NBA Live 2003
One of these days Electronic Arts is going to create a sports sim that’s more realistic than the actual sport it simulates. Well maybe not but its relentless annual overhauling of its sports franchises is certainly leading to some authentic results of late and the future looks set to continue in the same fashion.
Take NBA 2003 for example. As usual the premise remains the same as the previous instalment albeit with new gameplay elements graphics sound and smooth 60-FPS animation adding increased realism to the proceedings.
With regard to the revamped gameplay elements the game features a significantly changed rebounding logic so that players react in a more realistic manner to missed shots. An enhanced CPU logic and AI allows for more effective fast breaks with open players cutting to the hoop for scoring opportunities. A new shot-blocking system allows players a greater responsiveness to shots and also includes a variety of new shot-blocking animations.
On the technical side the motion capture features heavily on the update schedule. Celebration animations dribble moves and dunks have all been enhanced as have the more basic animations such as walking and running. Also contact situations have been redone using multiple characters in the motion capture process which makes for more believable bumping and grinding.
The whole atmosphere of the arenas creates an immersive experience for players with enhanced lighting new crowd animations real NBA coaches on the sidelines and dramatic camera coverage of in-game and out of play sequences. The sound team has obviously gone back to the drawing board and taken its gear on to the court for recordings which has lead to an authentic array of sounds throughout.
The first outing on GameCube for an NBA Live game this should go down well with owners of Nintendo’s box of tricks as in true EA style it’s the best one to date.——
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