NBA Inside Drive 2004

Review

posted 3/2/2004 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: Xbox
As we near the end of the first half of the NBA season, I decided to test out another NBA game and this time it’s for the Xbox. Microsoft was kind enough to send us NBA Inside Drive 2004 and it’s an ok offering of an NBA game for the Microsoft console.

NBA Inside Drive 2004, featuring Shaq Diesel on the cover, is the fourth NBA game from Microsoft. It features all the gameplay modes found on most basketball games. Single games, seasons, and franchise modes are a few of the modes available. Since EA and Microsoft can’t play nice about having Internet capabilities, NBA Inside Drive 2004 is Xbox Live compatible and you’ll be able to compete against people around the world.

Gameplay on NBA Inside Drive 2004 is good for the most part. Like most basketball games today, the right analog stick allows you to make some fancy moves and fakes. You can juke, fake, jab step, crossover, spin, and hesitate with the right stick and using the right trigger for some moves. The jukes and jab steps are pretty cool and I like how High Voltage has implemented them into the game. Post moves are a plenty with a combination of buttons and direction pushes giving you different type of moves. The action’s fast paced but not too fast. I do suggest turning down the foul sensitivity or you’ll most likely foul out in the first quarter if you’re trying to block shots. I was called for a foul a very high percentage of the time I jumped straight up to contest a shot. Turning the sensitivity down did help a lot and didn’t make the game stop every minute for a shooting foul.

For shooting, there’s a shooting meter that appears when you leap into the air. When you see green, releasing the button will ensure the greatest percentage of the shot going in depending on your situation. To be honest, I never really looked at the meter and had no trouble judging when the best time to release the ball by watching when the player was at the apex of his jump. Free throw shooting is a tri-click method that, after playing ESPN NBA Basketball and NBA Shootout 2004, seems archaic. Free throws should be easy but not as easy as clicking the button three times. You do only get one chance once you start the free throw shooting motion so it does add a little bit of difficulty. Let’s hope High Voltage decides to change the way free throws are done in next year’s version to take a little more skill.

A few other things I liked about NBA Inside Drive 2004 is you’ll sometimes see players tipping the rebounds in the air. It’s nice to see players fight for the rebound or tip it to themselves. Another cool feature is you’ll see some players actually hustle and dive for the ball as it goes out of bounds and try to save it to a player. Yeah, it doesn’t happen as much in the NBA with the over priced talents as does in the college ranks, but you do appreciate the effort and it’s pretty cool to see a player dive out of bounds for the save.
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