Kobe Bryant's NBA Courtside
Reviewed by Paul
Nintendo's foray into the sports world has begun: Move over Midway's NBA Hangtime,
Konami's NBA in the Zone, and welcome Kobe Bryant's NBA Courtside, the best
NBA-simulation game for the N64.
Graphics 9 out of 10
Courtside's graphics are crisp, although flickering does occur.
1) Texture-mapped NBA player's faces
2) Shiny courts
4) smooth consistent animation
1) slow animation
2) awkward erect robotic player movement
(e.g., dribbling the ball slowly, and not bending down)
Music and Sound 9 out of 10
Creative music and sounds blend well with Courtside's basketball mood.
1) Realistic crowd cheering
2) Good complimentary music
3) Vic Orlando calls the shots
2) Orlando's repetitive play-by-play, and lack of enthusiasm.
Game Challenge 9 out of 10
Depending on your dexterity and knowledge of the game physics, Courtside can
be very challenging. Playing on Rookie level is a breeze, but try playing All-Star,
Playoffs, High Level of defensive and offensive fouls, against the top-tier teams,
and you'll always end up with a close game. You might even lose.
1) Intelligent AI
2)Turn "Camera Angle off," and you'll be able to block shots and play some defense
3)Tough CPU defense
1) Some of the less talented players can take control of a game, while the
superstars (Shaq) can't
2) Guards hit threes and in-your-face shots frequently
3) CPU never fouls
4) No Michael Jordan
Game Play-Fun 9 out of 10
If you're into simulation games, you'll have fun. But if you like arcade
360-fireflames-dunks games, then this is not the game for you. Also, if you do
not have anyone else to play against, take away 2 points from my score. The
game is more fun multi-player style; Single-player can drag on, especially
when you're playing 12-minute quarters.
1) for the NBA fan
2) Close 1-player games
3) Great Multi-player
4) High Scoring
1) Uninspired dunks
2) No Michael Jordan
3) Many poor teams (Denver, Vancouver, et. al)
5) High Scoring makes defense tough.
Rumble Pak 7 out of 10
Satisfactory use of rumble-pak. You'll feel a shake when: you're fouled, you're
intentionally fouling someone else, you reach the out-of-bounds line. That's about
it. Nothing special.
You'll be frustrated if:
1) You're not accustomed to the controls
2) You lose
3) You get stopped midway during your drive to the hoop because the defensive
player reaches in
4) You let the CPU do alley-oops and three point baskets at will
5) You don't turn off the automatic camera control, and not be able to block dunk shots
6) You don't turn off automatic substitutions, and let the CPU substitute for you every minute
7) You think you got fouled, but the computer ends up with the steal
8) You hate sims
9) You're a Michael Jordan fan.
Replayability 10 out of 10
For the most part, every sports game has replay value. That's one reason why it's
one of the most popular genres. Then again, if you don't have another person to
play against, Courtside will probably bore you by the third month or by the NBA
off-season, lockout. How many times can you win a championship in one month?!
Anyhow, the create-a-player option may add some hours. You can create a silhouette
portrait of Michael Jordan if you'd like.
Game Value 9 out of 10
Now that it's on Nintendo's "Player's Choice," I see no reason not to buy Courtside.
As long as you're an NBA fan, a Kobe Bryant Lakers' fan (which I am), you'll want to
have this game. Gosh, it's just $39.99 + tax. You can play the game during the lockout!
Overall 7 out of 10
Nintendo's biggest weakness is mainly in the sports, fighting, and RPG department.
Courtside is a good try, a good first attempt at the sports genre. As a simulation
alone, this is the best basketball game for any console. Yes, better than NBA Live
and Shootout. But as an overall package, Courtside lacks behind in both options and
game speed; their counterparts are ahead. Nevertheless, Kobe Bryant's NBA Courtside
*is* the best N64 basketball game. That's just not saying much.