PS3/Xbox 360 Review: NBA Live 10

Does NBA Live provide more than a case of déjà vu?

NBA Live is back with the one purpose: To deliver an authentic basketball experience, all season long. From the in-game presentation and enhanced user control to the one-of-a-kind Dynamic DNA and revolutionary Dynamic Season, NBA Live 10 is re-writing the book on basketball simulation videogames.
With a new team at the help and a renewed focus on gameplay, NBA Live 10 brings a smoother more fluid playing basketball experience than has ever been seen in the Live franchise. With improvements to player movement, passing, shooting, blocking, rebounding, dunks and dribbling the entire game has been overhauled to make sure it’s the best playing basketball game on the market. Featuring a dual-layered control scheme, NBA Live 10 will be accessible to casual users, while still giving advanced users the enhanced control they crave – giving anyone, no matter their skill level, the ability to create their own highlight reel plays.

I can’t claim to be a huge fan of basketball videogames; I’ve always found the handling leaves a lot to be desired. Despite that, over the years it has improved…but can NBA Live 10 do more than its predecessors?

Like with every EA Sports license, this year’s games seem to be the best of the crop. The team has learned from their lessons and have made ultimate versions that are going to be tough to topple next year. It doesn’t have that much new to offer other than live updates based on real matches and the options to create a fantasy team with other players online, but these features are just enough to justify itself for another year.
Besides the new features, the controls have taken a dramatic improvement with extra precision thanks to the analog sticks. AI has also seem an improvement and on the toughest settings will cause you some serious problems, they aren’t completely mindless….I only wish the same could be said for your AI teammates who seem to be completely unaware of where the ball is at times.

The formula still needs a bit of work and I can just picture NBA Live 11 to topple this game and its 2K rival. I haven’t played NBA 2K10, so I can’t really compare which game is better…but there is a wealth of options in NBA Live 10 that would be hard to match in any other basketball game. Commentary is slightly disappointing this year as it can be quite inaccurate at times and it becomes apparent that they are simply repeated lines. It’s a shame, but you can always turn it off and listen to the roars of the crowd…it sounds great.

The Verdict

NBA Live 10 makes great improvements to the series in terms of control and presentation, but the AI and commentary need a bit of work. It’s a game that is close to perfect, it just needs a few tweaks to make it so.