For those of you who played Total NBA '96 this is basically a refinement of the original, and therefore for those that own it (Total NBA '96) there is probably not much reason to buy Total NBA '97 since the new motion captured players, new dunks, and strips don't really add that much to the game . However for those that don't own last years model this is well worth buying!
The menu on the startup screen is purely functional, allowing
you to choose from an exhibition game(friendly), full season, or
playoff, or enter the load menu, while the logos from all the NBA teams scroll
across the screen in the background.
Choosing team can be a little awkward since you use left and right to scroll the through the list, obviously that's a bit annoying if you go the wrong way at the start! Once you have selected your team, and opponent, you can then choose which controller controls which team, or how the players are organised.
The artificial intelligence in the game is good, and often the players and teams act like in the real NBA. For example, I use L.A. Lakers, and a large majority of my baskets are from giving the ball to Nick Van Excel, who gives the ball to Shaq (sorry, roster centre who has incredibly similar to Shaquille O' Neil if he was in the game!) , who scores. Also, if you look at the top ten players for shooting, 3 point shots, rebounds, etc, the players are more or less the same as in the real NBA
On a side note. My version came in a cardboard box, which has what is meant to be like a basketball stuck to the front!