The Basketball season is here, and the greatest gaming experience one could have with a sports game, is to reenact a game that you just watched on TV, and giving it your own outcome. But if that’s not enough, how about creating a Dynasty, and manage your players, trades, games, and much more. NBA Live 2010 brings all of this to the table, plus tons of added features, that will satisfy anyone from casual to stat guru. (The review does not cover the 5 on 5 game play due to scheduling, and lack of active games during the time of review)
Controls: NBA Live 2010’s control schemes are much like previous years. Whether you are an old school NBA live gamer, or a new comer to the series, the control scheme is simple, and comfortable.
The speed of the game is by far one of the biggest improvements; the game reacts and moves fast and accurate for the most part. When I say “for the most part” I will hit the game on a very obvious fault, and non-reality feel to the game. When controlling the ball with any player and attempt to drive towards either corner of the court, you will 90% of the time get thrown out of bounce by some sort of invisible player, or zone. This could be very frustrating especially on down to the wire games. It’s almost as if the game loses accurate ball handling once you get close the out of bounce line near the basket. (Update: This has been improved with NBA LIVE 2010 PS3 update 1.10)
Passing, rebounds, blocking, shooting, defense, it all feels right. Being a point guard in the game, feels like it should; smooth, precise, and in control.
Graphics: Everything from the crowd, mascots, floor, and players look great! All player animations look natural, and as close to real as it can get for now. The players for the most part have a shine to them caused by both sweat and lighting and it does not look bad at all. Some may complain that it makes the player models look like plastic, but it feel as if the creators understand the game, and realized that the lighting and sweat create a thick shine.
While shooting free throws, you will get a close up look at how good the player models really looks. The face features are accurate to that of the real players, and everything else from the shoulders, to the shooting form look natural and realistic.
The AI really shines in Live. Let’s just say when you have the ball, you head for a layup or you drive the lane, and get fouled or at least you think you got fouled, your player grabs his head or eye for a minute as to pretend that he indeed got hurt, but there was no foul call. Eventually the player will act normal when he realizes that he will not get the call. Much like Vlade Divac reacted to every bump or tiny shove back in the day. These small details really make the game feel that much more important, and genuine.
Sound: Presentation to a game is key if you want to impress or even create that neck breaker/eye candy affect. NBA Live 2010 has the sound to make you feel like you are at the game. The fans chanting the teams’ name, the intensity of the crowd noise when playing a very important and close game with 2 minutes left in the 4th, shoes rubbing the polished floor – yes NBA Live’s sound delivers in this area. There are several crowd noise levels you can actually configure your game to play by. Normal, Playoffs, and Finals. Playing an online game, or even a quick solo game with Finals noise levels, doesn’t get any better- you will NOT hear the ball bounce!
When a game delivers such a great overall sound, it is easier to hear the flaws, and NBA Live does have several flaws in the sound department. The commentary, although decent, has some minor flaws that may or may not be a big deal to most, but because I did find it unpolished I figured I mentioned it. There was missing commentary on several plays during the games played both on and offline. For instance, one commentator will start a topic while the game is going; the other commentator will stay quiet, in what appears that the sound doesn’t respond at all due to the games movement. So, we can go several highlighted plays without a comment.
Also, the commentary tracks are at times easy to hear when they got added, cropped in, or mixed in. This gives it a very robotic and unnatural sound.
Replay Value/Story: NBA LIVE 2010 has every reason to be revisited often. Complete franchises, real time stats, and attributes, community style 5 vs. 5 games, top notch online support, and not to mention the DNA game mode that allows you to replay games the same day a real game takes place, with all current player stats. One final thing that seems to get a bit overlooked. easportsworld.com. I mean how cool is uploading your highlights and images to easportsworld.com to share with your friends, and the rest of the world! Simply amazing feature that puts NBA Live 2010 in the direction we all hoped EA would take this franchise.
Wishes or Changes: Update Patch 1.10 fixed and added many of the wishes and changes we asked for beside the choppy commentating crew. Also, the 5 vs. 5 Adidas live run is a good addition, but it could be a bit tedious to set up. Not to mention the lack of games found at the time you really want to play. And of course custom slam dunk contests with easportsworld upload support, and last but not least the ability to play classic and present games with hall of fame players, so we can finally find out who is the best, MJ or Kobe.
TQ bottom line: NBA LIVE 2010 Reinvents itself in all the right places, while keeping it simple, easy to pick up and play, yet has every aspect of the basketball sport covered for all the hardcore basketball fans.
All Review Images were taken within game replay, and uploaded to easportsworld.com, racked up 51% of all possible PS3 trophies while reviewing the game.