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Published on October 29, 2006 By terpfan1980 In XBOX

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Last year (season?) EA's NBA Live (NBA Live 06) for the Xbox 360 was more than a little disappointing.  Like it's professional football cousin, Madden 06 for the Xbox 360, NBA Live 06 left out a lot of features from the game.  While the basic game was there, there was a serious lack of depth in the game, with no "Franchise mode" and little or no other features.

NBA Live 07 image
Image linked from unscripted360.com

This season, EA and their partner developers have rectified most of those complaints about the game.  There's a new NBA Dynasty mode, a new NBA All-Star weekend mode, and (as noted on the packaging) an unprecedented level of ESPN integration in the game. 

The ESPN integration includes ESPN radio broadcasts and more up-to-the-minute real sports information that is available from within the game.  While setting up games, or in between games in the dynasty mode schedule or other "game lobby" areas, game players can listen to the ESPN personalities provide reports on the day's sporting events.  It's a great addition, and a nice "little touch" for the gamers that choose NBA Live 07 over its 2K Sports competition (NBA 2K7).

Unfortunately, though, gamers that do make the choice of NBA Live 07 over NBA 2K7 may be losing out on the better game. 


... more in the comments area

on Oct 29, 2006
continued from the main article...

In my case, I was so incredibly frustrated by problems in earlier 2K Sports games on the Xbox 360 -- especially the bugs and game lock-ups in MLB 2K6 -- that I couldn't bring myself to choose NBA 2K7. While in many ways I loath feeding the EA Sports beast, I didn't feel right handing money over to 2K Sports after their lack of good faith in resolving gamer complaints about their MLB game, and last year's NHL game and NCAA College Hoops games.

NBA Live 07 image 2
Image linked from store.yahoo.net

As the images above show, NBA Live 07 continues to deliver the eye candy. The graphics are pretty good in the game, and the detailing in the stadiums and player faces are quite nice.

The game play is sadly not necessarily up to the pretty images. The game continues to be a dunk fest in most cases, and shots that should be easily made (lay ups as an example) are missed for inexplicable reasons. Teams make fast breaks down the court, run right up to the basket and miss shots that any school yard baller would easily make. Not contested, not well defended, just gimme shots that are missed as if someone was being paid to miss the shots.

The Dynasty mode (one of my favorite features for a game like this) is nice, but the menu system for the Dynasty mode in NBA Live 07 uses slightly different menu structures and patterns compared to the ones used in Madden 07. I know that EA normally has different programmers and partner developers involved in their various games, but I wish that they would be more consistent across games and use the same menu layouts in all of their games. Staying more consistent within the game menus would help novice gamers like myself more easily go from one sport game to another.

NBA Live 07 is a decent game, but not a great one. It is worth the purchase price (barely), but probably is better positioned as a game rental for most potential players.

I should add here that I still object to the $10 premium that EA (and others) charge for Xbox 360 games.  Considering that the game really isn't that different from the same game on the older platforms (Playstation 2 and original Xbox), paying a premium for the game on the newest generation hardware seems to be a serious F--- You to the gamers that have the newest systems.  I understand paying for bleeding edge tech, but I wish that the developers were not so quick to use any excuse to suck down more money from their customers.
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