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NBA Live '09 Review - Destructoid

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I'm a college student here in Kansas, studying history. I enjoy any game that can keep me playing it for a long time, don't care what genre or game series it is.
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bmdubya
8:05 PM on 10.08.2008

HOLY CRAP THIS IS THE WORST BASKETBALL GAME EVER MADE!

Ok, now that I got that out of the way, let me explain why. Lets start off with the big new feature, DNA NBA 365 24/7. I don't know what it is called actually, and I don't really care. Basically what it does is it takes real world stats of NBA players and uploads them into the game to make the game play more realistic. But the season doesn't start for another month, so this feature is useless. Also, I got this game from GameFly, and you have to enter a code from the instruction book to use the DNA thing. So I'm screwed. If you rent it or buy it used, there is an option to buy it from Marketplace. I haven't checked the price because I don't care. The feature should be included on the disc no matter what. Fucking cheap bastards. I can still cuss on Dtoid right? Because this game pisses me off so much.



I want to discuss a serious issue with all of you, retarded AI players. This is a terrible issue in our society, and if we don't do anything about it, children will riot in the streets. Do you want children rioting, having sex with hookers? I thought not. In all seriousness, the AI in this game is the stupidest fucking assholes I've ever seen in any game. They are worse than your squad mates from Halo 3 when they try to drive the Warthog. Hell, the AI in NBA Live make those guys look like geniuses. I just got done playing a game where I ran a set play that had the ball passed the wing, then the low post sets a pick, and rolls to the basket, right? A very simple, middle school level basketball play, but effective for all levels of basketball if run right. The play looks like it is going to run beautifully, the post sets a great pick, I dribble to the top of the key, and I get ready to pass the ball down low because the post is wide open. I mean, the closest person to him was the guy sitting in the front row of the crowd. All of a sudden, the post decides it would be a good idea to cut back to the middle of the lane, and I pass it because I figured he would keep cutting towards the basket. Hey, there goes the other team for a lay-up. On defense, they could have just programmed the players to stand in place and whack off all game, because they may be more effective then what they do now.

Lets see, what else is there? Oh yeah, the passing. Like one of the most important parts of the game. Like coach always says, "Passing the ball advances the ball up the floor quicker than dribbling." So you would think, "Hey, maybe EA would get this aspect of the game right because it is pretty important." Well sir, you are wrong. Completely wrong. Imagine trying to pass the ball while tripping acid at a carnival, with evil clowns. Ok, maybe that is a bad example, but that is how it feels to me. To pass it, you press the A button. Very simple. But who you pass to is a completely different story. There is a gray target underneath the player you are passing to. The awesome thing is that since the target is gray, it is hard to see. YAY! Also, you would think that the game would recognize that you maybe want to pass it to the closest guy to you. I mean if you are on the left wing, and there is a post player on the low block and a shooting guard at the top of the key, you would think that the game would know that if you pointed the stick towards the post man, the player would pass there, or vice versa. Well, once again, you are an asshole. The game thinks it is a good idea to pass the ball to the other side of the floor, right through the defense. For those who have played basketball, or have watched a game before, you would know that you can't make a chest pass through the lane if the defense is there. But NBA Live thinks that you can do that. Another example of shitty passing was when I was working on alley oops. I was practicing a 3 on 2 fast break, working on my alley oops. I passed it to the left wing, and the point guard went to the right, while the right wing cut to the lane. I was thinking, awesome, that is usually how that goes down. Well the point guard cuts to the corner, and I try to lob a pass to the right winger for an alley oop, but my guy throws an alley oop to the player in the corner. I was royally pissed.

So those are the three main things I wanted to talk about. Lets talk more basic things. The animation is really hit and miss. Sometimes, the animation does look great, with players moving realistically and fluid. Other times, it looks like your players are playing a basketball game on quick sand. Why the hell does it take over a second for my guy to start sprinting when I hold down the sprint button? I'll see a big hole, hit the sprint button, but by the time his feet get moving, a defender is there. The same applies to jumping. Good luck blocking shots, or rebounding for that matter. I don't understand what EA is thinking. I get the whole thing about making the players feel like they have weight and aren't skating on the basketball court, but the way the implement it makes the game not fun. The physics in this game are terrible. How come I can't shoot the ball normally while dribbling? I was playing a game yesterday with the Mavericks, and I was dribbling to the left with Dirk. I pulled up to shoot, and Dirk starts fading away to the left. I thought maybe I was holding down the sprint button, which would sense why he didn't square up and shoot. So I tried it again, making sure my finger was off the sprint button. He did the exact same time. Fuck you EA. Did you ever realize that I might want my player to square up after dribbling. The graphics are once again, hit or miss. Some of the big name players look amazing. Other players look like hell. The presentation is alright. The cutscenes look decent if the players look decent. If they zoom in on one of the players that look like crap, it ruins the experience. I tried my luck at the dunk contest. Holy shit, that thing is broken. I swear every time the game switches up the timing. It is so confusing. One button takes off, another does the trick, you have to take off in the right spot, hold the button long enough, but not too long! I think in the four dunk contests I was a part of, I got 2 dunks in for 38 points.



My main gripe about this game is the gameplay though. It is not realistic at all. I can't figure out how to get into a defensive stance. If you hold the right joystick down, your defender turns his back to the player. I don't understand how sometimes a player will make a turn-around-fade-away-three-pointer with a defender in his face, but won't make a wide open three when there is no one around. Another flaw in the game is the pick and roll mechanic. It can't be stopped. No matter how many people are between you and the player rolling to the goal, the pass always gets through for an easy lay-up. Also, when you call a pick, the only person you can pass to for about five seconds is the guy setting the pick. So if he isn't open, you have to dribble around until the icon above his head disappears. To me, this game feels broken. This is by far the worst basketball game I've ever played, maybe worst sports game ever. Here is a little message to EA: Stop sucking on T-Mobile's, Adidas's, and Sprite's dick and make your game better. I thought NBA Live was getting better, but it is getting worse with every version. I need to get my hands on NBA 2K9 now, I need to play a good basketball game.

If I was to give this game a score, it would probably be a 3/10. The only thing going for it is the occasional animation that looks good, and the player models that look great. Having to into a code to use your biggest feature is so stupid. I seriously can't tell you how stupid it is. I understand that for the first year it is free for people who bought the game, but why not just put the feature on the disc, then when NBA Live 2010 comes out, charge people for DNA if they still want to play 09. EA, you need to fix your physics, passing, defense, and the entire gameplay. Also, get rid of the dunk contest you have now and make a brand new one. EA, you need to get your shit together. Every year 2K makes a basketball game that is better than the year before, and yours gets worse. Good luck next year, EA. If you don't make a good NBA game next year, I have a feeling you are going to lose a large percentage of your fanbase. Come on Peter Moore, you are better than that. I know basketball isn't popular where you are from, but this is just plain ridiculous. If anyone is thinking about picking up a NBA game, don't get Live 09. Even thought I haven't played 2K9 yet, I already know that it is better than this piece of squirrel shit.

I feel bad for whoever has to review this for Dtoid.



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