NBA 07


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 5


Making the same glaring errors from previous editions, NBA 07 comes to the PSP without much in the way of anticipation. Instead of fixing core problems, the development team spent their time on loads of mini games. With that time, they created some addictive distractions that almost help you forget the real basketball portion.

nba071psp.jpg (58875 bytes)On the court, NBA 07 is a sloppy mess. The frame rate is locked at a solid 60 fps, but the system handles the five-on-five action too well. Speed is completely ridiculous. Players don't run the court, they fly at a speed no human could achieve. It's hard to follow the ball as its passed around, and things only slow briefly for a jump shot or dunk to cycle through the animation.

Defense regularly falls into double team trap which they perform poorly at best. They never seem to recover, leaving a deadly shooter open from the line for a free shot. Likewise, fastbreaks are a thing of coaching genius to the AI.

NBA 07's gameplay additions to make it stand out also fall flat. The shot meter, a glowing circle that indicates proper timing on a jump shot, is rather pointless. It's not hard to figure out when the peak of a jump is. Also, a meter below the players feet let the player know if they're set properly to shoot. If they're on a fastbreak, they can't suddenly stop and shoot while being accurate. Given the games likely unintentional speed, this is the only way to control wild and impossible shots.

The Life, Sony's notable feature from the console version, is not included in 2007 on the PSP. Regular season play is the main mode of play for solo play. Depth is weak, and for the third straight year, all games in season play have four minute quarters. It's still not possible to change this, even though the CPU teams play with full quarters, or at least enough to attain realistic stats.

Conquest mode switches things up from the norm. This is a turn based strategy game where you take your favorite team and try and beat squads from neighboring states. Games are played on a streetball surface, and the goal is to take over the country and become the dominate team. The brief games are based on scoring a number of points before your opponent. It's innovative, and gives the game some legs.

That leaves the mini games to carry this one. For a goofy as they are, they're far more enjoyable than they should be. Pinball, dodgeball, skeeball, three point contest, dunk contest, skill challenge, horse, and hot shot are ridiculously addictive. Playing these earns tickets, and tickets are turned into alternate jerseys. A few of these modes, including dodgeball, the three point shootout, and horse, are playable online (though sadly, online lobbies are usually barren). Some of these modes also support game sharing so you only need one UMD.

While hardly the choice for hardcore fans of the sport, NBA 07 makes an impression outside of its NBA license. Games are played quickly, perfect for portable consumption. The mini games are enough to keep someone occupied on a trip, and if you're not serious about basketball, there's some small enjoyment to be had with the actual basketball portions.


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Last updated: Monday, October 09, 2006 09:25 PM