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NBA Live 16 Summer Circuit Demo Review 
Posted on September 21, 2015 at 02:38 PM.
Hi All - I finally maxed out my 7'1" Center yesterday with an 80 OVR rating. After dozens of Summer Circuit games I feel like I am ready to publish a review.

I am using a +/- scale. The more of each is better/worse respectively.
+ = Neat
+ + + + + = AWESOME
- = Tad annoying
- - - - - = TERRIBLE

I LIKED:
Upgrading my player. (+ + + +) This upgrading system felt fresh and rewarding, and consistently had me wanting to play another game. I always had a goal to upgrade a specific attribute to unlock an animation package or gear that would set me apart from other players. I also enjoyed how upgrades provided bulk attribute boosts. For example, a single upgrade in the "Block" category may increase that attribute from 74 to 78. While this doesn't seem significant, it always gave my attribute purchases a feeling of significance. Contrast this to grinding a lot of SP only to upgrade a skill by ONE point.
NBA Live Companion App. (+ + +) It worked on my very first try. Kudos to EA for releasing a functional, easy to use face scan technology.
Unlockable gear. ( + +) The unlockable gear always had playing one more game. This was particularly true with beating the Boss Battles on each court. It was rewarding to beat each super team and show off the new shirt. The unlockable shoes were a bit less rewarding, but I'll get to that below.
Boss battles. (+ + +) Boss Battles were a lot of fun. Each battle was challenging in its own way, but beatable with a team of players with overall ratings in the high 70's. I feel the challenge level was dialed in just right. I couldn't beat boss teams with a group of ball hogs or a group of players that didn't play team defense. The high difficulty made the unlockable rewards more meaningful to wear after a victory - especially my prized Rucker jersey .
No pay-to-win. (+ + + + +) In other games with a pay-to-win upgrade structure I always felt slowly upgrading my player was meaningless in a PvP context. Even though my character was consistently improving I would never compete with those people who used real money to accelerate player growth. In NBA Live it was rare that I saw a OVR 80 other than myself. Putting in the time really paid off.
Server reliability. (+ + + + +) I think I only disconnected from one or two games in the course of a week. Wait time to get into a new game was regularly less than one or two minutes. The highest praise I can give the servers is that I never thought about them while playing. Online play was seamless.

I DIDN'T LIKE:

Animations. (- -) I know this is an obvious one, but the animations are still not up to par. Passing, jumping, dunking all tend to look wonky. Not all animations are bad, however. Shots and some animations at the rim are vastly improved over last year's game.
Teammate grade reliability. (- - -) First off - I really like the idea of the teammate grade. It incentivizes players to play the right way. However, I feel like certain things aren't consistently rewarded and some things aren't rewarded AT ALL. Let me give some examples. First, contesting shots at the rim awards ZERO teammate grade points unless you block a shot. As a Rim Protecter that was kind of a bummer. I would contest 5-10 layups a game with no reward. Second, setting screens would inconsistently provide points. Even more frustrating was when the ball handler would earn points for scoring off my screen and I wouldn't earn points for setting it. Lastly, points awarded for scoring off assists is incredibly inconsistent. It felt like you get points for scoring JUMPSHOTS off assists, but scoring with a DUNK awards no points. Weird.
Summer Circuit goals. (- - - -) I wouldn't call these "broken," but they definitely need to be fixed. As I mentioned above, a lot of the teammate grade rewards are inconsistently recognized. So, if you spend all game trying to score off an assist, you may score 4-5 baskets off an assist and only be credited with one. I could go into multiple examples, but essentially my main complaint is that the goals are frustrating because the game doesn't recognize when you complete them. As an additional frustration - after completing ALL goals in Toronto the unlocked Jordans were not available in the store.
Rebounding and shot contesting. (- - -) There isn't much input lag when playing online - until you try to jump for a ball. Sometimes my player was essentially stuck to the court while the ball came off the rim. Similarly, when an offensive player attacked the rim I could only inconsistently jump to contest the shot. And lastly, sometimes the ball would bounce off the rim and my player had absolutely no awareness of the ball. This led to hilarious, infuriating instances of the ball hitting me in the face or bouncing on the court as I stood there looking at it (or not).
The lack of practice modes. (-) This isn't really a complaint, but rather a wish. It would have been nice to shoot-around with my created character. As of now there is no way to test new animations outside of an actual game. My player isn't a shooter, so there was no appropriate time/place to try out my new shooting animation. I felt I needed to upgrade my shot to +/- 70ish before I could justify trying it out in a real game.

Verdict: + + Probably worth a buy/download. Even though there are some wonky animations and occasional teammate grade annoyances, I had a lot of FUN playing this demo and recommend other people give it a try.
Comments
# 1 RUFFNREADY @ Sep 21
I like your review so far of the demo. I would also like to point out a few things that need help. Now, I did received plenty of lag, on my side, and it was horrible shooting and rebounding. Animations need to go. Kool demo, and t I hope the full game plays much smoother.
cheers
 
# 2 BQ32 @ Sep 22
Great write up man, I am with you with all your points. Overall Pro-Am is very addicting and it is satisfying being able to jump right into games, while also knowing that if you get stuck with terrible mates it won't last that long.
As far as rebounding goes you are right with the inconsistent control but having mastered it I can give some pointers. Rebounding has an automatic animation much of the time. For this reason it is far far more important to be in proper position as to where the ball will land then it is to come running in and time a jump for it. If you box out with inside position and are right under it you don't even have to push the y/triangle your player will just rebound it automatically. This can also be inconsistent though so they do need to fix it. The jumping and timing is a struggle but the boxing out portion is actually done very well and you can literally feel you stats/rating effecting it i.e strength/height/weight rebounding ability, and vertical. Satisfying to see my player becoming a better rebounder when not only upgrading rebounding but also strength and vert.

Def a disappointment with how the rating system works. Many games I would single handedly win a game or keep my team close by covering up for teamates/ switching to take away ball hoggers open looks, cleaning up dump shots by my teamates or clearing space for the hoggers to get an open shot because I knew they would toss one up no matter what. Yet much of it was not rewarded. You are right on with points, it needs a huge face lift. Great start but the potential is there for it to be even way better. Here is to hoping.
 
# 3 BQ32 @ Sep 22
One more point. Scoring is just too easy overall. At first I thought shooting was tough but I think there is a glitch for the stretch 4 not hitting the amount of shots as other positions with the same rating. But as the demo went on and everyone rushed to level up there shooting first I noticed that you could tell a shot would go in every time if a player was open or got space. Would like to see more real world statistics applied to those jump shots and might decrease the hogging running around wanna be cheese to get some space that dosent even really work. Also the certain layup animation will just go in every single time no matter the traffic and some awkward post shots that don't seem to be effected by D. Hope this stuff gets cleaned up.
 
# 4 Dr. Poe @ Sep 23
The demo was cool. I have played it more than I do most demos. The controls are ok. They need to be smoothed out.Never seems to have total control over my player. Also rebounding is poor. My man doesn't seem to jump at all when you push the button. I guess it's good that you can level up pretty fast. it plays more like nba street. I guess the biggest compliment is that the game can be fun.
 
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