STAFF REVIEW of NBA Live 07 (Xbox 360)

Monday, November 6, 2006.
by Longball77

NBA Live 07 Box art Basketball has always been a highflying fast paced, fun to watch and even more fun to play sport. It has a way of energising you whether you are sitting back and watching your favourite team light up the court or out in the driveway driving the paint with the buddies. Basketball is the ultimate sport. The NBA has one of the best marketing team of the big sports. They simply understand that the fans just want to be like Mike. The have made the stars of the game household names. We can go back and recall the stars of each generation and know whom their most fierce competitor was. Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird, Michel Jordan vs. the entire NBA, Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks and who can forget Shack vs. Kobe, oh yeah they played on the same team at the time of the rivalry. In NBA Live we can be anybody we want. We can rush down the court as Jason Kidd and dish an ally op to Vince Carter who does a highflying Tomahawk Dunk, or look down court for the likes of Chris Bosh of the Raptors who is down low and hit him with a no look pass for an easy lay up. You can always count on NBA Live for the same real life game experience.

This year is no exception. In Seasons past NBA Live lost the Dynasty mode for reason this writer could never understand. In NBA Live 07 they brought it back with some new features that have taken this game to a whole new level. Four features to Dynasty mode that need to be brought to your attention is the Team Chemistry, Assistant Coach, ESPN interactive feature and the Mock Draft. TEAM CHEMISTRY is a new feature that will allow you to dig deep into the inner workings of your players. You will be able to see how the decisions you make in during the game is reflected on by the players. The number of minutes they played based on what they feel they should be playing. How you used a player during they game reflects in the team chemistry. This is why they introduction of the ASSISTANT COACH is so important. With the intense schedule of the NBA even the start players like Lebron James need rest. You will not be able to play him every minute of ever game, practice him hard and expect him to make every play during a game. The interaction of the Assistant coach introduces time off, practice scheduling and team recreation. You have the availability for some one on one training with every player. You can have your coaches spending the time developing the young draft choices or working with the stars of tomorrow to get your team ready for the playoffs. During the early part of the off season you will need to participate in the rookie draft. With the ESPN feature you will be able to analyse any future draftee and get an opinion from ESPN, they will let you know the key strengths of the potential draftee and the weakness of your team and the possible holes you may want to fix. If you have spent your team budget correctly you may have a strong scouting system and an insight into the players you may need to draft and to help out at any point in the season you can visit the mock draft and see who may potentially be available when it is your turn to draft. So you may want to send out the scouts to visit those players. This could be the key to developing from within. With each new generation of games the trading gets more and more difficult. So trading a draft choice for Lebron isn?t going to happen.

Other amazing features are the spectacular graphics. EA may have just hit a home run in a sport where there are no batters. Console gamming is in for a real awaking with the introduction of HDTV. The details in the players, arena and the court is the best I have ever seen. EA is very close to the computer reproduction of the real life Steve Nash. You would think with the realism EA would have had to sacrifice in another area but once the games begin there are no delays, pixilation or shadowing in the HD modes. The only problem I can see is in the time it takes to load each game. But in order to keep my attention I can practice my jump shots, dunks and lay-ups using Tracey MacGrady while in the background the arena is being loaded for the ultimate Basketball experience.

Imagine listening to a basketball game on tv without the squeeks of the shoes every time a player pivets or stops. now imagine the sounds of all net from the three point line. EA spends a lot of time making sure if it is in the game it is in the game. the sounds of the court are definately there. the play by play of Marv Albert and colour commentary of Steve Kerr are a welcome addition to the game experience. Add this to the already potent line up of music sure to please any music enthusiast.The sounds of this game is definately an area that does not need improvement.

My recommendations for this game would be to speed it up. The loading in between games and the GM?s desk is way to slow. It has to be faster. My over all impression for this one is that if you are a Basketball fan and a gamer go and buy it the graphics alone will make the game worth your money.

Overall: 8.4 / 10
Gameplay: 8.4 / 10
Visuals: 8.8 / 10
Sound: 8.4 / 10


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