NBA Live 07


posted 11/2/2006 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: 360
How many times have you watched an NBA game where a person is on a fast break all alone only to airball a layup or throw it off the side of the backboard? In my 20 some games, I've seen it about 10 times. I know Sebastian Telfair isn't a top player but even he can make a simple layup in real life. In one of my games, I saw the computer all alone run up to the basket and flip it over the rim. The ball didn't even hit the backboard. It looked like a layup try I did when I was 5 years old. Another time, I saw Shannon Brown of the Cleveland Cavaliers trying to score on an uncontested fast break only to throw the ball off the side of the backboard. It's really a quite comical sight after the fourth or fifth time experiencing this.

Speaking of the backboard, the players in NBA Live 07 don't let something like a solid glass backboard get in the way of jamming it into the rim. When you are underneath the basket, it's not uncommon to see a player reach up from behind the backboard, phase the ball and hand through the solid obstacle, and slam the ball home for 2 points. Yes, all the players in the game have the Kitty Pryde ability to phase through solid objects when holding the ball. The first few times it happened, I couldn't believe my eyes and I had to replay the event five or six times to see it clearly. NBA Live 07 clearly doesn't consider the backboard as a solid object when players are in certain situations and seeing them slam the ball through the backboard became very common place.

Clipping issues also arose where players would make a move with the ball and actually dribble through other players. I'm not talking about the fancy dribble between the legs of players but actually moving the ball throw a player's leg and off they go. You'll see a shake and bake move where the ball travels through a player as if the defender wasn't even there.

I know traveling isn't called in the NBA consistently but NBA Live 07 sometimes takes this to the extreme. I've seen players move towards the basket after picking up the ball a few feet away with their feet shuffling. I don't know if it's because the game's trying to transition to different movements or what not but more than one occasion I've seen the player pick up their pivot foot and continue on to the basket for a layup or slam try. If it's in the game, it's in the game but traveling this bad is not in the real game. I saw traveling worse than Lebron's travel in game four of the Washington/Cleveland series to win the game.

While players are taught to go after rebounds and loose balls hard, there is a limit to when you should go out of bounds to grab it. The AI in NBA Live 07 doesn't seem to grasp that as you can knock the ball away from a defender near the sideline and he'll go diving in to grab it and tumble out of bounds for a turnover. If a defender knocks the ball out of the hands of the player out of bounds, you won't see them going after the ball when it's clearly headed out of bounds with no chance of the defender being able to grab it. Not so in NBA Live 07 and it leads to some very unnecessary and frustrating turnovers.

Another issue with easy turnovers is if you have the ball near the side and try to do a juke move to throw a defender off a bit. See you want to do a jab step to the side and reset yourself back to the triple threat stance. The players in NBA Live 07 have no grasp on how close they are to the sidelines so you'll see the take a big jab step out of bounds. You never see a player try to jab step out of bounds and one can say that you shouldn't even try to do it on the sideline in the game if this is the case but there are times I want to try and create a little space by faking a dribble with my player. IF you're standing near out of bounds in NBA Live 07, you won't be able to do this without turning the ball over as you'll just step out of bounds carelessly every time.

Something as simple as statistics isn't even done correctly in this game. After 20+ games into my Dynasty everyone on my team had shot a certain number of free throws making atleast a few. During games when your player steps up to the line it sometimes shows their free throw percentage for the season. No matter how many I made, it would always say 0%. I thought perhaps it was telling me the percentage for the game even though it said season but even players that made a few during the game also showed 0%. This one really had me baffled as to how it could've passed Q/A given that it's such a simple procedure and a bug that could've easily been found by playing a few games.

There are a few more bugs I experienced while playing the game but I've already said enough. There are enough that I found alone that I don't see how the producers would let this game go gold the way it is. I don't see the beta testers not experiencing them as well since I find a new bug almost every game I played. The state of NBA Live 07 is just horrible and I find it pretty horrible that they would release it like this.

The game still lacks an online league component which is prominent in the oppositions' NBA title. Yes, you can play quick games online against others but I want full blown league capabilities without having to have friends come to my house to play an entire season. It's disappointing to see the other game have it for a while now and EA playing catch up in this area.

While EA may have snatched up the ESPN license, they still didn't incorporate it into the game very well. For example, in NFL 2K5 you get these nice full motion replays of key events with Chris Berman narrating. There's nothing here but a recap of the stats at half time or after the game. You can't save great replays to show them to others at a later time. While I do like the ability to see some news while playing in the game, EA should've taken the license and worked it into the game itself like how Visual Concepts used to do with all their sports games.

I've been disappointed with the NBA Live series recently to the point of skipping a version or two only to see new problems have cropped up to make this NBA game a big mess. Lack of features, bugs galore, and frustrating gameplay make NBA Live 07 the Portland Trailblazers of NBA games. If you have a previous years version, don't bother picking this up. Even if you don't just pass over this one and wait for next year or pick up 2K Sports NBA game. EA Sports really needs to overhaul the game for next year or take a year off to fix the glaring issues present. At the current state of the game, NBA Live 07 is just a horrible mess.

NBA Live 07 is an example of a game rushed to meet the deadline without paying any attention to quality. There are so many bugs in the game that any semblance of a basketball simulation is lost.

Page 2 of 2