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NBA Live 2003 (Xbox,PS2,Gamecube,PC) Preview

Hands-on Impressions
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PS2 | Xbox (1, 2, 3)
NEW 4, 5, 6, 7


New Xbox Screens(106)

PS2 Screens(35)

PC Screens(5)

Xbox Screens(10)

PS2 Screens(10)

Related Links:
Interview with EA

Freestyle Control

I just added two brand new movies this morning. Movie #7 is a clip using the center court camera angle of the Jazz and the Mavs. Both movies weigh in around 7 MB.

I added two brand new movies of Washington vs. Toronto today. Both movies are about 2 minutes long and can be downloaded by clicking on movie #4, and #5 on the right side.


    I need to correct a statement I made regarding the max. weight for a created player made earlier. There is no 265 lb limit. I had to change the body type to be able to create a player up to 350 lbs. Thanks to Andrew from NLSC for pointing this out. I'm not sure why they didn't put the body type and weight in the same screen. If it wasn't for the email, I probably wouldn't have realized the mistake.

    What awards are in the game?

      I just wanted to note that I've been able to get in some more games in on All Star and decreased the amount of times i turned the ball over. My last few games on All Star difficulty, the opposing team has average only maybe 10 steals a game. I was a bit more careful in my passes and paying more attention to the defenders. I still feel the game lacks player deflections. Anytime a guy touches the ball, the ball 'sticks' to the player.

      What awards are in the game?
      MVP, Most Improved, Sixth Man, Defensive Player, Rookie of the Year, GM of the Year, All NBA Team, All Defensive Team, All Rookie Team. There is no All Star MVP award in the game.

      Is the jump hook still completely unstoppable?
      Well it is still difficult to block but the jump hooks do not always go in.

      Is it possible to save the game during a game ?

      How updated are the rosters?
      I have been told the cut off date for rosters was August 31. In addition Yao Ming is not in the game due to legal and licensing reasons. I tried to create him to see if the announcers would announce his last name, but looks like they don't. Also, the create a player feature only lets you create guys up to 265 lbs.

      Screenshot 31: What is the head icon on baron davis?
      That just means that he is on a user controlled team.


      What quarter length do I need for a realistic final score?
      That all depends on you. I tried a game with 8 minute quarters on All Star difficulty level with Boston vs the Lakers again and came up with a much more realistic final score of 106-96 Boston. The game was in favor of Boston at the half. (51-39) I tried to run a half court offense each time down the court instead of running up and down the court doing dunks. Steals is still a problem on this difficulty level. Blocks become a problem as well. I had 6 blocks with Shaq and 7 with Kobe. The difference I see in the way blocking is done is that your teammates controlled by the computer tend to jump more themselves to block shots instead of you having to select the player and go for the swat. On Superstar level, the computer rarely makes your teammates go up for the block. You have to do that manually.

      Does the new control scheme affect the defensive side of the ball (how) or is it all for offensive movements?
      You can use the Freestyle Control on the defensive side of the ball. The four basic controls that come to mind isby moving the right analog joystick up makes the player selected put his hands up without jumping. Moving the analog to the right or left would make the player try to poke the ball away with his right or left hand. Holding the analog down makes your player into the defensive

      Is the ref running around during the game or does he just appear in cut scences?
      The ref only appears in the cut scenes.

      Is there retro jerseys for the Refs? lol, that would be cool.
      Nope, but what game has that anyway?

      Can you trade players for draft rights?
      No, this is not possible in the Xbox version that I have, and probably the PS2 version as well.

      Can we make custom teams?

      Does Kidd pull down rebounds?
      Well I can't answer this directly but the rebounding is definitely improved. Your guy will actually be able to get up in the air and grab the rebound.

      Is there a realistic amount of non-shooting fouls?
      That is kind of subjective depending on who you ask. I have seen one foul called away from the ball so far. There does seem to be a good amount of non-shooting fouls though, with most of them coming when the ball handler tries to make a move or when a defensive player goes for a steal.


      What are the icons underneath a player in the screen shots
      There are basically four icons, a 3 ball means that player is a downtown shooter, a lock meaning a player with great defensive awareness, a hand icon representing a shot blocker, while a shoe icon means the player is a high flyer who can rock the rim.

      Are draft orders a little less like the odds?
      I didn't really see this as a problem in previous verisons but from the four drafts I went through, the draft order seem random enough.

