ESPN NBA Basketball 2K4 Review (PS2)

The producers clearly made an effort to improve the game - the animated jerseys, new layups, ESPN Motion and an innovative freethrow system. However, it looks like the pressure of the coming 2004 season got the best out of the development team. They released the game with tons of problems.

Some notable bugs are:

Walking During Fastbreak
This is the most frustrating bug. You can't make a good run because occasionally, all players will just walk - I mean really walk - while one player goes straight to the basket for a free dunk. It's so frustrating for the defense. Then if you do it on your end, getting a free score, you'll feel unsatisfied you didn't earn your points well.

Unstoppable Hook
In NBA2k4, a jump hook is as good as a dunk. It is an unstoppable move. Anybody who initiates the move will definitely get a guaranteed basket even if five defenders are hounding him. It's just so maddening ‘coz even if you’ve put up your best defense, nothing happens.

Frequent Defensive-3-Seconds Calls
An average of 2-3 violations will be called on each team on a 5-minute quarter game. In NBA's 12 minute-quarters, you rarely see this call. Why the over-emphasis on this violation?

Absurd Shooting and Blocking Ratios
Soaring shooting percentages, high blocking percentages screw up the aspect this title is known for: simulation. How can you repeat the mistakes of your biggest competitor last year? It's absurd to ruin something so good already. Last year’s blocking percentages were realistic. Oftentimes, when you block shots, they take a sensible trajectory in line with the laws of physics.

Some More Minor Bugs Found
1. Missing coach head.
2. Double layup - there's one time when Nowitzki got two layups in a row - without the ball switching sides. Layup, rebound, and then another layup. Both went in, good thing the first one didn't count.
3. Automatic out of bounds – I have no idea where this problem comes from, but sometimes, you'll end up turning over the ball without doing anything.

However, I must admit this game is still better than its next major competitor.

Rating: 1.0 - Terrible

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