NBA Shootout 2003

Overview

When you look back it is really very weird how fast time flies by. I still remember when I played NBA Shootout 2001. It really seemed like nothing was going for that edition of Shootout, and now it’s time for Shootout 2003 a much improved version of Shootout but can it contend with the big boys?

Gameplay

I am just going to jump right into this review with one of the most positive things that came out with this version of Shootout. Shootout really has some serious depth to it. To start out on the Franchise/Career mode you have to really create a team from scratch and bring them from a summer league all the way up to the NBA. This is something that really has never been done before. Usually, you start out in the NBA and just try to create a winning dynasty. With this way you get more attached to your team because you have to make your way through the farm leagues. I really think that other basketballs games in the future may follow this path.

Ok Shootout really has a nice looking franchise mode but can the Gameplay back up the modes? Well there are truthfully two sides to this argument. I first really want to talk about the free throw system. I am really not sure what they were going for here. This has to be one of the hardest games to make a free throw on.

The second problem is the defense system. It is also mostly an offensive game. The game makes it extremely difficult when you are trying to block shots or stealing the basketball is near impossible.

On the other end of the court, besides the free throws the game does fine when you are playing offence. The computer AI works, although at some points at the game it feels like it can be a little easy, when you make a few half-court shots in a row. Although for the most part there really aren’t any major complaints to say. For the most part NBA Shootout plays like you would expect a good basketball game to play.

One thing that I noticed right away with Shootout’s controls was the acceptance of the analog sticks. The left allows you to move around the basketball court, while the right allows you to do different moves, and fake outs. For the most part the controls are flawless.

To be perfectly honest the sound of Shootout is really just there. The commentary is provided by Bill Walton and Ian Eagle, and the result is quite an accurate and decent commentaries.

The sound effects and crowd are really just below average. The crowd sounds like it should but doesn’t get the quality of what you would hope for.

Graphics

This game could have really become a top-notch game if 989 wouldn’t have thrown a up an air ball on the graphics department. The character models themselves are pretty accurate but how they come out on the court is another thing. I was really disappointed so see a very jagged looking group of players.

To top it all off the player’s animation just seals the deal in my mind. It really seems like they needed to spend a lot more time on the animation because it didn’t work at all.

Fun Factor

The one thing that Shootout does correctly is that it’s a fun game (graphics aside). This is a very nice basketball sim that has all the right modes just very poor execution on the graphics portion of the game, which could hurt the games fun factor.

Overall

This game has everything going for it until you see the graphics, which killed shootout’s chance of receiving a higher mark. If 989 were to do a Shootout 2004, I would really recommend keeping the Gameplay system and starting over on the character models.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.