Excerpt: With only days to go before the start of the NBA season, EA Sports delivers b-ball gamers their annual NBA fix with NBA Live 09. This year EA Canada set out to make a significantly improved basketball game as NBA Live 08 did not exactly set the world on fire. 08 made some significant leaps over the abysmal NBA Live 07; however the franchise has not produced a slam dunk basketball game in quite some time.
Excerpt: NBA Live has had a rough transition to the current generation of consoles; however, slowly but surely, the games have gotten better every year. NBA Live 09 doesn't make the same leap forward that 08 made, and the much-hyped dynamic DNA feature has little effect on the gameplay. However, new pick-and-roll controls, as well as signature playcalling, make this Live the best in several years.
Pros: Signature playcalling makes running plays a breeze, New pick-and-roll mechanic is simple and effective, User-friendly controls, Marv Albert and Steve Kerr do a nice job in the booth
Cons: Lousy defense leads to lots of dunks, Dribble moves are too often ineffective, Be a Pro mode isn't very deep
Conclusion: Overall, NBA Live 09 is a solid basketball game.
With the addition of Dynamic DNA, NBA Live
Academy, and FIBA World Championship among other
nifty content, this is NBA Live at its best!
Long time fans will certainly appreciate the new
Lockdown Mode and Pick-and-Roll system, which
add more depth to the action on the court.
Conclusion: Overall NBA Live 09 is a solid basketball, in fact it’s the best entry we have had from EA in a while. There are a ton of game modes, a great control scheme and a lots and lots of ESPN integration for those that have their Xbox 360’s connected to Xbox LIVE. The NBA Live 365 feature should make your game different everyday as you download the daily updates. Just make sure to use the code found in the game’s case to download your one year subscription to Live 365 for free.
Summary: NBA Live 09 is not an easy game by any definition of the word. By the time I traded it in, I was playing 08 on the highest level and winning by 40. I am having trouble beating the second-highest level on 09. They've fixed so many of the things that used to work, and made the game that much more realistic, that at times it can get frustrating. Once I got the hang of what I was doing wrong (cross-court passes don't work!) it became far more enjoyable.
Summary: The controls are simple enough for newcomers, and vet players will enjoy the few new options in the game. It has a glitzy presentation, filled with many of the advanced technologies and partnerships EA has obtained over the years, but none of it seems to help out the broken feel you get from the games controls and A.I.
Pros: The play-calling is good, so is online play
Cons: Stiff controls, nothing much new other than the new online features.
Conclusion: While NBA Live 09 made great strides in the right direction, it seems like EA enjoys taking two steps forward and one step back. The addition of DNA brings a new aspect to the game, but is it really enough to set it apart? No. Even though NBA 2K9 might be a better choice this season, NBA Live isn’t a bad option if you don’t want to go the 2K route.