One of the main complaints lodged against NBA Live 2002 was its slow pace. Fans wanted a faster experience that was reminiscent of earlier titles on the Genesis, and they’re in luck — NBA Live 2003’s pulse has quickened dramatically. The preview version featured lunge steals, dynamic replay shots, and heartbeat vibration on the controller, which indicates that the shot clock is running down. You’ll also be able to take a charge, call plays with just one button, and run a true zone defence that adheres to the three-second rule.
Game modes will include Season, Franchise, Practice, One-on-One, Playoffs, and Exhibition. In One-on-One, you’ll get a new outdoor beach court, while Season mode will feature a revised fantasy draft. Live 2003 will have online play, although at press time only the PlayStation 2 version was announced.
Gamers who have been asking for more control of players’ show-time moves will get their prayers answered in Live 2003. The right analog stick will be used to “freestyle”, and it will give you total control of stutter steps, crossovers, and spin moves through various combinations of gamer-input motions. These can be linked into a series of fancy, highlight-worthy routines. Naturally, some secret moves will require experimentation to discover.
The player models will be tweaked with more detail, but the main upgrade will be in the total number of animations. A two-man motion-capture system is being employed to deliver realistic interactions under the basket. You’ll also be able to view cut-scenes showing player and coach reactions on the court and the bench. The music will match the higher intensity of the game, with top rap artists providing tunes.
Publisher: EA Sports Developer: EA Canada URL: www.ea.com/easports/platforms/games/nbalive2003