Overall User Average: 9.00 / 10 (90.0%)
Gameplay User Average: 9.33 / 10
Graphics User Average: 7.33 / 10
Sound User Average: 9.00 / 10
Date reviewed: October 30, 2003.
Overall: I have owned all the Live titles for the xbox to date. Every year it gets better it and better. Back when live 02 first hit the xbox people said it was the worst of the big 3 b-ball games. i myself didnt think so, i thought all the dunks and shoes were great. live 03 had all the shoes and dunks, plus the freestyle feature, which has inovated basketball games. i can say live 04 has nearly perfected this feature.
Gameplay: Live is all about dunks. and theres plenty of them. Something new was also added, a sepereate shooting and dunking buttons. so if ur on a breakaway and u wanna dunk instead he shoots a 3 foot jumper, that wont happen anymore. i can say for once lives defensive ai is top notch, no longer does the defense just stand there. the game is not supporting online play which will disapoint lots of people.
Graphics: i wouldnt say this game is anywhere as pretty as espn basketball, but this game has the little things that matter. like the shoes, theres hundreds of shoes to choose from. the animations are great, but the player models are nowhere at the level of espn basketball
Sound: Live has some pretty good sound too. the commentary is one of the best of any basketball game, ever. other than that the sound affects are fine, the music in the game is pretty good too.
Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 70 %
Sound: 90 %
Date reviewed: October 27, 2003.
Overall: I like this game alot. More than last years NBA 2k3 and more than any years NBA inside drive. It's been a big hit with my friends too.
Gameplay: This is where it shines...they finally fixed a few big glitches all basketball games had until now by adding a dunk/layup button. So now when you go in for the dunk, you arnt ever stuck with the cheesy jump shot from 5 feet out that doesnt go in...
Graphics: It does look great, esp considering this is essentially a polished up PS2 game....One major disapointment though, this game does ***NOT*** support HDTV like the XBA product page does, and like Madden and NCAA 2004 did. Major, major, major disapointment EA Sports people. Just for this glaring omission, i give your visuals a 2.
Sound: Sounds like every other basketball game. Good i guessthe crowd sounds are done better than most of the competitions are...
Suggestions: HDTV. Progressive Scan. HDTV. HDTV. HDTV. Maybe if i say it enough times, someone will finally listen. A good game that would be so much better if the graphics had the same clarity as the other EA sports games i bought this year (madden and NCAA football).
Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 90 %
Graphics: 40 %
Sound: 70 %
Date reviewed: October 22, 2003.
Overall: Awsome game a musyt get. You don't want to miss out on this game it's the best one that xbox has for the NBA.
Gameplay: Pretty good gameplay but turnovers get annoying. The easier blocking makes the game faster and funner.
Graphics: Not Bad graphics. The create-a-player graphics need a little help but, most of the players look like themselves.
Sound: not bad sound. the ea sports soundtacks help out alot instead of it being such boring menus. Good sound overall.
Suggestions: work on create a player
Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 90 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 90 %
Date reviewed: October 17, 2003.
Overall: It's NBA basketball at it's best. That is until I pick up ESPN's release. At the moment, NBA LIVE has got to be the best offering of an NBA basketball game that's ever been put up. This years issue is definitely not a brick off the front of the rim. The proof is definitely in the puddin'.
Gameplay: For me, the gameplay is where this game really shines. It does not lack in star appeal and I do not feel that it will end up being the underdressed prom princess to ESPN's title. Upon popping the game in and playing a set, be warned...alot has changed since last year.
There is somewhat of a new physics engine that acts more like actual ball playing.
IE......when guarded by a player and under pressure, as a ball hander you don't have many options. you can either throw out of the trap, or you can back up your dribble and try and pull out of the trouble. Very rarely will you see a ball handler try to rhino horn his way through defense. It's not an all to successful option.
Well, guess what boys and girls, now LIVE reflects that. You cannot just turn around, hit the turbo button and run out of traps, you're there till you either give up the ball, or it's taken from you. Ofcourse there are rare occassions when there is a foul called, but you should get my drift. Read the traps and avoid the turnovers.
Once you finally get used to the weird new way that EA keeps you engaged with the defense, you'll find a new friend in the Pro Hop button. It's definitely not something to be abused, but it does tend to give you that extra help when you need to get right in for effective spacing while trying to get a shot up.
Mix in a little of the layup/dunk button and you're almost on your way to being an all out offensive machine.
Now, as impressive as the offensive game is, the really eye catching aspect of this game happens to be the improved defenseive animatins int he game. You really feel like you have a shot at stopping your opponent cold in his sneaks.
As I've said before, if you take the time to get in tune with the new game play physics, you'll be up and having yourself a good game in no time, if not....well hey....there's always LIVE 2003
Graphics: Not much has changed. That's just the truth. There are some rough spots that were smoothed out as far as courts and players go, but it's basically the same experience that you were offered last season.
I must say that the selection screens are a knock out punch. The added touches of color over last years hardwood backgrounds gives it added flavor. Overall it's the same as always. Decent, but lacking full throttle detail that most xboxers are looking for.
Sound: The sounds of the game all seem to be in here, and that's a very good thing. I would love to see more arena specific chants and rally calls. More specifically player name calls that might travel with a player. This games is most definitely best played with some sort of surround sound system. With the volume pumped up, you can really feel the ball as it hits the hardwood on every hard dribble. Not to mention the individual sneaker squeeks. It all comes together nicely for a sincerely enthralling effect.
The ingame soundtrack is insane. I know there are plenty people out there who will get on your case for going what would seem to be almost completely hip hop, but atleast you know your demographic, and because you do...I'm bopping along with the music because it's slamming.
Suggestions: My suggestions for EA's Live staff begin and end with Xbox Live. Get it there, and get it there fast. As a gamer, we don't really care about the problems, financial issues of EA, or Microsoft. We just want to be gamers. Power hungry war mongers who all but eat, sleep and sweat for their xbox, but gamers to say the least.
Okay, here are my other suggestions.
Can we get two distinct types of game physics?? I know it sounds crazy, but I'd love a simulation version of ball, and an arcade version. The sim version keeps you engaged and facing your opposition and the arcade version is a tad bit more relaxed. I'm not advocating two completely different versions of the game, I'm just saying It'd be nice to have two distinct settings.
Keep The Dynasty Strong......
You've built on the dynasty aspect, and ofcourse anytime you do that, you're just gonna make us hunger for more. I'm probably going to be licking my chops for March Madness until it hits so until then....keeping the dynasty strong is all I have to say.
Adjust The 3Pt Shot.....
Okay, lemme get this right. So, if a player has an individual rating higher than the set minimum for a trait, then he has the tendency to do that. I.E. High shot blocking rating makes him a shot blocker.
I've noticed that quite a few players lost their 3ball ratings. I'm not sure whether that was because you as a staff decided it was better to raise the ratings or these guys actually shot themselves right out of that elite group during the previous year. Either way I think anyone that has that 3ball rating should get an extra 2-3 points added to their rating if they get the shot off while completely open. That's just me.
I'd also love to see a custom soundtrack option. Even some way to drown out the commentators, not that it wasn't great, but sometimes I just wanna listen to my own music while I play. Yes, that can be accomplished by turning the volume all the way down on my tv, but I'm the one paying $50 for the game.
I'll probably come up with more things later, but right now...I'd like to say job well done on a very well received product. Ohhh, and P.S. tell the Madden team to never ever play with the xbox version again. I had to buy a copy of ESPN behind that corrupted import roster snafu.
Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 70 %
Sound: 100 %