Video Game Breakdown

by October 23, 2008

by Konate Primus

Fourteen years ago NBA Live revolutionized the basketball video game genre, dominating the market until 2005 when 2k Games took their first shot at EA’s basketball simulation title. Along the lines there have been many companies that tried to compete, but all have perished. Recently giving both titles a substantial amount of comp is Inside the NBA (only for PS3). To the naked eye these games are all the same, but to an avid video game player these are three different worlds for three different types of consumers.

Type 1: The video gamer looks for real scenarios but still expects the unlimited possibilities that virtual realty offers. He appreciates video games for what they are and doesn’t look to them as the answer for life’s questions but as an escape from reality where the impossible is possible. Shaq hitting three-pointers, Steve Nash playing defense…even the Knicks winning games.

Type 2: The complete opposite of Type 1. This gamer wants art to imitate life down to the dirt under one’s nails. He wants the graphics to be as real as the skin on his arm. Wants to see the dandruff, the sweat stains the hair follicles along with signature player movement. The power of LeBron, the finesse of Kobe, the surprise explosiveness of DWade. He even wants Pau Gasol’s lack of heart in the clutch.

Type 3: Type 3 is a combo of Type 1 and 2. This gamer wants realistic features like Type 2, but at the same time he wants a lil bit of unrealistic game play as well.

I have all three 09 titles and I enjoy all of them, but some people get really touchy about this topic. Live is made for Type 3, and that happens to be my favorite title. The graphics are impeccable; it is really amazing how they captured every single players physical feature. I have never seen graphics this exact. 2k9’s graphics are no joke either–tattoos, sneakers, the fans in the stands, even the uniforms go through changes as the game progresses. Inside’s graphics are nothing to rave about–I would call them average. The players’ physiques are pretty much the same. They seem extremely long–pause, no homo–and Dwight Howard is as skinny as KG; Bron and Kobe are about the same size.

Live 09 NBA Live 09
Inside 09 NBA Inside 09

But graphics are the least of my concerns when it comes to Inside 09; the shot control is very annoying to me and most of the people I’ve played with. I don’t like having a meter above my player telling me when to release the ball. I like and appreciate the thought, but I’m not a fan. Live’s shot control is a bit more general, three-point shooters generally make the bucket if wide open as it would probably happen in real life.

As for 2k9, if you don’t conform to each player’s style of shooting you’ll be building houses for senator McCain. Defensive lockdown is a thing of beauty in 2k. You know there’s always that friend or guy online who drops 70 with one player…well, 2k made it a bit harder for that to go down with new features like lockdown mode and an artificial intelligence that adjust to your style of play. Live on the other hand is not so advanced. Scoring buckets is as easy a drunken hooker trying to score blow no matter how much you stay in front of your player it mostly relies on the offensive player to release the shoot button on the right timing. Inside…whoa. Inside’s defense is a complete joke; it’s almost nonexistent. Then again, it’s hard as hell to shoot in that game. I guess it’s trying to prove bad offense is a good defense…I don’t know.

All in all these games are dope, you just have to get in where you fit in. If you’re Type 1, I suggest you get Inside 09. Its one of the best arcade basketball games I ever played. If you’re Type 2, don’t hesitate get 2k9. It is the most realistic b-ball game you’ve ever played. If you’re Type 3 go grab Live. Once you have your game of choice, play online and follow the season as it progresses to play real in-game scenarios sort of like an advanced version of fantasy hoops.