THQ NBA Basketball 2005 «

It’s really fun to watch what the big wireless publishers/developers put out in this burgeoning stage of the platform. While JAMDAT NBA 2005 borrowed liberally from NBA Jam, THQ Wireless closer resembles the 16-bit iterations of EA’s NBA Live series — which in my opinion is a very good move. Not only is the diagonal, isometric view friendly on the eyes; but NBA Basketball 2005 pulls off the impossible: fitting real five-on-five hoops on a headset.

Sweat The Details

Not only is the five-on-five mechanic impressive, but overall THQ’s basketball shines. Every player has a multitude of attributes to dictate their skills, and detailed stats are kept during every game. Between every period, you can see who to get the rock to, and who to make sure doesn’t touch it. Statistical categories include points, rebounds, field goal percentage, steals, and the other requisite facts and figures.

The Man From Steel takes it strong.

Graphically, I was pleased with this title. The court and crowd look really good. You’ll see bench guys sitting around at courtside, and even spot broadcasters at the media table. The players all look the same, but you really can’t expect much more than that for how many are on court. Because it’s tough to tell Shaq from Duane Wade, a strip at the bottom of the screen says who’s got the ball and what they’re doing with it. Still, it would be nice to have a more obvious marker over or under the player who has possession, as you can get confused in a big group after rebounds and other similar situations.

I find it strange that, despite all the stats and realism painstakingly injected into this game, THQ neglected to put in any type of season, playoff or similar mode into NBA Basketball 2005. I know putting a string of seven games together — with a pixel picture of a trophy if you win — is really tiny in the grand scheme of things. However, it’s still conspicuously absent here.

Drive The Lane

Maybe it’s because I played Jamdat‘s hoops title first, but this one seems to be a little easier to control. All the numbers around 5 are for movement, while 5 is shoot and 0 is pass. When playing D, 5 steals or blocks, and 0 switches players. It’s as simple as that. You can call plays, but it’s not the least bit necessary.

I had a hard time passing to the desired player at times, but the gameplay itself is darn fun. It’s like the old-school EA games in that, once you get into the lane, you’re pretty much assured a score. Keep worming your way closer to the basket, then go in for the dunk. Speed plays a big role in your offense and defense; I’d definitely consider it the most important attribute. Get a speedy guy like Allen Iverson or T-Mac, and you can essentially score with them all day.

THQ NBA Basketball 2005 has game, plain and simple. It’s a throwback to a simpler time, mixing arcade and simulation aspects. If defense was made a little more effective and an extra mode or two were added, it could be a must-have. As is, I recommend it on the same level as JAMDAT NBA 2005, and have no problem saying that hoops fans should download both games for themselves.


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