Fans of the NBA Live series have experienced something that
needs to drastically change. Every year a NBA Live game is
released, but too many times it is too identical to its
predecessor. Although some changes have been incorporated into
NBA Live 2001, it's basically the same game as NBA Live 2000. EA
Sports has the gameplay, graphics, and statistics down perfect,
but they lack extra features and modes for a killer app. To make
next yearís version the top basketball game, EA needs to
include extras such as player introductions and a slam-dunk
The game modes in NBA Live 2001 are exactly identical to its
predecessor, except for a new mode that was incorporated into
this yearís game. That mode is the NBA Live Challenge. In this
mode you will be given tasks such as win a game by 10 points or
get 15 rebounds in one game. The tasks are divided into 4
different categories, Rookie Challenge, Starter Challenge,
All-Star Challenge, and Super Star Challenge. The easiest tasks
are found under the Rookie Challenge while the toughest tasks
are found under the Super Star Challenge. After you complete a
certain amount of tasks in one category of difficulty, you move
onto more difficult tasks. By completing the tasks, you will be
rewarded points. After receiving points, you can exchange your
points for rewards. Some rewards include 2-D players, Mohawks,
big Afros, giant players, and more. This is a very fun and
challenging mode that should keep you entertained for hours.
In the exhibition mode, you play as your favorite team,
whether it is the Eastern All-Stars or the 70's All-Stars. You
can play vs. a friend or the CPU.
In the season mode, you try to lead your team all the way to
the championship in a full 82-game season. You can play with a
custom team or a true NBA team. Players can keep up with whatís
going on in the season by viewing the overwhelming number of
statistics present in NBA Live 2001. Standings, League Leaders
and more types of statistics are available. The season mode is
the core of the game, but it lacks in many ways. A major
complaint I have is the lack of using the GM mode. Another
complaint of mine is the game does not feature a franchise mode
and the only GM stuff that will go on will be trading, signing
players, and releasing players. While that doesn't sound bad, it
truly is. The CPU teams will only release 1 or 2 players a year.
Also, when you sign a player in real life, you need to have
enough money. In NBA Live 2001, all you have to do is release a
crappy player and sign any player to take the free spot. This is
a major part of why the NBA Live series has suffered, and it
should be incorporated into next yearís version.
In the playoffs you immerse yourself into the tough
competition and hopefully go all the way to the championship
3-Point Shootout - In this mode you can watch the CPU shoot
it out or go against them. You may also challenge your friend.
This mode is exactly the same as last yearís mode.
1 On 1 - Pick your favorite player from any team and play
Michael Jordan one on one. You and Jordan will go one-on-one on
the blacktop. This mode is identical to the one-on-one mode
found in NBA Live 2000.
NBA Draft - Go through a draft where you and 28 other teams
pick the best players in the league. After you pick your
players, create the team by picking your starters.
As usual, EA Sports has created a game with great graphics.
The players depict their real life counterparts. The stadiums
are very realistic and grandeur. You will be able to even see
shadows and spots where extreme light is present. On replays,
you can see how realistic the ball looks as it spins on its way
to the basket. Not only do the players look real but you can
also you can see the expressions on their faces. If a player
commits a foul, heíll argue with the referee, wave his hands
in disgust, and will look angry. As you finish a quarter, you
will see the emotion on your teamsí face as they slap each
other five or argue over plays.
EA Sports has once again opted to bring Hip-Hop into their
latest installment of the NBA Live series. The game features
Montell Jordan, an R&B singer known all over the music
industry. While Iím a hoop and hip-hop fan, Montell Jordan
doesnít belong in NBA Live 2001. EA has said they want Hip-Hop
as part the game, yet Montell Jordan is the singer they pick.
Listen, EA, if you say that Hip-Hop is an important facet of NBA
Live, I suggest you hire real rappers such as Snoop Dogg or
Xzibit. (Xzibit is featured in Madden NFL 2001) On the contrary,
the in-game sound is nicely done. Fans will cheer for you as youíre
shooting a free throw or slam dunking the ball. While running
around, the sound of squeaks, coming from your sneakers are
heard. The play-by-play and color commentary can be implemented
with better sayings and expressions. The play-by-play announcer
does his job, but the feel of realism just isnít there.
Frankly, the best option is to turn off play-by-play and turn on
the arena announcer. The arena announcer is much more realistic
and fun to listen to. Sound has never been a "high" in
NBA Live, and NBA Live 2001 once again proves that.
The extras are limited in NBA Live 2001. The only fun modes
are the NBA Live Challenge, Three-Point Shootout, and
One-On-One. (Nothing like kicking MJís ass in a street game on
1 on 1). Although these modes are present, players have seen
these modes in the previous version, meaning nothing new to
stimulate their need for basketball modes. Of course, NBA Live
2001 is the best basketball game out on PSX, although
improvements are needed. If youíre a basketball fan, NBA Live
2001 is the game to get.