NBA Live 07 Review

The leaves are falling around a lot of the country so that can only mean one thing...NBA season is beginning! I like the NBA but to be honest not until around at least March. But since the season is kicking off that means that the newest round of games are hitting stores shelves. EA Sports is doing their part by bringing NBA Live 07 to the Xbox for about the 100th year in a row. Well, maybe not that many but for a while anyways. The question you must ask yourself about a series that has been around for this long is if the newest entry has something special that entices you to buy it. Let's see how NBA Live 07 answers that question...

The first thing I would like to point out about NBA Live 07 is that EA does not own the exclusive right to NBA video games! Not really important overall in the game, more just that I am still a little sore that it seems like EA owns everything else. But enough about that. Cutting to the chase, I'm not all that impressed with the 07 version of NBA Live. It's not like it's a bad game, but then again it's not a great game's just a good game. It follows a formula that EA is getting all too familiar with lately and that is to make only a few additions to one of its franchise games and call it a day. The biggest additions this year are Total Freestyle Control which allows you to perform some funky maneuvers with the right thumbstick and refining the superstar types. I'll go into more detail about this in a moment. Returning in 07 is an expanded Dynasty mode. This year you will need to keep track of Team Chemistry and make sure that a Terrel Owens type of player doesn't rip your team apart from the inside. Dynasty mode still lets you control items like the draft, scouts, and check out the newest rumors about what's going on in the league and how you may be able strengthen your team from unhappy players, and even coaches, from other teams. The Dynasty mode is a pretty deep and I liked the Team Chemistry addition. There is a NBA Star weekend mode where you can compete in the crazy dunk contest, the three point contest, rookie game, and the All Star game itself.

The biggest addition to NBA Live 07 is the Freestyle Superstar Controls. The Freestyle Control uses the right thumbstick to help your player pull off some cool, and at time wacky, moves. What moves and how cool they are depends on the player and into what level they fall in to. Basically you have your Regular players, your Star players and your Superstar players. Superstar players are players that people who don't follow basketball would know and who can get always with a single name, players like Lebron, Mello, Wade, Kobe, Duncan, etc. The level below are still great players but just not quite there. And the regular players are, well, the regular player. Typically a Superstar excels in more than one area, for instance a player can be a Outside Scorer and also a Playmaker. However only one of these abilities can be in play, so to speak, at a time. You can switch the focus of your player quickly but a press of a button. That said it's not always so easy to do during the heat of the moment and it can take away from the flow of a play when you're worrying about what “mode” your player is in. In order to really unleash the special moves, which depending on the type of player can be dunks, special passes, etc., you need to combine the left trigger with right stick. To pull off the more difficult moves you'll need to rotate the stick in a semi circle. There are supposed to be a huge variety of moves depending on the player. Besides the afore mentioned player levels there is the special X-factor player that can take over a game for a few key moments. Think Robert Horry and his knack to hit clutch three pointers at the end of games and you'll understand.