NBA 10: The Inside Review
NBA 10: The Inside box art
System: PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: SCEA San Diego 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SONY 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 6, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The Block Party menu entry gives players access to Pinball, Quests, Team Games, Solo Games, and Carnival games. As you might expect, everything is basketball-themed. If you picked up this title last year, you know what to expect, as only two new mini-game offerings - Open Lanes and Cherry Pickin' - have been added this year. For everyone else, know that you'll be able to play traditional and non-traditional mini-games.

NBA 10: The Inside screenshot

While the traditional basketball minis (HORSE, Elimination, Give&Go) suffer due to the poor controls, games such as Pinball, Open Lanes, Hot Shot, and Cherry Pickin' are decent fun. Pinball is self-explanatory, Open Lanes is classic, ten-pin bowling, Hot Shot is Skee-Ball, and Cherry Pickin' is a Puzzle Bubble clone - these are the cream of the crop and should provide you with a couple hours of fun. In fact, it is likely that the mini-games offered through Block Party will get more playtime than the basketball portions of the title, as they are mostly well-implemented and are a natural fit for the handheld. However, that's not to say that they save the game from itself.

Graphically, the game is competent at best. Though it runs at 60 fps and the floors look shiny and accurate, the players' likenesses are quite poor, the animations are stiff and slow, and camera angles shift wildly. Aurally, the announcing duo of Kenny Smith and Ian Eagle doesn't fair much better (suffering from serious repetition), and the ambient on-court sounds and stadium effects are sorely lacking. Perception of the quality of the music during menus is purely subjective, but it certainly failed to impress me.

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It doesn't take a genius to figure out that I didn't enjoy my time with this game at all. In the end, the game of basketball on offer in NBA 10: The Inside for the PSP simply isn't the complex, free-flowing sport it should be. Still, I am quite sure the game would be very good if brought to the PS3 and PS2, because it wouldn't be bastardized by system limitations and punishingly wonky controls. Alas, NBA 10: The Inside is strictly a PSP release. If you're a basketball fanatic that simply must have hoops on the go, this may in fact be the best title you're going to get considering the SCEA San Diego pedigree; however, don't expect to play it outside of short stints in the subway or while stuck in a public bathroom stall with no sports section.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
The visuals are competently rendered but that's about all.
1.5
Control
Overly simplistic yet somehow difficult to learn. Controls essentially sap all the fun out of the basketball side of the game.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Commentary is repetitive. Stadium sounds and on-court effects are lacking. The music may suit you, but it failed to impress me.
2.5
Play Value
There is a TON of content shoehorned into this little UMD. Unfortunately, you soon get the feeling that all of the extras are there to cover up the poor basketball experience.
2.5
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • New Quest Modes - DodgeQuest: Players will battle teams head-to-head in an attempt to take over the entire country while playing the Dodgeball mini-game. Give&GoQuest: Players will face off on the Give & Go mini-game as they battle other cities and acquire players in an attempt to take over the entire country. MiniQuest: New Conquest mode lets players take over the entire country and choose from either Dodgeball, Conquest, Elimination, or Give & Go each time two cities battle one another.
  • New Mini-Games - Open Lanes: A traditional 10 frame bowling mini-game with an NBA look and feel. Cherry Pickin': A puzzle based mini-game where players shoot colored orbs that stick to the game board, which is made of additional colored orbs. The goal is to line up at least three orbs of the same color to remove them from the board. The overall objective is to clear out all orbs on the game board to proceed to the next level. Classics: Shootin' Bricks, Block A Shot, Big Shooter, Pinball, and more classic mini-games return in NBA 10 The Inside.
  • Expanded Play-by-Play and Color Commentary - Ian Eagle returns to provide new play-by-play and in-depth analysis, along with fresh color commentary from former NBA star Kenny Smith.
  • Realistic Animations - Running at 60 FPS, NBA 10 The Inside incorporates tandem animation technologies to produce ultra realistic player interactions. Additionally, motion capture data delivers smooth gameplay and lifelike player movements.


  • Screenshots / Images
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