thanks to the marvelous little Sega Dreamcast and SegaNet,that’s all done for you with a simple download to your VMU with their return to the hardwood cathedrals in NBA 2K1 by Sega and Visual Concepts.

NBA 2K1 is without a doubt,the most exciting,engrossing and enjoyable basketball game for ANY system since…well heck NBA 2K.The revolutionary title from last year has actually been improved upon in many areas.The overall dynamic of how the players on-screen reflect their real life counterparts is closer to the real thing than before as far as aggressiveness and reaction to their current in-game situation.If you get faked outta your Nikes,their gonna make you pay for it with a dunk on your head.Although there is still a collision detection issue when it comes to steals and blocks.That being said however,the game is still stunning to watch,and an absolute religious experience to play.There’s nothing quite like throwing down a 2 point slam on your most hated rival with your buddy,and feeling connected with your teammate onscreen.You almost feel like you could reach through the screen and hi-five the little guy.Given the amount of detail found in the created player mode,you can almost make him look just like you…although in MUCH better shape,without the unsightly couch potato gut.

A brand new addition to this feature packed title is the street mode.It’s a total trip to see your squad decked out in workout gear like t-shirts and shorts and watching them work the court as their teammates cheer them on from the bench.The developers actually went to the trouble of modeling these street courts after actual courts in New York and L.A. complete with traffic sounds and graffiti covered walls.They have also added the very much sought after and often requested franchise mode.You can finally manage a franchise and watch it grow into a brand new dynasty,dominating the NBA season after season,or watch your dreams become shattered memories as you watch your seasons end in bitter disappointments time and time again..kinda like Bulls fans.

The most important new feature of NBA 2K1 is,of course,network play.The dedicated network for online play still has a few bugs to work out however,as the game tends to lag up and slow down during what always seems to be a crucial moment in game play.Not only is this distracting,but it absolutely KILLS the flow and momentum of the game.This is a minor complaint though in light of all the other stellar features that the game has going for it.Once the Dreamcast has an upgrade to a broadband connection,it should no longer be a factor.Don’t forget the roster updates either.Sega will be compiling the roster changes and offering them as a download as the season progresses and faces change from team to team,thus making those long nights of updating our rosters manually a thing of the past. Now we can spend more quality time chasing Reggie down the court with tears of panic running down his face,in hi-res graphics to boot.Ahhhhh sweet bliss.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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