A couple of weeks ago I picked up NBA Live 2008 from JB Hifi for a mere $19. It was fun and it re-ignited my interest in the NBA. There were however annoyances. Players would frequently miss easy shots from right under the basket and in season mode, cpu teams would make irrational trades, swapping their star players for 3rd tier randoms.
NBA Live 10 has been hailed as a return to form for the somewhat shaky franchise, which has been living in the shadow of the 2K series for a while now. Playing the game it’s easy to see why:
Players have momentum and bump against each other realistically. You can no longer run at full speed and stop on a dime to throw up a jumpshot.
The live DNA feature updates your team rosters and player abilities based on real time stats from the current NBA season.
This is a feature that I’ve been waiting for since NBA Live 95. At the end of the game it lists [and allows you to filter and sort] the best replays of the entire game. You can see all the best dunks, blocks, 3 pointers of the game and then choose to save an image or video and then upload it to the interweb to brag to your friends (like this video of me blocking Joakim Noah).
I’ve only actualy spent a couple of hours playing NBA Live 10, but I like what I see so far. Rather than another tepid update, 10 adds smooth new gameplay and a level of polish as yet unseen on the NBA Live line. It’s a far cry from the dark days of NBA Live 2005, where saving your season progress involved a 6 step process.
Edit: After playing this game a bit more, my opinion has changed somewhat. When playing on the default ‘pro’ hardness setting, the game is balanced and fun, but once that becomes too easy and you start playing on ‘All-star’ mode, the game balance becomes a total mess. You can forget about driving to the hole, playing post or even pulling off plays at all, as almost all dunks and layups miss if there is another player standing within 5 metres (the cpu players still manage to dunk though). Even players like LeBron James will only make on average 1 out of 8 of their dunks. You end up just sitting back and shooting 3 pointers non-stop because it’s the only reliable way to score. Boring.
Also, I had to disable the awesome ‘Replay highlights’ feature mentioned above because of a bug that caused the game to crash halfway through the 3rd quarter of every game. Lame.