Tuesday, January 15, 2008

PS3 Game Review: EA's NBA Live 2008

The latest edition to the ESPV gamers room, a fresh 40Gb Playstation 3, has had Dkoda glued to the screen for the last week shooting hoops in EA’s NBA Live 2008.

With the newest generation of consoles bringing sophisticated, glamorous visuals and rendering. Sports Videogames are looking slicker than ever, and with more sub-games and multiple play options, no to mention high definition resolution and smooth-moving animation, EA’s ‘08 release is a breath of fresh everything!

Firstly, the graphics are stunning; sweat shimmers on the players skin; muscles contort with movement, the leather ball actually looks like it’s made of leather. Even the background crowd is more detailed.

The soundtrack is awesome with some really dirty tunes and the in-game commentary is even more accurate in it’s response to the action, with updated player stats and the odd argument for added realism!

Including the regular NBA season and Championship competitions, 08 offers the gamer a chance to create their own NBA Dynasty. In this game mode, the user gets to manage their chosen team, from purchasing the administration staff to scouting and signing new talent. You can even set the teams training schedule for the off-season, chosing where you’d like your team to focus most, whether its offense, defense or just physical exercise.

Gameplay is fairly easy, though some may struggle with the finer commands for setting plays and pulling off stunning moves. The in-game quickplay selection is useful but the method can be a little tricky to perform. Signature moves and improved dribbling skills add a great deal of flare to the experience, but it can take a while to get your timing down on shot-taking, lay-ups and dunks.

Aside from the option of creating your own player from scratch, you can also modify the player attribute ratings, so if you feel like KG isn’t jumping as high as in real life, or AI’s not quite as fast, you can soop these players up to make them better-than-all-star players!

The only real downfall of this latest NBA title from EA is the mundane, plain-jane loading screen. It lacks any of the style and flava witnessed in-game and is on screen just long enough to irritate you...and that goes for the ESPN sponsored NBA quiz that appears whie your next game loads too. For the die-hard fan, sure your gonna love it, but for casual admirers it’s a bit heavy. When will we see actual NBA highlight reels replace these time-stretchingly boring loading screens?!!!! I want fast paced inspirational visuals of the guys on my team to get me “pumped-up” for my next battle!

Besides the loading screens this is a fantastic basketball game, truly representing and reproducing the atmosphere, excitment, strategy and flare of the NBA league. If, like me, you are a fan of the sport then this is the best game on the market! Go shoot some hoops why don’t you?!

Images from EA Sports found on Google