      How do the fastbreaks compare to NBA 2k...similar, different, better?
      Well I don't remember how NBA 2K2 played too well, but I know that in NBA Live 2003, the game pace can get really fast, especially fast breaks. I know the computer is really good at pushing it up court. Lay-ups and dunks are hard to block on Superstar level even if it appears that your guy is in good position. I'm going to try bumping the difficulty level down a notch to see how that goes.

      Have u seen any injuries or technicals in the game yet?
      Nope, none yet in the games I've played.

      What scores do you get with 12 minute quarters?
      Haven't tried 12 minute quarter, but just got done with 9 minute quarters with final score of 153 (Boston) -107 (LA Lakers) on Superstar level. It was only 32-27 after the first quarter, Boston leading, but the computer kept stealing all of my passes as well as just snatching it from me, even in the first quarter, while my guys couldn't do the same. At the end of the game, Boston had 28 steals, while I had 5. It is disappointing to see the Superstar level fixed up like this to make the CPU more difficult.

    EA sent NBA Live 2003 Xbox our way and we thought we post some impressions. These are just some random and scattered thoughts based on a few hours with the game. The game is definitely improved over last year's game. The game can quickly turn into a run-and-gun type game if you don't slow down the pace. The CPU is really good at pushing the ball and getting fast breaks. There seems to be way too many steals in the game.

    There are plenty of high flying dunks, spin moves, cross-overs, and swat animations new to this year's game. Double teams usually come really quick from the CPU if you are posting up your center or power forward. That isn't a bad thing but when the CPU constantly double teams A.Walker from the Lakers, that gets me a little worried. The number of swat blocks are a little high as well. I have yet to seen a shot blocked off the backboard as seen in one of the videos EA release, but I have only gotten through a couple of hours in with the game.

    There doesn't seem to be much change in the franchise mode over last year's franchise mode. Appears that EA put their efforts into fixing up the graphics, which look great, and the freestyle control, which is also a nice addition to the game. The drawback is that we still can't trade draft picks.

    The computer takes almost no shots in the 12-20 feet range. The Most Improved Player Award appears to be broken. I constantly get a guy who plays one game the entire season winning the award. So far there also seems to be a good amount of dunks and lay-ups. In the build I got, Stackhouse is still on the Pistons, but with a number of weeks before the game ships, I'm sure EA will move Stackhouse over to Washington. I was disappointed to not see Yao Ming on the Rockets. The coaches not only move around during cut scenes but during the game as well. (I previously stated that they only moved around in cut scenes.) Stay tune as we will be adding screens and movies.

    - James Chheng

    Background Info
    NBA LIVE 2003 allows players to get into the action and live their dreams of NBA superstardom. Totally enhanced gameplay brings the physical, fast-paced action of the NBA to life, while all-new animations and audio deliver the awesome drama and emotion of the NBA experience. In NBA LIVE 2003 players feel the action like never before and make their hoop dreams come true.

    Key Features

    • Silky smooth animations - 60 Frames Per Second of action provides players a much more fluid and responsive game experience.
    • Realistic rebounding - Significant changes to the rebounding logic so players react in a more realistic manner to missed shots. Over 30 new rebounding animations allow for a wider variety of pulls off the glass.
    • More bumping and grinding - Motion capture performed with two to four athletes simultaneously is used for specific contact situations like post moves, pick and roll plays and drawing the charge.
    • Run and Shoot - Enhanced CPU logic and AI allow for more effective fast breaks, open players cut to the hoop for scoring opportunities and the turbo buttons are fine-tuned affording players a wider array of in-game strategies.
    • Enhanced dribbling, player movement and signature moves - All new motion captured celebration animations, dribble moves, and dunks attributed to selected players (varies depending on the individual players' skills and attributes). Also, all new dribbling, walking and running animations for all players.
    • More responsive shot blocking - New shot blocking mechanism allows players greater responsiveness and quickness to shots creating a greater chance of blocks. NBA LIVE 2003 features a wide variety of all-new shot blocking animations such as blocking the ball off the backboard and rejections into the stands.
    • Individual passing styles - Player specific pass animations all dependant on skills and attributes.
    • NBA atmosphere - Enhanced lighting for players and arenas, new crowd animations, real NBA coaches on the sidelines, as well as dramatic camera coverage of in-game and out of play sequences all culminate in an authentic NBA experience.
    • Authentic NBA arena sounds - Hear what it's like to be on the court with all-new audio. Player calls, as well as court and arena sound effects deliver a gameplay experience that fully immerses the player in the action.
    • Classic Jerseys - Classic jerseys give players a chance to relive their teams' glory days in the authentic gear.
    • Situational controller vibration - Intensifies vital in-game moments like a last second shot or the shot clock winding down.

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