EA Sports has always been looked upon as the definitive leader in sports, but as far as basketball goes, SEGA Sports flew by them easily last year with EAís poor excuse for a basketball simulation. Believe it or not, though, EA seems pretty pumped and motivated at taking back their spot at the top in this sport. Was it a lack of competition for so long? At any rate, EA needs to pick it up quickly, and that seems to be exactly what theyíre aiming for.For starters, Live 2003 certainly looks sharper and more detailed. EA hopes to add many intricacies into this yearís outing, hoping to deliver a more visually inspiring and accurate-looking title. EA has also added a great deal of new animations, including rebounding, shot blocking, dunks, lay-ups, and so on.
Defense is sometimes the most important aspect of a game down the stretch. The team that can get more defensive stops will usually prevail. However, this key facet has been no where to be found in EAís last couple installments, essentially making the game a lay-up contest. Live 2003, however, will have a bumped up AI thatíll actually play some defense this time around -- itíll be harder to drive to the basket as well as harder to get an open jumper -- and that in itself is a huge improvement for the series.
Subtle details here and there will also help improve the game noticeably. Animations are more smoother and authentic, now, and players will also portray their real life counterparts more convincingly. Proof of this is the way players shoot, react after shots, and so forth. Around 20 different animations have been added for rebounding, as to make them look less repetitive. Players can even snag balls off the backboard now.
NBA Live 2003 really has a lot to prove, especially since SEGA Sports is gaining so much success from their top-notch 2K series. Be on the lookout for Live this Fall, and check back for more insight on the game; itíll be posted as it becomes available.
6/18/2002 Joseph Comunale