nba-live-10-ep_656x369At EA's Naughty or Nice press event this afternoon in the heart of New York City we were able to get our hands on NBA Live, the first fully licensed complete 5 on 5 basketball game available for the iPhone. My time with the game was somewhat limited, but I walked away impressed with what EA Mobile was able to squeeze out of the device.

As we mentioned in our earlier post with the bundle of screenshots EA released, NBA Live is a remarkably full featured game. All 30 NBA teams with complete player rosters are in game, along with each team's respective stadium. All of the team and player stat tracking is in place very similar to Madden 10, and there's even different season modes that you can either play or simulate all the way to the NBA finals.

Like most sports games (or other games with lots of action), the screenshots barely do NBA Live justice. Watching the game in motion with ten players on the court complete with shoes squeaking and the crowd either cheering or jeering really impressed me.

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If you've ever played a basketball video game before, the controls will come naturally. A virtual analog stick controls your movement and a set of two buttons handle different functions whether you're on offense or defense. When you have the ball, one button passes while another shoots, dunks, and does other trick shots depending on how long you press the button and which way you flick your thumb afterward. When the opposing team has the ball, these buttons handle cycling through players and blocking.

A button in the top right corner momentarily pauses the game and allows you to issue commands to the rest of your teammates to support you through various plays whether you want to pick and roll or set yourself up for a three pointer. Free throws are executed via tilting. You tilt the phone back toward you, then flip it forward. How straight you were able to flick the phone backwards and forward controls your accuracy.

The free throw tilt mechanic felt a little gimmicky, but penalties seemed rare enough that shooting free throws likely won't be a main part of the game. One thing that really piqued my interest during my discussions today with EA was the inclusion of unlockable NBA legends. Buried deep inside of the game are NBA greats like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and others.

The following gameplay video is from EA's latest build of NBA Live, it's still a work in progress, so try not to pass final judgment on the game based on what you see here:

Overall NBA Live is working up to be a very promising title for basketball fans. EA was reluctant to give a firm date on when they expect to have the game ready for release, but were hopeful that it will be in gamers' hands later this fall.

  • Outkast1

    Nice! This looks like it will be sweet!

    Hodapp, you're from Indiana.. or Illinois right? Most people I know from those parts are crazy about bball :)

    Unlockable legends sounds pretty sweet.

  • Outkast1

    Nice! This looks like it will be sweet!

    Hodapp, you're from Indiana.. or Illinois right? Most people I know from those parts are crazy about bball :)

    Unlockable legends sounds pretty sweet.

  • SalsaMD

    Oh yeaaah! Looking good so far....

  • SalsaMD

    Oh yeaaah! Looking good so far....

  • http://greatfamily.cz Alcado

    the animation transitions sucks so bad...

  • iamse7en

    That actually looks better than I anticipated. Not bad for a PHONE.

  • http://greatfamily.cz Alcado

    the animation transitions sucks so bad...

  • iamse7en

    That actually looks better than I anticipated. Not bad for a PHONE.

  • Robert M.

    Looks sluggish...

  • Robert M.

    Looks sluggish...

  • sharp65

    I'm a bit disappointed to be honest, I thought it would have looked a bit better coming from EA. Maybe its just hard to tell from that video.

  • sharp65

    I'm a bit disappointed to be honest, I thought it would have looked a bit better coming from EA. Maybe its just hard to tell from that video.

  • http://greatfamily.cz Alcado

    maybe (visual) it's not so good for the textures :S

  • http://greatfamily.cz Alcado

    maybe (visual) it's not so good for the textures :S

  • PeterM11

    I must agree it doesn't look that great. Not terrible, just not that great. Maybe it's just cause basketball isn't my game of preference though. FIFA 10 was amazing, would think this would look better than it does. But I could very well be proven wrong later, it's happened time and time again with these games.

    • SalsaMD

      "The following gameplay video is from EA's latest build of NBA Live, it's still a work in progress, so try not to pass final judgment on the game based on what you see here:"

  • PeterM11

    I must agree it doesn't look that great. Not terrible, just not that great. Maybe it's just cause basketball isn't my game of preference though. FIFA 10 was amazing, would think this would look better than it does. But I could very well be proven wrong later, it's happened time and time again with these games.

    • SalsaMD

      "The following gameplay video is from EA's latest build of NBA Live, it's still a work in progress, so try not to pass final judgment on the game based on what you see here:"

  • Frogtorch

    Booyah. This is going to be fantastic.

