Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside
Reviewed by Everard De Matas
First came Midway's NBA Hangtime, a basketball game that looked and
played more like an arcade game than it did a sport simulation. Then
came Konami's NBA In The Zone '98, a blurry offering with limited
options and sluggish control. And now, nearly two years after Nintendo 64's
release, the big 'N' enters the sports arena with its own basketball game.
Graphics 7 out of 10
No comparison, this is the best looking hoops game on the console. Additionally,
real faces of NBA athletes have been texture-mapped onto players, reflections
actually look good and animation is smooth. Players sporting square-like
heads upon close examination. Worse, players move as if they're suffering
from horrible constipation, with stiff, robotic bodies that don't flex or bend.
Seriously, I never knew professional basketball athletes have such amazing posture.
Music and Sound 7 out of 10
Top-notch music and sound effects compliment the game. A plethora of
"rappy" beats, scratches and grooves add a touch of mood to the title.
Crowds cheer realistically and dynamically, play-by-play calls by Vic
Orlando are crisp, clear and realistic, though a bit on the unexcited side,
and the in-game music works much to the title's benefit. Technically,
this is an excellent example of what can be achieved on the cartridge format.
Game Challenge 6 out of 10
The game is not much of a challenge because they do the same moves and
every time a short player goes to make a shot they always get blocked.
When I bought I was exited I thought it would be a blast when I had put
it on I was not impressed but I love Basketball.
Game Play-Fun 6 out of 10
Courtside plays moderately fast, has a number of signature and special
moves and a finely tuned combo-system. Players can, for example, spin,
dribble under the leg and then shoot with a relatively simple combo. Likewise,
players can call picks, alley-oops or change positions on the fly. Controls
are intuitive (B for shooting, A for passing, L/R and camera buttons for
positioning and specials), and logical. All of this comes together for the
best basketball gaming experience yet seen on Nintendo 64.
Rumble Pak 7 out of 10
The rumble pack works okay with the game. When you make a shot, partially
blocked it rumbles and when blocked it rumbles more. But the rumble pack is
not very sensitive to stuff probably because of the slow gameplay.
The frustration lies in some the moves. The computer you play against
does the same moves over again. Always does the post up move even if
the whole lane is clear they still do the same move. I get really angry
because of that. However, it's still not perfect. The biggest problem lies
in Courtside's decidedly dull gameplay. I just don't get a feeling of
fast-paced basketball competition with the title. Though framerates
are wonderful, everything moves at a slower pace, especially when
compared to NBA in The Zone '98 for Playstation . Certainly this is the
best basketball game Nintendo 64 has seen, and its gameplay doesn't just
outshine, but totally obliterates the likes the current competition
for the system.
Overall 7 out of 10
Rest assured, Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside is the best basketball title
available for Nintendo 64. Tight controls and a tweaked gameplay engine
deliver the basketball simulation that Nintendo 64 owners have been
asking for, but haven't gotten. Great graphics and average sound only make
the game that much better. However, Stiff animation, a sometimes
slow-pace and lack of style/character keep the title from a higher
score in the end. Still, basketball fans will love it and we do recommend
everyone give it a try or at least rent it first.