NBA Live 2004 - game review
Do you remember the first NBA match you ever saw on the silver screen? Do you remember the first time you heard the terms "alley oop" or "regular season"? Do you finally remember how you rubbed your eyes watching the dunk rotate 360 degrees and you have fallen in love with this magical game of basketball? In my case it was three years after the fall of communism. It was raining like never before. The biggest entertainment of holidays spent at the sea was, therefore, switching three channels on a black and white TV set. One day I came across a retransmission of the league finals played two months earlier - the Bulls were picking up the Suns from Phoenix. I didn't understand what they were all about, but with each passing moment of ten guests chasing the ball they pulled me with more and more power. There was one among them - a man who captivated, who kidnapped, for a game that I could not remain indifferent and whose name I exchanged thousands of times in the following years, ineptly trying to imitate him on the playgrounds. Michael Jordan
Michelangelo's professional basketball is no longer on the court. Under the influence of relentlessly running time, many other great players from those years left. However, the NBA charm still spreads its magical aura, catching millions of fans from all over the world to televisions. Traditionally, the popularity of the league decided to earn and the men of EA Sports, the effect of which for several weeks on the shelves we can watch "NBA Live" signed with the number 2004.
The game greets us traditionally. A quick film insertion, pop-up menu and black music - which, by the way, got a definite kick this year, contrasting with my favorite, most subdued track based on the version three years ago - are doing their job. He wears a man so that, regardless of the options available and not delving into the details of menus, he can throw a friendly match to try to kick the buttocks of the first opponents he encounters.
Fortunately, this last intention is not so easy to implement. It will take some time to get to know the newly made moves, the barely perceptible, but changed way of movement of the run player, as well as the fusion with smarter teammates than before.
"Smarter colleagues" - this is not a phrase, at least ... to a large extent. Well, EA Sports in this year's edition of the game decided on an interesting move, involving the involvement of as many as ten players in the motion-capture session! We remember that in previous editions only two players took part in the action: the attacker and the defender. The rest tried to simulate some actions, but their order and composition left much to be desired. In "Live 2004" we get greater opportunities to use the help of colleagues. The defense game in NBA has always been based on blockades, curtains, doubling, cutting off the opponent's path to partners - a basketball player created on the star must have eyes around his head, but his colleagues should act on a similar principle. This is what is embodied in this year's edition to a large extent.
Complex involvement in the game of players without a ball also creates a very wide range of strategy setting options. In the moments when the fate of the match is important, every point counts, and by the end of the meeting there are 3 - 4 seconds left, you can set individual tasks for each player ... Admittedly, here EA EA's saving in dosing revolutionary solutions has already said "stop "And the strategy development element was limited to top-down schemes - but a new light in the tunnel flashed, giving hope for the evolution of the series in this direction in subsequent editions.
We've been given new options for attacking. Certainly, each of us often with some dissatisfaction received the situation when a player running from the counter to the basket of rivals ended the action by putting the ball in the basket. There is nothing like a decent, euphoric dunk! This time we can choose the solution that suits us; gently throwing or dunking in advance will not be a matter of chance. Another thing is that forcing players to make continuous charges on the rim is also not an option. In order not to record a series of offensive fouls or inaccurate dunks, each throw should be given in a manner appropriate to the situation. Looking at this solution, it is a wonder that such unpardonable braking may not have been pushing before.
At this point I have to add that I can't imagine playing "NBA Live 2004" without a decent, well-configured joypad. Bah! I play all kinds of sports items on the pad for a long time, and for your satisfaction with the game I honestly advise you to keep a good keyboard away from it. Only proven joy!
The managerial mode of "Franchise" has been improved in a rather cosmetic way. To tell you the truth, I miss the title on the market, which would be seriously focused on running a basketball team. I have dreamed of the equivalent of the Football Championship Manager for a long time. But what to do ... In "Live" we can traditionally buy, exchange or resell players. Each player is characterized by a given number of points, converted into market value. When we determine the composition - we start the season (this depending on our preference or the amount of time available, we can significantly shorten compared to the default range) Successes, or lack thereof, will translate into the wealth of our club. A new cloakroom or airplane should not be an unattainable challenge, after all.
Let's go back to the dance floor again and take a closer look at several elements. The difference noticeable even to the untrained eye is the dynamics of the game. It's slower, it's more ingenious, more attentive. It's better! The previous edition was tirelessly from one basket to another. Betting on speed covered what we talked about earlier. This time, when teammates and rivals began to think, the game became more balanced, and the actions engage firepower as well as defense. And although the words "simulation" and "NBA Live" still repel each other like the same poles of a magnet, the first step has been made on a long way towards bringing the two concepts together.
Graphics. More than one review has been subordinated to this element, and many games were sold only because of it ... Let's be honest: How many times when looking at the subsequent parts of the endless tapeworm EA can the same words re-admire the photorealistic details of the dance floor, beautifully reproduced halls of individual teams or models of players who have been using this polygon since last year? Look at the screenshots. It is all beautiful, but for 365 days it has not changed, which would justify the next dozens of ochów and achach. Everyone who has played previous productions knows what to expect. Animation is similar - already in 2003 improved compared to earlier versions. You can play smoothly, nicely and without crunching on good equipment. New throwing options have forced the player to add some new moves to the ball. Of course, the range of our partners' movements has been even more developed due to the allocation of "new responsibilities" to them.
Perhaps this is a subjective feeling, but I really liked the commentary of Mavv Albert and recognized, retired Cleveland Cavaliers trainer Mike Fratello. The issues are quite good, they blend in with the events on the dance floor, and the difference in temperament of both men positively serves their reception. The sounds coming from the dance floor represented by the whistling of the reflected ball, short shouts of coaches and players, and above all - the sounds made by the audience, also keep the level.
I am full of admiration for men from Electronic Arts. I repeat this issue in my spirit every year, because no other company can compare with them in terms of meticulousness in introducing innovations, which on the one hand are tempting enough to encourage purchase, and on the other, leave many opportunities for improvement in the following seasons. This is also the case this year.
For fans of the genre, the game turns out to be worth buying, however, for one more reason. This one is not so cheerful anymore, it actually gives a lot to think about. This reason is the complete lack of competition on the PC market.
As the example of "Pro Evolution Soccer 3" shows, which in the category of kicked balls has created strong competition against Fify, Konami has eyes wide open and who knows whether next year next "NBA 2K5" from Segi will not attack the "Live" monopoly. For a statistical player this would only bring benefits, and the next basket from EA Sports would certainly have an unprecedented list of innovations ...