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NBA Live 08 review

Showtime bursts out of your PSP - again - as Live reclaims the portable hoops championship

Pros

  • Plenty of modes
  • FIBA World Tournament
  • The Crown

Cons

  • Tough to play "D"
  • Only 2 mini-games
  • Clumsy icon passing

Oct 9, 2007

EA's small-screen roundball series has been jazzing up our PSPs for three years now, tweaking the formula each go-round. Last year, Freestyle controls worked great but tended to relegate non-superstars to the virtual bench. This season, NBA Live 08 invites all comers to the party, from Rajon Rondo to Kobe Bryant and everybody in between. It's a streamlined version of their hoops hit, and it works again just like a charm.

Don't get us wrong - Brian Scalabrine won't light up Tim Duncan for 50 points anytime soon. NBA superstars still dominate the game, and when All-Stars get the rock where they like it, fireworks ensue. However, the emphasis is clearly on finding the open man instead of dropping it in to T-Mac every time down the court and watching him go. It's more even-handed and realistic, and we like that just fine.

Note: Screenshots in this review are taken from the PS2 version of NBA Live 08

On the court, the action is solid if unspectacular. The PS2-quality visuals are impressive enough, and good ol' Marv Albert returns to call the action. We love him, and when he works a game it just sounds like NBA basketball. The controls also do a workmanlike job handling the fundamentals, although we sure would've liked slam dunks to have separate buttons from jumpers like Live's console cousins. Thankfully, foul shots use a traditional approach, which delights us to no end. We're sick and tired of developers coming up with new ways to shoot from the charity stripe each season.

More Info

GenreSports
DescriptionAdvanced settings gives you more control - if moving players directionally is considered 'advanced.'
Franchise nameNBA Live
UK franchise nameNBA Live
PlatformWii, PSP, PS3, PS2, Xbox 360
US censor ratingEveryone
Release date1 October 2007 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)