NBA Live 07
Traditionally EA releases each year a new NBA Live. Unfortunately these yearly release usually are nothing more than ‘improvements’ of the previous parts rather then real innovations. This is also the case with this NBA Live 07.
The so-called innovations EA tries to sell us actually aren’t that great. Superstars and Freestyle Control are two of them, and they are meant to give some players special talents to make the game more realistic and spectacular. This was partly already available in NBA Live 06. The X-Factor takes care that the worst player in the team can become a superstar for a limited time, if that player participated in the game frequently enough to unlock this possibility. This seems to be the only real innovation, but it isn’t really useable in the game, it doesn’t fit in.
The element of show certainly isn’t absent. To practice your spectacular dunkomoves, the Slam Dunk School is available and when you ready a contest awaits. Those moves are by the way done in slow motion, not only to let you see every detail, but also to make you able to press the right button in time. Furthermore there are the moves from the already mentioned Superstars, which according to the creators serve to make the digital versions look more like their real-life counterparts, but for the gamer it’s above all fun in finding nice combinations. On condition you’re able to master the sometimes unnecessarily complicated controls.
When looking at the different gaming modes, you get a nice list in front of you, but almost everything comes down to the same. Whatever it is called, too often it’s a combination of other modes or variations on a classic element. The greatest part are rather mini-games too, they are fun, but bore after a while.
The most interesting possibility is the Dynasty Mode. This is some kind of Career Mode, with some good features added to it. For instance, the team’s playing style reflects the atmosphere in the group. You’re also in charge of the players’ agenda: training, spare time, a press conference, you choose.
The A.I. of your own town really sucks, your team mates literally do nothing when defending. Sometimes they might stay close to an opponent, but simple things like blocking or stealing the ball seems to be unknown to them. You’re simply on your own, against a whole team, because your opponent’s A.I. is good enough. On lower difficulty levels too they offer a challenge. Though sometimes they act strange too. One game they asked for a time-out three times in a row and then made the one fault after the other, resulting in a series of free throws. The severe referee might have something to do with that, luckily you’re able to adjust which faults count.
Graphically it’s all right, but there are some glitches, like two players running through each other. The sound is actually the best element of this game, next to a great soundtrack, you also get a good commentary during matches.
Veterans won’t be impressed by this new part in the series and newbies will have problems with the complicated controls. It’s better to get older versions of NBA Live from under the dust or to wait for a new one.