#5 of 2008: NBA Live 09

by
Posted December 15th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

The NBA is one place where EA Sports now plays the role of the underdog. That isn’t a familiar scenario for them. How did they react with NBA Live 09? Improved gameplay and a big investment in the future. While the game still had issues it provided an enjoyable experience with fully functioning modes and a variety of features.

NBA Live 09 had the most innovative addition of any game this year with Live 365. While its value to the game remains questionable it does offer a great deal. Not only in providing a daily roster update, but changing the way the game plays and offering the opportunity to view some fascinating data that NBA fans normally would never have access to. This multi-year exclusive deal with Synergy showed that EA is serious about the franchise and would be attempting to achieve what they have done recently with FIFA and NHL. That is changing the perception around a franchise that lagging behind a competitor. While 365 hasn’t shown enough to justify it as a paid add-on next year it has proven it does have some value.

While gameplay is always going to be subjective, Live’s showed some big improvements this year. Additions such as the Pick and Roll Control and new play calling system were of big benefit. Despite that there were several areas that the game struggled with. Some of those include rebounding, lack of aggressiveness for loose balls, broken fast breaks, and terrible directional passing. The Lockdown Defense and Quickstrike Ball Handling were disappointments too. The animations keep the game from being as fluid as 2K9 and that flow is probably the most striking difference between the two titles. Presentation is still in need of an upgrade however the commentary is by far the best of the NBA offerings.

While Live 09 didn’t have a real Be a Pro mode, it did come through with the NBA Academy and excellent online performance and options. Online Team Play continued to run smoothly and bringing in the Clubs provided more reason to play it. Hopefully next year they go the MMO route seen in NHL 09. I also have to stress the importance of what the NBA Academy provided. Being able to practice specific situations not only provided opportunity for improving skills but it also added a new element to franchise mode with the team practices. More drills should definitely be added on next year.

Live and 2K9 easily could be flipped in order since they offer unique strengths while carrying their own weaknesses. Neither one offers the full package. The online performance and options, attempts at innovation, familiarity and accessibility, as well as general direction the franchise is headed pushed my preference towards Live. This was a great year for basketball gaming with three quality titles that excelled in their own distinct ways.

#5 NBA Live 09
#6 NBA 2K9
#7 Madden 09
#8 Blitz: The League II
#9 NFL Tour
#10 Tiger Woods 09

  • patrick oak

    last time i checked didnt nba 2k9 beat live to the first big trade of the season when pasta had a poll of who would win first???

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/cabrillo24 cabrillo24

      And Pasta didn't understand how Live would be updating their rosters. Live's policy is to update the roster as soon as the player actually plays for the team and to update the DNA tendencies. In many cases certain players aren't even playing for the teams they were traded to: McDyesse and Mobley are two examples.

      And as soon as someone new suits up for a team he will be included in the game i.e. Morrow GSW

    • alex

      exactly! for all you 2k fan boys! i myself enjoy nba 2k9 but live is also a great game!

  • patrick oak

    last time i checked didnt nba 2k9 beat live to the first big trade of the season when pasta had a poll of who would win first???

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/cabrillo24 cabrillo24

      And Pasta didn't understand how Live would be updating their rosters. Live's policy is to update the roster as soon as the player actually plays for the team and to update the DNA tendencies. In many cases certain players aren't even playing for the teams they were traded to: McDyesse and Mobley are two examples.

      And as soon as someone new suits up for a team he will be included in the game i.e. Morrow GSW

    • alex

      exactly! for all you 2k fan boys! i myself enjoy nba 2k9 but live is also a great game!

  • lonnie

    i prefer live over 2k and i'm not saying it's a better game but it's just more fun for me and i understand if people like 2k better,thats their right and thats cool,everyone should like whatever fits them,there is no right or wrong here, thats what always amazes me that if someone doesn't have the same opinion as someone else it means that their wrong,that to me is nonsence,we all have different tastes,everyone is different..my favorite color is blue,yours my be red,that doesn't mean i'm right and your wrong or visa versa…why can't everyone understand this?

    • Howard

      Because its a video game. It should be about what a video game is about; the gameplay (how the game is while playing it). and if one is not better than the other one (while playing it) then it should be unanimous to which one is better. Numbers dont lie. And as for this crap about online play being the downfall of 2k; the majority of people that play sports titles (73%) play one on one while sitting next to each other. so not everybody cares about online play which clearly means if onine is good or not your still gonna have a dominant game because of what? THE GAMEPLAY (how the game is while playing it)
      2K is the better game. Period

      • Dee

        AGREED!!

