Basketball fans behold (and prepare for the anticlimax). NBA 08 is the SCEA’s second attempt at producing an entertaining basketball sim for the PS3. One could say it is a resurrection attempt, a bid to restore SCEA’s good name after a dismal game and insult to the code in NBA 07. While I can safely say that NBA 08 does improve on its predecessor, do not mistake this for saying in any way that this latest title is a good game — far from it.
I take my job as a critic very seriously and if I find flaws in a game I will not hesitate to rip it to pieces. NBA 08 is a flawed game or rather, it is a boringly uninspired game. A general lack of content would be my first complaint. Season mode contains little depth to keep the player interested in playing through 70+ odd games to get to the season finals. There are a few mini-games to amuse yourself with, although amuse probably isn’t the correct term. The mini-games are relatively brief affairs that might hold your interest for a few minutes but lose their appeal very fast. The only innovative aspect of the game is an NBA replay mode that replicates successful games and plays from last year’s NBA season and challenges the player to repeat these achievements. NBA replay mode will also be updated by Sony as the current NBA season progresses.
Gameplay itself is fun for the first couple of minutes, but after you get the swing of the controls it just gets repetitive. In addition, skill levels between teams vary little with each team owning little in the way of personality, the only variance being different coloured singlets. The presentation is decidedly average. The courts are shiny but the player models leave a lot to be desired especially during movement, which is through most of the game. It looks more like a PS2 game than a next-generation PS3 title.
My final word — NBA 08 fails to capture any of the verve and excitement that NBA matches possess and falls short of being a decent game due to completely uninspiring gameplay, depth and structure.