This has already been a great October. Bulls tickets go on presale this week, and Isiah Thomas has wasted even more of the Knicks money. All that and a new batch of NBA video games are on the horizon! Good times.

I've always felt that NBA Live wins people over with their sharp visuals and presentation, and presentation goes a long way. Not to mention the EA Sports factor (They made Madden! This is Lakers vs Celtics XVIII!). And it's perfect for when you have people over, a halftime to kill, and you just want to pickup-and-play. But Live 08 is coming and I have this sinking feeling that I'm going to hate it, just like 07. Why does NBA Live always remind me of Double Dribble?

NBA 2K is the slower, less flashy, more realistic of the two (sort of the San Antonio Spurs to NBA Lives' Phoenix Suns). And this couldn't be symbolized any better than Ben Wallace appearing on the cover of 2K5. But 2K isn't for everyone. For one thing, there's a steep learning curve, partially because of the Rube Goldberg-like controls, but also because the CPU can be flat-out sadistic. Get caught in a mismatch or miss a rotation and it will be used against you immediately, like a team of John Stocktons and Karl Maloneses. But it looks like 2K has completely redone their visuals, finally bailing on the "chunky chew" look. Take one look at this video and you'll realize that 2K is worth a look this year, even if the gameplay will make your brain tired.

What are your thoughts on this round of NBA titles? Will it be possible in Live 08 to shoot above 25% in the paint? Will we ever be able to make a free throw in 2K8? Will Live 08 finally stop passing out of bounds and dribbling out the shot clock? Will 2K finally record some new commentary?

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Blogger bob said...
Well, I'm excited for both games.

Live 07 was abysmal, meaning I stuck to Live 2005 for yet another year. Live 08 looks a lot less buggy (at least on the 'newer' consoles) but probably will suck on current generation. Give me atom smashing on Live 2003 anyday, at least until I get a 360.

2K looks great, but there's a few things I still have a gist with (mainly the terrible shooting and free-throw formulae I experienced in the one time I played it.) And there's also the fact that with one superstar, you can pretty much mush around the defence and score 80 points in a way Kobe would be proud of.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
In terms of gameplay quality, this match-up hasn't been close since 2K5. Say what you want about graphics or game speed (it can be turned up) but the controls are more intuitive than Live 08 hands down. More complex as well, but that increases competitive gameplay as well.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
NBA Live has sucked since the 360 came out. Maybe its fixed now

Anonymous Sun Devil said...
Here's one the reasons NBA 2k8 has live 08 beat: Stephen Jackson will not be one of the best players in the game. Yes, reread what I wrote.

What's always bugged me about Basketball games is there is never an attitude factor taken into account. Ron Artest never goes diving into the stands or misses games because domestic abuse. Stephen Jackson rains down threes 82 games a year without ever flipping out on a ref. Rasheed Wallace quietly accepts the "BS" calls and just polishes his bald spot with a smile.

NBA 2k8 has introduced a personality factor into their season mode. It's pretty basic right now, but the groundwork is there for future games. Some players go into the superstar catagory and demand minutes with their play decreasing if they get benched. Rookies are content earning playing time. There's even a class called something like "unpredictable". Those are the guys who could flip out on the drop of a time. It should make the game interesting and balance things out a bit.

Sorry for the rant,
Sun Devil

Blogger Basketbawful said...
bob -- I've always been a Live fan myself because it's all about fast breaking and bombing away, which is just fun videogaming. Statbuster, who wrote this post, likes 2K better (I believe) because it's more realistic. If I want realism, I'll watch the Spurs. If I want entertainment, I'll watch the Spurs...know what I mean? Sadly, Live 07 didn't offer anything new. Opposing PGs still dominate the ball and playing defense is still almost impossible unless you turn off 3 seconds and leave Yao Ming waiting under the basket.

sun devil -- Duuuude...are you serious? Because that sounds awesome. They should totally include a "run into the stands and go berserk" option in the game. If they did that, I'd buy two copies: One to play and one to take to bed with me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yo Bbawful! No fun comments on the Isaiah Thomas outcome? I've been checking your site every few hours since I heard about the verdict! Waiting for some choice gems on the cluster**** that is the Knicks these days, from top to bottom.