Oct 1, 2007
Remember John Starks? He toiled away in basketball's minor leagues for years, working on his game until he was plucked out of purgatory by Pat Riley. A couple of seasons later, he was an All-Star point guard for the NBA Finals-bound New York Knicks. Sure, he had a few flaws - no Knickerbocker fan can ever forget his brutal performance in Game 7 of the Finals - but in the right situation he turned into a star.
NBA 08 for the PSP reminds us a lot of Mr. Starks. It's taken a few years, but the latest title in the series can now firmly plant itself in the "good" category. Simply put, Sony has combined smooth gameplay, on-point commentary, and plenty of modes into a quality portable hoops title that surprised us more than a little bit - all in a good way.
For starters, things have been stepped up on the court, which you'll recognize right from the opening tip. Smoothness is the name of the game, as your favorite ballers glide to and fro like ice cubes, beneficiaries of a steady framerate. We don't think there's much more that can be squeezed out of the PSP presentation-wise, either, as everything from look of the players, courts, and scoreboards to the timing of the announcing crew is first rate. Commentary has traditionally been a problem on PSP hoops titles in the past, but not here. Ian Eagle calls the plays as they happen, not two seconds afterwards. Very impressive indeed.