NBA Live 07 - 360 - Preview

With the NBA set to begin their preseason in October, it’s only right for players to get their hands on the next-generation of basketball games. EA, after a lackluster NBA Live 2006, is set to put the series back on track. With heavy competition from the NBA 2k series, EA has to pull out all their big guns for this year’s edition. The good news – NBA Live 2007 has the makings of one of the best basketball games in recent memory.

EA is incorporating the dynasty mode back into the series this year. It went M.I.A. last year due to the small time frame they had. Many sports fanatics will rejoice with this announcement. The dynasty mode has become a common game mode included in almost every sports title. Here is a quick rundown of all the control options you’ll have for your franchise.

1. You’ll be able to hire assistant head coaches, scouts and trainers. When your budget allows room for it, you are able to hire up to three for each position. Each one has special assignments – scouts for upcoming rookies in the draft, assistant head coaches to look up rumors and trade offers and a lot more to create a sense of owning a real franchise. Users beware - you are not allowed to fire your associates until the season is over.

2. New to the dynasty mode is a player rotation screen that allows for full control over your player’s minutes within the games. This is basically for those gamers who like to simulate their seasons to advance to the playoffs. You can take any player – whether is it center or point guard – and play them at any position. Do you want Ben Wallace bringing the ball up court? No problem, just insert him into the point guard position. This is more than an advanced depth chart; the player rotation screen manages how many minutes each player will play in the game.

3. One feature that is being focused on this year is team chemistry. Team chemistry plays a big part in how your team performs throughout the season. Factors included are player talent, city/market your team is situated in, playing time, and much more.

4. For all those NBA salary freaks out there, EA Canada has added in the ability for players to retain “Bird Rights” and the ability to sign players to the Mid-Level Exception (MLE). I am sure this will delight those hardcore simulation fans that enjoy a realistic approach to their NBA games.

5. Finally, the NBA Draft has been invigorated with a new feature that should come in handy to those happy-go-lucky General Managers (GMs). When your team enters the draft, you now have the chance to scout the player according to how he will fit with the team. You no longer will have to pick a player with a blindfold around your eyes.

 

There’s more to NBA Live 2007 than just the Dynasty Mode. The NBA Live crew is bringing back All-Star Weekend with all the bells and whistles from before. The T-Mobile Rookie Challenge, 3PT Shootout, Dunk Contest, and of course the actual All-Star game are all included.

In terms of audio, there are two sets of announcers calling the game. For the All-Star weekend, EA has Ernie Johnson and Greg Anthony calling the play-by-play action. For every other mode, Marv Albert and Steve Kerr were brought in for commentary.

Visually, NBA Live 2007 is hoping to bring realism to the forefront. With sweat being concentrated on more than ever, players will begin to perspire when the action begins. When I spoke to the lead designer in Vancouver, he mentioned that the skin quality and tone of the players were addressed this year. Even the coaches this year are in for a major overhaul for creating them as real life as they can.

NBA Live 2007 is set to release on September 27, which is approaching very quickly for the Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox, PSP, and PC. The Wii and PS3 version are in the works, but both will release later on in the fall. Stick with GameZone for the latest up-to-date information on NBA Live 2007 over the next few weeks.

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