NBA Shootout 2001 Preview
We all knew that it was in development, but 989 has some weird reason for revealing sports games just a three week period prior to their release date. NFL GameDay 2001 was a mess, the game wasn't even completed, it was horribly buggy and gameplay was affected too, the visuals were nothing compared to Madden, and the control basically sucked. The same fate NCAA Final Four and GameBreaker suffered, since GameBreaker ran on the same engine as GameDay, it suffered a similar fate as its NFL brother. Final Four 2001 was also a disappointment in all categories, but this time around it actually looks like 989 may be regaining some ground here. Check out the first screenshots and continue to read the preview of NBA Shootout 2001.
From the looks of things between the four NBA titles of NBA 2K1, NBA Live 2001, NBA Shootout 2001 and ESPN Basketball, I would have to say that NBA 2K1 is just slightly edged by Live 2001 in the visuals, but NBA Shootout looks incredibly close to NBA 2K1's visual quality, and that is great news. I'm keeping optimistic right now, even though I haven't seen the game in movement. Although, 989 Sports has said that over 1,000 motion-captured animations were done, so we can all expect some incredibly fluid movement when playing ShootOut 2001. From what these screenshots of the near complete version are showing me, the athletic detail is quite good, check out Shaq as he is about to choke the damn basket with a monster jam, look at how well his physical characteristics were captured and check out the intensity on the mans face, cool eh? Also let us all pray that the frame rate keeps up with the game.
By now you really should know what to expect from a basketball game. 989 Sports will take the time to work on the 'stupid' AI that has plagued all three of their current PS2 sports games, GameDay and Final Four being hit absolutely the worst. Hopefully when your point guard is double teamed by two other players, and somehow you miraculously make a dunk, that really spells big AI trouble. Also 989 went back to the drawing board and instead of re-using the same commentary as EA did with Madden 2001 for PS2, 100 hours of all new commentary has been implemented courtesy of Ian Eagle. Look for exhibition, practice, 3-point shootout, season, playoffs, create-a-dunk and create-a-player modes to be featured in the final version of ShootOut 2001 when it hits stores this February 6th. We will try to get a comparison between NBA Live 2001 and NBA ShootOut 2001 when both games arrive.