* The newest mode to test drive is Dynamic Season. Once the real guys start playing, you'll be able to play any game on the NBA schedule. Live will merge your results with real scores and stats from the season as it progresses (in other words, you'll have more control over the outcome of the season than
* The NBA has always been about superstars, but
* Luckily, getting teammates involved is so dynamic, because the size-up and Quickstrike 2.0 one-on-one moves lack precision controls. Combinations of right and left joystick maneuvers can get lost in quick gameplay action, especially the step back combo, which often violently launches your ball handler into a backcourt violation.
* Obviously, you can adjust the difficulty level of your opponent, but no matter what setting you choose, the AI will bring defensive intensity. For
* My Player puts you through the rigorous challenge of trying to make an NBA roster. The mode drops you into the Summer Circuit as an undrafted rookie. Through a variety of challenges, you battle it out for training camp and D-League roster spots before eventually going up against
* A new turbo meter will make you think twice before unleashing your itchy trigger finger. In years past, you could just hammer on the R2 button to give your player an extra burst of speed at any point in the game. In
* Couch potato coaches will be giddy to see that there are now 24 plays available in the quick play menu. Just be sure you're comfortable playing the game before you try to show off your playcalling acumen, because with so many options, it's very easy to get your pocket picked in the backcourt. The first couple times you try it, scrolling through the plays while controlling your ball handler is akin to texting while driving.
* The addition of Signature Play will make NBA die-hards smile. Spot-on pre-game rituals (
* The players move and act more like real athletes than they have in previous builds of Live. Guys hit the floor and sprawl out on drives to the hole. When a player grabs a loose ball near the baseline, he'll naturally try balancing on one foot while trying to find a teammate to pass to before falling out of bounds.
* Every missed shot doesn't just clank of the back of the rim like a brick. There's a variety of missed shot animations, like the ball softly rolling off the rim, that not only up the realistic gameplay, but add another level of rebounding strategy.
* The action flows smoothly and looks great, with touches like reflections in the hardwood and broadcast-like close-ups on the jog back up court after a score. Tight shots on the players are photorealistic, which is always good. (Well, unless it's a close-up of
* Pre-game scenes look so much like a real broadcast, they're worthy of double takes. Panning shots of each arena before the action catch a variation of fan actions, instead of a full arena of robotic fans all moving in unison.
* If you're a certain age, the only thing you think of when you hear
* The fans' actions add another level of excitement to the gameplay experience. Crowd noise swells on a fast break before exploding if you convert the basket. Home fans sit down in stunned silence if the opponent goes on a run. There's also plenty of booing for bad calls and dry spells. Overall, you feel like the fans are living and dying with the home team in real time.
* In addition to Dynamic Season, there's also the new adidas LIVE run mode online. It's basically a pick-up game where you can team-up with four other buddies online and challenge other gamers. Track individual and team stats as you try to dominate one of the month-long mini-seasons.
* Dynamic DNA picks up where it left off after its debut season last year. Hot streaks, slumps, late-season breakout stars -- whether these anomalies are on your team or your opponent's, they'll be reflected in each game you play.
* The new NBA Today feature looks to bring the same touch of realism to
* As 2K did in