NBA Live 2002
The basketball played in the United States has a quasi-religious status. Less evolved in Europe, Jordan-mania has carried its promotion far from its land of origin. For basketball is at the same time a team sport made of tactics and underhanded tricks and a duel between masters of the ball. Electronic Arts offers you the opportunity to replay the NBA championship with mythical teams like the Chicago Bulls and the Lakers.
From the moment you step on the court, you will be surprised at the quality of the graphic design. It's not so much the stadium itself, which doesn't have much to show in any case, as the floor with its reflection and the baskets that are truer than life. This impression is only reinforced when the players arrive. They are well modeled, and their limbs are quite round, like their joints for that matter. The sound fills its duty, squeaking in support but that's all. The spatialization is only applied at the spectator level. Following this praise, it's appropriate to recall that the PS2 version is practically identical. There is hardly anything besides the animations, which have increased somewhat in smoothness since its adaptation. But work could still be done to improve the players' movements, which still seem a little artificial.
The playability poses a serious problem at least with the default configuration. Since you have to use the buttons on the pad, there are combinations made with the little buttons, and specifically the white one, which are difficult to implement. It takes practice and finger gymnastics to master this well. In defense, overall all goes well, and, after a half hour of play, you have mastered the player and the transition from one to the other. On the other hand, in attack, the combinations are far from being intuitive, and you need at least an hour before you can efficiently face off against your adversary. In addition, basketball specialists say that the NBA 2002 doesn't consider the latest regulations regarding defense zones, which damages the realism. For entertaining yourself, on the other hand, it's not a crisis.
On the list of criticisms, we could also mention the players' lack of personality. The differences between tactics and techniques are not sufficiently indicated. On the other hand, the artificial intelligence managing the team works rather well. The placements are efficient, and the tactics are varied. If you love basketball, NBA 2002 will appeal to you. The graphic design and the animations are magnificent. Just be forewarned about the several hours of playing time needed to memorize the number of buttons, and exercise your fingers regularly. Once you have integrated the logic, the playability is good, and you will regain the feeling of playing basketball.