Wednesday, February 17, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 95

H-town's best kept little secret

Orchestra X updates Bizet

About the Cougar

Hoop it up, compare two new college basketball video games

College Hoops '99

Graphics: 10
Sound: 8
Challenge: 10
Overall: 28
Grade: A

Our view: This is a must-have for basketball lovers and Nintendo 64 players alike. If you like basketball and you don't have a N64, get one for this game.

By Brandon H. Franks
Daily Cougar Staff 

It's time to hoop it up!

Fox Sports Interactive has just released College Hoops '99 for Nintendo 64.

This game has it all, from automatic saves to calling plays, Hoops will leave you screaming for more.

You start a full season with a randomly selected two-game opening season tournament from the Mile High Classic to the Indiana Classic.

Following the tournaments, in order, comes five national games, 16 conference games, two national games, the Conference Tournament (if you qualify) and the NCAA Tournament.

As far as action goes, this game is jammin' with it! With the players camera and five other angles, you get a great view from any area! However, the players cam is by far the best, because it shoves you right into the middle of the court, making it feel like you're part of the team.

If you want, you can use the "call-a-play" function to help line your team up for those great shots, or you can use your own cunning and show the other team up.

Not only does Hoops give you an inside court advantage, it brings inside information on each team before playing them. It points out the other teams' weaknesses and strengths while giving you an advantage going into the game.

All in all, College Hoops '99s a must have. Even if you don't like sports games, you've got to get this, if you have a N64. If you don't have one, get one and get this game!

+(pros) Graphics and camera angles rock!

-(cons) Real trouble passing to the person you want to get the ball.

NCAA Final Four

Graphics: 7
Sound: 10
Challenge: 5
Overall: 23
Grade: D+

Our view: Remember Double Dribble and Jordan vs. Bird for the original Nintendo? Those games are better than this.

By Brandon H. Franks
Daily Cougar Staff

Everyone has one of those days when you're in school or at work, and you've been waiting all day to do something.

When you finally get to it, you realize it wasn't as great as you thought it would be. In 989 Sports' new basketball game NCAA Final Four for PlayStation, that's exactly what happened.

Although kudos should go to 989 for its state-of-the-art motion-capture technologies and using athletes like former University of Alabama star, former Houston Rocket Robert Horry (now with the LA Lakers) and UH alum Charles "Bo" Outlaw (now with the Orlando Magic) for models, the game still seems simple.

NBA platers Robert Horry(left) and Charles"Bo"Ooutlaw (a former Houston Cougar) simulate moves with the motion capture sensors for 989 Sports' NCAA Final Four.

Photo courtesy of 989 Sports

During some parts of NCAA, the game starts slowing down, due to either the fluid motion of the players or way too much crap on the screen (like all the players in a clump right by a shot of the crowd) keeping it hard to control.

Then, there are the camera angles, which are very uncomfortable. There is not one good angle that allows you to see all the action, and you can't see a good close-up of any of the players, except in a replay.

Something could have been done to the basketball courts, as well. Even though some courts may have been exact replicas, anyone who has taken physical fitness at UH knows that the Hofheinz Pavilion does not look like a high school gym with windows behind the net!

If you are a big basketball freak, then pick up a copy. If not, go to your local video store and have a friend rent it. You can make the call, but it seems 989 should have kept to the styles of its other games like NBA Shootout '98 or NCAA Gamebreaker '99, two very good games that make you feel like you're a part of the team.

+(pros) Motion-capture techniques bring a big bit of realism to the game.

-(cons) The camera angles feel as if your playing an older console.

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