      • lonnie

        i think your missing my point,of course you can judge any video game and rank one higher than the other and say which has the better graphics,which has the better gameplay ect ect and there's nothing wrong with that…my point was if someone likes one better than the other it doesn't mean someones wrong and someones right..in other words–to each his own.

  • lonnie

    i prefer live over 2k and i'm not saying it's a better game but it's just more fun for me and i understand if people like 2k better,thats their right and thats cool,everyone should like whatever fits them,there is no right or wrong here, thats what always amazes me that if someone doesn't have the same opinion as someone else it means that their wrong,that to me is nonsence,we all have different tastes,everyone is different..my favorite color is blue,yours my be red,that doesn't mean i'm right and your wrong or visa versa…why can't everyone understand this?

    • Howard

      Because its a video game. It should be about what a video game is about; the gameplay (how the game is while playing it). and if one is not better than the other one (while playing it) then it should be unanimous to which one is better. Numbers dont lie. And as for this crap about online play being the downfall of 2k; the majority of people that play sports titles (73%) play one on one while sitting next to each other. so not everybody cares about online play which clearly means if onine is good or not your still gonna have a dominant game because of what? THE GAMEPLAY (how the game is while playing it)
      2K is the better game. Period

      • Dee

        AGREED!!

      • lonnie

        i think your missing my point,of course you can judge any video game and rank one higher than the other and say which has the better graphics,which has the better gameplay ect ect and there's nothing wrong with that…my point was if someone likes one better than the other it doesn't mean someones wrong and someones right..in other words–to each his own.

  • Alex

    wow why is everyone fighting GOD its just pastas opinion on games! maybe he just like leaning on ea because he juat likes the live series and isnt ready for 2k. damn just be quiet and if you have a problem wit dat just leave the fricken site!

  • Alex

    wow why is everyone fighting GOD its just pastas opinion on games! maybe he just like leaning on ea because he juat likes the live series and isnt ready for 2k. damn just be quiet and if you have a problem wit dat just leave the fricken site!

  • C G

    I Knew This Would Happen!

  • C G

    I Knew This Would Happen!

  • ReignMan

    Why do You guys defend Pasta? Why do You explain his posts? I do not think he needs that, he is not a little boy, running back to his mom, if someone disagree. Of course everyones opinion is subjective, and the reactions are different, personally I just can not understand, how U can prefer live over 2k, as live is a childish arcade game comparing to 2k.

    Pasta is speaking up his mind, John Shaft, please let me to answer whatever I want if I disagree, but U bet, I wont call anyone idiot or stupid, as U did.

  • ReignMan

    Why do You guys defend Pasta? Why do You explain his posts? I do not think he needs that, he is not a little boy, running back to his mom, if someone disagree. Of course everyones opinion is subjective, and the reactions are different, personally I just can not understand, how U can prefer live over 2k, as live is a childish arcade game comparing to 2k.

    Pasta is speaking up his mind, John Shaft, please let me to answer whatever I want if I disagree, but U bet, I wont call anyone idiot or stupid, as U did.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/DrLogic DrLogic

    "Shame on me? Because I prefer a game over another? Once again "Dr Logic" at no point did I say one game was better than the other." -JR

    NO, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT PASTA'S LIST. YOU HAVE ALIGNED YOURSELF WITH HIS VIEWS, ESPECIALLY given the statements you have made. Like i said before, like whatever you want to like. Stop trying to put yourself in the victims seat. All im saying is if you to believe that Live 09 should be ranked higher then NBA 2k9, then come up with some valid reasons that PROOVE THAT LIVE IS A BETTER OVERALL GAME THEN 2K. YOU HAVE YET TO DO SO, IN FACT, IN ALL OF YOUR EXPLANATIONS (and pasta's too) YOU STATE HOW 2K IS THE BETTER CORE GAME.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/DrLogic DrLogic

    "Shame on me? Because I prefer a game over another? Once again "Dr Logic" at no point did I say one game was better than the other." -JR

    NO, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT PASTA'S LIST. YOU HAVE ALIGNED YOURSELF WITH HIS VIEWS, ESPECIALLY given the statements you have made. Like i said before, like whatever you want to like. Stop trying to put yourself in the victims seat. All im saying is if you to believe that Live 09 should be ranked higher then NBA 2k9, then come up with some valid reasons that PROOVE THAT LIVE IS A BETTER OVERALL GAME THEN 2K. YOU HAVE YET TO DO SO, IN FACT, IN ALL OF YOUR EXPLANATIONS (and pasta's too) YOU STATE HOW 2K IS THE BETTER CORE GAME.

