It is difficult to write the NBA Live 19 review without bringing up the story of the glorious series to which this game belongs. Despite the problems of recent years, the NBA Live curriculum speaks to us of a career spanning almost a quarter of a century, which started way back in 1994 on Super Nintendo, Mega Drive and PC. Especially for those who did not own a console, at the time NBA Live was a reference point for playing basketball on their monitor for years, before giving in under the blows of the meticulous siege carried out by NBA 2K (here you can find the review of NBA 2K19). A competition that has seen the EA Sports series fall several times in recent times, but always trying to get up again: the last rebirth took place a year ago, when NBA Live 18 arrived on the market after a year off. The good feedback obtained gave us hope for the realization of NBA Live 19, arrived on time in this month of September that accompanies us at the beginning of the 2018-2019 season of the spectacular American basketball. What better time, then, to find out what EA Sports has in store for us?
The last few years have seen an increasingly insistent rise for career mode singles in sports games. More than just a career, in many cases it has been a real story, as FIFA 19 and its The Journey mode also teach us. Without aiming for the achievement peaks seen in the history of football simulation, NBA Live 19 takes us in the shoes of the chosen one that everyone calls The One, basketball promise about to arrive in the world of professionalism. The existence of the mode is certainly not new, but it is in it that most of the innovations developed by the developers in NBA Live 19 are concentrated. The first concerns the women's basketball, also introduced in last year's edition with the championship teams WNBA. Now it becomes possible to create an ad hoc character to take part in The One, then giving rise, if necessary, to mixed teams with male and female players. The only flaw from this point of view is the lack of The League submode, through which it is possible to play the NBA championship with a male player. In the role of a woman The One is therefore a complete mode only partially, even if inside there are still possibilities for fun.
In fact, the part of personalizing one's character plays a fundamental role, together with the matches on the road and in the fields outside those of the professional league. For this edition EA Sports has decided to include some of the road fields most famous around the world, including the famous Quai 54 hosting the tournament sponsored by Air Jordan. As he progresses through the mode, the player can choose to compose his team with some famous players: the first of them is Joel Embiid, face of NBA Live 19 that in history challenges our "The One" on its home pitch. The passage also offers an opportunity to introduce the Court Battles, a sort of basketball-themed tower defense where the player must create a squad with the players at his disposal. The team created here will then be controlled by the CPU in matches against other users, following rules for the current game that can also deviate from the standard ones of basketball. From a role-playing point of view The One offers some dialogues between our character and the members of his staff, without however surprising particularly: the only choice that matters is the one made at the end of the exchange, where to bring home some more hype or the coin needed to buy customizations in the street uniform. The other modes of NBA Live 19 have few changes: among them we obviously remember Ultimate Team, lighter than the mastodon he has now become in FIFA 19, and the usual Franchise.
NBA Live 19 brings with it a total of thirty Trophies. Along with the unmissable Platinum-colored award, we find five Gold-type Trophies, as well as ten Silver and fourteen Bronze. To achieve all of the objectives proposed by EA Sports you need to range a bit between all the modes present in NBA Live 19, including Ultimate Team.
Once you step into the field of NBA Live 19, you realize that from this point of view the game represents an evolution of what we saw last year. A common factor in annual sports titles, but given the vicissitudes the NBA Live series has gone through, a sign of continuity can only be interpreted in a positive way. In the game dynamics, the main novelty is represented by technology Real Player Motion, introduced this year by EA Sports also in Madden NFL 19 after having already made its debut with FIFA 18. To benefit from this introduction is above all the fluidity of movement of the players, characterized by more convincing animations than in the past. There are actually times when the fluidity loses a few hits, where the player we have on the pitch doesn't seem to immediately interpret our commands. However, these are moments that happen quite rarely. The gaming experience is always halfway between simulation and arcade, therefore without particular claims of realism on the part of NBA Live 19. In these terms, the presence in defense a button that allows the player we control to automatically move to counter the attacker. Apart from that, there is a clear tendency to spectacularize some actions to give greater satisfaction to the user, especially when there are dunks and blocks in the way. Artificial intelligence is generally good, although to be reviewed in some steps: once the weak points of the CPU have been identified, it becomes easy to beat it in the attack phases. The controls in general do not present any particular novelties: to shoot, reference is made to a vertical bar, at the top of which leave the button to make the best shot, taking into account the position of the player and any contrast.
The visual impact of NBA Live 19 it is undoubtedly high, especially in the shots from the top of the fields. The arenas in which we find ourselves playing - whether they are street arenas or championship halls NBA - present a considerable care by the developers, maintaining the quality presented in the filmed introductions even during the actual game phases. The models of the most famous American basketball champions are easily recognizable by those sitting in front of the screen, even if going down with the level of fame also decreases the quality of the model made by EA Sports. NBA Live 19 also flaunts its license ESPN, exploited properly to give a television cut to what happens on the pitch. The entertainment offered during the interval is less convincing, also due to a fairly buttoned-up technical comment. As for the news, things go a little better when we return to the game, finding new ones accompanying us Ed Cohen e Jay Williams: since it is a commentary in English, the interest in it is obviously less than the translation made in FIFA 19.
We conclude the review of NBA Live 19 by underlining the work done by the developers to give this title a very specific identity. The presence of immediate dynamics makes NBA Live 19 a valid solution for all those who want to face a basketball game that does not require particular exercise to be mastered, providing them with a well-made mode like The One. Some aspects of the pitch still need to be improved, including certain historical flaws that we hope can be addressed in the coming months.
- Very interesting The One mode
- Great detail of the fields
- Now it is also possible to impersonate a woman
- Animations not always perfect
- Few news outside of The One
- There is still a lot of work to do to reach the competition