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Video games have come on leaps and bounds since those little pixel characters we used to play with back in the day of the Atari and the Commodore 64. I know that good graphics don't always make for a good game but sometimes you stumble on a sports game where the graphics are so convincing you feel like you could be watching a real-life game on television. NBA Live 09 is one of those games; seriously, you can practically see the muscles ripple in the player's arms when they shoot the nets and the cut away sequences with the crowd and the cheerleaders is something else.
Now I have to admit, I've never really been a basketball fan, I played a bit of netball as a kid but sports have never been my forte in real life. I say that because this game has some convoluted controls that apparently make for realistic gameplay, unfortunately if like me you lack any basic knowledge of basketball you tend to revert to mad button pressing! I still manage to score a few hoops thanks to the Dynamic DNA system which uses artificial intelligence to control a large amount of the gameplay.
As a novice I felt suitably looked after while there was enough to pique my interest in learning more.
The game play is fast and furious and once you master the controls you can perform all manner of offensive and defensive moves, including the wonderful Anklebreaker. It works well in a group setting with multi player mode as its one of those games where the people not actually playing don't mind watching the game unfold, it looks that realistic.
In one-player modes there a number of ways to experience the game, from leading your team through its paces during the basketball season, to competing in the World Championship. New for the 09 version of the game is the Be a Pro option, which puts you in the shoes of a specific player. Similar to the superstar mode in Madden this option lets you play out your role during a game and then be marked on your performance. I found it a bit frustrating that you could only play for one game though, rather than for a whole season.
NBA Live 09 is a great game to play, and the true to life graphics make up for the disappointment of some of the mode options. One for the wish list if you're a basketball fan. As a novice I felt suitably looked after while there was enough to pique my interest in learning more.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: