NBA Live 2005 review
EA Screws Up Once More...

The good:

Heavily detailed editing section.
The excellent graphics of the ballers.
The licenses used well on : Gear/Kicks etc...
The effort put into the All-Star Weekend.
The longetivity.
The amount of unlockables.

The bad:

The choice of in-game music.
The relatively non-existant help in training modes.
The unrealistic gameplay.


Im in a mixed opinion over NBA Live 2005, after purchasing ESPN NBA 2K5 earlier in the year (of which I heavily enjoyed), this offering by EA Sports is disappointing and certainly does not match upto Sega's efforts of ESPN. The first thing you notice upon entering this game, is the amount of effort EA have put into making this game as 'flash' as possible - by that I mean the likes of 'Slam-Dunk School', 'Freestyle Mode' and '1 on 1' options.

Freestyle mode concentrates on a 1 on 1 offering, and the way to win is to dunk and get as many points as possible.

Slam-Dunk School is pretty self-explanatory, here you learn in a pretty minor way how to dunk and alley oop your way to All-Star success.

The NBA All-Star Weekend is by far the greatest game mode of this game, here is the :

Rookie Challenge - Rookie's vs Sophomore's (1st years vs 2nd years)

3 Point Shoot Out - 5 contenders have 30 points to nail from beyond the 3 point line.

NBA All-Star Game - The freestyling East vs West yearly match-up.

Slam Dunk Contest - Contenders have to dunk their way to impress the judges and claim victory.

All of which are great fun...but when the game comes down to an actual NBA match, everything starts to go wrong. The gameplay is very much associated with the flair side of the game, and whilst you won't get many 12 foot jump-shots, you will instead get lots of 360 spins, huge dunks and seemingly impossible blocks, whilst this may sound like a good package, it fails dramatically, the match appears to take a wrong turn and whilst ESPN brilliant combines the 'seriousness' and 'flair' aspects of basketball, EA tries...and fails.

Matches then often lose their seriousness and with the ease of an alley-oop (simply press R2), you will probably forget the score and care more about the fact that your player just nailed a 360 windmill under intense defensive pressure...like that is ever going to happen...

Then we come to the music...if you are a rap fan, then this will be perfect for you, for anyone else, you will most probably eventually become bored of the same droning sound, and there is no sense of likeability to the tunes, something which grew on me on ESPN.

I will add a positive point though, the amount of stuff to unlock is incredible and will certainly keep you playing, there is, kicks, jerseys, gear acceseriors etc... to unlock and will surely keep you playing if you want to alter the players in edit mode (which I must say is near fantastic).

Overall, NBA Live 2005 is a huge disappointment, and if I were you, I would certainly be splashing out the cash on ESPN NBA 2K5, which has kept me playing nearly non-stop from February. NBA seems to stutter from the fact it is an NBA INDOOR game, and although its slick and some of the animations are impressive, this does not cut the mustard.

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