  • kyle XY

    ok im just stating my opinion here, i have been a 2k fan boy from way back on the dreamcast days i only would buy 2k games because they simply were better than EAs games, i was sad when ea bought the rights to the NFL but i went and continued with madden although it was the better game it was the only choice and i still have all those 2k games but anyway i have recently seen 2k has been slipping and i know they made a football game for the first time in what 5 years or so whatever but even in hockey ea has become on top and i never thought i would see the day that eas hockey would be better cause i loved last years 2k hockey. Now ive played both Live and Nba2k9 and i played both a ton and i can simply say and i hate to say this that i honestly enjoy live more this year sure i hate the non sim gamers but its a good overall game and 2k9 is also great but it just dosent amaze me like years before i just hope 2k steps it up another notch especially in baseball although the best ea game of all time is MVP Baseball 2005 2k has gone down hill in baseball big time also which force me to sony's The Show. now im not saying i hate 2ks games, im just saying they are in decline and i hope they get there act together quickly

  • kyle XY

    ok im just stating my opinion here, i have been a 2k fan boy from way back on the dreamcast days i only would buy 2k games because they simply were better than EAs games, i was sad when ea bought the rights to the NFL but i went and continued with madden although it was the better game it was the only choice and i still have all those 2k games but anyway i have recently seen 2k has been slipping and i know they made a football game for the first time in what 5 years or so whatever but even in hockey ea has become on top and i never thought i would see the day that eas hockey would be better cause i loved last years 2k hockey. Now ive played both Live and Nba2k9 and i played both a ton and i can simply say and i hate to say this that i honestly enjoy live more this year sure i hate the non sim gamers but its a good overall game and 2k9 is also great but it just dosent amaze me like years before i just hope 2k steps it up another notch especially in baseball although the best ea game of all time is MVP Baseball 2005 2k has gone down hill in baseball big time also which force me to sony's The Show. now im not saying i hate 2ks games, im just saying they are in decline and i hope they get there act together quickly

  • James

    dude why is everyone gettin on pasta's back telling him to change the rankings on HIS website… we all know that 2k9 is a better game but like he said its what hes more likely to play, and online play is more important to him then solid gameplay and thats why Live is above 2k9… if you dont like his rankings then just hop over to operationsports.com, they seem to have a good grip on sports gaming

  • James

    dude why is everyone gettin on pasta's back telling him to change the rankings on HIS website… we all know that 2k9 is a better game but like he said its what hes more likely to play, and online play is more important to him then solid gameplay and thats why Live is above 2k9… if you dont like his rankings then just hop over to operationsports.com, they seem to have a good grip on sports gaming

  • twan

    anyone know how i can save my settings I want to play online again but evertime i do I have to do the sliders all over again is there any way to keep that from happening?

    thanks in advance

  • twan

    anyone know how i can save my settings I want to play online again but evertime i do I have to do the sliders all over again is there any way to keep that from happening?

    thanks in advance

  • twan

    wow….everybody hating now just on live but on pasta thats messed up because of someones opinion that being said I like live always have (besides 07 i just didnt play no b-ball game at all b/c of that) its my prefrence all my friends play live we have been playing it since playstation 1 i just cant get into the 2k but thats just me though i have nothing agianst people who play it and like it and u shouldnt against pasta either

    • ReignMan

      It is not really against Pasta, he is just the part of the machine, not really against nba live09, coz every year its getting better.

      EA is the frustrating thing around, the empty promises, the unethical, covered marketing they are doing( just a fact for JR, this is the newest: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/ea-rapped-f…) And U see one of these every week.

      Its just the many dissappointed once-were Live players, hoping, waiting, that the biggest, richest developing company can make an outstanding nba game for the fanatics, but U find yourself playing with the same core gameplay engine, surrounded with many 'big smoke-small flame' features. I admit, 2k9 is not a perfect game, but if U give time to get use to it, IT IS IN THE GAME.

