Review by The Return of Raken
"Great game, but some weird characteristics."
This game is the next basketball game in a great basketball series, the Live series. NBA Live 2004 again offers all 29 NBA teams, with the Charlotte Bobcats (?), who have players with names such as "Point Guard" and "Center Center", and seven All-Star teams. A cool feature of NBA Live 2004 is this: The best player who's currently playing for your team, instead of having a circle for his icon, has a star. This shows you that that player is best overall. I will now move on to the aspects of the game.
The controls are extremely good. The standard A to pass, B to shoot combo is given. There's a different jump button, which is good. The default controls allow you to choose between shooting and lay-upping/dunking when in range. You press B to shoot and X to lay-up/dunk. It's a fantastic thing once you get used to it. The controls are very good and get a perfect 10 out of 10.
The game excels in this category as well. The menu songs are cool, with songs from artists like Jermaine Dupri. The sound effects are...sufficient. They get a perfect 10 out of 10.
Sorry, the AI isn't good enough. It's extremely frustrating when you first start on the hardest difficulty, but with some practice, you can annihilate them. The easier difficulties are pretty good, though. The AI gets an above average 6 out of 10.
Game Play: 7/10
The game play is weird. The game gets tiresome when playing with friends. If you know how to do it, and you have a good shot-blocker, you can block almost all dunks and lay-ups you're in position for. There are glitches. Backcourt is often incorrectly called. Even when the foul settings are high, you often get rustled in the post and they don't call it. Other then that, though, the game play is really fine. There are tons of offensive and defensive plays, it's hard to just go in to the hoop effortlessly, etc.. One cool feature is the four icons.
Hand: That player is good at blocking shots.
Basketball With a 3 in the Middle: That player is good at shooting 3-pointers.
Foot With...Decoration: That player can do impressive dunks consistently.
Padlock: That player is good at staying on the offensive player when playing defense.
There's also the NBA Store, at which you can buy jerseys, headbands, shoes, and more! There's a Season, Dynasty Mode (which is a Franchise) Playoffs, 1 on 1 (which gets old fast) and Individual Practice (which gets old really fast). The game play gets a good 7 out of 10.
Rent or Buy: Rent, and, if you like it, buy. However, I recommend you do not buy before renting, unless you are a die-hard basketball fan.
Game Play: 7/10
Overall Score: 8
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/15/04
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