NBA Live 06

Review

posted 11/23/2005 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: Xbox

The NBA LIVE series has always given me a lot of frustration. How can such a big company like EA always seem to miss these huge bugs that appear in very little time of gameplay? The last game I reviewed in the series had this huge rebounding flaw that made me want to throw the CD out the window only after a few sessions. So with hesitation, I went back to the NBA live series and let me say that it's still a very flawed game.

NBA Live 06 is the latest in the series of EA's attempts at making an NBA game. With coverboy Dwyane Wade in tow, EA looks to deliver but fails in a lot of respects. First off, let me say the rebounding issue is not as big as the earlier series but it's still a very large part of the frustration. Many times you'll see your teammates jump up for the ball only to see a lone player from the opposite team snag the ball. And it won't just happen once or twice. I've played many games where the opposition would just have a field day getting offensive rebounds while my guys came up empty handed even when they had position. I even turned down the offensive rebound slider in the game to the lowest point but this didn't seem to have any effect. Seeing the ball just fall to the floor with your players around isn't an uncommon sight as well. If there's any over the back fouls in the game, I've never seen one so you can jump around and try to grab the ball without fear. The rebounding issue, while not as bad as the previous series, still lingers and is a big source of frustration.

Another aspect of the game that had me tearing my hair out is the amount of times your player will drive to the hoop and throw it off the back of the backboard. Now I know there's contact in the paint but watching an NBA game, how many times have you seen a pro player shoot at the rear of the backboard after being bumped? It's not uncommon to be driving to the lane only to have your guys get bumped and try to shoot the ball while he's behind the backboard causing a turnover. I can understand if this occurred every once in a while but both the computer and yourself will experience this at least three times per game.

Speaking of turnovers, there's an issue with the stats keeping engine whereby a turnover is issued anytime the ball goes out of bounds. So let's say I'm Larry Hughes and I'm pressuring the ball carrier. I go for the steal but it glances off of me out of bounds. That's a turn over. Let's try another example. Let's say I'm jumping up and down on an inbounds pass. The player throwing it in hits my arms and it glances off out of bounds. The game considers that a turnover. To test this, I started the game and did exactly like my first example and had a poke away go into the stands. Pausing the game and going into the stats, I found that I am charged with a turnover. Now I know Lebron James isn't really a league leader in assist-to-turnover ratio but to consistently have ten or more turnovers because he's great at knocking the ball away from the offensive player is ridiculous. This especially happens a lot when the player with the ball is near the sidelines. You’ll have a high rate of reaching around to swipe the ball out of bounds and giving yourself a nice +1 in the turnover column. I went through a season averaging a triple double of 27 points, 10 assists, and 11 turnovers on six minute quarters.

Besides the turnovers, the way NBA Live 06 records assists also seems inconsistent. By definition, an assist is a pass that directly leads to a basket. An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player's pass led to the field goal being made. Usually a dribble or two before a basket will result in the player that passed to earn an assist. NBA Live 06 doesn’t seem to think so. Playing as Lebron, I would pass to Larry Hughes many times to see Hughes dribble once and spin the ball around his body and lay it in. You’d think Lebron would earn an assist each time this is done. Looking at the stats, I witness many times the computer the assist column would not change but other times I’d be credited with one.

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