NBA Inside Drive 2004 - Xbox

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Basketball
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: High Voltage Software Soft. Co.: Microsoft
Publishers: Microsoft (GB)
Released: 28 Nov 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Connectivity: Xbox Live
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


Microsoft’s Inside Drive basketball series has become rather popular since Xbox launched in 2002. The console isn’t yet two years old and already there have been two offerings of the game. And in the run up to Christmas 2003, the company has predictably released NBA Inside Drive 2004.

As basketball games go, NBA Inside Drive 2002 and 2003 were good, but there’s always room for improvement as developers become more accustomed to the hardware they’re working with. In this instance, the game’s play mechanic remains largely the same, employing a simple press-buttons-to-pass-and-shoot method. But the changes come in the form of several offensive and defensive moves. With more responsive controls, players can now perform more fluid one-on-one isolation moves and bolster their defense with a more intense level of blocking and stealing.

Naturally, the visuals have also improved slightly, though most causal gamers probably won’t notice the difference. They will, however, notice the addition of Xbox Live compatibility. Thanks to the broadband-ready console, players can now partake head-to-head online on a service that offers roster updates, player leaderboards and a new ranking system. It’s undoubtedly the most significant addition to the Inside Drive series.

Kenny Smith, Kevin Calabro and Marques Johnson make a welcome return to provide commentary for the game, while an all-new Drive Cam brings players closer to the action. And for the ultimate single-player experience, Inside Drive 2004’s Dynasty mode allows players to make trades, conduct a rookie draft and fob off poor players to create the ultimate NBA team.

Another great addition to the Inside Drive series? Oh yes.