It’s no secret that EA sport’s NBA series has always played second fiddle to the NBA 2k series due to its tighter gameplay mechanics and much more complicated statistics analysis and creation setups. Unfortunately for NBA 2k9, it took a bad hit in the user interface for statistics analysis this revision, leaving NBA Live 09 to swoop in for the kill.
The most major overhaul was done almost entirely to combat the 2K franchise’s lead on NBA live. EA went to a Dynamic DNA statistic system made by Synergy Sports, allowing the players in games to behave as if they really would in a real life game. Long gone are the players with rather odd or uninspired behaviors. Based on their experience and training, players behave accordingly on and off court.
The on court action has been refined in several ways to make it less frustrating. Oddly enough it has been refined in many of the same ways that NBA 2K9 was. First the guarding system has been overhauled so that lockdown is much less frustrating and more predictable insofar as the player is skilled enough. There is also a new pick and roll system that can be a powerful way to turnaround a game, but it takes a lot of time to learn to master. Once you’ve mastered the new systems, though, the game tapers off into a really nice on-court experience and the visuals are just fantastic.
NBA Live’s “Dynasty” mode has always been a powerful addition the series, and EA knows it. They put a lot of work in how you can train your team to make them more effective on court. The Dynasty mode is known for being a very strategy system and with the new training system added in it really is an amazing strategic experience. Sadly during the off-season the game does a few aggravating things that makes managing your players more of a chore than it should be.
The game also sports a multiplayer mode, but it is largely disappointing and uninspired. In this arena, NBA 2K9 has NBA Live 09 beat horribly, and it doesn’t look like that is going to change anywhere in the near future. NBA2K9 gives players an excellent multiplayer experience; NBA Live 09’s multiplayer is tolerable at best.
In conclusion, if you really enjoy going through seasons with powerful simulations and doing lots of team management, et NBA Live 09, if you like on-court action and lots of multiplayer, NBA 2K9 is still your best bet.