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.