NBA Live 09: All-Play Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii
NBA Live 09: All-Play box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Canda 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 7, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Passing is done via IR point control, much like Pro Evolution Soccer or NHL 2K9. This would be just fine, if there weren’t such a problem with the IR in NBA Live 09. However, it’s consistently off. This wasn’t just a problem with my sensor bar; I made sure by playing another game quickly, and it worked just fine.

NBA Live 09: All-Play screenshot

I’m completely unaware how a problem like this comes about or, more importantly, how it managed to find its way into the final product. Regardless, it looks sloppy and adversely affects the gameplay. It can be difficult to pull off passes because of the inaccuracy of the point-control.

Visually, NBA Live 09: All-Play is little better than last year’s Wii installation of the series. They visuals still look like they’re right off a PS2, and while character models generally look pretty good, the game can experience some graphical slowdown. The title’s sound is not much better; the announcer is bland, boring, and forgettable, and there’s no good music to be found in this package.

NBA Live 09: All-Play has a multiplayer mode, which I was initially excited about. However, when you consider how broken the basic gameplay mechanic is, it’s tough to have any fun playing online opponents. Assuming you’re playing somebody who knows what they’re doing, you’ll take turns going back and forth with drives to the basket and constant, over-the-top alley-oops. Playing against live players who are mapping out their own strategy should be a lot of fun. Sadly, because of the near-broken nature of the game, it’s not enjoyable.

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NBA Live 09: All-Play does have a lot of potential. Motion-based shooting, functioning IR control, upgraded visuals, and strategic gameplay would go a long way toward improving the title from what it is now to a fun, functioning game of basketball. There’s nothing to be had in this package for hardcore basketball fans or casual players. I’m just hoping that EA can get their act together for next year, because I’d love to see a great basketball game on the Wii.

By Joseph Catalanotto
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.7
Graphics
The game looks like it’s on the PS2. It would be one thing if there were an obvious focus on gameplay, but there’s just no reason for a Wii game to look this mediocre.
2.5
Control
At times, the controls show promise (like with the motion-controlled free-throws), but IR feels off and control isn’t as tight as it should be.
2.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The announcer sounds bored -- given how bad this game is, I can’t really say I’m surprised.
1.9

Play Value
Imbalanced gameplay, a lack of career mode, poor online, and a gameplay system that just isn’t fun make it hard to enjoy NBA Live 09: All-Play.

2.3
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Own the court in an over-the-top 2-on-2 experience that puts the focus on a fun time the playground. Grab a teammate and take on your friends.
  • A simplified control system enables novice players to focus on fun. Players control key actions like shooting and passing, while the game controls player movement.
  • Take on other players online.


  • Screenshots / Images
    NBA Live 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge NBA Live 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge NBA Live 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge NBA Live 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge NBA Live 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge NBA Live 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge NBA Live 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge NBA Live 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge

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