NBA Inside Drive 2000 is a good basketball game from Microsoft; it should satisfy the hunger for action of any fan of the sport.
The game looks really good in every aspect, from the well-done graphics of the main screens to the little details, such as reflections on the court. All the teams and their players are available and you can play a full season, a single game or recreate the 1999 playoffs. The only downside is the lack of a Franchise Mode, which has become standard in sports games during the late 1990s. Anyone who enjoys professional hoops, though, should have a lot of fun with this game even without that feature.
My favorite part of NBA Inside Drive 2000 has to be the play-by-play of Kevin Calabro and the color commentary by Marques Johnson. They make each game sound as close to what you really hear on TV as any sports game I've played. Kevin Calabro calls the action as its happens, telling you, for example, that a player has dished the ball to the corner to a player who takes a three-point shot. Marques Johnson's commentary is a lot of fun and his statements are based on the statistics of the game in progress.
Playing a game using the Philadelphia 76ers against the Chicago Bulls, for example, my gameplay was so bad (I was losing by as many as 40 points late in the game) that Johnson made comments on how cold my shooting was or how the Bulls had just scored six straight points. During another game I played where it was close all the way to the end, he commented on how a single play could make or break the game and how one bucket right at the end was probably the deciding score. Usually color commentators only comment on the play at hand in sports games and don't take the overall contest into account, but that's not the case in this game.
The game is also awash in statistics and boxes pop up while you play that tell you, for example, a player just scored the last ten points for his team or has just scored eight points more than his season average. After every quarter you can also check out stats to your heart's content and at any time you can make changes to the coaching strategy. One nice feature in this game is the ability to allow the computer to make coaching calls for your team, which is helpful if you don't know much about the nitty-gritty of basketball.
NBA Inside Drive 2000 ran a bit sluggish on my system (which has an AMD K6-2 chip and 32 MB of RAM). Considering I'm at the minimum for Microsoft's recommended RAM for the game, I would say you'll need at least 64 MB if you plan on playing this game a lot. Any computer user knows that games won't always perform up to par on a system that barely meets the publisher's requirements. And we all know that Microsoft loves to underestimate what you'll really need to run their software.
Overall, though, check this game out if you're into a fun game of hoops for your PC.
Graphics: Top notch, even if your system isn't high end.
Sound: I just love the commentary in this game. It sets a standard for any sports game on any platform.
Enjoyment: Lots of fun to play, especially for basketball fans.
Replay Value: No Franchise Mode, but you can play out seasons to your heart's content.
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