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October 6, 2009



‑ Dynamic DNA gives NBA Live 10 a so-real-its-scary authenticity

‑ Online play remains as top-quality as ever



‑ Despite upgrades from previous season, gameplay enjoyment still trails behind its direct competition from 2K Sports



Review: NBA Live 09 vs. NBA 2K9 (360)

Review: NHL 10 (PS3)

Review: Borderlands (360)



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NBA Live 10

Score: 8.0 / 10


There is NBA Live 10’s awesome Dynamic DNA feature, which imports the current statistical imprint of each of the current NBA players into the game. And then there’s the unequaled exceptionalness of NBA Live’s famed online play, which has been even more expanded with Adidas Live Run. FIBA World Championship mode once more offers a completely different basketball mode that’s almost an entire game to itself. Yes, everything that an NBA video game could possibly have. However, NBA Live 10 gets somewhat deflated by gameplay right out of the box that doesn’t measure up to direct competition (in this case, 2K Sports’ NBA 2K10).


nba live 10          nba live 10


Right out of the box is the key in NBA Live 10. EA has put in plenty of development time making its NBA Live franchise a realistic NBA basketball video game. But that comes with a cost for gamers, especially newbies to NBA Live. The game’s controls




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can be very complicated on-the-fly, and initially many gamers may find themselves frustrated learning the complexities of making lay-ups instead of thunder-dunking down the lane effectively. Without making the effort to learn NBA Live’s controls, gamers can expect a turnover-prone performance each and every time that will lead to nothing


but losses. Practice makes perfect (although Allen Iverson may disagree with that) when it comes to learning NBA Live’s control schematic.


What that control learning curve does, though, is make NBA Live 10’s gameplay not very fun right away, paling in comparison to its direct competitor, NBA 2K10, which has a less-diverse control setup that gives gamers more dynamic gameplay from the tip-off.


While eventually NBA Live 10’s controls become second nature to gamers who put in the effort to master its controls, one aspect that doesn’t improve is the not-so-stellar presentation, with weak crowd visuals, average and repetitive announcing and so-so animations and visuals.


Online play is one of the major strengths of not only NBA Live but EA Sports games overall. And once more online play via Xbox Live is a strong component of NBA Live. A new mode that really tries to build a multiplayer “team” facet is adidas Live Run. In Live Run, gamers can create or join their own squad for online play, up to 5-on-5 games. The mode can be tracked online, with the ability to do everything from sending invites out for new squad members or looking to arrange games against other squads to checking out the statistics of your Live Run team.


nba live 10          nba live 10


Those NBA Live 10 gamers looking for an alternative to the standard NBA hoops action have the returning FIBA Championship, with its truly international flavor of b-ball that is in many ways completely different from the style that the average NBA team employs on the court.


One of the most impressive features returning is the Dynamic DNA service. As long as gamers are online-connected, NBA Live 10 will download the latest statistics of each NBA player and update his NBA Live 10 abilities to match. This really benefits rookies that may have performed at a much higher level (like Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans) than what was originally implemented into the game’s player skill ratings (it appears that Gilbert Arenas’ DNA won’t be changing anytime, soon, though). Dynamic DNA is yet another example how much effort EA puts into building a true-to-life NBA video game.


The overall gameplay for the NBA Live uninitiated still clanks heavy off the backboard compared to its main competitor on the virtual hardwood. However, gaming veterans of the franchise will find less of a disparity between the two NBA game entries and those that put in the practice to gain more and more familiarity with NBA Live’s control setup will value all the exceptional features that the title does possess and find NBA Live 10 just as (or more) enjoyable than its heated rival.


‑ Lee Cieniawa


(January 13, 2010)


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