NBA Action 98
Just in time for the basketball season is Sega's NBA Action '98, a game that looks much improved over last year's version. If you look closely, however, you might recognize that this game is nearly identical to Midway's NBA Fast Break (formerly known as Hardwood Heroes), which is the PlayStation version of this game.
Last year's NBA Action had a few too many graphical and gameplay flaws. Many of these problems are being corrected, and these fixes are paying dividends. For example. Action's texture-mapped, 3-D players have been much improved by having a cleaner look and most importantly, more player sizes (allowing you to easily tell which player is which). The motion-captured players are impressive as they have some new fancy lay-ups and runners that haven't been seen in other basketball games. Some of the more popular NBA players can also perform special "signature moves."
The gameplay is being revamped, and one of Action's new additions is the "icon passing" which is starting to appear in every basketball game. When you add this to the faster gameplay, a lot of NBA Action plays like a new game. As a side note, Chuck Hearn will be providing commentary on the action in lieu of last year's beleaguered Marv Albert.
With all of these improvements and changes, there is no doubt that Sega and Visual Concepts are putting forth the effort to make a better basketball game. When you consider the stiff competition, it's obvious that they have a tall mountain to climb.
WV hile the Saturn may not have the F brightest future ahead, there are still a fair amount of sports games coining out for it this holiday season. The die-hard Saturn sports gamer will be pleased to know NBA Action '98 aspires to please with solid gameplay, and decent polygon graphics.
It should be noted that NBA Action '98 for the Saturn and NBA Fastbreak 98 for the PlayStation are essentially one and the same game. It seems that Visual Concepts (the creators/developers) scored a double hit by developing the PlayStation version of the game for Midway and the Saturn one for Sega. It's something to be aware of if you happen to own both systems and buy a lot of basketball games.
NBA Action '98 has some flash to it--there are some pretty cool dunk animations including behind-the-head and tomahawk jams. Also look for signature moves consisting of Malone's fade-away jump shot and Rodman's fierce rebound cover-up.
For the strategy-minded playeran in-game playbook provides tons of offensive and defensive plays specific to individual teams. Once the plays have been selected, they can be assigned to specific buttons and called up during gameplay. This technique may be awkward at first, but switching up defenses while playing can give you an edge over your opponents, if you aren't in the mood for all those strategic options, NBA Action has a Arcade Mode that will let you play some mind-free twitch basketball.
Twenty-nine teams and 340 NBA players are rated by 20 different categories and statistics that cover the '96-'97 season, User records are also tabulated by the same methods. The Create-a-Player feature also lets you build the perfect basketball monster. In this option lots of variables including aggressiveness and dunking ability can be set as well as about 20 different appearances. There's even one fellow that kind of resembles Lemmy from Motorhead (scary).
To complete the NBA Action '98 package, that lovable L.A. Laker big shot Chick Hearn handles all the commentary duties in that special A way that only a guy named Chick can do.
MANUFACTURER - Visual Concepts
THEME - Sports
NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-10
Processor: PC compatible, P-200
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode