Review by Chaos Control

"EA Sports rebounds from last year's failure with this improvement!"

NBA 06 is the latest installment of basketball by EA Sports. This game was a serious improvement compared to NBA 2005 and I'm totally impressed by such a huge gap between installments.

Graphics:

NBA 06 has much more refined graphics. The characters move smoothly, which the developers finally decided to fix. NBA All-Stars new freestyle shots that their counterparts would make in real life. Since all the faces were scanned into the game, the faces are extremely realistic. The developers even included stuff like tattoos and clothing. Whenever a player delivers an emphatic dunk, the basketball hook would shake from the impact. EA Sports added many little tidbits that enhance the realism of the game. They even got a real life crowd that react to plays on the court!

Controls:

Aside from the new freestyle controls which are easy to learn, the rest of the controls are the same as previous years. This is good, because anybody who has previously played some NBA game can pick this up and feel comfortable immediately. They really didn't add anything new to this category, but they made up for it with the superior gameplay.

Gameplay:

You can perform many crossovers with players and many dribble moves to blow past the opponents. You can throw the ball half court to your teammate who can get an easy fast break lay-up. With the addition of Freestyle super stars, you can press L + A, B, X, or Y to perform beautiful moves to score, making some points out of an impossible situation. Free throws are the same as 04 and 05. The only problem I see here is that the rosters aren't as updated as they could be. Rosters are from August 05 and since its March 06 now, new trades made by teams in real life have to be manually changed in the game.

There is actually some challenge in this game. In NBA 05, at halftime I could be winning 60-20, but this game makes the scoring much more even and realistic, so no one team can totally dominate with a 50 point lead.

Sound:

The announcers are improved 100%. EA Sports put a lot of effort into this category and it paid off. The announcers make different opening remarks depending on the team and make comments on the players on the team. This gets real personal and I'm happy to hear different comments every time. Just that removes a lot of criticism received by NBA 05 and makes this game worth buying. The jukebox featured in the game is mostly rap, but there are some ok tunes so the overall sound isn't bad, but superior.

Playtime/Replayablity:

You can control setting in the game, including the length of each quarter, but the playtime can be different every time. Overall, expect to spend about 30 minutes each game, and since there are many teams, including the regular NBA teams and the all-star teams, you could be playing as your favorite team or even the All Star team from the 50s! Replayability is high, at least until NBA 2007 comes out.

Buy or Rent:

For under $30, this game is a must for any NBA fan, especially with the playoff chase going on right now. If you are skeptical about yet another EA Sports failure, you won't be disappointed with this one, so trade in your old NBA games and get this one!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/06/06, Updated 04/05/07


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