NBA 07: The Life Vol. 2


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 5


nba07thelife1ps2.jpg (155169 bytes)Becoming a secondary product, Sony's NBA franchise has changed to offer a unique experience completely separate from the competition. This is The Life, a full-on story mode with a custom character. Taking on the role of a NBA star, there's more here than what takes place on the court. That's for the best since what is on the court is close to awful.

Obvious improvements have been made in NBA 07's key attraction. Production values have been increased, including visuals and voice acting. The story follows two players, Big W and yourself. It branches where necessary as you deal with life off the court and try to complete specific tasks when playing. Various coaching challenges and mini-games fill in gaps.

There's little question that The Life is innovative. The story has plenty to keep players moving along at a brisk pace (aside from some overly long load times). As a bonus, your created character from 06 can be brought over.

Disappointment here begins in every other aspect of this title. For fans of the NBA, the lack of franchise play is a glaring omission, and single season play isn't enough to carry any major sports franchise. Commentary is absent from every portion of NBA 07. Online play offers nothing new, though the lobby system is nicely set up.

Gameplay is hard to take seriously. Showtime returns, and in the case of The Life, this is fine. On the other side in an attempt to be a serious sim, these moves feel and look out of place. Various no-look passes and over-the-top dunks via alley-oops are fun to use. They're easily abused though. Fans of running up high scores will be happy. Fans of the sport can only shake their head.

nba07thelife2ps2.jpg (50934 bytes)The shot meter returns. When a jumper is initiated, a rather useless meter appears to show the player how close they were to timing it properly. The animation makes this clear enough. The only addition here is a white indicator when the player is wide open, which again, is obvious if you're playing the game.

The final new touch is for the defensive side of the ball. A glowing circle appears when a shot is missed to show where the ball will come off the rim. If anything, this is more of an admission that the dated and muddy graphics fails to show this same information.

Kobe Bryant graces the cover of NBA 07, and this is hardly the product that represents a player that nearly broke the 100-point scoring mark in a single game last season. It's different, and at a lower price, it might have a chance. At $40, this is a game best set aside for someone who doesn't enjoy a sports video game as we've come to know them.


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Last updated: Monday, October 09, 2006 09:20 PM