Forums - Gaming Discussion - IGN- NBA Live 14 Review 4.3/10

Lock if old. EA is wasting the NBA license. This might be the weakest entry in the series.

 

 

NBA Live 14 Review

Brick.

November 19, 2013 [Editor's Note: We were only supplied the PlayStation 4 version for review. We will update this page with Xbox One impressions as-needed once we get our hands on that version.]

NBA Live 14 sinks lower than I ever thought this once-proud series could go. Making the totally fair comparison to NBA 2K14 would be like LeBron James playing a pickup game against an arthritic giraffe. But even taken in isolation, the resurrected NBA Live is a mess of a hoops sim both in your hands and in your eyes that wouldn’t even make the D-League All-Star team. In fact, there’s only one thing about NBA Live that’s better than its competitor: the net. Yes, that one thing is the net, and it is the best net I’ve ever seen in a basketball game. There, I said something nice.

Of course, the core on-court action has to be at least somewhat appealing for for that beautiful net to matter, and, well…

For an experience built around the basketball itself and the physics that power it, the players handling said rock feel sluggish - as if these ballers only do what you want well after you tell them to. The right-thumbstick dribble mechanics feel good and are reminiscent of the old-school Live’s Freestyle Stick, but they’re often abused, with behind-the-back spins frequently leading to dunks or layups. Speaking of which, dunks from anyone and everyone are far too common -- the mid-range jump shot is mostly absent from Live 14’s repertoire, probably because jumpers have a freakish tendency to get blocked no matter who’s doing the shooting.

And if you’re looking for instructions on how to run the technically named plays you can call, you’ll just have to figure it out on your own. No HUD indicators or other graphics show you what the hell a “51 Spread Pop” is.

It’s a shame, because underneath the garbage heap of problems are a couple of promising features. Big Moments mode includes compelling challenges that recreate rare real-life achievements or big shots. We’ve seen this in other sports games, but Live’s clever hook is that fresh ones are supposed to be added as they happen in the actual NBA season. For instance, I was able to play Jeff Green’s buzzer-beating game-winning three against the Heat just days after it went down in Miami.

Meanwhile, NBA Live borrows the virtual-trading-card-based Ultimate Team mode from FIFA and applies it to pro hoopsters, creating the only other thing besides Big Moments that I’d be tempted to keep coming back to. In it, you unlock (or buy) new packs of cards and build a better team with which to challenge online foes.

The Rising Star mode isn’t so skilled. It follows 2K’s MyPlayer blueprint closely, right down to opening with a Draft Showcase game, then getting drafted, and then playing your first game and getting scored for every little good or bad thing you do in the contest. Problem is, it’s a lot easier to fail than it is to succeed. You’ll lose rating not just for turnovers and poor defense, but for every missed shot, even if it was a clean, open look that came from great ball movement. Come on, even the best NBA player only makes half of his shots! Worse, you’re not rewarded for drawing a foul or even making the free throws you’ve earned once you get to the line. And the Dynasty mode is a menu-tastic, ho-hum take on the traditional front-office-managing Franchise mode. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sorry you're on the cover of this one, Kyrie.

Sorry you're on the cover of this one, Kyrie.

Things get worse when you stop looking at menus and start squinting at the graphics. The crowd looks PS3-ish. Players lack texture detail, definition, emotion, and lighting; they’re all encased in a white glow that looks like it came out of a PlayStation 2 game. Animations are stiff and unnatural. These guys look anything but alive. And when you do pull off something cool, almost every replay -- many of which suffer from framerate issues that live gameplay doesn’t -- is a view from the rafters or, if it is closer, shows you the backs of the players’ heads. It’s almost as if NBA Live 14 knows how ugly it is and is deathly afraid that we’ll find out.

The poopy presentation extends to the audio, too. ESPN integration means Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy are doing the play-by-play, but they seem to always be fresh out of stories and rarely call out players by name, instead opting for generic pronouns like “he” or basic descriptions such as “this team.” Commentary like this hasn’t been acceptable in a decade. And the SportsCenter-style halftime show hosted by Jalen Rose has good stuff in it -- namely Top Plays and the ESPN Wired scenes that drop contextually appropriate, real-life coach-in-the-huddle audio into your game -- but it’s buried inside a tiresome, eternal four-minute sequence (yes, I timed it).

 

 

 
4.3  
  • +Big Moments and Ultimate Team modes
  • Sluggish, dunk-fest gameplay
  • Horrendous visuals
  • Generic commentary
  • Wasted ESPN license

 

 

Source: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/11/19/nba-live-14-review



Bet with MohammadBadir & ohmylanta1003: Wii U lifetime wont be 18 million+. Winner gets two months of sig and avatar control.

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for a company which is praising there next engine as if it would be the best the world has ever seen, nba and madden look truly like shit. didn't really see fifa on next gen yet so no clue how that looks.

no clue how a huge company like ea can produce something like that since they should have enough money to get some people who know what they are doing working on it but it seems as if they waste their money for other stuff.



daredevil.shark said:

Lock if old. EA is wasting the NBA license.


Nope.. They also have NBA Jam...



http://i45.tinypic.com/287dhcz.jpghttp://i50.tinypic.com/1553y14.jpghttp://oi56.tinypic.com/2v16t81.jpghttp://oi39.tinypic.com/5eg9y1.jpg

Face the future.. Gamecenter ID: nikkom_nl (oh no he didn't!!)

Well that's a shame. Had high hopes considering the exclusivity to next-gen platforms.

I think my past self would want to slap me silly if I told him FIFA would become EA's best sporting franchise 10 years from now in 2003. Low and behold....

STRYKIE said:
Well that's a shame. Had high hopes considering the exclusivity to next-gen platforms.

I think my past self would want to slap me silly if I told him FIFA would become EA's best sporting franchise 10 years from now in 2003. Low and behold....

damn, didn't know that. how can  a next gen only game using a next gen engine look like that? that's almost unbelievable.



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2k14 it is then.

crissindahouse said:
STRYKIE said:
Well that's a shame. Had high hopes considering the exclusivity to next-gen platforms.

I think my past self would want to slap me silly if I told him FIFA would become EA's best sporting franchise 10 years from now in 2003. Low and behold....

damn, didn't know that. how can  a next gen only game using a next gen engine look like that? that's almost unbelievable.


When I first saw it, I was honestly unsure whether it was their new engine demonstration for the PS3 back in 2006 lol. I know this is EA we're talking about, but fuck me, how has someone not been fired over this debacle yet?



So it's even worse than expected when EA couldn't even be bothered to pay off reviewers.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

Biased reviews are a pleasure to read. Just my opinion, of course.

2K has been kicking Live's butt since the Dreamcast days. I remember when NBA Live was THE basketball franchise. Lots of people from my job have been "settling" for 2K while they waited year after year for Live's return. They were hyped to see this franchise based off of fond memories from the series glory days. They are going to be so disappointed.

Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

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The only way that EA can build a better basketball game is to start from zero and go from there. Glad this game is seeing a release. Despite the score, the game will still see some traction as people get bored with nba2k (i know but its possible). Feedback and improving whats wrong will help the series going forward.