There’s a decent chance that many readers have never even played a game from the NBA Live series, as the last game was made in 2009 (NBA Live 2010) and the 2K series has completely taken over the market while NBA Live worked on a comeback. That comeback appears to be in October of this year, as that’s when NBA Live 2014 is set to release. I, for one, am excited to see how it goes for EA Sports, as I was, at one time, a huge fan of the series.
My first experience with EA Sports’ NBA Live was in 2000, when Tim Duncan was featured on the cover. I had this game for my computer, and it was an absolute blast. It was the first basketball video game I had ever owned, and I loved the fact that you could play one-on-one with Michael Jordan. It was Jordan’s first appearance in an NBA Live game, as he was not a member of the Player’s Union in the game’s early years, so he had full control over his image being used.
I went a couple years without owning a game, but got back into the swing of things when Vince Carter, then of the Toronto Raptors, was on the cover in NBA Live 2004. I really enjoyed this game as well, from the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, to being able to play with rapper Jermaine Dupri, it was really a blast.
It convinced me to buy NBA Live 2005, with Carmelo Anthony, then of the Denver Nuggets, the following year. I didn’t regret that choice, either, as the game introduced All-Star Weekend to the video game community. Being able to do 3-point competitions and dunk contests was an awesome feature to me, and I also enjoyed the freestyle moves that were now available.
I didn’t get the following year’s game that featured Dwyane Wade on the cover (or Yuta Tabuse if you were in Japan…yes, Yuta Tabuse was actually on the cover an NBA video game), as I had also bought NBA 2K5 the previous year. The reason I bought this was solely because I’m a Pistons fan, and Ben Wallace was on the cover. To be honest, I was not a huge fan of the game, as it was way too easy to score, and I figured that I would stick with EA Sports for my basketball video games for however long I continued playing them.
Given that experience with 2K, I bought NBA Live 2007, which featured Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets on the cover. To this date, that was one of my favorite video games. I loved that Lupe Fiasco was featured on the soundtrack, and I also had a ton of fun with being able to play with each decade’s all-star team. Just look at this trailer; how can you top Eric Snow dropping dimes and Hakim Warrick doing backflips?
I skipped another year before I bought NBA Live again (just a thing I do with all video games, generally there’s not much change between one year, but there can be quite a bit between two). Tony Parker was on the cover of this one, and it was pretty decent in my opinion. NBA Live 365 was a cool feature that updated the rosters constantly, and it was also a pleasure to have Lupe Fiasco on the soundtrack once again.
Now that you’ve caught up with my NBA Live experience, we can get to this year’s game. The trailer was just released about a month ago:
If you’ve ever played any of EA’s other games (Madden, NCAA Football, etc.) you will know that the graphics will be top-notch, so there’s no need to worry about that. A problem that I have seen with Madden, and appears to be something that could be a problem with Live 2014′s “BounceTek”, is that they seem to put too much effort into perfecting the realism of tackling (or in this case, dribbling) that the rest of the game seems to fall behind as an afterthought.
This could be a positive, however, as this should a realistic touch on situations such as driving to the lane. One of 2K’s few faults is that the game doesn’t seem to account for the momentum that a player builds up while running, as he can immediately be stopped by a flat-footed player.
Like NBA Live 365, the rosters will be updated every night, which will provide a different gameplay experience each time, as player’s virtual selves will go through the same hot and cold streaks that their real self does.
When they were both dueling for supremacy of the NBA video game market, I was certainly a fan of NBA Live over NBA 2K. Now that EA Sports is back into the market with the upcoming release of NBA Live 2014, I have high hopes that it will yet again overtake NBA 2K as the king of basketball video games.
What are your thoughts on the NBA Live 2014 trailer? Did you ever play any of the NBA Live games? Do you plan on buying NBA Live 2014? Let me know in the comments section below!
Thanks for reading.Follow @brianrzeppa