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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Nba live 08 review and trailer

Let’s face it; the past few years have not been kind to EA Sport’s flagship basketball franchise. The past few NBA Live titles have paled in comparison to 2K Sport’s NBA 2K games, getting trounced on the court for having weak gameplay and dismal features. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that EA Sports would go back to the drawing board, focusing on making the gameplay mechanics smooth and playable, while bringing the next-gen iterations up to speed with a good feature set. NBA Live 08 ups the ante with some features that range from pretty good to great and long overdue, as well as some excellent on-court mechanics and animations to pull you into the game. While not without a few foibles, NBA Live 08 is still the most compelling game to hit the franchise in years.

Anyone who’s played the series as of late would know that it didn’t exactly have the most fluid gameplay out there. In fact, the inside game was rubbish, the passing game made some utterly confounding mistakes, and the overall on-court experience was pretty weak. However, the team behind NBA Live 08 has attempted to address these issues as best as they can, and have been mostly successful in their efforts. As a result, NBA Live 08 plays leaps and bounds better than previous games in the series.

One element that the dev team have implemented to fix the on-court game is the new “own the paint” feature. This allows you to press the left bumper button and perform a variety of moves, like fake shots, alley oops, and so on to leave your opponents in the dust. This feature takes a bit of getting used to, as doing the wrong thing will often cost you possession of the ball. However, mastering it is extremely rewarding, and shows how the inside game has been vastly improved from last year’s iteration of the series. Additionally, the ball handling has been improved quite a bit. You can link together skill moves like combos in order to get the drop on your opponents. Do this right and you’ll clear yourself a patch to the hoop every time. However, only certain players can do this properly, and trying to do the quick strike ball handling with “less capable” players will cost you the ball.However, while the on-court play has been updated substantially, it’s still not perfect. The game still has some nagging issues. Shots are still mishandled by the game often, with players attempting to shoot from behind the backboard, or flubbing simple lay-ups and dunks. The AI is also a bit problematic, especially on defense, leaving areas wide open and allowing a clean lane to the basket for your opponent.

Aside from those issues, there’s a lot to love in NBA Live 08. The features from last year’s game, like the All-Star Weekend and dynasty mode, have returned. However, there are some great new features as well. The FIBA World Championship opens up the team roster to international teams, allowing you to face off countries against each other or even NBA teams. The scenario mode is also a nice addition, letting you play through randomized pseudo mission-based scenarios to test your B-ball mettle, and the quick pick mode lets you choose your own dream team of ten players from any team in the game and pit them against another team.

Xbox 360 NBA Live 08 trailer:

One huge addition to the game is the online leagues, which has been something that fans have been clamoring for some time now. The leagues have persistent rankings and rankings for each player, as well as a variety of tweaks that you can do in order to cater your own preferences, matching you up with similar players.

Graphically, the game is a big step-up from NBA Live 07 as well, thanks to its framerate boost to 60 frames per second and some much improved animations. The character models are also done very well, showcasing different body types and sizes as well as accurate facial models. Soundwise, the game is also quite good, with a diverse soundtrack, accurate commentary from Albert and Kerr and solid on-court effects.

NBA Live 08 isn’t without a few problems that have lingered from last year’s game, but the whole experience is generally much improved. The on-court game plays much better than before, and the new features are great additions to the franchise. This is the next-gen NBA Live that we’ve been waiting for since the 360 launched.