  • Frogtorch

    Booyah. This is going to be fantastic.

  • munkee

    It's funny how they implement floating analogue stick here and not in FIFA 10.

  • http://deleted munkee

    It's funny how they implement floating analogue stick here and not in FIFA 10.

  • 5duc29

    Instant buy! Though the controls looked a little sluggish.

  • 5duc29

    Instant buy! Though the controls looked a little sluggish.

  • C1KK

    I've been a big fan of the NBA Live series for almost a decade, I was excited to hear they were making a version for the iphone this year, but after seeing the video I'm not really sure if I still want to get it, I know there's no way it could live up to the ps3 of xbox 360 versions but the pace of the game seems real slow and it seems to be lacking a lot of the control functions, it does look good for a mobile phone game though so if it's at a good price I'll definatly check it out

  • C1KK

    I've been a big fan of the NBA Live series for almost a decade, I was excited to hear they were making a version for the iphone this year, but after seeing the video I'm not really sure if I still want to get it, I know there's no way it could live up to the ps3 of xbox 360 versions but the pace of the game seems real slow and it seems to be lacking a lot of the control functions, it does look good for a mobile phone game though so if it's at a good price I'll definatly check it out

  • McCurry

    This game is a joke because Memphis is 66-16

    • Balla19

      Memphis is going to be the bomb dizzy this year. Iverson, Mayo, Randolph, Gay, and Thabeet! You tellin me they cant be 66-12? That lineup is solid!

  • McCurry

    This game is a joke because Memphis is 66-16

    • Balla19

      Memphis is going to be the bomb dizzy this year. Iverson, Mayo, Randolph, Gay, and Thabeet! You tellin me they cant be 66-12? That lineup is solid!

  • Will090

    No Multiplayer=No Fun :(

  • Will090

    No Multiplayer=No Fun :(

  • jgrug

    Trying not to be too judgmental the animations look pretty good but the controls looks like a game of checkers taking way to much time to execute IMO. The two don't go together very well at this point and that is what will influence my final buying decision.

  • jgrug

    Trying not to be too judgmental the animations look pretty good but the controls looks like a game of checkers taking way to much time to execute IMO. The two don't go together very well at this point and that is what will influence my final buying decision.

  • Phreakuency

    Doesn't look half as good as the PSP version, visually but YET AGAIN the iPhone fails due to lack of a real joystick and buttons.

  • Phreakuency

    Doesn't look half as good as the PSP version, visually but YET AGAIN the iPhone fails due to lack of a real joystick and buttons.

  • http://www.jerseysnfl.com jerseys nba

    I thought it would have looked a bit better coming from EA.

  • http://www.jerseysnfl.com jerseys nba

    I thought it would have looked a bit better coming from EA.

  • rodneyjacobs

    The Game Looks Amazing. The players were moving just like the real players do in the NBA. I can't believe they got those graphics and player movements out of a phone. Marv Albert also sounded great on the commentary after every dunk and basket.

    INSTANT BUY at whatever price they put it at. NHL stinks. Soccer is wack, but NBA action is fantastic. 5 stars!!!!!!!!

  • rodneyjacobs

    The Game Looks Amazing. The players were moving just like the real players do in the NBA. I can't believe they got those graphics and player movements out of a phone. Marv Albert also sounded great on the commentary after every dunk and basket.

    INSTANT BUY at whatever price they put it at. NHL stinks. Soccer is wack, but NBA action is fantastic. 5 stars!!!!!!!!

  • rodneyjacobs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgh09aXDiCY

    THE PSP version looked cheap. The players on the iphone looked liked reallife walking and running on the court. The PSP version looked like the players were skating on ice LOL. Terrible. Psp should be embarrassed that the IPHONE version looks more realistic with player movements. No wonder the Iphone is now the most preferred gaming device with consumers right now. Iphone is on FIRE and dominating the market.

  • rodneyjacobs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgh09aXDiCY

    THE PSP version looked cheap. The players on the iphone looked liked reallife walking and running on the court. The PSP version looked like the players were skating on ice LOL. Terrible. Psp should be embarrassed that the IPHONE version looks more realistic with player movements. No wonder the Iphone is now the most preferred gaming device with consumers right now. Iphone is on FIRE and dominating the market.

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    I Love NBA

  • http://www.cnnjerseys.com nba wang

    I Love NBA