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Platform

PSP

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

SCEA

 

Developer

SCE Studio San Diego

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

October 7, 2008

 

 

- Great pick up and play

- An unlockable pinball game?!

- Downloadable rosters

 

 

- Problems with the artificial intelligence persist
- Passing and shooting can be literally hit and miss

 

 

Review: Space Invaders Extreme (PSP)

Review: NBA 09 (PSP)

Review: NFL Street 3 (PSP)

 

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NBA 09: The Inside

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

When I reviewed NBA 09: The Inside for the PS3, I knocked it down a few points because as a console game it lacked certain things that I expected. Surprisingly, the portable version is actually better in many ways and itís not just that I expect less from a rendition I can carry around in my pocket.

 

nba 09 the inside          nba 09 the inside

 

The gameplay in this version has been expanded quite a bit. With so many ways to play the game itís hard to not find something you like. Whether you want to try out a full 25 year franchise mode, the returning conquest mode or the new Elimiquest option youíre going to be busy. Elimiquest is particularly interesting, allowing you to defend your territory in a strategy mode. You have to be careful using your best

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players as once they reach their scoring limit they are eliminated from the game. It works well and adds a great new twist to a sports title.

 

The graphics are decent for a PSP title. It is no match to its console brethren but then, you didnít expect it to be did you? Besides on the smaller screen and moving at 60 frames per second, youíre not going to notice the

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models are a little less detailed.

 

The sound is average at best. The sound effects are certainly passable and the music is appropriate for the title although you might not be familiar with most of it. That is not necessarily a bad thing as exposure to new music is always welcome for me.

 

The game offers more than just the modes mentioned above. Youíve also got a collection of mini-games which range from interesting to a little bland. More than likely youíll try them out once and never visit them again but they do add variety to the title. The inclusion of the pinball tables in the game is a little odd but very welcome. The pinball is almost good enough to stand on its own, so this was a great bonus for sure.

 

The controls in the game for the most part are good. What I like about this game is that it is easy to pick up and play with the face buttons being used to control your passing and shooting. The new shot meter gives you a time window in which to make or break the shot you are making Ė and this now carries over to foul shots as well as regular ones. I found from time to time that I didnít pass quite where I wanted or perform a slam dunk when I wanted, but this happened fairly infrequently. Given the choice of micromanaging my moves or taking the occasional misstep, Iíll take the latter every time.

 

The game does allow you to play online although like many titles I found there was some lag to be had. As usual your mileage may vary but at least the option is here. The best use of the online component in my opinion is the ability to download rosters, ensuring the game stays fresh for a couple of years.

 

Overall, I was quite pleased with this title and you wonít go wrong picking it up. Itís not quite a slam dunk but itís certainly no foul.

 

- Syd Bolton

(December 31, 2008)

 

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