Second trailer for The Life in NBA 09 The Inside tells a basketball-centric tale

After watching the above video, part two of the trailer series for Sony’s NBA 09 The Inside, I may have to eat my harsh words about the title. I’ve been hating on it because of its graphics, but from time to time, we all need a reminder that gameplay is always of paramount importance, not graphics. And the touted “The Life” mode in NBA 09 now has me intrigued.

As I’ve mentioned previously, career modes in sports games that focus off the field/court/ice as well as on it aren’t new. But I can’t remember the last time I saw a true story mode in a simulation sports game. While the first trailer for The Life looked like the mode would be a simple rags-to-riches deal, this video splices together a bunch of cutscenes with some gameplay to paint a picture of an up-and-coming baller whose father, a barber, apparently isn’t happy with his son for some reason (he even goes so far as to call him an “ingrate”).

That drama-guaranteeing aspect of the story, plus a man who looks like he could play the part of a local-community-mentor-slash-surrogate-father, combine to provide a story that would be right at home in an AMC made-for-TV movie or something. I don’t mean that as an insult — for a story in a sports videogame, this seems pretty in-depth. Plus, the coach appears to have a great deal of faith in you, the D-League kid, so there’s an additional direction for the tale to take.

All in all, this second trailer has singlehandedly kindled an interest in NBA 09 The Inside for me, so I’ve now got my eye on its October 7th release date (PS3, PSP, PS2). For more, check out the game’s official Web site, which promises “weekly downloadable content” (roster updates, perhaps?) for the PS3 version.

Samit Sarkar