Here are some quick thoughts about Live 09 to take you into the weekend. I will have a review of the game up on Tuesday!
-So far, the game is definitely an improvement over 08, but it's not a groundbreaking title.
-You still get stuck in animations and the game isn't very fluid at times as a result.
-Graphics are still solid, animations are pretty varied.
-Quick Strike moves are simply ok. You have to be pretty fast on the sticks to really make them work well, at least from my initial observations. I'm still not sure if I'm totally impressed with the whole feature, I still need some more time before I pass final judgement on it.
-While the DNA feature is cool, EA has done a typical job of implementing it everywhere. You cannot miss it and it is thrown in your face in several areas. Since the season really isn't going right now, the updates aren't all that awesome just yet. I'm going to investigate this further as I really am more concerned about the on-court action right now.
-I'm currently playing through a FIBA World Championship with the Redeem Team. Needless to say, I'm dominating. I think it's a cool addition to the game to do it once or so.
-Free Throws are automatic. How many more systems is EA going to try out that don't work?
-If you slide the foul frequencies up, you get realistic results. But the default settings saw fouls hardly being called. Probably not a bad thing but hardcore guys will want to tune them up.
-Pick and Roll control is actually pretty well done, kudos to EA.
-Still haven't done too much with the NBA Live Academy but from what I have gathered, it's just your standard fare mini-game mode EA sports has been putting together.
-Haven't touched Dynasty Mode yet, I'm going to over the weekend.
-Like I said in the first point, the game is better on the court, but an actual score and such is forthcoming. I still have a lot to play before I get a final verdict in.
If you have any questions I will answer some over the weekend. But be warned I am going to be busy fitting in a weekend of football (my other job) as well as trying to get as much playtime in as possible. So while I will make an effort to answer as many questions as possible, I cannot guarantee all of them will get answered.
Update #1 (10/3/08 11:30 CST)
-Good news! The Americans are now 5-0 in the FIBA World Championship as I get set to start the elmination round. I'm taking a break to share some more gameplay thoughts.
-All 10 players are actually doing something a lot of the time on the court. Guys will screen off the ball and your teammates will make adjustments if you get out of position on defense. Basically, unlike the past several Live games, the action on the court is definitely a lot more realistic than ever. This is an extremely good thing.
-I'm starting to sway a little bit and I have to say the NBA Live Academy is kinda cool. After playing through some fast break drills, I really can say it is pretty fun. Definitely adding some good value to the package.
-I had a few instances of a player going all the way out of bounds due to them being stuck in an animation the past couple of games. This is just one example of several where players being stuck in animations have made the gameplay feel scripted and not alive. I can tell you this is one of the single greatest reasons why reviewers probably aren't going to give this game huge props.
-It also seems like EA has made the detection of a player going out of bounds slower or softer or something as it seems like some of my players are out of bounds and they aren't called for it.
-Loose balls are just plain stupid. Sometimes they seem random when two players approach a ball and no one ever dives onto the floor. The rebounding system also could use some serious work as well.
I will try to get to some questions soon, I want to try out both Dynasty and Be a Pro mode sometime over the weekend.