As the football season comes to an end the other sports will finally get their day in the sun. Baseball being the first then followed by basketball. To me this sport always seemed to be the third string of the major trio of sports. Not to mention there hasn’t been a good game of b-ball since the days of the Genesis (except perhaps Kobe for the Cube). Now with Microsoft coming off of such a good game of pigskin how does their hoops game match up? Well let us see…
First off let me make it clear that I am not a fan of b-ball at all. In fact it is my least favorite sport, except perhaps golf haha. With that out of the way you now know that for a b-ball game to get higher than a C with me is gonna take a miracle, so why is this game scoring so high? For starters this game makes the sport of hoops fun. Fast game play, great physics, and some amazing graphical detail round out a package that EA should be fearing as their Live franchise seems to get worse with each incarnation.
The visuals in NBA Inside Drive sport some amazing detail and fluid animation. The players move realistically across the court and each player can be recognized if you are a fan. Reflections on the floor and the physics of the net also add to the realism of this b-ball title. There is a hint of slowdown in certain areas such as the throw in and the introductions of the players, why is this here when the game runs as smooth as ice on the court? Only the developers know why.
The one thing that really stood out in this title was the commentary. The duo of announcers are so accurate that it is almost creepy, stating everything in the game from how each specific player is doing to describing each play with frightening detail. You would swear there were people watching the game from a distance and announcing whilst you play. The music is a blast of hip-hop that really suits the title well. The stadium sounds and crowd ambience is also dead on.
Yes with all the great there is some bad as well, first off the franchise mode is absent and even in the main menu you can tell where they took it out at the last minute. Another thing missing from NBA Inside Drive is a create a player mode!! There is nothing better in a sports game than having yourself do things you know you cannot achieve in real life. Other than those to minor gripes the game is basically perfect.
If you are a fan of hoops this game is your nirvana, if you are a fan of sports games you will be highly impressed with the first outing. Casual gamers and non-sports fans need not apply as this will only make you frustrated with it’s attention to detail. Fast game play, great visuals, and superb realism make this the basketball game to own this year, sorry EA take a back seat to the new king of hoops.