Last year NBA Live 09 was a hit or miss by the critics. Some were very disappointed, while others saw this as the series road to recovery. I myself was very impressed by last years game as it had some of the most exciting gameplay on the market while still being true to the sport. I did receive some criticism for my 9/10 rating for NBA Live 09, but to this day I do stand firm with that score. Now a year later EA Canada is back on the courts again in hopes of continuing to improve there HD basketball experience. Does NBA Live 10 have what it takes to rule the court? Read our full review to find out!
So without wasting anytime lets start getting into the game and start off this review with talking about the gameplay. Back in NBA Live 10 is the Dynamic DNA which has a direct impact on the gameplay and tracking the performance of the players on the court. Although in its infancy last year it has improved in this latest version by increasing its impact on the game and becoming less of a distraction and more of a flowing piece of the puzzle. This is a really interesting feature that continues to expand your game and keep it fresh throughout the season which is something that sports video games have struggled with for years.
In last years game the offensive side of the ball was obviously the focus of the game, there were many games where I played against friends and it became the battle of the dunks. In NBA Live 10 the game has improved into an even more balanced experience have the defense play a much bigger role in the experience. Now ball handling skills plays a bigger roles and often times if your not careful with the ball you will loose it. Defense also plays a bigger role as contesting shots is a big part of the experience as well. More then anything the game really makes you feel like your productive on the defensive side of the ball instead of just sitting around watching.
What really impressed me more then anything last year and continues to in NBA Live 10 is the experience on the court. Sure its not 100% a replication of what we see on a televised game, but it has all of the right areas of basketball while still making a really enjoyable game. One thing I noticed in NBA Live 10 is that player tendency’s really are quite streaky, so if Kobe Bryant has hit two shots from long range chances are he is heating up and will hit the third. Where as if Lebron James has had a few bad shots you will start to see his chances of scoring going down. Although you can’t always point your finger at the DNA mechanic it to helps in a big way for the overall experience.
One of the big modes for NBA Live 10 is the Addidas Live Run which is a team based online mode where you can join squads and play online 5 on 5 basketball games. The options aren’t as full fledged as some basketball fans may have hoped but it is a good first outing that really does allow some team formations to occur. I for one had a lot of problems finding a group that would play at the same time consistently. I would join a group play a game and then never manage to get back playing with the group. If you do have a lot of friends into the game however this is a good mode to get a group of people together and play some true 5 on 5 basketball.
NBA LIve 10 is full of other modes to choose from like the full fledged franchise mode which will feel very familiar to those who played through it last year. There is a ton of depth and ability to customize the experience to whatever liking you would want. Both online and offline NBA Live 10 has all of the modes that you would want from a basketball game.
I really did enjoy all of the gameplay improvements in NBA Live 10, but visually I just did not see that big of a visual improvement from last years game to this current version. That is not a bad thing as this is not a bad looking game but there is just a few areas that need work. One of those big problem areas for me was the character models which I just am not thrilled with. You can recognize the big names but most of the second tier and third tier players are not all that recognizable. All in all the visuals flow nicely and everything works well it just doesn’t have that stand out feel that you would hope.
EA in the last few years has taken a game that was once kind of a struggle to play and made it one of the more enjoyable sports games around. I really like what EA has done in making a game represent the professional game while still offering the fun style that is NBA Live. Fans of the franchise can get a lot of extra running space with this game. The changes to the gameplay mechanics help in keeping the gamer more invested in the experience on both sides of the game keeping this from becoming an offensive love-fest.
EA continues to improve there NBA Live franchise and have made one of the best basketball games in the past few years. NBA Live 10 is a great basketball experience for both the casual and hardcore fan and proves to be the series best outing yet.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.