Early NBA Live 09 details

Posted June 16th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

So now that much of the information around NBA Live 09 is free to be discussed, some of it is making its way out thanks to producer discussion on the official forum. It’s disappointing to hear there won’t be a Superstar mode, though the “ground-breaking feature” is still to be announced. That takes me back to Online Team Play as the most anticipated aspect assuming they made some of the improvements that have been suggested for it.

Here are some excerpts of posts that have been made so far. I’ll continue adding in as new details are posted.

The number of new animations we’ve added in this year are in the thousands. It felt like we were in Motion Capture every other day getting new stuff. Here’s a snapshot of things that are new.

Sig Shots – We recaptured the animations and added a lot of new ones. My faves right now are Iverson’s and Grant Hill’s. Iverson’s just feels sick. And, look for some signature free throws. Chuck Hayes’ is ridiculous.

Passes & Receptions – We captured a bunch of new content like penetrate and kicks, pick & roll passes and catch and sweeps.

Dunks – We got rid of our old dunk system and put in something MUCH better. I’m happy to say that dunks are back for Live this year. All new animations and a bunch of new in-air collisions.

Like I said, this is just a snapshot. We also have all new anims for blocks, steals, interceptions (some nice ‘shoot the lane’ pick-offs), post play, locomotion, celebrations, lockdown defense, first steps, quickstrike dribbling (including our new ankle breakers), Pick & Rolls (our new Pick & Roll control feature is nice this year. Jeff can talk about this one though.), a bunch of stuff for mascots, cheerleaders and crowd as well. I’m sure I’m missing some stuff too.


Now you can hold down Right Trigger while doing Quickstrike moves and trigger Ankle Breaker moves. It basically triggers crossover moves with bigger hesitation poses at the end of them. It’s your set-up move. Once you get in that pose your defender has to get ready to react because you can explode out of those moves with a first step. If the defender guesses the correct way he’ll lock you up. If he guesses the wrong way you cross him up and leave him flat footed. Or, you can even pull-up for a quick jumper. So, essentially, it allows you to take players like Deron Williams, do some regular crossovers to get a rhythm going, quickly break out into an ankle breaker crossover, and try cross your man up and get to the bucket. What I like about this is that it gives our Quickstrike a purpose. There’s an offensive and defensive side of it, and creates a “game within the game”.


We pulled pro-hops this year because we have a new feature we call Signature Play Calling and we are using the Y button for this. I’m sure we’ll be talking about this in more detail later, but I’ll give you a quick summary of it now. We’ve re-vamped all of our plays and our play-calling system. Teams will run authentic sets and we’ll have a bunch of different options in those sets that focus on your star players. You can run specific plays for Kobe, Pau or Odom, all out of the Triangle. We’ll give you one option to choose from 8 plays by bringing up our Signature Play Calling menu via the Left Bumper. Or, you can just push the Y button and it will select the best play for you to run at that time based on who is on the court. It’s almost like an “Ask Madden’ type idea.


Sorry, no superstar mode this year. We’ve been working on something new this year that we’re pretty excited about. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to talk about it now because I probably wouldn’t have a job tomorrow if I did. We’ll be announcing it at E3. We’re pretty sure it’ll change the way sports games are made.