NBA ’07 is Sony’s latest iteration of their flagship basketball franchise. Aside from the obvious comparisons drawn from other titles, such as NBA2K7, NBA ’07 seems to hold its own. At first play NBA ’07 presented itself as another mediocre launch title, but in the hands of a hardcore hardwood fan NBA ‘07’s depth, gameplay, and visual prowess will likely impress.
As stated on the box art, NBA ’07 displays in full HD. While it certainly does look nice, the FULL HD sticker doesn’t necessarily mean that the game looks any better then the games without the sticker. It does look mighty crisp, but no more crisp then the likes of Genji or Resistance. NBA ’07 claims to run at 60 frames per second, but frame rate stutters are commonplace. Even then, the frame rate slow-downs don’t inhibit the gameplay at all, so there’s absolutely nothing to fret about unless you demand perfection.
SCEA San Diego really nailed the character models, but the vast majority of characters don’t look like their real life counterpart. Aside from this minor folly, the character models themselves looks superb, with the amount of perspiration increasing as the game proceeds. Player attire is animated independently as the player moves around the court, and reacts to light in a brilliant manner.
Several game modes are provided in NBA ’07, most of them being pretty worthy additions to the game. Season mode is probably the most worthwhile. Season mode, as its name implies, schedules an entire season of games for you. You can either simulate, or play through this entire season all the way to the Championship. Other modes include diversions such as three point shoot out, and “Own the Court” in which you try to control as many nodes as possible by shooting from the area that it is situated in. All of these aside, Season mode is the main attraction, and it doesn’t disappoint at all.
NBA ’07 plays like any other basketball game, in that the controls, primarily, are the same. Circle is shooting, X is passing, triangle is blocking, and so forth. NBA ’07 executes this well, but there are several instances where the controls went from fluid to clunky, especially while on defense. The sluggish moments only seemed to occur when blocking in the post, which can become increasingly frustrating after the tenth time it has happened. With the abysmal reaction time while on defense in the post, blocking is next to impossible.
Shooting is probably one of the better designed features in NBA ’07. You perform shots by holding the circle button, and letting go when the meter hits green. The further away you are from the basket, the harder this becomes. In the online mode of NBA ’07, the shooting meter is slightly modified to balance the game between the two players.
For a game developed by Sony, I had expected NBA ’07 to utilize the SIXAXIS controls scheme a little better. You can juke, perform crossovers, and other offensive moves, but NBA ’07 doesn’t break any new ground with the SIXAXIS, and none of these moves are necessary at all. In terms of controls, I was really hoping NBA ’07 would bring something new to the table with the new SIXAXIS controller. It’s a shame they didn’t, because the new controller defiantly shows a ton of potential. As the developers become more knowledgeable with the hardware, I’m sure they will utilize the SIXAXIS to its full potential in NBA ’08.
The online implementation is actually fairly well done. Your PSN handle integrates itself with the game, and getting online is extremely easy. Once you do get online though, finding a game may prove to be a bit difficult. First, there aren’t many people playing this game online. Second, you have to select one person, send a challenge, and then wait for them to accept or decline. You can’t do anything else for that entire period of time. When I did manage to get a game started, the PSN provided me with an almost completely lag free playing environment. After a while though, my opponent left the game, and left me with a loss. The great thing about NBA ’07 online is that it tracks your stats and presents them to all of your possible opponents, so that you don’t accidentally challenge someone who will completely dominate you, and your family.
Thankfully, the audio in NBA ’07 is phenomenal. It provides a great menu soundtrack lineup, consisting of hip-hop, and provides a great atmosphere. The in-game audio provides a layer of authenticity, as the commentators voice will echo throughout the stadium, and fight songs will play throughout the game. Sadly, sound quality doesn’t make a game great.
Overall, NBA ’07 is a solid, playable, basketball game. But it doesn’t seem to reach any further then being playable. It does provide some good moments, but I demand more out of new generation games. Implement the SIXAXIS a little more, will ya?