Shoot Out '97 is now the best basketball game on the market - minus a few minor faults

Developer:Sony Interactive Studios

For many months now, Konami's "In the Zone 2" had been the top rated basketball game for the PlayStation. Not anymore. Move over rover and let Shoot Out '97 take over.

For starters the graphics are impressive. The courts are really detailed and the polygon players move exceptionally well. A good example of that would be the special moves. When pressing the triangle button your player can execute a cross-over to shake your opponent, do a spin move to fake and take to the hole, or my favorite: dribble behind the back and pull up for the three. However, this can result in a minor flaw. Sony has set up the driving sequence to where not only can you go around your opponent but literally through them. This apparent lack of collision detection is a lazy way of eliminating defense and is one of the few faults in the game.

What really separates Shoot Out '97 from everyone else is the game play. You can do just about everything. In addition to the multiple offensive sets, you can now use and abuse the devastating three point play "trifecta." Does the three point game scare ya? Don't worry, you can still feed the inside man and cram on someone like there's no tomorrow. If that doesn't work, call for the cutter. Thats right, you can call for a teamate closest to you or call for the go-to man closest to the rim for the easy two.

Now I asked myself, "Why do I need all this offense?" Reason being -- the defense is no joke. The AI in this game is really good. They can crash the boards and pick the passes. It really gets intense when the full-court press starts happening -- be prepared for a ten-second violation or a turnover.

Overall, Shoot Out '97 looks better and plays as good as In the Zone 2 and has as many options as NBA Live '97. This title has surpassed the rest and sets the new standard for basketball games.