Don’t call it a come­back, kid

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS -

What do you mean, you haven’t been fol­low­ing the for­tunes of EA and 2K’s ri­val bas­ket­ball fran­chises for the last decade? Well, here’s the Clif­fNotes: NBA Live was once the king of bas­ket­ball games, then NBA 2K sur­passed it so com­pre­hen­sively that EA didn’t even bother putting a Live ti­tle out for a few years. So to say NBA Live is now truly back in the fight – well, that’s a big deal.

In some ways this is a markedly bet­ter game than NBA 2K18 (p82). Mi­cro­trans­ac­tions don’t lurk around every cor­ner like they do in 2K’s game, 1 while The One mode gives you con­trol of a young player’s ca­reer2 in both the NBA and street­ball tour­na­ments, with smart de­sign calls veer­ing from NBA 2K’s My Ca­reer mode. Ex­am­ple: if you don’t get drafted to a team you want to play for at the start, your agent will just give you the op­tion to pick from the other 29 teams – a god­send. Street­ball of­fers a nice di­ver­sion from pro play too, al­though it would have been nice to see more dis­tinc­tion be­tween the two styles in the way they’re played. More an­kle break­ers and Har­lem Glo­be­trot­ter play on the tar­mac, es­sen­tially.

It’s also a lot eas­ier to con­trol. EA Tiburon of­fers an eas­ier way to per­form dou­ble moves with the right stick at the ex­pense of pre­cise con­trol, while jump­shot tim­ing is ex­tremely for­giv­ing. How­ever, it’s still not quite there in its an­i­ma­tions, which feel a bit stiff when you’re in con­trol and don’t look con­vinc­ing in other play­ers. Still, if you want a break from 2K’s grind and high skill de­mands, this is a vi­able op­tion. And next year – who knows who’ll rule the court? Phil Iwa­niuk

FOOTNOTES1 In fact, no at­tribute up­grades can be bought with real cash, which is re­fresh­ing. 2 He’s re­ferred to in cutscenes as the ‘Come­back Kid.’ Don’t get cocky, EA.

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