  • twan

    wow….everybody hating now just on live but on pasta thats messed up because of someones opinion that being said I like live always have (besides 07 i just didnt play no b-ball game at all b/c of that) its my prefrence all my friends play live we have been playing it since playstation 1 i just cant get into the 2k but thats just me though i have nothing agianst people who play it and like it and u shouldnt against pasta either

    • ReignMan

      It is not really against Pasta, he is just the part of the machine, not really against nba live09, coz every year its getting better.

      EA is the frustrating thing around, the empty promises, the unethical, covered marketing they are doing( just a fact for JR, this is the newest: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/ea-rapped-f…) And U see one of these every week.

      Its just the many dissappointed once-were Live players, hoping, waiting, that the biggest, richest developing company can make an outstanding nba game for the fanatics, but U find yourself playing with the same core gameplay engine, surrounded with many 'big smoke-small flame' features. I admit, 2k9 is not a perfect game, but if U give time to get use to it, IT IS IN THE GAME.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Aboogie Aboogie

    I hate 2k9 with my life… i bought the game… Right of the bat a ton of glitches, inbound glitch and so on…

    THEN, i try to get a game online and i recognize no LOBBIES! im like… WTF?

    I hear about the COPIED 5 on 5 and I cannot get in 1 game for the first 2 weeks, and when i get a game its slow as FREAK the shots are always lagged.

    NEXT, i try the regular 1 on 1 and its also laggy, so many cheesers.

    ALSO! 2k9 has no post game, no defense, and is a great base for kobe, lebron and cp3 cheesers… Live for that reason alone is better than 2k

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Aboogie Aboogie

    I hate 2k9 with my life… i bought the game… Right of the bat a ton of glitches, inbound glitch and so on…

    THEN, i try to get a game online and i recognize no LOBBIES! im like… WTF?

    I hear about the COPIED 5 on 5 and I cannot get in 1 game for the first 2 weeks, and when i get a game its slow as FREAK the shots are always lagged.

    NEXT, i try the regular 1 on 1 and its also laggy, so many cheesers.

    ALSO! 2k9 has no post game, no defense, and is a great base for kobe, lebron and cp3 cheesers… Live for that reason alone is better than 2k

  • G-Money

    Did people actually read what pasta wrote? Tell me where he said Live was better then 2K9… He said that Live had the most inovative feature this year in sports gaming with the 365 updates as well as DNA. If it isn't then what is? 2K9 is better game then Live 09 as it should be. 2K9 is 10 years in the making, they built it up to the monster you see today. Somewhere along the line Live lost it way and became a second class citizen. Give EA credit for saying yes we putout a halfass effort on Live for the past 7 or 8 years but we are trying to right the ship and give us a chance to win you back. Personally I'd like to see the day when we have two superior hoops games to pick from. IF Live builds on what they did for this year, I think they could make a run at 2K in the next 3 to 4 years

  • G-Money

    Did people actually read what pasta wrote? Tell me where he said Live was better then 2K9… He said that Live had the most inovative feature this year in sports gaming with the 365 updates as well as DNA. If it isn't then what is? 2K9 is better game then Live 09 as it should be. 2K9 is 10 years in the making, they built it up to the monster you see today. Somewhere along the line Live lost it way and became a second class citizen. Give EA credit for saying yes we putout a halfass effort on Live for the past 7 or 8 years but we are trying to right the ship and give us a chance to win you back. Personally I'd like to see the day when we have two superior hoops games to pick from. IF Live builds on what they did for this year, I think they could make a run at 2K in the next 3 to 4 years

  • Smokez4Dayz

    So how come in your gamertag, it states you play NBA2K9 alot on your system, its listed as a top 5, so how the hell is LIVE better than 2K9 when you don't even play it. Come off the canabis, Pasta. YOU Dont even play LIVE anymore!!!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/cabrillo24 cabrillo24

      That's his top 5 recent games, not necessarily what he plays the most. He probably played it to test out the online mode again or to play the game before he put his opinion into his ranking of 2K9…just my guess.

      • patrick oak

        are you some undercover e.a. sports executive?? If you are stop peddling crappy games and making minimal gaming improvements and tricking guys like our dear friend j.r into thinking its actually a good game to play!! we are sick of it!

