NBA Inside Drive

NBA Inside Drive

EA Sports has long been the Mack Daddy of sports games, especially with its venerable Live series. However, this year has proven more interesting, with offerings of basketball goodness from other folks, including Sega Sports and Microsoft.

Fans of the series got their first taste of Inside Drive on the PC, but now it’s ventured onto the Xbox—essentially, this is Microsoft’s inaugural foray onto the shiny parquet.

The graphics are, without question, Drive’s best feature. Showcasing more than 200 individually modeled heads and 15 body types, the detail in the players is unsurpassed. Coupled with outstanding animations, Microsoft

scores high in the visuals department. But, as your mother used to say, “Looks aren’t everything. Does it have a brain?”

Apparently not. The AI in Inside Drive is AWOL. Think about how hard you’re going to throw your controller into the TV set when you watch your computer

teammates standing around aimlessly as the ball goes bouncing off in front of them. So much for pounding the boards to get a rebound. It’s also far too easy to get inside for dunks, which gives this ‘sim’ an altogether arcadey feel.

We’ve all grown accustomed to an excess of features in our basketball games. Microsoft has delivered a game that has only three modes of gameplay: Exhibition, Season and Playoff. You can forget about any sort of franchise mode, fantasy mode, or even the option to

create a player. This particular hoop may well not be worth the effort.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Xbox Nation.