ESPN NBA Basketball - Xbox

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ESPN NBA Basketball (Xbox)
Also for: PS2
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+
Connectivity: Xbox Live
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


In recent years, Konami has done a great job of bringing the ESPN license to virtual sports players. But now that era has ended, and the ESPN series has gone to respected developer SEGA. Now in its second year of ESPN development, the company has released a fresh pair of NBA games, one of which is for Xbox.

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 NBA offering for 2003 is a great achievement with regard 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 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. 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.