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PS1Review The third installment of Konami's In The Zone series solves many of the problems that In The Zone 2 suffered from, but it still has some problems. NBA In The Zone '98 is a traditional five-on-five basketball game that builds off of its two previous predecessors, NBA In The Zone and NBA In The Zone 2. In the original game, emphasis was on its arcade look and feel. It had very little to offer basketball simulation fans. In The Zone 2 had a few more features that made it more of a simulation, like on-the-fly formation changes and player substitutions. NBA In The Zone '98 furthers the series' evolution by making it more of a basketball simulation. New options include an even more complex on-the-fly play-calling system and statistical tracking, which not only keeps season stats but puts league leaders in various categories. Although NBA In The Zone has grown into a more serious basketball game, its roots are still noticeably those of an arcade game. In its transition to become more of a simulation, the game has actually lost some of its realistic look. The graphics for In The Zone '98 are not as smooth as those for In The Zone 2, and many of the same animations seem to have been reused. The NBA In The Zone series has always suffered from a lack of good AI, and ITZ98 is no different, as AI becomes predictable after playing against the computer for a short while. When playing offense, the computer always does a couple drive moves right before it shoots the ball, so you will learn very quickly how to block its shots. And unlike NBA Live 98, where a steal attempt is almost a sure way to get called for a foul, in ITZ98, players who enjoy stealing the ball are rewarded nearly every time. Defense, as a whole, is way too easy. Unfortunately, offensive play doesn't offer much more of a challenge. In fact, the computer defenders are pathetic! Even on the hardest setting players can drive to the basket nearly at will. There are even a couple tricks you will learn for sinking threes and shooting from the paint. It's these tricks, which are unavoidably learned, that really ruin the game. Even though you try not to use them you always know in the back of your mind that you can steal the ball or get an easy dunk. Of course, that's only when playing against the computer. When playing against other people, NBA In The Zone '98 is pretty fun. With two multitaps, up to eight people can play. But this can be done with NBA Live 98 as well, so it's not anything unique, and that's really what it comes down to: NBA In The Zone '98 isn't unique. NBA Live was fun and had the three-point contest as well. NBA In The Zone '98 may have a better statistical tracking system than last year's game, with other little goodies thrown in, but the game is basically the same. If you like the first two In The Zones you'll probably want to give '98 a try. If you're just a person looking for a good basketball game, do yourself a favor and rent NBA Live 98 and NBA In The Zone '98 and see which one is best for you. --Ryan Mac Donald --Copyright ©1999 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. GameSpot and the GameSpot logo are trademarks of GameSpot Inc. -- GameSpot Review From the Manufacturer Joining the awe-striking graphics of previous versions are over 300 motion-captured player animations that provide realism -- behind-the-back dribbling no-look passing pivoting fake shots stealing blocking tons of dunk shots and player-signature moves and staminas.
UPC Number: 08371717028
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