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/cabrillo24 cabrillo24

          LOL. It's funny you say that when during the Spring I was called a 2K fanboy. I buy both games, and I never said 2K wasn't a good game. I just stated which game I lean more towards. The 2K fanboys on here take it so personal and get worked up about resorting to name calling, childish antics, cliche's, sexual remarks. Patrick, do you own NBA Live?

  • Smokez4Dayz

    So how come in your gamertag, it states you play NBA2K9 alot on your system, its listed as a top 5, so how the hell is LIVE better than 2K9 when you don't even play it. Come off the canabis, Pasta. YOU Dont even play LIVE anymore!!!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/cabrillo24 cabrillo24

      That's his top 5 recent games, not necessarily what he plays the most. He probably played it to test out the online mode again or to play the game before he put his opinion into his ranking of 2K9…just my guess.

      • patrick oak

        are you some undercover e.a. sports executive?? If you are stop peddling crappy games and making minimal gaming improvements and tricking guys like our dear friend j.r into thinking its actually a good game to play!! we are sick of it!

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/cabrillo24 cabrillo24

          LOL. It's funny you say that when during the Spring I was called a 2K fanboy. I buy both games, and I never said 2K wasn't a good game. I just stated which game I lean more towards. The 2K fanboys on here take it so personal and get worked up about resorting to name calling, childish antics, cliche's, sexual remarks. Patrick, do you own NBA Live?

  • anonymous

    Y is everybody making a big deal, pasta is just makin a list of his top 10, if udont agree den get of his site, its not even that big of a deal, if u like live u like live, if u like 2k den u like 2k. I was a live player from the early days till bout 07, then I bought college hoops 2k8 and it wuz dope so I bought nba 2k8, but after playing the demo for 2k8 I bought live this year, live is better than it used to be but some issues bug me, so its basically wat u like. Way ta go pasta, forget wat ppl think, I check ya site everyday

  • anonymous

    Y is everybody making a big deal, pasta is just makin a list of his top 10, if udont agree den get of his site, its not even that big of a deal, if u like live u like live, if u like 2k den u like 2k. I was a live player from the early days till bout 07, then I bought college hoops 2k8 and it wuz dope so I bought nba 2k8, but after playing the demo for 2k8 I bought live this year, live is better than it used to be but some issues bug me, so its basically wat u like. Way ta go pasta, forget wat ppl think, I check ya site everyday

  • dee

    2k's roster updating is far better than live's. yea i mean live thinks they are doing a job by hiring a company to automatically update stats and players. But the living rosters is the most innovative thing. The 2k insider is actually letting the players discuss and recommend changes to him. I mean player input is what we all always wanted. its easy for someone to just sync with a company like EA did to automatically update it. thats just lazy. 2k actually tried hard to make this work. the living roster is better than live 365 hands down.

  • dee

    2k's roster updating is far better than live's. yea i mean live thinks they are doing a job by hiring a company to automatically update stats and players. But the living rosters is the most innovative thing. The 2k insider is actually letting the players discuss and recommend changes to him. I mean player input is what we all always wanted. its easy for someone to just sync with a company like EA did to automatically update it. thats just lazy. 2k actually tried hard to make this work. the living roster is better than live 365 hands down.

  • twan

    pasta

    do you know how i can play online without my settings and sliders going back to default?

    thanks

  • twan

    pasta

    do you know how i can play online without my settings and sliders going back to default?

    thanks

  • Marty Mar

    Any fool that thinks Live is better than 2K needs they fuckin head examined. We all know this Pasta cat is a EA kiss ass and he always has been! Not ONE damn game site rated Live nowhere near 2K! I never even posted on this site because i knew this nigga was biased but now i gotta say something because putting Live ahead of 2K basketball is just plain fuckin retarded.

  • Marty Mar

    Any fool that thinks Live is better than 2K needs they fuckin head examined. We all know this Pasta cat is a EA kiss ass and he always has been! Not ONE damn game site rated Live nowhere near 2K! I never even posted on this site because i knew this nigga was biased but now i gotta say something because putting Live ahead of 2K basketball is just plain fuckin retarded.

  • apan

    talk about the surprise of the list. NBA live over NBA2k. Could be the only site on the net to have NBA live over NBA2k. But then again taste is induvidual.

  • apan

    talk about the surprise of the list. NBA live over NBA2k. Could be the only site on the net to have NBA live over NBA2k. But then again taste is induvidual.

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