ESPN NBA Basketball - PS2

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ESPN NBA Basketball (PS2)
Also for: Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Basketball
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: SEGA Soft. Co.: SEGA
Publishers: SEGA (GB)
Released: 28 Nov 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Card


With the license now in the hands of SEGA, it was thought that ESPN games developed by the Japanese company would have an even greater arcade feel than from when Konami held the license. And while this is true, SEGA has still done a fine job of the bringing the series into 2003. A good example of this is ESPN NBA Basketball for PS2.

All good sports games pride themselves largely on their ability to bring the excitement and atmosphere of the real life sport into the home environment. Electronic Arts has a lot of experience with this, but SEGA’s latest NBA offering is a great achievement with regards to visuals and gameplay.

Employing a standard control method for moving around, passing balls and shooting baskets, ESPN Basketball boasts intuitive controls that make the whole experience as accessible as possible. Players are free to take shots from the opposite ends of the court if they wish, but the game has been designed so that no matter how experienced your virtual players are, they’re never guaranteed to score first time. And it’s this unpredictable level of gameplay that makes the game exciting and realistic.

Visually, the game is presented in typical SEGA style - bright and colourful. It has that classic SEGA arcade look about it, and the beautifully rendered characters and animation are admirable. Admittedly the PS2 version doesn’t look as polished as its Xbox counterpart, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s a fine basketball game. Complete with a plethora of game modes, the ability to play in a real-time 24/7 mode and commentary from Tom Tolbert and Kevin Frazier, ESPN Basketball is one of the genre’s finest basketball games.