As the real NBA season heats up, so does the virtual one. Ever since “NBA Jam” graced our bobbleheaded imaginations back in the ’90s, basketball sims have been steadily gaining in popularity. This season sees two major league-sanctioned releases. Which one is Coke and which is the dreaded Pepsi? (Sorry, Pepsi.)
2K Sports have been absolutely knocking it out of the park with these titles the past few years. Wait, wrong analogy. At any rate, you’d be full court-pressed (there we go) to find a basketball sim that feels this real and plays this naturally. The 2014 edition came out earlier this year on current gen consoles, but a souped-up version just dropped for PS4 and Xbox One. It’s even better.
Want a showcase to prove to your friends that you weren’t stupid to drop $500 on a just launched console? Show ‘em this game. The graphics and stellar sound design run jaw-droppingly close to watching a game on TV. The controls are tight, the gameplay is fluid and, well, it’s basketball. Basketball rules.
“NBA Live 14”
The “NBA Live” franchise used to rule the paint with an iron, Nike-clad fist. Unfortunately, time did its thing and now the series is a pale imitation of its former self. Does the 2014 edition do anything to adjust this downward slope? No, not really. If anything it gives it another gentle nudge toward oblivion.
The biggest problem here are sluggish controls. As gamers, when we push a button we generally expect the desired action to occur instantaneously. Here it takes an extra millisecond or two. It doesn’t sound like much, but in the heat of the moment it can be awfully frustrating. The graphics aren’t so great either, especially for next gen consoles.