When we see one of these All-Play sports games, we don’t know whether to applaud EA’s attempt to embrace the Wii’s family-friendly image or groan at the thought of having to play something that would barely tax the motor skills of a corpse. This is point ’n’ click basketball, where you aim the cursor at a player and press a button to pass to him. Aim at the basket to shoot and all sorts of context-sensitive animations will kick in to show your teammates doing alley-oops and tricksy dunks that will make you look like a master of the court.
The problem is that you won’t feel particularly masterful when you do one of those moves. We scored, we defended, we got the odd message telling us we’d done a ‘nice rebound’, but for all the sense of involvement we felt, we might as well have been watching somebody else playing. You can take control of the players yourself, but it’s lightweight and unconvincing. Proper motion controls are used well in the free throws but minimally elsewhere. On the plus side, the inclusion of the WNBA, Miis and party games show that NBA Live 09 is serious about its casual credentials. Dedicated basketball fans, however, won’t get much out of the Wii version.
Nov 4, 2008