I just got a chance to play a game of NBA Live 09, and I gotta say I was really impressed. I was a fan of NBA 2K 08 last year, but I think EA might have the upper hand this year with all the new features and gameplay enhancements.
Let me start off with the EA Sports presentation of NBA Live 09, which took place yesterday.
It started off with Peter Moore introducing the game, but he quickly revealed a surprise guest to the stage: Basketball Hall of Famer and current NBA analyst Bill Walton, who suddenly stole the stage with his presence, humor and overall knowledge of basketball.
He totally won over the crowd and was my favorite part of the conference. To reiterate what Chad said, if Bill Walton was on the stage during the whole EA press conference, it would have been so much better. He was just that awesome.
Ok, enough about Mr. Walton – back to my impressions of NBA Live 09.
During the NBA Live 09 presentation, we saw cinematic gameplay and then we actually got to see the game running for the first time. The animations and player details look superb, easily keeping up with the likes of the NBA 2K series.
The biggest feature added to this year’s NBA Live (based on how many times Peter Moore mentioned it) is the Dynamic DNA, which is essentially a daily update of players and teams playing tendencies.
For example, say there is a real life NBA game going on one night, and Paul Pierce happens to drive to the basket cutting left the majority of the night. Following that game, Dynamic DNA will update the statistics of Paul Pierce in NBA Live 09 making it where he’d most likely be successful when cutting to the left.
Another example of how Dynamic DNA works is if a real life player is making a majority of his shots from one area of the court, that same player will be able to make those same shots in NBA Live 09 because that will become his “hot zone”. It kind of reminds me of NBA Jam’s hot spots, but just not as easy to pull off and the ball doesn’t catch on fire.
I got a chance to finally play a copy of the game today at the EA Sports showcase. I picked up the controller and was immediately impressed with the fluidity of the controls and the graphical detail to not only the players, but the fans and the stadium as well.
I got a hands-on demonstration of how the Dynamic DNA works and it’s just as cool as I thought it would be. It keeps the game as fresh as possible with daily updates. Honestly, I haven’t been this excited for a basketball game in awhile.
Just imagine getting all the latest stats and playing styles of all NBA players during the middle of the season. No more stats and rosters based off of the season before. Oh, and speaking of rosters, Dynamic DNA will also feature the ability to update any mid-season trades or cuts, as well as injuries to any players.
Another feature that I noticed, which kind of coexists with the Dynamic DNA, is the NBA Live Rewind. This all-new feature gives gamers the ability to take a look at stats from previously played NBA games, and use those same stats in the game you are going to play.
For example, say you are playing as the L.A. Lakers and your opponent is playing as the Boston Celtics. You can use NBA Live Rewind to look up the actual matches the two teams played against each other, and use the stats from one of those games. NBA Live Rewind is a really neat idea and gives players just another way to play the game.
Other than the Dynamic DNA and NBA Live Rewind, not much else was discussed during the presentation, but other features including the Pick and Roll Control, Defensive Lockdown Control, Signature Playcalling, Quickstrike Ankle-Breakers and FIBA tournaments have already been revealed for the game.
With the basketball season just recently coming to an end, I can only wait to get my basketball fix this fall when NBA Live 09 is released.